Magic Castle Cabaret’s WILD & CRAZY SALE

By Mo McFadden

It’s going to be wild and crazy weekend just like Steve Martin would like!  At the Magic Castle Cabaret’s Wild & Crazy Sale this weekend (8.13 & 8.14) you’ll find items you’ll laugh at and others you’ll ooh and ahh over.  It’s a case of everything from the ridiculous to the sublime.  Owner Arlene Larsen has said she’s pulling out all the stuff from four different storage places and has IRL created a sale with truly, something for everyone.  Of special note, she hopes local theatre companies, seamstresses, costumers, restaurants, special events companies, and party planners will come see what’s in stock and be able to get the most use out of the inventory to be found this weekend.   And she hopes YOU can come over and find something special.  Did we mention there’s free popcorn and the bar opens at noon? Now you can bring your girlfriends and boyfriends to have some fun.  

When you think of magic, the holiday which most often comes to mind is Halloween.  If you’re a devotee of all things spooky, scary and Halloween, you HAVE to come check this sale out.  There are decorations, a couple of talking spooky greetings characters – those classic casting choices right out of the Universal horror films recreated for conversation starters at your next Halloween party. Funny Halloween tchotchkes, signs with BOO and SPOOKY, mugs of dancing skeletons with the phrase “I’m Dead Before Coffee” for your favorite coffee hound.  

Lots of costumes too.  Not the kind of costumes you get out of a package but unique pieces you pick out to make your own special apparition and one that could win you the prize for best costume.  Hats, yes there are hats.  Make a negligee a sultry cape and gander at the uniforms made especially for the staff of the MC Cabaret – all I could think of was a wedding in Vegas could use the men’s black jackets with gold designs on it.  Arlene’s husband, Milt Larsen, was a founder of the Magic Castle in Hollywood and she is an incredibly talented costumer – a member of the Hollywood Costumers Guild in fact.  When I told Arlene the sale’s been described as an Estate Sale on steroids she shot back with a big laugh, “yeah, but we’re still alive!”     

Need some outdoor lighting? How about one-of-a-kind bistro tables and chairs? Maybe some old movie posters, or lobby cards? How about decorations the 4th of July? Or birthdays?  Everybody has one or two of those.  Linens for tables of all shapes and sizes in a selection of color and fabric you’ll love, glassware and plastic glasses that look like glass.  How about an overhead hanging rack for kitchen utensils, a couple of TRUE refrigerators or a Spaceman brand soft ice cream machine?  You know you want that soft ice cream machine for the hot days ahead.  Other different items include the windows that were part of Café Del Sol etched with the different ducks are here, an electric scooter with the MCC logo it, floral design centerpiece forms,  plastic drawer units with four or five drawers, and more than ten tinseled palm trees in silver, gold, green, red, blue, Mardi Gras colors and let your imagination go wild on how you could use these oh-so-Hollywood palms. Going to the Zoofari Ball at the end of the month?  The Wild & Crazy Sale is just in the nick of time! 

Visit the Magic Castle Cabaret Facebook event page here to see a representation of some of the things you’ll find at the WILD & CRAZY Sale!

And see photos and videos of many of the things up for sale.   Some items are the only one and other items are in the multiples.   Enter on the side of the building for the sale.  Remember only cash and Credit Cards – No checks, Venmo or PayPal. 

As the song goes, you must remember this: Nothing attached to the walls is for sale – they must stay in place. Arlene winked and said, “I will be renting the space out for special events.  It needs to have those wonderful, iconic Magic Castle Cabaret items to give the space…well, magic.” 


Milt and Arlene

Arlene’s talents are well-honed.  When you understand her background, the things she has for sale become more interesting just because of her eclectic tastes and history in design.  She got the bug to pursue a career in costume and design when she was in High School and Jr. College theatre departments.  Working in Los Angeles, her resume included work in the wardrobe departments of various studios including NBC, CBS, KTTV, KTLA, and Cinema General Studios, as a wardrobe supervisor and costumer. During the late 60’s Arlene worked on many of the hit variety shows at the time. As a costume supervisor she worked with many of the top designers creating the elaborate costumes for THE DEAN MARTIN SHOW, LAUGH-IN, THE ANDY WILLIAMS SHOW, and THE PHYLLIS DILLER SHOW.  Arlene learned from the best and worked her way up to becoming a costume designer and creator for THE LENNON SISTERS SPECIALS.  The woman worked her tail off. 

From television costuming to stage productions with Magic Production Companies, the job of designing specialty costumes for Variety shows led Arlene to become the costumer for the Ralph Edwards Productions television show TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES. At that time Milt Larsen was one of the supervising writers on TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, and Producer of Variety shows at the Variety Arts Theatre in Los Angeles, and British Music Hall productions at the Mayfair Music Hall in Santa Monica. When Arlene was in production meetings to discuss the costume designs for the TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES skits, the Variety Show costumes were also considered. And it became clear the two creative personalities – Milt and Arlene – worked very well together. They are looking forward to spending more time together and not working so hard. You know, time to stop and smell the roses. 

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Written by Maureen McFadden

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