Alla-Ka-Diddle-Dee-Dee, Allaka-Diddle-Dee-Doo!

Betty and I standing next to the original Allakazam Road Sign

We’re off to find the Magic Land of Allakazam where all wishes come true. And boy, did they! For those of you who don’t know, those were the words of the beginning of the Allakazam theme song. As promised, here is my full review of last week’s 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Magic Land of Allakazam at the Magic Castle. Betty and I arrived around 6:00 PM at the Castle and had dinner and immediately followed downstairs to the Inner Circle where the celebration was in full force. The Inner Circle was packed with friends, fans, and performers alike. After a champagne toast and speech by Mark Wilson, a giant cake with a giant picture of the Allakazam Hat was served to all. Before you knew it, it was time for Mark, Nani, Greg, and Mike to head upstairs to get ready for the big show in the Palace of Mystery. Nani was kind enough to have reserve seats for Betty and me as I sat anxiously awaiting the show to begin.

The Palace of Mystery had been transformed into a duplicate studio that the Magic Land of Allakazam was shot at. The music director came out and introduced himself and explained to us there would be a complete reenactment of the show’s beginning, complete with music, the audience singing the theme song complete with the song’s words in captions on two large screen TVs. As the theme was sung and each character was introduced. First it was Nani, then Rebo the clown, son Mike, and finally Mark was magically produced from an empty cabinet! Mark then proceeded to talk about the Magic Land of Allakazam and give a brief history and then, in typical Mark Wilson style, he entertained the crowd by telling a few jokes, accompanied by rim shot punch lines. Mark and Nani then performed their now-famous Allakazam Egg to the audience’s delight. Mark and Nani had the audience eating out of the palm of their hands.

Mark then introduced his son, Greg, who performed his classic billiard ball routine, which was artistically beautiful and technically flawless! Greg then proceeded to perform his parents’ classic effects from the Magic Land of Allakazam, Magic Circus, etc., including the original Haechen Doll House, Asrah, Magic Castle, and one of my personal favorites, the Allakazam Train! As he performed each illusion, he gave a bit of history on each prop and the original costumes designed by Nani and worn by her during performance. Before you knew it, the show came to an end, and the entire cast received a well-deserved standing ovation. I was very impressed with the production of the entire evening beginning with the moment you walked up to the Magic Castle (the original Allakazam starred archway welcomed you to the event), in every corner, nook, and cranny, there were original costumes, props, scenery, artists’ renderings, and video monitors broadcasting the original episodes of the Magic Land of Allakazam. So no matter where you went, you were surrounded by great memories of Allakazam! They say that you can’t go back home, well for those few short hours, I did! It’s a night that I’ll never forget. Special thanks to Greg Wilson for the incredible amount of work, love, and devotion he invested personally in this project to make it as memorable as it was for all involved.

A collage from the published commemorative program

TV Guide announcing the premier of the Magic Land of Allakazam

Mark and Nani Wilson

Tomorrow, Betty and I will make our return to Hollywood for the Magic Castle Swap Meet as we do every year. We’ll be having dinner with Mark, Nani, and Greg at the Castle and reminisce about last week’s event and share some of those special Allaka-Memories.

Until next time,

Paul

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