Friday, April 02, 2010

Magic Magazine April 2010

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Magic Magazine April 2010

Magic Magazine April 2010

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COVER: Barry & Stuart: Part-Time Warlocks (by David Britland)
Barry & Stuart are a comedy double act with a unique take on magic. It is a presentational style that is often as controversial as it is imaginative, as macabre as it is funny. You will not have seen them on the bill at magic conventions, but their act has made them a favorite in comedy clubs, theaters, and on television throughout the UK. Their stage shows have had five-star reviews at the Edinburgh Festival. Their television specials have been nominated for international awards. On YouTube their videos garner millions of hits worldwide. And recently they got a bit of recognition from the magic community when the World Magic Awards honored them with the title of Best Comedy Illusionists for 2009. Barry and Stuart are two of the most creative magicians in the UK. Perhaps it's time to get to know them a little better.

Magic! ! The Science of Wonder (by Richard Hatch)
In the summer of 2009, rumors began to circulate in the Texas magic community that the Houston Museum of Natural Science - the third most visited such museum in the nation, with over two million visitors annually - would be hosting an exhibit on magic, to open early in 2010. The exhibit, titled Magic! The Science of Wonder, would be developed by the Museum in partnership with Movies From the Heart, a New Mexico - based film production company headed by Scott Cervine. Scott Cervine? The same Scott Cervine who won all those magic awards a quarter-century ago? Yep, same man, different role. The Scott Cervine who won every major award in magic and then vanished from the scene as he pursued other creative interests has just put the finishing touches on the Museum exhibit in his role as "guest curator." Unique features of the exhibit are the noticeable lack of any exposure of magic secrets and the integration of both video and live presentations with the artifacts.

Steve Dacri: In Your Face (by Nick Lewin)
Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, Steve Dacri started his love affair with magic at the age of six. By the ripe old age of eight, he'd started performing shows and hasn't stopped since. In 1996, Steve made the move to Las Vegas. He spent six years appearing at the Secret Pagoda Showroom in Caesars Magical Empire, racking up nearly 3,000 performances. When the venue closed, he searched for a new home for his magic. After stints at both the Imperial Palace and The Orleans, Steve landed at the Hilton Hotel early this year. On February 24, the author attended the debut performance of Steve Dacri: In Your Face.

Christian Cagigal - Now and at the Hour (by Brian Scott Ambrosch)
Carrying two large leather cases and a rug tucked under his arm, a small man enters, dressed for the cold outdoors. He apologizes for his tardiness and asks, "You ever get the fee! ling that everything you're about to experience tonight has all happened before - and will all happen again?" And so begins 34-year-old Christian Cagigal's time-altering experience, Now and at the Hour, at the Exit Theater in San Francisco.

Pat Page: A Remembrance (by Charles Reynolds)
Pat Page, a diminutive Scotsman with a wit and charm that was evident in his personal relationships as well as in his performances, was born in the small provincial Scottish city of Dundee some 81 years ago. He was passionately interested in the magic and variety acts that appeared in the local music halls. He studied them and learned from them and, along with the very few books dealing with magic available to him from the local library and bookstores, they became seeds which were to grow into an encyclopedic knowledge of practical magic. Pat not only knew "the real work" but, to those who were genuinely interested, he was generously willing to share his knowledge of it.


A Tribute
Siegfried & Roy were honored at The Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas as part of the World Magic Seminar. Lance Burton presented the honorees with an award from Governor Jim Gibbons proclaiming March 3, 2010, as Siegfried & Roy Day in Nevada. At the conclusion of this presentation, a loud voice from the back of the theater interrupted the applause. Penn Jillette and his partner Teller strode down the center aisle onto the stage, complaining that a single day was not nearly enough. Penn then read a proclamation from Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman making the entire month of March Siegfried & Roy Month! And that was just the beginning.

Nightmare Musical
Since its 1946 publication, the compelling legacy of writer-magician William Lindsay Gresham's classic noir novel of sideshow magic, mentalism, and psychic quackery, Nightmare Alley, continues to attract generations of readers. This month will see the wor! ld premier of Nightmare Alley: The Musical with music, lyrics, and book by Jonathan Brielle, directed by renowned producer Gilbert Cates. The production, April 13 - May 23 at The Geffen Playhouse Theater, in Westwood, California, will include special effects for the sideshow, an Electric Chair Girl, and an illusion principle used for a séance scene.

Instead of Abracadabra
"Tomas is a bit too old to still be living at home with his parents, but his failure to become a magician leaves him with no other choice." So goes the promotional blurb for the short film Instead of Abracadabra. Swedish filmmaker Patrik Eklund in 2008 created the 23-minute film, which can be downloaded from iTunes. Nominated for an Academy Award as Best Short Film (Live Action) in 2010, the film was a favorite at the Sundance Film Festival last year and has won awards at festivals in France, Brussels, Mexico, and Australia.

Marketplace (by Gabe Fajuri)
Nineteen p! roducts are reviewed this month by Michael Claxton, Peter Duffie, Jason England, Gabe Fajuri, Brad Henderson, and John Lovick:
  • Reinventing the Real by Tyler Wilson
  • Eccentrics by Charlie Frye
  • 13 Steps to Mentalism with Richard Osterlind
  • MonkeyShines Volumes 1 & 2 by Chris "Doc" Dixon
  • Magic Circle Diamond Jubilee and British Ring Stars
  • Vectra Line and Master Wax
  • Dissolving Aces by Devin Knight
  • Passport by David Regal
  • John Calvert: His Magic and Adventures
  • Pixel by David Jade
  • Color Changing Sponge Ball by Bizzaro
  • The Secrets of Storytelling Decks
  • Powerball 60 by Bill Abbott and Richard Sanders
  • Bamboozlers Volume 2 by Diamond Jim Tyler
  • Underhanded Delivery by Arie Vilner
  • Director's Cut II: Horror Edition
  • Magic Scratchers by Danny Orleans
  • Al Koran's Legacy by Hugh Miller
  • Koschitz's Manual of Useful Information
Talk About Tricks (by Joshua Jay)
This month's installment of "Talk About Tricks" uses man! y items in your daily life. With a clever trick by Calen Morelli, you cause a pen to penetrate a sealed water bottle. David Gabbey's ITorn allows you to temporarily break a friend's earphones and then immediately restore them. Aaron Delong offers a pleasing finale to your favorite Card Warp routine, and Harapan Ong delivers a fantastic, but difficult, card routine.

The Show Doctor (by Jeff McBride)
DEAR SHOW DOCTOR: I have recently returned from my annual trip to Las Vegas. Every year, I go see the magic shows around town. I'm often amazed at the way some performers can keep their shows fresh, while others seem to be merely going through the motions. I know you have been working in Las Vegas for many years. How do the pros you know keep their shows fresh and interesting, year after year? What about you? How do you get your inspiration to keep going after all these years? - Arthur L

Classic Correspondence (by Mike Caveney)
This mo! nth, we peek into the lives of two of the biggest names in magic, one on each side of the Atlantic. It was during the late 1890s when Wolf Goldstone changed his name to Will Goldston and opened a magic shop in Liverpool, England. It wasn't until 1914, when he opened Aladdin House at 14 Green Street (today Irving Street) just off of Leicester Square in the heart of London's West End, that Goldston's establishment became the epicenter of British magic. In America, 1908 was the year that Howard Thurston officially became Harry Kellar's successor and started entertaining the country with his Wonder Show of the Universe. Since his route changed little each season, he was constantly on the hunt for new illusions. This fact did not escape the business-savvy eyes of England's number one seller of mysteries, Will Goldston.

Directions (by Joanie Spina)
It's absolutely true: in watching other performers, we can see ourselves. We sometimes make the same mistakes or t! he same brilliant choices, but don't recognize them until we observe them in someone else. Through this series of articles, enhanced by the accompanying videos you can find at, you can learn from watching other performers as I gently point out ways that their material can be improved, as well as the aspects of their acts that are working well. Although they refer directly to the video in question, these points also carry over as general principles of performing. There are many right ways of doing things, and these are a few options.

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