MT: July 1-7, 2002

VOLUME: 55 / ISSUE: 1,645 / Monday – July 1, 2002
NEW YORK: The 100-year anniversary party/convention of the Society Of American Magicians is here and they managed to get some of the best talent to arguably the best city in the world for a once in a lifetime event. The convention will officially kick-off with David Copperfield unveiling the new Houdini Stamp on Wednesday and things will only get better from there. So many surprises, souvenirs and guest appearances are scheduled that it would be impossible to mention them all here. A partial list of performers include: Mac King, Max Maven, David Ben, Marc Salem, Jay Marshall, Marshall Brodien, Eugene Burger, Mahka Tendo, Mike Caveney, Tony Clark, David & Dania, Eric DeCamps, Shintaro Fujiyama, Imam, Junge, Junge!, Tina Lenert, Vito Lupo, The Majestix, George Saterial, George Schindler, Bob Sheets, Tabary, Boris Wild, R. Paul Wilson, Stan Allen and many others. What is also interesting is that among the 1,100 attendees who have already pre-registered are most of the movers and shakers in the magic world today. Due to the larger than usual facilities the convention will be able to easily absorb another 400+ walk-in registrants which is what is currently expected. For more information click: HERE.(7/1)
–Tickets for the evening shows at the NY City Center on Jul. 5 and 6 are open to the general public at a cost of $25-$60 per person and are available by clicking HERE.(7/1)

Sidney Radner is featured in a Palm Beach Post article that quotes George Schindler, “When we need information on Houdini, he’s the first guy we run to.” Radner also explained why Houdini created the code, “He knew that after he died mediums would claim that they contacted him and say he was sorry for the things he did… So he said if he came back he would have a code with his wife and a few friends.” To read the Jun. 30 article by Howie Paul Hartnett titled “Houdini protégé played his cards right” click: HERE.(7/1)

In conjunction with the new Houdini stamp unveiling is a Knight Ridder article reporting that, “Halloween 1926 in Detroit, Houdini died of peritonitis caused by a ruptured appendix. People have debated for years whether the student’s blow had ruptured his appendix.” To read the Jun. 30 article by Dominic Sama titled “Houdini to Be Honored With Commemorative Stamp” click: HERE.(7/1)

Amos Levkovitch, Earl Nelson, Andrew Goldenhersh, Monte Smith, Jeffrey Steele, Joe Monti, Coko, and Nancy Jean Gray appear at the Magic Castle in Los Angeles on Jul. 1-7. Charles Gauci lectures on Sunday Jun. 30.(7/1)

Ben Robinson appears at the Circa Tabac (32 Watt Street) in New York City on Jul. 3,5 and 6 from 11pm to 2am. There will be a $15 per table charge for the performances. For more information phone:  212-941-1781.(7/1)

MARYLAND: Quentin Reynolds presents his lecture on Children’s Magic at Denny & Lee Magic Studio (325 South Marlyn Avenue) in Baltimore on Tuesday Jul. 2 at 7:30pm. Admission is $15 per person. For more information and reservations phone: 410-686-3914.(7/1)


Johnny Thompson doing his impression of Dai Vernon at a lecture in Linden, New Jersey on June 19 for JMMRT. This was part of a cross-country lecture tour which ended as Thompson began his run at the Tropicana Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City. (Photo: Mike Melillo).(7/1)
VOLUME: 55 / ISSUE: 1,646 / Tuesday – July 2, 2002
CALIFORNIA: The 74th Annual I.B.M. Convention takes place on Jul. 2-6 in San Diego. Headlining this year are: Norm Nielsen, Ayala, James Dimmare, Gaeton Bloom, Alan Shaxon, John Carney, Omar Pasha, Carl Ballantine, Gay Blackstone, Chuck Jones & Company, Davey Marlin-Jones, Jay Scott Berry, Rich Bloch, Bev Bergeron, Aldo Colombini, Michael Close, Danny Archer, Kevin Spencer, Lupe, Bob Fitch, Steven Bargatze, David Stone, Steve Dacri, Todd Charles, and Richard Hughes. For more information click: HERE.(7/2)

Jeff McBride’s “Magic In Concert” appears for one night only at the Woodstock Playhouse (Routes 212 & 375) in Woodstock, NY on Saturday Jul. 6 at 8pm. Tickets are $20 per person and are available by phoning: 845-679-2764. For more information click: HERE.(7/2)
VOLUME: 55 / ISSUE: 1,647 / Wednesday – July 3, 2002
Penn & Teller have just signed a two-year contract to perform at the Rio’s Samba Theatre in Las Vegas for an average of 42-44 weeks per year beginning this September. A Las Vegas Review-Journal article reported, ‘The hotel announced a two-year deal that will keep the comedy magicians there in ‘not a total four-wall (or rent-the-room arrangement), but close to one,’ said Penn & Teller spokesman Glenn Alai.” Alai also pointed out, “In September, however, the duo will move to the forefront of hotel advertising as ‘the prime show.'” To read the Jul. 2 article by Mike Weatherford titled “Penn & Teller sign two-year deal with Rio” click: HERE.(7/3)
VOLUME: 55 / ISSUE: 1,648 / Thursday – July 4, 2002
The SAM Centennial convention gets press on NY1 where they describe the event where they describe the opening event, “…the U.S. Postal Service unveiled a stamp depicting the great escape artist and one-time Society of American Magicians President Harry Houdini. Also making an appearance, rather than his usual disappearing act, was illusionist David Copperfield.” Copperfield said, “Houdini meant a lot to me… I own half the books he owned in my museum, and the other half the Library of Congress has. He’s a pretty cool guy.” Also quoted in the article were David Copperfield, Magick Balay, Dwayne Laughlin, and Bob Little. [Editors note: It was also impressive to see three of the most influential magicians of our time, Sylvan (Italy), Paul Daniels (UK) and David Copperfield (US) all in one room]. To read the Jul. 3 article by Roger Clark titled “Society Of American Magicians Kick Off Annual Convention” click: HERE.(7/4)

Benjamin Levy is featured in the Jul. 8 issue of Fortune magazine where he is interviewed about his talent to remember everyone’s name during his shows. Levy explains some of the techniques and strategies he uses to remember everyone’s name and why it has helped him become successful. To read the article by Jerry Useem titled “The Question Authority” click: HERE.(7/4)

CALIFORNIA: Gaetan Bloom lectures on Tuesday Jul. 9 at 7:30pm or the Misdirections Magic Shop in San Francisco. The lecture will take place at the Fort Mason Center (Building C Room 260). For more information phone: 415-566-2180.(7/4)
VOLUME: 55 / ISSUE: 1,649 / Friday – July 5, 2002
Houdini’s water torture cell is on display at the Center for Jewish History (15 West 16 Street) in New York City. The exhibit, which also features Houdini posters and archival material, was scheduled to “coincide with the Centennial Convention of the Society of American Magicians.” The exhibit is located in the Sylvia Steinberg Great Hall and is scheduled to remain there through the summer. The Center explains that “the water torture cell was said to have been built in England and cost more than $10,000. Packed with extra glass panels, it weighed about three-quarters of a ton. The painstaking set-up required warm water, which was supplied by mixing boiling and piped water on stage.” To read the Jun. 25 Press Release titled “Harry Houdini’s Water Torture Cell Exhibited At The Center For Jewish History” click: HERE.(7/5)

The Little Magician is a new Indian movie which will be released later this year. According to an Express India article, “The story revolves around the adventures of an Indian boy who goes to New York with his father and then runs away. The film which is set for release in India later this year has been shot mostly in New York and partly in Cochin and Chennai. It’s being shot in three languages simultaneously and has a multi-cultural cast and the crew. To read the Jul. 5 article titled “Magic Reelism” click: HERE.(7/5)

The annual IBM convention in San Diego is featured in a Union Tribune which quotes many of the attendees about magic. To read the Jul. 4 article by Luis Monteagudo jr. titled “Magical time for all” click: HERE.(7/5)

NEW YORK: Jeff McBride presents his show and lecture on Tuesday Jul. 9 at 7:30pm and 9pm at the Christ Church United Methodist (35 State Street) in Troy. There are separate admissions for the show and lecture. For more information and reservations phone David McDonald at: 518-463-6402.(7/5)
VOLUME: 55 / ISSUE: 1,650 / Saturday – July 6, 2002
Victor & Diamond’s new show in Las Vegas is reviewed in the Las-Vegas Review Journal where they write, “Victor & Diamond, and ‘The Soul of Magic’ revue could be a strong matinee performer at the underachieving property this summer.” The article describes the opening, “Flaming gloves turn to flying doves. An egg cracks into a glass and a bird flies out. One bird divides into two. Pretty soon you can hear a whole aviary cooing backstage.” The review concludes, “..another solid family attraction to join Mac King and Rick Thomas as good bets to beat the summer heat.” To read the Jul. 5 article by Mike Weatherford titled “Victor & Diamond may have some staying power” click: HERE.(7/6)

Melinda speaks out about the problems she faces presenting her show at the Venetian in a Las Vegas Sun article that quotes her, “I’m limited here… At this point in my life I’m at a crossroads. I feel so kicked and pushed down. Why am I doing it? It’s not for the money, it’s for the passion and drive and the love of giving a positive message to people and to make them feel good. That’s what I feel my destiny in life is… But at this point of my career, I’ve been in limbo. It’s a struggle.” To read the Jul. 5 article by Jerry Fink titled “Productions don’t live long at The Venetian Showroom” click: HERE.(7/6)

George Schindler and George Saterial are scheduled to appear on The Saturday Early Show on WCBS-TV on Saturday Jul. 6 at 9-11am. Current plans are for them to perform magic and speak about the SAM’s centennial convention and evening shows.(7/6)

Penn Jillette comments about The Amazing Kreskin’s recent UFO stunt in a Las Vegas Review-Journal article, “You can pretend to be exhausted and pretend to go to the hospital, pretend things are more dangerous than they really are…All that stuff is under the category of show business. But promising money to charity that you never intend to give is, I think, pretty bad.” To read the Jul. 5 article by Norm titled “Hollywood will be coming to Las Vegas this summer” click: HERE.(7/6)

An El Paso Times article about magic and Harry Potter points out that “The audience knows it cannot be real, but a lot of people wish it were.” To read the Jul. 5 article by Victor R. Martinez titled “Magicians form unique fraternity” click: HERE.(7/6)

David Copperfield will spend the entire month of July performing in China. He will be in Shenzhen on Jul. 9-14, Guangzhou on Jul. 16-21, Shanghai on Jul. 23-28, an Beijing on Jul. 30-Aug. 4.(7/6)
VOLUME: 55 / ISSUE: 1,651 / Sunday – July 7, 2002
Maritess Zurbano is featured in an article in Newsday that looks at some of the difficulties female magicians face in their pursuit of the art. The article points out that “…the career issues for professional female magicians are not at all unlike those of women in other male-dominated lines of work.” Zurbano is described as an, “…urban sophisticate with an edge, which serves her well. Performing at corporate, trade show and university events, most years she earns a six-figure income.” Julie Sobanski pointed out, “Maybe some people have a hard time seeing women in a power position.” The article also reported that, “To help pave the way for the next generation, the Society of American Magicians sponsors a group for ages 7 to 17. The group, with a workshop and performance during the convention, has 105 girls – 18 percent of its membership.” Also mentioned in the article were George Schindler, Billy Naughton, and Franchesca Reveron. To read the Jul. 3 article by Patricia Kitchen titled “Women’s Disappearing Act in The World Magic” click: HERE.(7/7)

The second launch of the Houdini stamp took place on Friday Jul. 5 in Appleton, WI where Mike Schroeder recreated an upside-down straightjacket escape. An Associated Press article reported that, “Schroeder slipped the straitjacket five minutes later and received a standing ovation.” To read the Jul. 6 article titled “Magician Performs Houdini Stunt” click: HERE.(7/7)

A Houdini biography ran in The Post-Crescent which reported, “Before he died, Houdini asked Hardeen to burn his magical apparatus and other materials. Instead, he kept the items and passed them on to his protege, Sidney Radner, who, 40 years later, in 1988, placed them in the care of the Houdini Historical Center.” To read the Jul. 6 article titled “Houdini came to Appleton with father” click: HERE.(7/7)

Criminals in Pakistan are taught to perform magic shows on the streets in order to avoid the police and create diversions. A Tribune article quotes one of the arrested men, “We learn these magic tricks to escape being spotted by the police… We have been told that we should engage the crowd in small magic shows providing a chance for other activists to strike.” To read the Jul. 5 article by M.L. Kak titled “Ultras turn jugglers to fulfil ‘mission'” click: HERE.(7/7)

R. Paul Wilson, Alan Shaxon, Dana Daniels, Christopher Hart, Shoot Ogawa, George Tovar, Julius Frack, and Jim Kopperman appear at the Magic Castle in Los Angeles on Jul. 8-14. Alan Shaxon lectures on Sunday Jul. 14.(7/7)
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