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Archives: Week Of January 27-February 2, 2003
-VOLUME: 61 / ISSUE: 1,847 Monday - January 27, 2003-
Penn & TellerPenn & Teller are compared to Houdini in a Plain Dealer article that reported "Houdini never claimed to possess mystical powers... But his outrage over charlatans playing on people's grief and gullibility turned him into a crusader. Using their considerable gifts as magicians and comedians, Penn & Teller are following Houdini's admirable lead with a series designed "to prove that many of the institutions society holds dear are bogus and designed to profit from the desperate and trusting public." To read the Jan. 24 article by Mark Dawidziak titled "A magical mystery tour de farce" click: HERE.(1/27)

Penn & Teller's Showtime series is described as "…the gusto with which he goes for the throat is what makes this rant-cum-inquest such a raucous hoot," in a Newsday article that warns the viewers, "Just remember to be as objectively skeptical of what these guys say as of anybody else. Hey - maybe that's the point they're trying to make." To read the Jan. 24 article by Diane Werts titled "These Guys Aren't Psychic Friends" click: HERE.(1/27)

Penn & Teller's TV series is previewed in the Los Angeles Daily News where it is given three stars and concludes "In all, though, it's an entertaining little show that cynically exploits those who cynically exploit others." To read the Jan. 24 article titled "Bring In The Noise, Bring In Debunk" supplied by Yellowbrix and Infoseek click: HERE.(1/27)

Henry Evans, Tom Ogden, Jeff Ezell, Steve Dacri, Chris Mitchell, Todd Oliver, Pablo Kusnetzoff, and Randall Kappe appear at the Magic Castle in Los Angeles on Jan. 27-Feb. 3.(1/27)

The Amazing Kreskin is featured in a Calgary Sun article that describes him as "Try stopping a cyclone to ask for directions and you'll know what it's like to interview The Amazing Kreskin." Kreskin's start as a magician is described, "Starting as a precocious 12-year-old stage magician, Kreskin -- who forged his name from two of his favourite magicians, Harry Kellar and Houdini -- has been lauded internationally for his frenetic, albeit entertaining, stage and broadcast performances." To read the Jan. 22 article by Chris Bowerman titled "Amazing Kreskin plays Coyotes on Jan. 24 and Cowboys Jan. 25" click: HERE.(1/27)

Mike Segal introduces an Interactive Magic series at the 2003 Canadian Toy and Hobby Fair. A Canadian Press article quotes Segal about the advantage of CD-ROM instructions, "When I was learning magic I had to do it out of books. It was a lot more difficult - kids today don't really have the patience for that." To read the Jan. 25 article by Jen Horsey titled "Toys on display at Toronto show offer retailers a peak at future must-haves" click: HERE.(1/27)

Chang Chul performs at the French Cultural Center (Woori Building in Pongrae-dong) in downtown Seoul on Jan. 28 at 7pm. For more information phone: (02) 317-8500.(1/27)

Michael Grandinetti's prediction of the Super Bowl results is mentioned in a Daily News article that reported "The nationally known magician has promised to predict the outcome of tomorrow's Super Bowl." To read the Jan. 26 article by David Sallinger titled "Local entertainment news for Saturday, Jan. 25, 2003" click: HERE.(1/27)

Adrian Gagnon is described as a "former musician-turned-professional magician" in The Herald which reported, "For the past five years, Gagnon has performed at birthday parties, restaurants and arts festivals in York County and the Charlotte area. Now, the 27-year-old Fort Mill native is presenting his family-oriented brand of 'now you see it, now you don't' on a larger scale." To read the Jan. 25 article by Erica Pippins titled "Fort Mill native comes home to make magic" click: HERE.(1/27)

Penn & Teller continue to get flack from their stunt at the World Magic Seminar. A Las Vegas Review-Journal article reported that "A Christian magicians group wants an apology and the expulsion of Penn & Teller for their 'profane blasphemy.'" Also mentioned in the article were Siegfried & Roy and David Copperfield. To read the Jan. 26 article by Norm titled "Penn & Teller parody draws groups' ire" click: HERE.(1/27)

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-VOLUME: 61 / ISSUE: 1,848 Tuesday - January 28, 2003-
The Las Vegas Magic School FamilyThe Las Vegas Magic School officially opened on Wednesday Jan. 15 with Jeff McBride, Eugene Burger (the official dean of the school) and Abbi Spinner hosting a party for more than 100 magicians. The 5,000-square foot magic center features a Channing Pollock room, a Tomsoni room, and a Wonderdome. The school was an outgrowth from McBride's highly successful Summer School, Weekend of Wonder and Master Class events that he has been presenting for years. The new school will continue to present these intensive sessions but will also feature special seminars and classes throughout the year. Some of the magicians scheduled to appear this year include: Alan Ackerman, Bob Fitch, Bob Neale, Jonathan Pendragon, and Max Maven. For more information and a schedule of classes click: HERE.(1/28)

NEW JERSEY: Dave Mitchell who is a recognized expert on family entertainment lectures on Tuesday Jan. 28 at 8pm for JMMRT at the V.F.W. Hall (20 Pennsylvania Ave., two blocks from the NJ Transit -- Linden train station) in Linden. Cost is $10 for members and $15 for non-members. For more information click: HERE.(1/28)

Lou Walston and his Funhouse Magic Shop in Baltimore are featured in a Baltimore Sun article that reported "…what we have here is another fine, old Baltimore institution about to go out of business, I'm sad to report. As soon as Mr. Lou sells the last self-inflating whoopee cushion in stock -- Can you believe it? Self-inflating! -- he'll call it a career and close his shop." To read the Jan. 24 article by Dan Rodricks titled "One final disappearing act for a Baltimore institution" click: HERE.(1/28)

David Copperfield begins another leg of his touring show, "An Intimate Evening Of Grand Illusions," with appearances at the King Center for the Performing Arts in Melbourne, FL on Jan. 28, the Times Union Center, Moran Theater in Jacksonville, FL on Jan. 29, the Tallahassee Leon County Civic Center in Tallahassee, FL on Jan. 30, and at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Morsani Hall in Tampa, FL on Jan. 31-Feb. 2.(1/28)

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-VOLUME: 61 / ISSUE: 1,849 Wednesday - January 29, 2003-
Columbus Magi-FestOHIO: The 72nd Annual Columbus Magi-Fest featuring R. Paul Wilson, Aldo Colombini, Trevor Lewis, David Williamson, Bob Sheets, Shawn Farquhar, Troy Hooser, Ardan James, Hank Moorehouse, Steven Kline, Kenrick "Ice" McDonald, Dan Sperry, Brad Uhl, Tim Shegitz, Julie Eng, David Ginn, Ken Scott, Taylor Herrick, Brian Stoops, Arthur Tracz, Daniel Weeber, Richard Hughes, and Mark Wade takes place on Jan. 30-Feb. 1 at the Columbus Marriott North in Columbus. For more information click: HERE.(1/29)

A "City of Illusions and Magic" has been approved to be built in Rajasthan, India. A Sify News article quotes K. Lal, "The academy -- to be built on 50,000 square metres of land -- should become a research centre where new magic items were prepared and talented youth could learn the ancient trade." To read the Jan. 28 article titled "Jaipur to get City of Illusions & Magic" click: HERE.(1/29)

Michael GrandinettiMichael Grandinetti's prediction of the Suber Bowl results were successfully unveiled on the nationally syndicated "Mark & Brian" radio show on Monday Jan. 27. His sealed prediction read "At my best estimation, The Tampa Bay Buchaneers will win Superbowl XXXVII with a final score approximately 48 to 21." After the appearance Grandinetti said, "Mark and Brian were watching very closely and were very skeptical. And, when you're dealing with a live broadcast and famously unpredictable hosts, you never know what to expect. I am happy with the outcome and was thrilled to be able to share this event with their listeners throughout the country."(1/29)

Persi Diaconis is quoted in a Chicago Tribune article about the fairness of a coin toss, "Coin tossing is physics; it's not random at all… I had the Stanford physics lab make a coin-tossing machine that can do it too." Diaconis also, "claims to throw 'heads' with 99.9 percent accuracy by flipping the coin a precise number of rotations in the air." To read the Jan. 26 article by Chris McNamara titled "Heads or tails? It really is a tossup" supplied by the Baltimore Sun click: HERE.(1/29)

Travis Sims's "Extreme Magic" show with guest performer David Mesarosh appeared at the Schafer Auditorium on Saturday. A Hoosier Times article quoted many audience members about what they thought of the magic. To read the Jan. 26 article by Loretta Brown titled "Magic show fun" click: HERE.(1/29)

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-VOLUME: 61 / ISSUE: 1,850 Thursday - January 30, 2003-
The Amazing RandiThe Amazing Randi, Jerry Andrus and Jamy Ian Swiss are among the speakers at "The Amazing Meeting" on Jan. 31-Feb. 2 at the Renaissance Plantation hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The event is being sponsored by The James Randi Educational Foundation. For more information click: HERE.(1/30)

PJ Weber who performs at school assemblies is featured in The Times where he is described as, "Weber, who has performed for four U.S. presidents and in 67 countries, has been a magician since 1971 and has worked full-time at schools since 1990." To read the Jan. 29 article by Sharon Porta titled "It's magic!" click: HERE.(1/30)

Rick Green, Scott Cantrell and "Big Daddy Cool" appear at the opening of The Magic Cabaret at the Main Street Playhouse in Goodlettsville, TN. Currently shows are scheduled for Jan. 31-Feb.1, Mar. 28-30, Apr. 25-27, Jun. 6-7, Jul. 4-6 and Sep. 26-27. Tickets are $10 per person with shows being presented at 8pm and 10pm. For reservations phone: 615-612-2993.(1/30)

Robert Strong is described as a "highly energetic magician" in a Dunn Connection article that reports on his upcoming show at Huffs in University of Wisconsin-Stout's Memorial Student Center. To read the Jan. 29 article titled "Magician performs at UW-Stout's Huffs" click: HERE.(1/30)

Infantino performs at The Morrill Theatre (127-6 Smithtown Blvd.) in Nesconset, NY on Friday Jan. 31 at 8pm. The show is a fundraiser for the theater. Tickets are available by phoning: 631-979-5942.(1/30)

Brad UhlEscape artist Brad Uhl will be headlining at the Columbus Magi-Fest's Friday night show when he will attempt his "Impossible Death-Defying Challenge Escape" where he will be placed in a straightjacket, and locked inside a 317lb. "vault-like" box that is secure and airtight. Uhl will attempt to escape before running out of air and without breaking any seals and leaving the box in its original locked condition. The show will be held at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium (300 West Broad St.) in downtown Columbus on Jan. 31 at $7:30pm. Tickets should be available at the theater box office. For more information click: HERE.(1/30)

Penn & Teller's TV series is reviewed in the Valley Advocate where they predict that "It's pretty clear that Penn & Teller are going to make a lot of enemies. Their caustic brand of edutainment is going to give consumer-advocate goofs like 20/20's John Stossel a run for their money. And they're going to expose more fake scary guys on TV than anyone since Scooby-Doo. Their magic is a put-on, but this show is some kind of a miracle." To read the Jan. 30 article by Christopher Arnott titled "Bullshit Walks" click: HERE.(1/30)

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-VOLUME: 61 / ISSUE: 1,851 Friday - January 31, 2003-
January 2003 issue of FocusHoudini is featured throughout the January issue of "Focus: Jewish Life In NEPA" magazine with an eleven page story full of rare photographs and poster reproductions. The feature begins with a biography that dispels some myths and recounts his many ties to the Scranton, Pennsylvania area where Dorothy Dietrich and John Bravo's Houdini Museum resides. The museum and its contents are profiled in a two-page feature that describes Dietrich and Bravo as, "Magic is there life, but Houdini is their passion. You can see that as you take the tour. Like all performers, they come alive onstage in front of an audience, doing their routines--they shine. But get them started talking about Houdini and they glow." The feature closes with a Houdini self-biography he wrote around 1909. The feature was written by John Pivovarnick with photos by Dave Sartor and from the Houdini Museum in Scranton and the Library Of Congress.(1/31)

Diamond Jim Tyler performs with the Irving Symphony Orchestra on Friday Jan. 31 at The Calvary Temple in Irving, TX. The program titled "The Magic of Music" will feature magically themed music with Tyler presenting platform magic intermittently during the concert. The event is a youth event for the Irving ISD.(1/31)

Ang Lee who made "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and is now finishing "The Hulk" is said to be looking making "Houdini." A Hollywood Exclusive article reported that "The proposed film, which would focus on legendary magician Harry Houdini's debunking activities, has caught the interest of such names as Tom Cruise and directors Robert Zemeckis and Paul Verhoeven in recent years." To read the Jan. 24 article by Marilyn Beck & Stacy Jenel Smith titled "Can 'Houdini,' et al make it out of development hell." Click: HERE.(1/31)

Bob "Cowboy Bob" Watkins is featured in The State where he is described as "By night, he's an enthralling magician who makes cards float in midair and quarters disappear." To read the Jan. 30 article by Dawn Hinshaw titled "Mechanic by day, magician by night keeps the crowd guessing" click: HERE.(1/31)

Mike Miller, John Cassidy, Jamy Ian Swiss, Todd Robbins, Asi Wind, Dennis Kyriakos, and Michael Chaut headline at Monday Night Magic on Feb. 3 at 8pm in NYC. For tickets phone Ticketmaster at: 212-307-4100. For more information click: HERE.(1/31)

WASHINGTON: Tim Ellis and Sue-Anne Webster lecture for the Seattle Magic Club (IBM Ring 52) on Sunday, Feb. 2 at 2:00 pm. The lecture will be held at the VA Hospital in the Beacon Hill neighborhood. Admission is $15.00 for members and $20 for non-members. For more information e-mail:

Repercussions from Penn & Teller's stunt at the World Magic Seminar continue to make it in the press. This time a Riviera media release denounced the event. A Las Vegas Review-Journal reported what was in the release, "At no time was the Riviera or the Magic Convention organizers informed, in advance, of the content of the scheduled performance by (the Rio's) Penn & Teller. The Riviera does not condone any sacrilegious act, event or statement by any performer or individual based on personal religious beliefs," the Riviera said in a media release." The article also mentions Siegfried & Roy and the results to their "name-the-tiger cubs contest." To read the Jan. 30 article by Norm titled "Clueless in Las Vegas: Meg Ryan outlasts a flummoxed Tyson" click: HERE.(1/31)

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