Archive for the 'Entertainment' Category

BGT, AGT, DB And More [Magic Bulletin]

Posted by Michael on May 27th, 2014

Darcy Oakes switched it up this week and made it through another round of Britain’s Got Talent with the performance running above… Any resentment over the fact he is Canadian seems to have been overwhelmed by the live reaction when he took off his shirt. He actually addressed these concerns in an interview with The Daily Mail, saying that he came to the show because it is the biggest talent show in the world and has spawned all others. For those wondering if that is true, here are a few facts. America’s Got Talent is from the same production company, but it actually aired before BGT. Last year AGT averaged more viewers over a longer run than its British sister show, but more viewers tuned in for the BGT finale. It also appears that both shows saw a drop in viewers for their finale from the previous season’s ratings.

On this side of the pond, of course, America’s Got Talent kicks off tonight on NBC at 8 Eastern/7 Central. Will this be the year for a magician to take it all?

People Magazine is reporting that sources tell them that David Blaine and Brittny Gastineau “made a connection” at the Kanye West/Kim Kardashian wedding.

Meanwhile, in India, is reporting that The India Book Of Records has declared sisters Apoorva and Anjana Mali (aged 7 and 6) the country’s “youngest skilled magicians.” The daughters of magicians Rajesh Mali and Shubharaj, the girls have been on stage since they were toddlers.

Ellery Queen And The Case Of The Vanishing Magician

Posted by Michael on May 9th, 2014

It is Friday afternoon again and time to welcome the weekend. Some of you are looking forward to a relaxing weekend away from work and others are looking forward to going to work with a weekend full of gigs. Either way, it is time to kick off the weekend. As you all know, we like to try to find cool videos to end the week and we already brought you a couple today so now we are trying something a little different with an episode of the old Ellery Queen radio show which featuring vaudeville magicians.

Ellery Queen was the main character and supposed author of a series of mysteries (actually co-written by Frederic Dannay and Manfred Bennington Lee). Mystery writer Queen would help his father, a police detective, solve particularly baffling cases of murder and mayhem. The Adventures of Ellery Queen ran on radio for about a decade starting in 1939. The show is different from the many other detective shows because it actually stopped the story to give a panel of celebrities the chance to solve the mystery.

MST3K, 7 Wigs, Vent School And More [Magic Bulletin]

Posted by Michael on April 28th, 2014

Wired caught up with the good folks behind the cult classic Mystery Science Theater 3000 to produce The Definitive Oral History Of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Of course, the show’s creator and original star Joel Hodgson was included in the piece which hints at a possible revival. As many iTricks readers undoubtedly know, Hodgson started out as a magician (he was even featured in a Genii cover story in the ’90s after leaving MST3K).

The high tech retooling of the Maher Ventriloquist Studio’s correspondence course was featured in a Carroll County Times article which was picked up by AP. Magician and ventriloquist Tom Crowl is at the center of the new version of the course which was originally offered about eight decades ago. You can learn more at the Maher Studios website.

The stage version of Hedwig And The Angry Inch, starring Neil Patrick Harris, is a hit. The New York Post took a look at what, besides seven fab wigs, it takes to transform NPH into “one sexy lady.” The story features stylist Arianne Phillips, the artist behind the transformation, who has plenty of praise for Harris saying “But Neil has amazing circus skills, and he’s a bona fide magician. He’s super strong, and he’s really brave.”

Finally, Paul Romhany was concerned that iTricks gave the impression that his Vanish Magazine was only available as a PDF in last week’s piece on MAGIC Magazine’s new digital offerings. He would like everyone to know that Vanish, which gets about 120,000 downloads an issue, is available as a downloadable PDF, via their Revizzit iPad app and online in a unique virtual format (featuring a two page layout that can be “flipped through” like a paper magazine) which can be accessed here.

Mini-Documentary Features Magic Amongst Donuts

Posted by Michael on April 15th, 2014

What starts the day better than donuts? Since we yet have to figure a way to deliver donuts to iTricks readers you’ll have to settle for this documentary from Magnalux Pictures about Michael Stevens, known to many in New York as Magic Mike. Now that he has retired from the New York City Fire Department, Stevens is spending his time performing on the street and at The Donut Pub. If you are in the New York area and want to catch Magic Mike live, check out his website.

Letterman Retiring, JJ Abrams: Magician And More [Magic Bulletin]

Posted by Michael on April 4th, 2014

After twenty one years on CBS, David Letterman has announced that he will be retiring in 2015. Although Letterman has not necessarily been a friend to magic. like his mentor Johnny Carson, he did have any amazing effect on late night talk shows. As we move towards his farewell, the looming question is, of course, who will take over his timeslot? Is Craig Ferguson, a confirmed magic fan, suitable for the earlier slot?

Magicians have known that Theory 11 and JJ Abrams (you know, the guy behind Lost, Cloverfield and a couple science fiction movies) have teamed up to offer The Mystery Box. What is it? A $150 locked box with something inside but no combination included inspired by a gift Abrams received from his grandfather. Now the mainstream is catching wind of it, thanks to coverage by sites such as Gizmodo.

Finally, magician Olly Day has hit a very cool milestone. The Norwich area (UK) kid show performer has just presented his 1,000th road safety show to elementary school students. Congratulations Olly! You can read more here.

DelGuadio, Disney, Kitty Cats And More [Magic Bulletin]

Posted by Michael on March 28th, 2014

As you may know, one of the earliest uses of the Internet was as a showcase for pictures of cats. Keeping up this tradition is Lil BUB, the flat faced cat that has taken the Internet by storm. On the most recent episode of BUB’s webseries, magician Dennis Watkins drops by to perform with the kitty.

The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Derek DelGaudio is attached (as a producer) to a new Disney film that will cover the last century or so of the history of magic through the eyes of a magician. Keith Bunin is scripting the film and Justin Springer is the main producer. DelGuadio is currently an artist in residence at Disney Imagineering.

Finally, Dirk Arthur has begun a three month run at Harrah’s in Reno and has not found any new fans with PETA. According to KOLO News, they have targeted his act with a protest that features a caged young woman painted as a tiger… The KOLO coverage includes video of the tigress and comments from Arthur.

Magic On Stage, Small Screen and Radio

Posted by Michael on March 7th, 2014

The New Haven Independent is reporting that New Haven Theater Company has found a new rome for the next year. What may be of interest to iTricks readers is that their first new play in the venue is about a burnt out magician and his manager. Appropriately titled The Magician, the article describes it as two drunks “locked in a battle of wits, self-esteem destruction, and who-can-say-it-faster-and-dirtier, and occasionally in a more poetic argot.”

Theatermania has weighed in with their review of Nothing On Earth (Can Hold Houdini). It is, to be honest, not the best review. The NY Times, however, seemed to see the play in a more positive light. Get tickets at Axis Theater’s website.

Jonathan Creek is back on BBC1; you can learn more at the Beeb’s official site (that is BBC, not Justin Beiber).

Finally, speaking of the BBC, BBC Radio Scotland’s The Culture Studio with Janice Forsyth discussed Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay with Ricky Jay. We would have embedded the show, but it is only a segment of a nearly two hour broadcast. However, you can listen on the BBC Radio Scotland website.