Magic At The Just For Laughs Festival

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MagicTimes Spotlight News

A record number of magicians will be appearing at the 2001 Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal, Canada

The International Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal, Canada is widely considered to be the most prestigious comedy festival in the world, despite recent incursions on the territory by upstart festivals in Aspen, Boston, Halifax and New York.

Every year, alongside the stand-up comedians that are its bread and butter, Just For Laughs presents a handful of variety acts, including some of the world’s finest magicians. Past magical participants include such industry luminaries as Ed Alonzo, The Amazing Jonathan, Avner The Eccentric, Jean Boucher, Scott Cervine, Rudy Coby, Christopher Hart, Gary Kurtz, Max Maven, Tom Mullica, Penn & Teller, Jay Sankey and the list goes on and on.

This year, the 19th annual edition of the Festival takes place from July 12th to the 22nd, the first week is, as always, dominated by French programming. English programming essentially begins on Monday, July 16th and features more than 60 shows, including five English Galas that are taped for television.

Magicians who have already appeared during the first week of the Festival on the French Galas include Ger Copper, Hans Klok, Martin Rozon and Sylvester The Jester.

Three magicians will be performing daily on the outdoor stages this year straight through  July 22nd: Patrik Kuffs (of Metal Bending fame), Marco Le Magnific, and hypnotist Jeannino, all of whom hail from Quebec.

David Acer, Rick Bronson, Mac King, David Williamson, Simon Lovell

Perhaps of greater interest this year, at least for magicians, is the first in what the Festival hopes will become an annual event. On Thursday, July 19th, at 7:00 and 9:30pm, Just For Laughs presents “HA-bracadabra,” a comedy and magic show in a 400-seater during the meatiest part of the Festival. Hosting the show will be David Acer, who makes his ninth appearance at Just For Laughs. Featured on the bill will be Mac King, Simon Lovell, David Williamson and Rick Bronson, who is perhaps less known among magicians, but with weekly appearances as host of The Tourist on The Travel Channel, he is actually one of the show’s more recognizable faces from the public’s stand-point.

Also on July 19 at 7:30pm, F.I.S.M. champion Ger Copper will perform on English Gala #2, hosted by Megan Mullally (from Will and Grace).

On Friday, July 20 at 7:30pm, Las Vegas luminary Mac King performs on English Gala #3, hosted by Jon Stewart.

Finally, on Saturday, July 21 at 7:30pm, illusionist Hans Klok performs on English Gala #4, hosted by Eugene Levy.

Rick Bronson and David Acer will also be performing on other Festival shows, doing straight stand-up (i.e. no magic). Rick will be on English Gala #1, July 18 at 7:30pm, hosted by Spinal Tap, and The Montreal Show on Saturday, July 21 at 7:00 and 9:30pm. David Acer will be doing stand-up on The Really Late Show Wednesday, July 18 at midnight, and The Montreal Show on Saturday, July 21 at 7:00 and 9:30pm.

Also of interest to magicians are Gala appearances by F.I.S.M. veterans Andreas & Jojo (a brilliant juggling duo), contortionist Michael Menes, and ground-breaking balloon artist Sean Rooney.

Each of the magicians appearing on the English shows are included below, along with the all the details as to where and when they will be performing. For more information, you can go on-line to the Festival’s website at www.hahaha.com. As a side-note, David Acer wrote all 100 artists’ bios for the website.

David Acer
Jul. 18- The Really Late Show, Club Soda, Midnight
Jul. 19- HA-bracadabra, Kola Note, 7:00pm and 9:30pm.
Jul. 21- The Montreal Show, Club Soda, 7:00pm and 9:30pm

Andreas & Jojo
Jul. 22- English Gala #5, Theatre St. Denis, 7:30pm

Rick Bronson
Jul. 17- Bubbling With Laughter, Club Soda, 9:30pm
Jul. 18- English Gala #1, Theatre St. Denis, 7:30pm
Jul. 19- HA-bracadabra, Kola Note, 7:00pm and 9:30pm.
Jul. 21- The Montreal Show, Club Soda, 7:00pm and 9:30pm

Ger Copper
Jul. 19- English Gala #2, Theatre St. Denis, 7:30pm.

Hans Klok
Jul. 21- English Gala #4, Theatre St. Denis, 7:30pm

Simon Lovell
Jul. 19- HA-bracadabra, Kola Note, 7:00pm and 9:30pm.

Michael Menes
Jul. 20- English Gala #3, Theatre St. Denis, 7:30pm
Jul. 21- English Gala #4, Theatre St. Denis, 7:30pm

Sean Rooney (Balloon Artist)
Jul. 20- English Gala #3, Theatre St. Denis, 7:30pm

David Williamson
Jul. 19- HA-bracadabra, Kola Note, 7:00pm and 9:30pm.

—Ben Bishop

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