World-renowned Scottish illusionist Scott Silven returns to the McKittrick Hotel for At The Illusionist’s Table.
(Tickets available until mid-October.)
In this extraordinary performance, the enigmatic host and mastermind guides guests through an enchanting evening. It is a unique fusion of delicious culinary experiences, heartfelt storytelling and mind-blowing mentalism. Prepare to challenge your senses as candlelit dancing, whiskey flows and captivating conversations unfold against the backdrop of a meal filled with astonishing illusions.
Following a sold-out run earlier this year on the hotel’s winter rooftop, The Hideout at Gallow Green, At The Illusionist’s Table returns, by popular demand, for a limited engagement this fall.
“It is a great privilege to once again return to my home away from home at the McKittrick Hotel. I’m thrilled to have New York audiences join me for an extraordinary evening this fall,” shares Silven.
From the moment guests enter the Club Car, a bar designed to resemble a classic train carriage, for their first cocktail until they find their place in the performance space at the long, intimate, lighted table by candlelight with Silven in the lead, who charms and fascinates with stories of his childhood in Scotland. The three-course dinner menu is created by the hotel’s Executive Chef, Pascal Le Seac’h, and pairs perfectly with classic whiskey cocktails, including whiskeys carefully selected from Silven’s hometown. Beyond the tales and tricks of the Illusionist, the real magic comes from the host’s ability to connect their guests through a shared experience around their table. We asked Silven to tell us more about At The Illusionist’s Table.
Tell us what inspired your popular dining experience.
Prior to creating At The Illusionist’s Table, my work was primarily experienced through traditional theater and television such as the Kennedy Center, Sydney Opera House and The Today Show. I wanted to push the boundaries of my craft and create an experience in an intimate setting that explored the power of connection and the senses in a new and revelatory way.
I believe that good food and drink should provide a unique sensory encounter and perhaps spark an emotional memory. It seemed like the perfect crossover to bring the aesthetic of a dinner party and design a magical theater experience around that.
It’s truly rewarding to sit down with an intimate group every night, break bread, see each of them begin to connect with each other and directly become agents of the impossible. The intimate setting of a single table also allows me to speed up connections in the room, usually much faster than in a theater environment. More importantly, the personal nature of the setting and the openness of the dinner table also reinforce the impossibility of the experience.
What should guests know about the experience? What can they expect?
At The Illusionist’s Table has been very kindly described by reviewers as ‘the best dinner party you’ll ever attend’ and although that’s a lot of pressure, it’s definitely what I’m aiming for! You will join me in a small group around a single table in a secret space at McKittrick and we will set off together on a sensory journey where food, drink, illusion and memory intertwine to create an experience truly remarkable. You will leave knowing that you not only witnessed, but were an integral part of something extraordinary.
Experience is the key to the success of F&B programs. Tell us about this idea.
I believe people are looking for more than just good food and good service. They want a special moment that they will talk about for years. When I came to New York with At The Illusionist’s Table a few years ago, it was billed as an experience that broke the mold of what “dinner theater” can be. In recent years I have been delighted to see theatrical elements seep into other dinner programs, but for this to be effective I firmly believe that each element must be able to stand on its own and not rely on gadgets that can provide flash but don’t. emotional resonance.
What can guests expect from the food and whiskey served at your event?
The menu is designed by the wonderful Pascal Le Seac’H, executive chef of McKittrick and former executive chef of Pastis and Balthazar. The flavor combinations are rooted in my Scottish heritage and linked to the narrative of the show which explores the forests of my childhood. The whiskey is carefully selected from my hometown regions in Scotland and enjoyed in both unique and curated cocktail formats.
How are food and drinks associated and incorporated into illusions?
The food and drinks are not just an addition to the show, but are deeply ingrained into the experience. My guests will enjoy three courses – La Mer, La Forêt and L’Étude – linked to the three acts of the show as well as two special sensory whiskey tastings. We hope the connections between food and narrative are elegant and subtle, and that they become deeper as the experience develops. And of course, there will be quite a few surprises along the way…
Why whiskey as the spirit of choice?
I grew up in Scotland, so Water of Life seemed like the best spirit to evoke the best emotional connection to the series. There is also a depth and complexity to aged single malt Scotch whiskey that works well to jog the memory and allows the audience to surrender more deeply to the experience.
What else can you tell us about this experience?
I hope your time at the illusionist’s table is one you remember and talk about for a very long time.
You will find yourself participating in impossible and exciting illusions, but it will also hopefully make you look closely at your own life, find inspiration and discover what you are capable of, all while enjoying a special meal in the setting unforgettable by Le McKittrick. Your place at the table awaits!
McKittrick Hotel (530 West 27th Street, New York), home of Sleep No More, has announced the return of At The Illusionist’s Table by internationally renowned illusionist Scott Silven. Representations of the intimate experience, where mystical mentalism mixes with gastronomy, will be offered from September 14 to October 21, 2023.
Places are available on Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m.
Cloud 9 reservations include specially selected wine pairings with each course. Seasonal cocktails are also available for purchase at the Club Car bar. Guests are welcome to visit the hotel’s rooftop garden bar and restaurant, Gallow Green, before or after the show. Visit www.mckittrickhotel.com/gallow-green for menus, reservations or to personalize a private meeting.
For tickets and information about Sleep No More and other hotel experiences, visit www.mckittrickhotel.com.
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