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Arcives: Week Of August 25-31, 2003
-VOLUME: 68 / ISSUE: 1,998 Monday - August 25, 2003-
Martin GardnerMartin Gardner's latest book, "Are Universes Thicker than Blackberries," is reviewed in the Baltimore Sun where Gardner becomes the subject of the article where the author explained why he decided to review the book, "I do it not because Gardner, who is 89, is once again threatening that this book - he has published more than 70 previous ones - will be his last. I do it because I know of no one in my lifetime who has so consistently, voluminously and wisely brought common sense and comprehensible science into the noble war against quackery. I do it also because I love his work, and, reading for a living as I do, I seldom have time to read books I am not going to write about." The review concludes, "If this is Martin Gardner's final book, it will be a great loss for readers of sensitivity and intellectual curiosity. So, just in case he makes good on his threat, I would urge you to buy this one. And if you don't know his work, have a careful look at the cornucopia of wisdom and wit in his earlier volumes." To read the Aug. 24 article by Michael Pakenham titled "Martin Gardner, reaching 89, a national intellectual treasure" click: HERE.(8/25)
--To buy the book click: HERE.

David Blaine is profiled in The Observer where they discuss his upcoming stunt and his career. The article pointed out that "Of all the tricks, stunts and illusions performed by David Blaine perhaps the most impressive has been to convince contemporary audiences that the ancient, vaudeville art of magic can be twenty-first-century fashionable." To read the Aug. 24 article by Lawrence Donegan titled "Illusions of grandeur" click: HERE.(8/25)

The state of magic in Canada is the subject of a Toronto Star article that reported, "It's easier for magicians in Canada to conjure almost anything out of thin air than it is to become a star at home." Mentioned in the article are Richard Forget, Joan Caesar, Derek Selinger, and David Blaine. Caesar who is the president of the Canadian Association of Magicians explained, "Since Canada doesn't have 'a Vegas of the north' where magicians can achieve fame and fortune and perform their signature acts, many move to the U.S. or Europe." To read the Aug. 22 article by Eric Shackleton titled "Stardom ... the greatest illusion" click: HERE.(8/25)

Chuck Jones & Co., Chef Anton, David Yee, Mike Barger, Matt Marcy, and Nancy Jean Gray appear at the Magic Castle in Los Angeles on Aug. 25-31.(8/25)

Simon AronsonSimon Aronson is featured in a Chicago Tribune story that describes him, "As an amateur magician--one who doesn't perform on stage or wander bars entertaining revelers--Aronson is part of the international brain trust behind modern-day magic." John Moehring is quoted in the article, "The amateurs in magic are where the art gets a lot its ideas and creations, because these guys have time to sit around and invent." The article also discusses his career, his influences and mentions a number of his friends. Aronson explained what makes magic special, "It's a whimsy, it's a sense of fantasy, it's a relief… You're relieved from the constraints of reality and the constraints of our world that limit us and tell us what we can and can't do." To read the Aug. 24 article by Rex W. Huppke titled "Illusionist icon still has tricks up sleeve" click: HERE.(8/25-a member site)

Eric Mead who was appearing with his show "Stream of Consciousness" at the Theatre of Dreams is featured in a Douglas County News Press article that reported, "Mead doesn't profess belief in psychic abilities, and denies that he has any. Yet, his performance leaves audiences questioning his denial, said Joe Givan, owner of Theatre of Dreams in Castle Rock." To read the Aug. 21 article by Susan Dage-Ruby titled "Theatre of Dreams presents 'pseudo-psychic'" click: HERE.(8/25)

Mr. Marik who presented his latest television special on Aug. 24 on Fuji TV in Japan is mentioned in a Japan Times article that reported, "'Mr. Marik's Big Adventure' is, believe it or not, actually an understatement. Marik and female talent Rika travel all the way to the South Pole so that the magician can try out his sleight-of-hand skills in 'the world's last frontier.' His prospective audience in that icy wasteland is something of a mystery." The article continued, "Marik, unable to actually make the continent disappear, must resort to more commonplace tricks, and starts his performance for his audience. ...a huge flock of penguins." To read the Aug. 24 article titled "Channel surf" click: HERE.(8/25)

PC Sorcar Junior is discussed in a Newindpress article that reported, "Elaborating on his show, he said there is no witchcraft, or 'black magic' in our show adding it generally centres around tricks but sometimes 'we take the help of hypnotism'. Asked who among the two brothers is more popular in the field, the younger Sorcar acknowledged that it was his elder brother." To read the Aug. 24 article titled "No fear from TV, magic will stay: P C Sorcar (Jr)" click: HERE.(8/25)

Jon Dorenbos who is the magician on Buffalo Bills football team is featured in a New York Daily News article that reports, "Usually it begins with his sleights of hand, the way he can steal the watch off your wrist or make a coin disappear or swallow 10 loose sewing needles followed by a piece of thread, and then pull them out seconds later, all 10 attached to the thread. But in not much more time than it takes Jon Dorenbos to snap the ball to a punter, the marvel of the magic takes on a vastly different meaning." To read the Aug. 23 article by Wayne Coffey titled "Magic man" click: HERE.(8/25)

Gopinath Muthukad's shows which are "…aimed at enhancing social solidarity and secular values" are discussed in a Newindpress article that reported that, "the magician said that his visit to Marad was fruitful and he would perform again as part of 'spreading the message of love and harmony among the people.'" To read the Aug. 22 article titled "Muthukad’s magic show at Marad" click: HERE.(8/25)

Michael Johnson is quoted in a San Diego Union-Tribune article on how he got started in magic, "Johnson grew up in San Marcos. His interest in magic was sparked when he saw a show at the local library by Chuck Martinez. He was drawn by the intriguing mix of science and performance art in the renowned magician's act." To read the Aug. 24 article by Triveni Sheshadri titled "Working magic" click: HERE.(8/25)

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-VOLUME: 68 / ISSUE: 1,999 Tuesday - August 26, 2003-
David Blaine is featured in a Telegraph article that quotes him, "The human organism is able to survive the most extreme situations that we assume that we can't… We think that we can't live without our phone for a week, we can't live without reading the gossip column, we can't live without food, or sex. Bullshit. I don't believe in any of that, I think that we are all capable survivors." The article also mentions some of his preparations for the upcoming stunt, "By fasting for six days beforehand, he is hoping he will not have to use the first item [diapers] for the duration of his internment but, if he has to, it will be done 'discreetly'." Blaine also expects to loose around 50-55 lbs during the stunt. To read the Aug. 26 article by Jan Moir titled "Roll up, roll up! Magician changes nappy!" click: HERE.(8/26)

David Copperfield will hold a press conference on Aug. 27 at HealthSouth of Tenaya in Las Vegas to unveil their implementation of his Project Magic program.(8/26)

Jason LatimerJason Latimer who won the FISM Close-Up Grand Prix last month is featured in a T.O. Acorn article that has Latimer describing his award winning routine, "You can actually see the balls jumping from cup to cup without me lifting cups up… Then you can watch the balls vanish from one cup and switch to another cup. Then there's a ball in every cup, and without me even lifting up the cups, you realize all the balls are gone. When it's all done, you start to see me push the ball through the glass." The article also mentions that he will be appearing in "It's Magic" on Nov. 5 and will also be touring Europe next month. To read the Aug. 21 article by John Loesing titled "Performer’s career takes off like magic" click: HERE.(8/26)

Chad Juros who performs as "The Magical Chadakazam" is featured in a Press of Atlantic City article that looks at his life threatening struggles and how he overcame them in part with his love for magic. The article reported, "Chad's cancer and his story have opened hearts to him, and in one way or another brought him to the attention of his magic idols, from McBride to Burton to Penn & Teller and more big-name magicians." To read the Aug. 25 article by Martin DeAngelis titled "Like magic Mix of miracles, tricks keeps EHT teen going" click: HERE.(8/26)

PRESS RELEASE: Jon LeClair's "Who's Afraid Of Invisible Thread? Is Released on DVD.

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-VOLUME: 68 / ISSUE: 2,000 Wednesday - August 27, 2003-
Todd RobbinsTodd Robbins' new show, "Carnival Knowledge," that opened Off-Broadway on Aug. 17 is the subject of a Back Stage story that calls him "A devotee of the sideshow and a practitioner of some of its most arcane arts -- with more than a nod to the hokiest of vaudeville conventions -- Robbins is determined to keep the sideshow tradition alive." The article also looks at the state of sideshow performances and how they have evolved. The article also reported that "Robbins is very much the businessman and hopes his show (like Blue Man Group's) is franchised and set up at various theatres nationwide." To read the Aug. 26 article by Simi Horwitz titled "The Sideshow: Gawk Fest or Celebration?" click: HERE.(8/27)

Steve Dacri's show, "Xtreme Close-Up Magic," at The Orleans is mentioned in a Las Vegas Review-Journal article that reported, "This month, Dacri tested his show at Brendan's Pub in The Orleans, but found it too noisy and distracting for audiences, thanks to video poker players allowed to play bartop machines during the show. …But he found an alternative literally next door, in a special functions room at Sazio. He closes at Brendan's on Friday, and reopens as a dinner show on Sept. 12." The article also mentions that Steve Wyrick's show will be closing on Sunday. To read the Aug. 26 article by Mike Weatherford titled "Riviera adds three shows, drops one" click: HERE.(8/27)

David Merry's "Don't Panic" runs at the Piggery theatre's first annual comedy festival on Aug. 28-30 at the resort town of North Hatley in Quebec, Canada. Shows are at 8pm and tickets are only $15 per person. For more information click: HERE.(8/27)

David BlaineDavid Blaine's upcoming stunt has been reported on many local television shows in the US where the gist of it is a quote by Blaine, "You will see my skin have open wounds and lesions. When you have nothing but water in your body, your skin begins to rip open and scab. …You are surviving by digesting your own muscles and organs. You will see it first hand. …I have never done this and I don't know anyone who has. I have never tested myself like this, not even close. …Sometimes I am scared. My biggest fear is coming out of there brain damaged." To read the Aug. 26 news report titled "David Blaine: This is the Big One" click: HERE.(8/27)

David Blaine is featured in an Evening Standard article about his upcoming stunt that reported, "Until recently he was going to allow himself to drink water mixed with glucose so that he would not starve. But then the man who began his endurance career by being buried in a glass coffin under four tons of water for seven days decided that it would be too easy. …Now all he is going to drink is water." Blaine also explains under what circumstances he would be removed, "If there is a risk of death, if I'm lying there and not drinking any water for a couple of days, I am sure they will pull it. Otherwise they cannot pull it under any circumstances." To read the Aug. 26 article by Valentine Low titled "Blaine's risky business" click: HERE.(8/27)

Jim Skaggs and Zack Dubnoff join David Groves in the monthly wizard-magic night at "Magic In The Burbs" on Thursday Aug. 28 at 7:30pm at the Home Brew Coffee Company, (661 W. Arrow Hwy.) in San Dimas, California. Admission is $7.50 (includes one free drink) per person, kids are $3.95. For reservations and information phone: 909-394-1964.(8/27)

Derren Brown is mentioned in the US TV Guide magazine under the Cheers and Jeers section where they state, "…he'll play Russian roulette live on British TV on October 26. Since he's a magician, we can assume it's fakery, but impression-able kids might not see the difference. And you thought British TV was all Masterpiece Theatre." To read the Aug. 25 article click: HERE.(8/27)

Adam Trent (Adam Bruggeman) who won an award at the recent PCAM convention is featured in a Daily Camera article that reported, "The young magician makes about $1,000 a performance. He uses some of the money to pay for magic props; the rest he donates to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. He also performs several free shows annually for inner city kids in Denver." To read the Aug. 26 article by Susan Glairon titled "Out of thin air" click: HERE.(8/27)

Kyle Key who won the junior close-up competition at the recent PCAM convention is featured in a Lacombe Globe article that reported, "Since school is starting soon, Key's performances will be limited to weekends for birthday parties and other functions. In his seventh year as a magician, Key's been admired by a lot of children. Many of them ask if he knows Harry Potter. 'I always tell the kids I went to school with Harry Potter,' he smiled." To read the Aug. 26 article by Chad Anderson titled "Apprentice magician keeps getting better" click: HERE.(8/27)

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-VOLUME: 68 / ISSUE: 2,001 Thursday - August 28, 2003-
Lawrence L. Jones, IIILawrence L. Jones, III died on Aug. 24 at the age of 77. Jones came into prominence with his silent act as Baron LaValle which he performed on "The Ed Sullivan Show," but his passion was more with raw comedy magic and opened his own theater and presented his full-evening show as Captain Squirrelly. A Courier-Journal obituary quotes Milton Metz, "Larry was an unusual combination: On the one hand he was a successful, established attorney; then there was his other side -- a charming, fun-loving, talented magician known as Baron LaValle. Of course, he excelled at both." Jones who lived in Louisville, Kentucky was also very supportive of magicians and magic projects. To read the Aug. 27 obituary by Paula Burba titled "Lawrence Jones III, attorney, magician, dies after illness" click: HERE.(8/28)

David Blaine is featured in The Independent where his adventure at a top casino is recounted. His publicist is quoted, "David's really excited about this. I've never seen him quite like it. We've just had to stop at a cashpoint so he can get out £2,000. He wants to break the bank down there." Unfortunately the British gaming rules prohibited him from playing until he becomes a member of the club. Blaine volunteered that, "They don't let me gamble any more in the States. I went to the Hard Rock Casino for the opening with Jay Z and Wycliffe. And I was drinking. But somehow I started with $500 and got it up to $40,000. On press day. So they wrote about it and I never got to play in any US casino after that. Even my friends think I cheat. I thought tonight I was going to make me some cash." Blaine also explains what makes his brand of magic amazing, ""Everyone expects me to levitate now when I meet them. When that happens it's like being a performing seal. There was something really cool in the old days about just working in bars, doing magic and being unknown. When people expect it, magic is a different thing. Just hanging out, when it's natural - that's when people are amazed. That's when they run away screaming. And that's when magic is amazing for me." To read the Aug. 28 article by Steve Hobbs titled "Adventures in blackjack magic" click: HERE.(8/28)

The First Annual Houdini Days Celebration takes place on Aug. 29-30 in Houdini's old hometown of Appleton, Wisconsin. An all-star cast of magicians which include Mark Wilson, Michael Finney, Michael Ammar, Goldfinger & Dove, Sylvester the Jester, David Seebach, and Doc Eason appear with free performances at the festival held near Houdini Plaza. Running concurrently is the 65th Annual Houdini Convention which will take advantage of the great talent in town. For more information click: HERE.(8/28)

Gary BrownGary Brown has been named the "new head of the U.S. attorney's office on Long Island." A Newsday article reported, "It may seem unusual to have a federal prosecutor who has written articles on reforming civil forfeiture and 'sawing' a woman in half, as he has. But not to Brown, a federal prosecutor for 14 years." Brown explained, "The law and magic are not really that different… They both depend on performance and persuasion." To read the Aug. 27 article by Robert E. Kessler titled "New Top Attorney for LI Office" click: HERE.(8/28)

Joel Ward and Kristi Toguchi's Magicanna show appears at the Masquers Cabaret Dinner Theater (8334 West 3rd Street) in West Hollywood, California on Aug. 29 at 7:30pm. Also on the show are Ben Schwartz and Bobby Hartman. Tickets are $15 (plus $10 minimum) and are available by phoning: 323-653-4848.(8/28)

Monty, Harvey Ouchi, and Yona Chock appear at The Elephant and Castle restaurant in Aiea, Hawaii on Friday Aug. 29 at 7pm. The show and dinner cost $14.95-$24.95 per person. For reservations phone: 808-487-5591.(8/28)

Tim Hannig and his show, "The Pro Kids Show," are featured in a Plainfield Sun article that looks at his career and explains the goal of his show, "[it] is designed to teach kids character lessons, such as maintaining a positive attitude, showing others respect and having good manners. The 45-minute assembly is filled with drama, music, magic tricks and comedy and audience participation. It is a licensed show that is written and performed by Hannig and seven other entertainers around the country." To read the Aug. 22 article by Janet Lundquist titled "Casting his spell" click: HERE.(8/28)

TEXAS: The 58th Annual T.A.O.M. Convention takes place on Aug. 29-Sep. 1 in Lubbock. Featured performers include Aldo Colombini, Kevin James, Torkova, Chuck Smith, Boris Wild, Duane Laflin, Trixie Bond, Nowlin Craver, Lance DeLong, Sophie Evans, Jeff Crilley, Bruce Block, Red Ryder,  Irving Quant, and Arturo Figueroa. For more information click: HERE.(8/28)

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-VOLUME: 68 / ISSUE: 2,002 Friday - August 29, 2003-
Magic Month"Magic Month" is what Britain's Channel 4 television station is calling it's October lineup that will feature five new magic television specials. In addition to "David Blaine: Above the Below" the station will air two Derren Brown specials, a Thomas Soloman escapology special and "Crack Magic" starring Barry Jones and Stuart McCloud. For more information click: HERE.(8/29)

David Blaine was involved in an unexpected daredevil stunt when he was seen strapped to the outside of the "London Eye" which is the world's tallest Ferris wheel. An Evening Standard described the stunt, "The magician was standing on one of the capsules attached to the wheel, being gently rotated to a height of 443 feet above the Thames. The 30-year-old New Yorker appeared to sway and lean perilously as the Eye rotated. The stunt took Blaine round one complete revolution of the wheel and lasted just under an hour." Blaine has been taping supplemental material for his upcoming special for British television that includes close-up magic on the streets of London and some special sequences and stunts. To read the Aug. 28 London Evening Standard article titled "Riding the magic circle" supplied by YellowBrix click: HERE.(8/29)
--To read the Aug. 28 article Reuters article titled "Magician Blaine hitches ride on London Eye" click: HERE.(8/29)
--To read the Aug. 28 Associated Press article titled "Magician Rides 450 Feet Above London" click: HERE.(8/29)
--To see an Associated Press photo by Tim Anderson and Chris Lobina of Blaine on the Ferris wheel click: HERE.(8/29)
--To read the Aug. 28 Sun article titled "Blaine's head for Eye-ts" click: HERE.(8/29)

David Blaine is featured in a Newsweek story that tries to figure out why Blaine does these dangerous endurance stunts. Blaine explained, "That’s real simple. Because I want to. That's the truth." Upon being pressed Blaine added, "I don’t even understand why. It's because I have to. That’s the best I can answer that. When someone climbs a mountain, they don't know why, it just calls to them. This is calling me." To read the Aug. 28 article by B.J. Sigesmund titled "Just Blaine Crazy?" click: HERE.(8/29)

Eric BussThe 38th annual Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon will air across the United States on Aug. 31-Sep. 1. Many magicians have appeared throughout the history of the telethon but getting an advance list of the performers has always been close to impossible. This year there are two performers that we found out about. Eric Buss will present two of his signature routines and is scheduled to appear around 9am and Michael Grandinetti will present some new illusions. It is likely that there will be other magicians and variety artists featured throughout the 22 ½ hour event.(8/29)

The Society of Venezuelan Magicians is presenting two shows starring Rafael Benatar, Sandro, Carlos Clemares, Luis Otero, Adrin Soler, and Sonny Fontana on Aug. 30-31 at the Sala Romulo Gallegos - Celarg theater in Caracas, Venezuela. For tickets and information phone: 0414-2498821.(8/29)

Robert Baxt joins David Groves in "Comedy in the 'Burbs" on Saturday Aug. 30 at 7:30pm. Also on the bill are comedians Maria Menozzi and Tamara Pennington. The show is held at the Home Brew Coffee Company (661 W. Arrow Hwy) in San Dimas, California. For reservations and information phone: 909-394-1964.(8/29)

Danny Alan, Chris Capehart, and Jeff Moche headline at Monday Night Magic on Sep. 1 at 8pm in NYC. For tickets phone Ticketmaster at: 212-307-4100. For more information click: HERE.(8/29)

R.J. Lewis performs for Fantasma Magic at FAO Schwarz (58th Street and 5th Avenue) in New York City on Saturday Aug. 30 at 2pm and 4pm.(8/29)

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