Recent Stories:
Wonder Thunder

Episode #1 : Why saw a woman in half? What is the connection between a deck of cards & the calendar. Remote card location.

Episode #2: Espionage, jealousy & murder among magicians. Adam calls his arch nemesis Richard Vegas.

Episode #3:The first aircraft pilot down under was a magician and a live random number challenge via phone.

Episode #4: Bar stunts, Alice Cooper as a magician and magic used in pop concerts.

Thursday
May152008

BRETT DANIELS CLOSES WOHSCIGAM

A labor dispute between Breet Daniels and the local union of stage hands has resulted in Brett Daniels decision to close his new show at the Sahara "Wohscigam." Mike Weatherford reports in the Las Vegas Review Journal. "Last week, Daniels said the Sahara had passed along bills for overtime costs adding up to $33,000 per week from Local 720 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, though his contract called for advance notification and approval of any stagehand costs exceeding $8,000 per week." "My crew were hard workers and did a great job. They were very supportive," Daniels said Wednesday. "My dispute is with the union stewards and the hotel."
Thursday
May152008

COMEDY IS MURRAY SAWCHUCK'S SECRET

Magician Murray Sawchuck, recently seen on VH1 as the magic coach for Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt, is profiled in an article from the Las Vegas Sun. Murray talks about his mentor Marvin Roy, a.k.a. Mr Electric, and his future career plans. Roy counseled the teenage magician. “I could spend a year working on a good act and work in the business for five years because I was young and cute,” SawChuck says. “But one day the looks and the youth were going to go and I would be in trouble. Or I could spend five years developing an act and I could work for the next 50 years.” Considering a career in stand-up, Murray talks about how comedy saved him during a recent performance in which he encountered a prop failure. “There were 800 famous people in the audience looking at me, wondering who I was,” SawChuck says. “So I start doing my stand-up. I was onstage a total of 12 minutes, presenting one award. Ten years ago I would have walked offstage when the magic didn’t work.”
Wednesday
May142008

HOUDINI FOR SALE

From our Twittering friends at the Home Counties Magical Society, we learn of a magic auction by the famous Matrinka & Co. Among the items available are a letter from Kellar to Houdini, a signed copy of the Jarret Book, numerous magic Posters, collectable apparatus, ephemera, and several pieces that defy classification. Among these, and the one from the original Tweet that caught our eye, is a life sized wax figure of Harry Houdini (pictured to the left). Of unknown origin, the description reads, "This piece could be the centerpiece and conversation piece of most any Houdini or magic collection.  This life-size piece is of the quality found in the finest wax museums. The body stands larger than life and is wrapped in a straight jacket and chains, it could be suspended, placed in a trunk or hung from a chain. The head in incredibly realistic and the artist has really captured the appearance of Houdini.  On close inspection it seems even more real, every hair has been put into place individually. For the short time he has been here, he has been quite an attention getter.  We are told to commission a similar figure would cost well over $10,000"
Wednesday
May142008

CELEBRACADABRA :: MOVES TO THURSDAYS AT 10PM BEGINNING MAY 22

We just received a call from Celebracadabra Producer and Creator Chris Martin to advise us that the show will move from Sunday at 9pm to Thursdays at 10pm beginning on May 22nd. Chris discussed the sow's ratings, the leak of the never before aired show Pilot that we received and what we can expect in the future. Click the PLAY button below to listen to our interview with Chris Martin regarding the change in the show's scheduling. (Subcribe to the "Magic Newswire" via iTunes HERE.)
Wednesday
May142008

SNEAK PEAK OF "ILLUSIONIST" AT CANNES

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Pathe will unveil the much-anticipated first footage from the Sylvain Chomet animated film "The Illusionist" (L'Illusionniste) at the Marche du Film in Cannes. Chomet is both the writer and director of this adaptation of original and previously unproduced material by Jacques Tati. Work on the project was started in 2006 and it is scheduled for release in the UK and France in 2009. The budget for the 2D and CGI generated film is said to be $22MIL. "The Illusionist" tells the story of "a dying breed of stage entertainer whose thunder is being stolen by emerging rock stars. Forced to accept increasingly obscure assignments in fringe theaters, garden parties and bars, he meets a young fan who changes his life forever."
Monday
May122008

HIP HOP HOUDINI APPEARS!

In the most recent of our Celebracadabra Conversations, we talk to Chris "Kid" Reid, the Hip Hop Houdini. Chis and his coach, Derek Hughes, were the most recent contestants eliminated from the VH1 reality series Celebracadabra. Click the PLAY button below to listen to our interview with Chris "Kid" Reid aka "The Hip Hop Houdini" (Subcribe to the "Magic Newswire" via iTunes HERE.)     video.vh1.com   CLICK HERE to watch additional footage not aired during the show!
Monday
May122008

BROKEN WAND :: HERB ZARROW

It is with a heavy heart that we report on the passing of on of the legends of magic, Herb Zarrow. Born in Paterson, New Jersey in 1925, Herb Zarrow became interested in magic at a very young age after obtaining a Gilbert magic set and books on the art. He later became one of magic's innovators and is best known for creating the Zarrow Shuffle.  He also invented: Herb Zarrow's Switch Change, Herb Zarrow's Trapeze, Herb Zarrow Retention Pass, Zarrow Block Addition and the Universal Count Grip. His creations have been included in such revered works as the Tarbell Course in Magic, Epilogue, Pallbearers, Chronicles, Apocalypse, Rigamarole, MUM, & Linking Ring plus books by Dai Vernon, Karl Fulves, Harry Lorayne, Richard Kaufman and J.B. Bobo's Modern Coin Magic. Zarrow was featured on the cover of The Linking Ring magazine after being honored at the 2001 annual Fetchers' Finger Flicking Frolic convention for lifetime achievement. Mr. Zarrow died from complications of pneaumonia. Services will be held on Tuesday May 13th at 1:30pm at Temple Sholom (385 Howland Ave) in River Edge, New Jersey. His close friend and Past National President of the Society of American Magicians, Warren Kaps will perform the traditional “Broken Wand” ceremony. Herb, thank you for walking among us.
Monday
May122008

DARREN BROWN KITTY KILLER?

According to the UK Mirror, "TV illusionist Derren Brown has been slammed by animal lovers after he duped a student into believing she had electrocuted a cat." Obviously, the box was not actually connected in any way to electricity and the feline was hence in no danger of being harmed, but animal lovers are in a frenzy with a spokesperson being quoted as saying, "We are opposed to any material that implies cruelty towards cats, or suggests that it is desirable or exciting to watch."
Sunday
May112008

EXCLUSIVE :: CELEBRITY MAGIC CHALLENGE!

BEFORE THERE WAS CELEBRACADABRA, THERE WAS "CELEBRITY MAGIC CHALLENGE!
Thanks to one of our readers, we have managed to receive a clip from the original pilot that was later to become Celebracadabra! Copies of this show were sent to a number of people in the magic community to get their feedback on the concept before Celebracadabra ever went into production.
THIS SHOW HAS NEVER AIRED!
The two celebrities not before seen are Jerry Manthy (from Survivor) and Jane Wiedlin (from the Go-Go's).
Saturday
May102008

TONY ENG LIVED A MAGICAL LIFE :: "AMBASSADOR OF MAGIC" DIES AT 61

A recent meeting of the Victoria Magic Circle turned into a memorial for one of its most accomplished members, Tony Eng, who died on Sunday at the age of 61.  "The Ambassador of Magic," was to have made  the annual presentation of the trophy named in his honor to the member presenting the most original close-up trick or routine. In an article from the Times, Shayne King reminisces about the impact that Tony had on magic saying, "Tony was a master and definitely one-of-a-kind, and he will be greatly missed by both the magic community at large and by a lot of non-magicians who just happened to come in and meet him through the shop." Eng operated Tony's Trick & Joke shop which is now operated by Murray Hatfield. Tony was the father of the magician Julie Eng and Sandra. He is also survived by his performing partner, wife Ann. A tribute will be held Sunday May 11 at 3PM at St. Andrew's Church. More information on the service can be found here.