A Magical Experience with Robert Baxt!

Robert Baxt and Jim from the audience

Saturday, October 13 was one of the most magical nights yet at The Groveland Hotel and Cellar Door Restaurant! Comedy magician Robert Baxt, 15-year veteran of The Magic Castle in Hollywood, entertained a SOLD OUT room with silliness and mystical slight-of-hand. He combined a number of tricks and gags, both classic and new.

Beginning at 7:00 PM, Robert entertained those who were just sitting down or who had ordered and were waiting for their appetizers to arrive by roaming to the various tables and doing amazing close-up tricks that people are still talking about. The usual “pick a card” trick with variations never fails to amuse, and the “voodoo hand spot” trick had our evening front desk gal, Kayla, asking him how he did it for the rest of the night.

After a break for the heart of the dinner service, he was back for the stage show portion at 8:30. A family who had walked in for dinner and hadn’t intended to stay for the stage show because it was past five-year-old Stanley’s bedtime were so charmed that they not only stayed for the rest of the evening, but Stanley got to be part of the show!

“Are you here with your family tonight, Stanley?” asked Robert.

“Yes!” answered the enthusiastic Stanley.

“Oh, that’s wonderful. Is your wife here tonight as well?”


Kids say the funniest things. And do them, too, because by the end of the routine, Stanley (with Robert’s help, of course) was making coins drop from every possible oriface into a metal bucket, much to the audience’s delight.

Harkening back to vaudeville, Robert demonstrated expert skills with plate-spinning, something very few entertainers do any more. I was looking at his website before his visit, curious about what types of things he may do, and I wrote off plate-spinning outright. “He’ll never do that, there’s simply no room,” I said to myself. And then, during his act, he brought out a plate, and a stick, and things got interesting.

“Okay, one short stick, that makes sense,” I said, watching as some of the guests leaned back in their seats, eyes on that spinning plate. Then he added another length. “Well… it’s still not that tall…”

When the third length of stick went up, I started chewing on things, carefully watching the Halloween decorations and the height of the ceiling, which Robert even commented on. “Low ceilings!” he said jovially as he added section number four! Fortunately, no plates, decorations or guests were harmed during that portion of the show.

Throughout the evening, audience volunteers found themselves participating in all kinds of crazy stunts, from a plate-spinning Statue of Liberty to pulling pieces of paper out of their mouths. After all, it’s not every day a total stranger can convince you to put tissue paper in your mouth in front of a room full of people.

Robert is a classic gag magician, and as such, recognizes that some tricks are just plain old, such as the linking rings trick. Some people may not have seen it before, but anybody older than about ten probably has, so he had a really funny twist on it. Since it’s the Halloween season, he launched into a horrifying (or horrifyingly funny) poem based on Poe’s “The Raven,” about what happens when a mysterious magician shows up at his door one night with a suspiciously familiar trick.

If you missed this evening of fun and magic, you have four more chances to catch the rest of our Winter Magic series. Each performer is completely different from the last! No two performers are alike! Next month, on Friday, November 16, mentalist Lawrence Lemon will astound with seemingly impossible feats of psychic acumen. Friday, December 14, the high-energy Naathan Phan will amaze and delight audiences of all ages with the help of some furry and feathered friends, fire and confetti! Saturday, January 19, star of stage and screen Larry Wilson will bring a bit of Harrah’s Reno with him for your entertainment. Finally, on Friday, February 22 (the perfect Valentine’s gift!), watch closely as John Gardenier dazzles with his slight-of-hand using ordinary objects like silverware and coins.

DO NOT WAIT TO RESERVE YOUR SEAT. We had to turn people away at the door when we had reached capacity, and some diners ended up sitting outside in the patio due to lack of space.  Call 209-962-4000 NOW to book your reservation before the last space… DISAPPEARS!

Groveland 2013