25 March 2017

Brandon and Prince George: Ty Reveen

See Ty at the WMCA in Brandon on March 25 and in Vanier Hall in Prince George on April 1st.

From the Prince George Citizen:
Pushing the mental buttons of Canada is now a best-selling tradition for one Canadian family.

Like his father before him, the name Reveen is now being worn by a hypno-entertainer who is touring the nation, wowing audiences from coast to coast with a combination of comedy and feats of the human mind.

Organizers call the Reveen experience "the most popular show in the history of Canadian theatre," for its longevity and public appeal over the two generations it's gone on. An estimated audience of more than six million viewers have taken in the first generation of performances, and now those numbers are set to grow.

Read more.


From the Facebook page of Reveen the Legend Continues:







24 March 2017

Introducing "Magic Convention Bingo"

  • Have you ever been at a magic convention and found yourself with 17 seconds where there's nothing to do?
     
  • Have you ever searched for a distraction so that you wouldn't have to make eye contact with the humans in your proximity?

  • Do you fancy yourself to have Sherlock-esque powers of observation?


We've got just the thing for you!

Canada's Magic is proud to introduce Magic Convention Bingo!

Click here for your Bingo card (or make an Unofficial #BrowsersBash2017 edition) and click refresh until you generate a card you like. Simply print it off and bring it to your next magic convention!

Stay alert and keep an eye open for the items on your card. See how long it takes for you to get your first bingo or even fill your card!

Remember to be respectful and don't shout out "bingo" during presentations or performances. And don't bother the conference organizers with questions about Magic Convention Bingo -- they might not even know it's going on!

23 March 2017

Vancouver: Camilo Dominguez in "Abracadabra"

From the Daily Hive:
Camilo Dominguez, aka Camilo the Magician, is a Vancouver-trained magician who is stepping outside of his comfort zone with his upcoming show, Abracadabra.

The show will be held March 31, April 1, 7, and 8 at the York Theatre in Vancouver, and will feature classic illusions from historic magicians, something that Camilo said is a step away from his illusionary roots.

Read more.

22 March 2017

David Ben on the cover of Genii

Congratulations to David Ben, who is on the cover of the April 2017 edition of Genii!

David is also scheduled to perform at the Genii convention this coming October.

(Dai Vernon is also listed as a performer.   Interesting.)

21 March 2017

London: Mike Fisher at the 2017 Fringe

From the Charming Cheat:
London Fringe Festival 2017

Is he cheating, lucky or is it all just a trick? Decide for yourself at Corbin’s incredibly entertaining shows at the London Fringe Festival.

Tickets available at the door, or online at www.londonfringe.ca

Thursday June 1rst @8:45pm
Saturday June 3 @9:15pm
Sunday June 4 @7:00pm
Thursday June 8 @ 5:30pm
Friday June 9 @8:45pm
Saturday June 10@4:30pm

Shows are at the McManus theater,  first floor of The Grand Theatre
 471 Richmond St.,
 London, ON N6A 3E4
 Canada


Read more.

20 March 2017

44th Magic Collectors Weekend Guests of Honour

From Magicana:
With the 44th Magic Collectors Weekend only two months away, we are pleased announce our Guests of Honor for the Weekend—William (Bill) Kalush and Michael (Micky) Hades.

It may be trite to say, but it is true. With accomplishments so rich, and spanning so many decades, our Guests of Honor need little introduction. Both, in many ways, have changed the course of magic history, particularly for magic collectors and historians.

Read more.

19 March 2017

Broken Wand: Msgr. Vincent Foy

From the IBM Ring 17 newsletter:
Longtime members of the club will have heard of Msgr. Vincent Foy. One of the country's longest-serving Catholic priests, passed away earlier this week at the age of 101.

Among magicians, he was better known for his contributions to the literature of magic, including publications released under the pen name "Dr. George E. Casaubon" and for his assistance in writing the important books The Magic and Methods of Ross Bertram and Bertram on Sleight of Hand. Later, in his nineties, Ron van Someren photographed him performing the nearly one hundred one-handed cuts with playing cards he invented, which were compiled and published in 2011 A Cut Above.

More information is available at:

http://www.catholicregister.org/item/24590-msgr-vincent-foy-longest-serving-priest-in-toronto-archdiocese-dies-at-101

Read more.



18 March 2017

Calgary: Wes Barker

From Wes Barker's Facebook page:
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17 March 2017

PCAM/CAM: Buster Balloon

At the bottom of the post, there's a list of the talent line-up.


From Mike Norden's Facebook post:
Space is limited to 20 people and we have 8 so far, We NEED the 20 people to make this happen or it won't. So do NOT delay - contact me to register today!!

From Mike Norden's Facebook photos:








16 March 2017

Winnipeg: A family day of magic 2017

From Carey Lauder's Facebook page:

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15 March 2017

Vancouver: James Randi In Conversation With Matt Dillahunty

There will also be a show with Shawn Farquhar with Camilo The Magician and Matt Dillahunty!

From UBC:
Sunday 02 April 2017

Matt Dillahunty is thrilled to return to the Chan Centre stage to share the evening with one of his great idols in magic and skepticism. Matt is well known for his role in the Atheist community, but he also dabbles in magic! The amazing James Randi has an international reputation as a magician and escape artist, but today he is best known as the world’s most tireless investigator and demystifier of paranormal and pseudoscientific claims.

Read more and buy tickets.

 From the Pangburn Philosophy Facebook page:


14 March 2017

Brent and Sarah in "My Kawartha" and "Muskoka Region"

From Muskoka Region:
GRAVENHURST — The Brent and Sarah Comedy Magic Show will entertain Muskoka families March 17 at 7 p.m.

“This is definitely going to be a highlight of St. Patrick’s Day in Muskoka,” noted Ann Curley, operations manager of Muskoka Discovery Centre. “Brent and Sarah deliver a unique fast-paced show that offers a clever mix of mind-reading, illusion, magic. There’s even talk of a daring escape act."

Read more.


From My Kawartha:
The couple’s Laugh Out Loud Comedy Magic Show takes the Academy Theatre for Performing Arts at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 18.

Unlike a traditional magic act, featuring magician and assistant, the husband and wife team take equal footing on the stage; even if Brent turns out to be the brunt of most of the jokes.

Read more.

13 March 2017

Bobby Motta's "Cryptic"

From Bobby Motta's Facebook page:
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12 March 2017

Stream "Houdini and Doyle" until 2021

From the Twitter feed of HouDoyle:
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11 March 2017

Vitaly Beckman in Ontario

From Vitaly Beckman's Facebook page:
New tour dates are updated on the website! http://www.eveningofwonders.com

First stop is Northern Ontario:

 March 25 - Cobalt
 March 26 - Kirkland Lake
 March 29 - Parry Sound
 March 31 - Sudbury

For tickets see: http://www.eveningofwonders.com/tickets


10 March 2017

Toronto: Will and Matt at the Isabel Bader Theatre

From the Facebook page of Will and Matt:
International Award Winning Duo performing magic LIVE! in UofT's Isabel Bader Theatre on 3/19/17

Ticket link: http://willandmatt.com/
 You will see...

-15 Grand Illusions
 -Opening Performance with World Class Mentalist - Ben Train
 -Featuring dance acts
 -Las Vegas level production
 -World class magic inventions
 -2 hours of magic that will completely BLOW YOUR MIND!

Early bird price ends on March 12th. Price will go up by $10 after that date!
 With early bird ticket, you also get exclusive and limited W&M Magic Tutorial. We will show you how some of our magics are done!


Read more and buy tickets.

09 March 2017

Where to find Shawn Farquhar in March 2017

Good luck keeping up with Shawn in March.  With NEMCON tomorrow and Friday, shows in Cambridge, Chilliwack, and Hawai'i, he's going to be spending a lot of time in airports!  If you want a head start for next month, he'll also be at the FFFF Convention in April.

For more information about NEMCON, visit the New England Magicians' Conference.


From Shawn Farquhar's Facebook page:


From Shawn Farquhar's Facebook page:





From Shawn Farquhar's Facebook page:


08 March 2017

Michael Close reviews "The Aretalogy of Vanni Bossi"

From Michael Close:
As I left my forties behind and entered into late middle age, I became aware of a sad, odd occurrence. Some of my friends were turning into books. They had left flesh and blood, heart and bone behind, transforming into a form that allowed one-way (but sometimes surprisingly comforting) communication. I would regulary head to my library, not so much to seek information, but to visit again with Stewart James, Billy McComb, Howard Lyons, Arturo Ascanio, Barrie Richardson, T.A. Waters, Tommy Wonder, and Dai Vernon. And now, eight years after his death, another friend arrives from the printer in a beautiful and most fitting presentation.

The Aretalogy of Vanni Bossi features a portion of the creative output of a true polymath – a collector, historian, craftsman, performer, and creator. Concerning Vanni’s collection, Roberto Giobbi writes in the Foreword, “He possessed practically every important book of magic, from the beginning of printing to modern times, in many languages, but above all in Italian. He also knew what was in them, how to place their contents in the evolution of magical ideas, and who invented what. He was one of the most educated and well-informed people in magic that I’ve ever met.”
 
Read more.

07 March 2017

Paul Romhany and the Crohn's and Colitis Crunch Challenge!

Watch to the end to see Paul's outtakes!

From Paul Romhany's YouTube channel:

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06 March 2017

Captain Corbin on "Tween on the Scene"

From the Facebook page of Captain Corbin:

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05 March 2017

Canadians remember Daryl

Scroll to the bottom of this post to find out how you can donate to the Daryl Easton Family Fund, or visit the GoFundMe campaign for the Easton Family.


From Michael Close's blog post "Salute to our friend Daryl":
When that tour wrapped up, Alison stayed in England to visit with relatives and Daryl returned to Vegas. The day he got in, he called to say he was back. I suggested he come over to our house for a home-cooked meal, something I thought he’d appreciate after such a long time on the road. He came by that evening.

Lisa and I prepared a pasta dish, with salad, bread, and red wine. We ate, talked, and listened to stories of the life of a lecturer. It was obvious Daryl was jet-lagged and beat to hell, which made him the perfect foil for a practical joke.

Read more.






From Carey Lauder's Facebook page:



From Ben Train's Facebook page:





From Shawn Farquhar's Instagram:




Magicana has video of Daryl performing card magic and close-up magic on the Canadian television series "The Magic Palace."  Also at Magicana, Jamy Ian Swiss writes about Daryl and Bob Cassidy.


I'm drifting a little here, hope you don't mind.


Michael Ammar has a fantastic Facebook tribute to Daryl that begins, "There's a hole in the curtain." This part continues to resonate (bolding mine),
"with thoughts that maybe we could have said or done something, or with guilt over having missed any warning signs."  


Here's the post from Michael Ammar's Facebook page:



This is how I'll remember Daryl.

Daryl. Photo by James Carey Lauder.
Daryl.


Learning from Daryl during free time. Photo by James Carey Lauder.
Learning from Daryl during free time.


Camp photo. Photo by James Carey Lauder.
2015 camp photo.

From Sorcerers Safari's Facebook page:


On Facebook, Kenton Knepper gave away a free video inspired by Daryl.  More importantly he had this to say:
"All I ask is, in the present or future, you support magic and mentalism creators with your wallet, not just words, so they can make a living too."

And with that, here's some information about how you can help the Easton family.


From Michael Close's website:
PLEASE DONATE TO THE DARYL EASTON FAMILY FUND

The office at the Magic Castle has received calls from members and magicians around the world, asking how one can offer support and donations to the Daryl Easton family.

The Academy of Magical Arts has now established a fund to receive donations for Alison Easton, Daryl’s wife, and their two daughters. You can also send bereavement cards for Alison to the AMA offices as well, who will forward them to the family.

If you would like to make a donation to the family, please send a check payable to “The Academy of Magical Arts, Easton Family Fund” to:

The Academy of Magical Arts
ATT: Daryl Easton Family Fund
7001 Franklin Ave
Hollywood CA 90028

If you would like to donate via credit card, please call Trish Alaskey at 323-851-3313 ext. 301.
The Academy will work with Alison and the family, and pick a date in the future to hold a memorial for Daryl. If you have any questions, please email the General Manager, Joe Furlow, at: jfurlow@magiccastle.com.

You can also donate via PayPal directly using magic@daryl.net

There is also a GoFundMe campaign for the Easton Family.


It's worth noting that Daryl's online shop remains open for business.  An alternate method of showing your support for his family is by making an online purchase at his store.






04 March 2017

Peter Mennie on Roger's Daytime London Jan. and Feb. 2017

From Peter Mennie's Facebook page:
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And from Peter's Twitter feed:


03 March 2017

Toronto: Free magic club

From the Browser's Den of Magic Facebook group:
This Saturday at Browser's Den

Dear Magic Friends,

All of us here at the shop hope that you and yours are well and happy.

This Saturday, March 4 at Browser's Den is our next Free Magic Club Meeting.

All those interested in talking magic are welcome and encouraged to join us.

The club meets at our shop from 2:30pm to 5:30pm.

Yours very truly,
Jeff & The Browser's Den Team

[Guest post] Houdini in Vancouver: part 7

The following is a guest post from an author who wishes to be known as The Magic Demon.

--


March 3rd, 1923 (Saturday)

Houdini's Final Day in Vancouver
Researched by The Magic Demon exclusively for Canada's Magic.


Houdini has his final two vaudeville appearances today (a matinee and an evening show) of his seven in total this week at the Orpheum Theatre, Vancouver, British Columbia.

Reviews have been superb.

His outdoor publicity stunt of hanging upside down and escaping a straitjacket in full view has been major front page news (actually getting more column inches than reviews of his vaudeville show).

What more could one ask?

Well, I had hoped today for an editorial summing up of his impact or at least some kind of "goodbye and thanks Harry" - but neither The Sun nor The Province refer to him at all. (They do, however, both run a final Orpheum Theatre advertisement for his shows).

It's as if they have nothing more to say. (I guess they didn't).

And as if Houdini has no further need for continuing coverage. No doubt he was busy this weekend accepting via telegram another "unique challenge" from the chosen newspaper ally in the next city of his vaudeville tour.

But what I did find, Houdini-related, in The Province on its front page was this curious story:
"Doyle Sure of Ectoplasm"

Subtitled:
"Twenty Three Austrian Professors Said to Have Been Convinced"

and
"Famous Writer Thinks Controversy Should Now Be At End."

What better timing could this have had than the end of Harry's Vancouver visit? I wonder what thoughts raced through his mind as he read this (as I'm sure he must have done).

The story recounts a letter published recently in The New York Times, in which the famous author of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries and an ardent spiritualist, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, tells of a "demonstration of ectoplasm" (which he himself apparently had not actually witnessed) by mediums in front of multiple distinguished Austrian scientists which, in his mind, "puts an end to the whole debate so that anyone who reopens it is inexcusably ignorant or willfully perverse."

Gee. I wonder to whom he might he be referring?

The next paragraph is headed,
"Houdini Is Wrong."

Doyle is quoted as writing:
"We are publicly assured. . . I am sorry to say, by my friend Houdini, that this was all what they called 'bunk' and that [the ectoplasm] was really regurgitated food. . ." [but according to Doyle it could not be as it was often the wrong colour.] "Criticism is most welcome and helpful, but I would beg our opponents to exercise some restraint in it, or they will make the subject and themselves rather ridiculous."

And of course, as we know, Houdini would show no restraint in exposing fraudulent mediums to the end of his days and this public campaign (as well as comments like those expressed above by Doyle) would put an effective end to their trans-Atlantic friendship.

----

This was to be Houdini's first and only professional visit to Vancouver. Just over three and a half years later he would once more be front page news but for quite a different, unexpected reason. (His death.)

It's been fun reliving day by day Houdini's triumphant appearances in Vancouver during this week in 1923. I wish I could have been there but I guess this was the next best thing.

I hope you enjoyed reading about it as much as I enjoyed researching it for you.


-
Researched by The Magic Demon exclusively for Canada's Magic. With thanks to the Vancouver Public Library and The Vancouver Sun. The VPL and its staff are awesome!
--

Thank you to
The Magic Demon for guest posting this fabulous Houdini series at Canada's Magic!





02 March 2017

[Guest post] Houdini in Vancouver: part 6

The following is a guest post from an author who wishes to be known as The Magic Demon.

--

March 2nd, 1923 (Friday)

Houdini Continues Triumphantly in Vancouver, B. C.
Researched by The Magic Demon exclusively for Canada's Magic.


Houdini continues to thrill citizens of Canada's west coast "third city" twice daily at the local Orpheum Theatre. Two shows are scheduled today; the final two tomorrow (Saturday).

Reviews have been universally complimentary for this, his first (and only), appearance in the city.

Today's front page Houdini story in The Sun, however, deals with the publicity stunt he performed outside the newspaper's office around 137 West Pender Street at high noon the previous day. The paper had been building it up with great flair and deceptive hyperbole in previous issues.

I'd like to be able to tell you exactly what is on page one of The Sun. I really would.

Unfortunately, to paraphrase Apollo 13 - Houdini, we have a problem.

No front page exists today!

Despite every attempt to locate the front page in both the Vancouver Public Library (VPL) microfilm collection and the official  Vancouver city archives, no extant copy has been found. Perhaps it will turn up elsewhere another day.

However, we can certainly piece together what must have been a triumphant page one headline story about Houdini's upside down straitjacket escape from surviving photographic evidence and from the story as it is continued on an inside page of the paper.

Both the Vancouver Archives and VPL have public domain photographs of the stunt, at least one of which might have appeared on the missing page one. I've also attempted to photograph the same location in 2017. My photo re-creation of the scene as well as original 1923 photos will accompany this post.

As for the feature story, an inside page headline screams, "Houdini Free in 3 Minutes (Continued From Page 1") - so I think we can conclusively rest easy that all went well!

Bess Houdini is referenced for the first (and only) time, "a comely, shy little woman," making her way through "the dense crowd" with traffic "inspector Hood" to talk with Houdini before he began his "perilous attempt."

A theatrical embellishment or was it genuine concern for Harry? He was after all approaching age 49 in just three weeks. Or did she secretly pass to him some hidden device? He'd done this kind of stunt thousands of times but it is impossible to know for sure at this point. "There was. . . anxiety mirrored in Mrs. Houdini's eyes" reports the anonymous scribe, who felt such alarm genuine and who felt that her concern really "amounted to something" quite apart from the free show about to commence.

Harry Houdini preparing to hang upside down from The Sun newspaper building.
W.J. Moore's photo, Vancouver Public Library 70208A.


But events quickly moved forward as Detective Ricci (as announced yesterday) with Traffic Inspector Hood (who appears to have replaced Detective Sinclair, reported yesterday) quickly confined Houdini into the awaiting straitjacket.

The Sun records:
"Strong men lifted him from the truck. In another few seconds he was swinging from his ankles above the heads of the multitude... inch by inch, foot by foot he was hoisted aloft."

Harry Houdini hanging upside down from The Sun newspaper building.
W.J. Moore's photo, Vancouver Public Library 70208.

Then,
"Houdini furiously struggled to escape..."
Harry Houdini hanging upside down from The Sun newspaper building.
W.J. Moore's photo, City of Vancouver Archives AM54-S4-: Port N100.


Edited to add this close-up of the above photo Tweeted by the Vancouver Archives:


And,
"Three minutes and twenty nine seconds later he tossed the jacket to the ground"

Houdini was free!
"A cheer arose and swelled into roar" from the crowd.

And what a crowd it was that had assembled.
"Perhaps no greater outdoor crowd ever assembled in Vancouver than the one in front of the Sun office yesterday" boasts the breathless reporter, taking time to praise the Vancouver police force's foresight in arranging details of diverting "motors and other vehicles, which left no room for discussions or even a chance for accident."

I'd love to know what those other (non-motor) vehicles were.  But I'd be afraid to ask police who left "no room for discussions!"

And how did Houdini feel about it?

"It was the greatest outdoor crowd I have ever seen. . . I have never seen a more orderly crowd. . . it was a pleasure to work for them and a double pleasure to have such an enterprising newspaper as The Sun to vouch for my efforts..." Could the paper have asked for a better endorsement for their week long publicity efforts on his behalf? He then went on to thank the local Vancouver police for their help. (Especially "decent and gentlemanly officers as Inspector Hood and Detective Ricci. . .") Harry knew exactly what to say at these occasions having done so many in the past.

The rest of the article describes with some quiet awe all the still photographic and silent film coverage of the event. ("Nothing like it has ever been seen before in Vancouver.")

Cameras from every major news reel service were in evidence. To accommodate the most important of them, The Sun had erected a platform above their illuminated sign. You can see it if you look closely at the photograph of the event. On the ground, thousands of amateur photographers snapped away as Houdini "wiggled and twisted himself out of the straitjacket:"

And so did The Sun feel that Houdini had honoured their "unique challenge?"
"The Sun's challenge. . . melted as the immense crowd faded, not unlike a February snowstorm before a gentle chinook wind."

Uh, I'll assume that as affirmative.

Taking advantage of the new medium, Houdini arranged that footage of his Vancouver straitjacket escape would be projected during that very evening's Orpheum performance (and possibly at all remaining performances). Clearly his fascination for the relatively new medium continued unabated, as the reporter noted

"Houdini himself was an interested spectator. . . he came down from the stage. . . while they were being [projected] on the screen. The film was evidently pleasing to the magician, for at its conclusion, he faced the audience with a smile of satisfaction, exclaiming 'Isn't that a wonderful crowd?'"

I'm sure most of Vancouver felt the same way about him.

A paid Orpheum Theatre advertisement similar to the first also appears in this issue.


What the site of the Houdini escape looks like in 2017. Photo by The Magic Demon.
The actual Vancouver Sun building at this location (137 West Pender Street) was demolished many years ago.




TOMORROW: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Says "Houdini Is Wrong"!



-
Researched by The Magic Demon exclusively for Canada's Magic. With thanks to the Vancouver Public Library, The Vancouver Sun, and the City of  Vancouver Archives.

--

Thank you to
The Magic Demon for guest posting at Canada's Magic!


Thank you to our March 2017 friends!

Thank you to John Smithman, John Harrison, Richard Lyn, Joan Caesar, and The Outerbridges, for being Friends of Canada's Magic!

It's good to have friends like you.
    



You too can Be Our Friend for only $20 per year! 

Donations of any size are always welcome.


01 March 2017

[Guest post] Houdini in Vancouver part 5

The following is a guest post from an author who wishes to be known as The Magic Demon.

--

March 1st, 1923 (Thursday)

Houdini Is In Vancouver, British Columbia!
Researched by The Magic Demon exclusively for Canada's Magic.


Houdini is major front page news in today's The [Vancouver] Sun.

His local Orpheum Theatre appearances are well underway. His unparalleled sense of publicity is producing impressive results in the local press.

Today's page one story, accompanied by a photo of Harry, takes up well over a quarter of the front page. When is the last time you can recall a magician taking up that much space on page one of a major city newspaper?

The headline:
"Houdini In For Tough Time; Detectives Ricci and Sinclair Bind Him."

In smaller letters:
"Magician Will Have To Wiggle To Get Out Of Jacket for These Two Expert Ropers Promise to Make It Burglar Proof."

Found in the Vancouver Public Library's microfiche of the March 1st, 1923 edition of The Vancouver Sun.



Today is the day (at high noon) that Houdini has agreed to The Sun's "challenge" to escape a straitjacket (they always spell it "straightjacket") while hanging upside down outside of The Sun office building.

But this morning's edition has gone to press long before the noon deadline.

So today they can only report on events leading up to the dramatic public spectacle.

The Sun's reporter, known only by his initials "J. K." has the memorable front page story of the day with his report of meeting up with Houdini the day before (Wednesday). This he did along with Orpheum manager Bill Hart to look over The Sun building on West Pender from where Houdini was to hang outside noon this day.

When they took Houdini to the rooftop of the building, he writes that they "slid through the hatchway like a couple of eels."

But when it was Houdini's turn, the "genius of escape" had "a tough time making the grade." In other words, he had trouble getting through the aforementioned hatchway! One can only imagine Houdini's chagrin. He must have carried it off with his usual calm charm as "J. K." concedes this might have been due to Houdini's "heavy overcoat." But it still leads him to wonder in print if Houdini would also "make the grade" the next day escaping the confines of the straitjacket. (I sometimes wonder if Houdini ever felt too old for such antics. He was just over three weeks away from his 49th birthday). Of course this was all designed to build up and hold the readers' interest.

After examining the building, the three went into The Sun's new "washroom and shower" to "dust ourselves off."

The article goes on to report that the Vancouver Police detectives Ricci and Sinclair promise to make his confinement in the straitjacket the next day "burglar proof."


Vancouver Police Chief James reports that he expects a big crowd to watch the public event. The Sun says that it expects "at least ten thousand."

In response to The Sun's previous exhortation for Houdini to award prizes for the best spectator pictures of his noon "hanging" (as he had graciously done elsewhere) which might be useful "to find out just how he does it", Houdini has agreed that he will give a First Prize of $15, s Second Prize of $10 and a Third Prize of $5. W. J. Moore, staff photographer of The Sun, will judge.

To "up the ante" and reader interest once more, the article concludes, mock-combatively:
"Well, Mr. Houdini, The Sun is ready for you. . . if [we've] made it a little difficult for you to pull your stunt that's The Sun's business." 

Elsewhere in the paper is The Sun's first review of Houdini's premiere evening performance the night before.

Headlined, "Genius of Escape Shows His Prowess; Vaudeville Programme is Pleasing" the anonymous reviewer describes Houdini's Orpheum appearance as "out of the ordinary" and "just a bit different" than Vancouver theatre goers had been used to seeing.

Furthermore, according to the review on an inside page of The Sun, Houdini "amazes, mystifies and really gets on the nerves of his audience - until, of course - he emerges from his cell of torture." Houdini is without question, "the one big feature of the week's entertainment." The review then goes on to list and describe the other performers, the supporting members of Houdini's evening performance.

Of note is a mention of the young comedian Jack Benny, back "again with his violin, also with some new jokes. Some not so new. Still. . . not so bad."

[Note to younger readers: Jack Benny was destined to become a major star in radio and early television and some films. Google him.]

A paid Orpheum Theatre advertisement similar to the first also appears in this issue.

Today is also the first time a reference to Houdini appears in the other major Vancouver newspaper, The Province.

Either because Houdini was favouring The Sun with his exclusive interviews and straitjacket publicity stunt - or else by nature more conservative and thus less likely to engage in such advance publicity - The Province had until now appeared to shun any mention of Houdini's arrival.

They made up for it with a major review on an inside entertainment news page.

Headlined,
"Houdini Headlines Fine Orpheum Bill."
 It was subtitled,
"Seen in Series of Clever Mystifying Turns - Show of High Standard."

The Province's anonymous reviewer describes the show with Houdini as headliner as "undoubtably one of the best of the season."

We get more details of Houdini's  performance. His Water Torture Cell features ("his own invention") as does his version of the Indian Needle trick.

Houdini also appears to have incorporated the latest technology into his act as the reviewer describes what can only be silent film footage of Houdini shown "in a thrilling airplane race and collision." This might have been footage taken many years earlier in Australia where Houdini had made history as the first person in that country to fly - as there is a nebulous reference to "the other side of the Pacific." On the other hand, it sounds much more like footage from one of his more recent adventure serials, "The Grim Game" released in 1919 which featured an accidental actual mid air collision (although with a stunt double pretending to be Houdini). This writer believes it to be the latter.

The review concludes with references to the other acts supporting Houdini on the bill. Jack Benny is given a more positive review than he had had in The Sun, this reviewer noting "for twelve minutes he holds the attention of the audience" with his "original patter," "fine voice" and "engaging natural smile."


TOMORROW: Public Triumph - or - Disaster?



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Researched by The Magic Demon exclusively for Canada's Magic. With thanks to the Vancouver Public Library and The Vancouver Sun.


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Thank you to
The Magic Demon for guest posting at Canada's Magic!


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