Doc Eason’s magic takes him on the road

Jill Beathard | The Aspen Times
Magician Doc Eason with his portrait, formerly a staple in the Tower Restaurant and now proudly hanging in the Magic Castle in Hollywood. Eason has been performing bar magic in Snowmass Village for nearly 40 years, but he’s starting to get more and more recognition — and work — from the Castle, the home of the Academy of Magical Arts.
Courtesy photo |

If you go …

Magic & Juggling with Doc Eason and Jammin Jim

6:30 p.m., June 10

Glenwood Vaudeville Revue


This is no ordinary magic show.

Only a few magicians in the country can do the style of close-up magic that Doc Eason performs just inches from your eyes and ears. Doc sprinkles his card handling, coin tricks and sleight of hand with his sharp wit and penchant for storytelling for a full, one-of-a-kind performance.

People in Snowmass have known that for years. Locals know and love him. Visitors come back year after year. But now, Eason’s gaining more notoriety beyond the Roaring Fork Valley, too.

The Academy of Magical Arts just recognized Eason with his fifth academy award for lecturer of the year. He’s also won in the close-up and bar-magic categories.

And he’s performing more at the academy’s home in the exclusive Magic Castle. Having held a performance recently directed by actor Neil Patrick Harris, the Castle is only open to magicians or guests of magicians, making it one of Hollywood’s hottest tickets.

The home of the magical academy and a venue for the world’s most prestigious magicians, “It’s the epicenter of magic in the world,” Eason said. “It’s a special place. There’s no place like it.”

There are five bars in the Magic Castle, and Eason has been making appearances in the W.C. Fields Magic Bar, named for the vaudeville comedian, for about 20 years. But Eason is being asked back more, thanks to skills he picked up performing at the Tower Restaurant in Snowmass.

Salesman skills, that is — if you’ve ever sat through one of Eason’s shows, you’ve heard him suggest that you buy a cocktail and give you time to do so without missing a single trick. You were probably convinced, too.

“They like me in there,” Eason said.

With his increasing presence at the Magic Castle, Eason also had the honor of hanging his portrait in the W.C. Fields bar. That was the same portrait that used to hang in the Tower, where Eason first witnessed bar magic in action and where he performed for 27 years.

That magical first night took place in 1977, when Eason was here on vacation. Not only did Eason get stars in his eyes watching Bob Sheets practice the art of deception at the Tower, but he also got invited to a camping trip by the owners, who brought along their investor, John Denver.

“It didn’t take me long to figure out maybe I wanted to stay,” Eason said.

Since the Tower closed in 2004, Eason has been performing regularly during high season at The Artisan restaurant in the Stonebridge Inn. He’ll start appearing weekly there in July.

But before then, he’s also teaming up with fellow performing artist Jim Pomey for a special event at the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue on Friday.