Santa Monica’s marvelous beachfront Hotel, Casa del Mar, is currently showcasing critically acclaimed “modern conjurer” Derek Hughes in a riotous evening of magic and comedy on selected dates through April. We caught the show the other night and can proclaim it a not-to-be-missed evening. Titled INSOMNIA, this never-before-seen act takes place in the intimate setting in one of the hotel’s private rooms. The fun starts with a wine and beer reception at 5:30 p.m. Two drinks per guest which keeps things civlized. This is followed by an hour performance at 6 p.m. Each show is limited to 50 guests. Hughes is engaging and talented and his performance is loosely inspired by the short fiction of Jorge Luis Borges, a mystifying and amusing display of prestidigitation, exploring the lines between waking and dreaming. Audience participation is welcome. You will be blown away, amused and challenged after an hour with Derek Hughes, all together a marvelous way to spend an hour and a half. $55 for the show, valet parking and reception. We have to give Casa del Mar a lot of credit for bring innovative entertainment like this to Los Angeles. It takes imagination for a hotel to think out of the box and Casa del Mar, besides being grand, sophisticated and relaxing beyond belief, does so many beautiful things well: gracious guest rooms, an inviting spa, first class dining and lively bar with live music every night. Why not make a night of it as we did at stay over and enjoy drinks and dinner, You can also follow INSOMNIA updates via the Hotel Casa del Mar Twitter feed @CasaDelMar.

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