New: Queen Mary's Magical ‘FantaSea'

Pick a card: The Long Beach landmark throws its first prestidigitation festival.

The illusion where a magician steps behind a curtain and, without pause, appears in another area of the theater is something that has confounded audiences, served as movie plot points (hello, "The Prestige"), and generally reigned as a centerpiece to the enchanted arts.

Typically, however, the disappearance/reappearance all happens within the same room. What, though, can one say about several Magic Castle performers, the headliners one often sees at the Hollywood club, suddenly popping up, as if from thin air, at the Queen Mary in Long Beach?

Well ... we'd guess that the magicians drove to the Queen Mary, in their cars, relying on automotive transport over any hocus-pocus. But hocus-pocus shall be on full and fascinating display during FantaSea, the famous ocean-liner's first foray into the world of illusion and magical marvel.

It isn't just a night of pick-a-card-isms and coins disappearing with the wave of a wand; FantaSea is a three-day spectacular devoted to numerous now-you-see-its from a bevy of sleight-of-hand-ers. ("Sleight-of-hand-ers" is, of course, an ultimate compliment, for as much as one may train their eye on a magician's fast fingers, somehow the small red ball always ends up on their shoulder or in their pocket. How?)

The dates are Friday, April 8 through Sunday, April 10, and the schedule is as full as an unopened box of playing cards. An Abracadabra Brunch, a Magic Mixology session, academy classes, a marketplace, and a bunch of performances are the rabbit in this particular top hat.

There's also a Captain's Tour of the ship, something one should jump on if one loves mysteries of all sorts. The Queen Mary, of course, is said to be quite haunted, and its historical cred, and its many legends, will appeal to those who prefer life to come with a side of enchantment.

A day pass to FantaSea is recommended for "magic enthusiasts to wizards of the castle." In short, this is a gathering for all fans and practitioners of the art, so even if you've never tried to make an ace appear at the top of the deck, you're still fervently invited to secure a ticket.

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The Academy of Magical Arts is behind this interesting pairing of pursuit and place. That place, the ship forever-docked in Long Beach, feels like a cousin, in spirit, to Tinseltown's Magical Castle.

True, one's Art Deco, and one is highly Victorian, but both rock an atmosphere that is vintage, charming, and, yes, magical.

But will the magicians really drive to the Queen Mary, or simply step into a box on stage at the castle, only to appear in Long Beach seconds later? We're fingers-crossing for the latter.

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