Pop Haydn is a Guilty Pleasure

Pop Haydn - Photo by Billy BaqueWatching Pop Haydn is a guilty pleasure for us.

Unlike eating an entire pint of ice cream whilst binge watching previously unseen How It’s Made episodes, we are not left feeling too guilty or dotted with chocolate stains when we watch the master perform.

Last night we attended a private party at The Magic Castle and saw the incredible Pop Haydn own the crowds gathered in the Peller Theatre for four performances.  We legitimately attended the first show of the evening and then snuck in again for a later show.  It was wonderful.

Pop f/k/a Whit Haydn works a room better than anyone we have ever seen.  He interacts with the audience effortlessly and handles volunteers so well that each outing was like a lesson in advanced magic techniques.

He performed his iconic The Six Card Trick, Color Changing Silk, Mongolian Pop Knot and finished with his world-famous Four Ring Routine.

Magicians know that Pop has been performing these effects for many years but he brought each alive for his enthusiastic lay crowds last night as if it was the first time.  He has a tremendous ability to take what the audience gives him and work it to the further betterment of his routine.  He never drops his character or varies from the spirit of his persona.

We checked with our friends who attended the shows last night and to a one, each thought Pop was absolutely incredible, the highlight of the evening.  That is saying a lot considering they had the entire Magic Castle filled with performers with whom to compare.

If we could have, we would have watched all four of his performances.  Some would say that is obsessive and they would usually be correct but not in this case.  Unlike fattening ice cream, excessive watching of Pop Haydn cannot clog one’s arteries, stain clothing or rot teeth.  It can lead to bewilderment and disorientation but we are willing to take those risks for the benefits received.

Inside Magic Review: Five Out of Five – Our Highest!

Photo Credit: Billy Baque

Hollywood Press Ga-Ga Over the Illusionists

The IllusionistsOut here in the greater Hollywood environs, just about everyone gets The Wrap delivered throughout the day to their email address.

It is one of the industry news sources, along with The Hollywood Reporter and Variety, relied upon by those in power and those hoping to one day attain power.

The Wrap emails come as entertainment news breaks: a dependable Hollywood star loses funding on his next big movie, a venerable talent agency picks up a new five-star client, a disgruntled writer sues a studio for allegedly ripping off a script idea.  If Congress decided to declare war on Canada, it would not likely be in The Wrap, Hollywood Reporter or Variety unless it affected production on some film project in Toronto.

The big three also publish reviews of plays, movies, live shows and artistic endeavors.  The Hollywood reviewers are usually very knowledgeable and pragmatic in their evaluation of the shows.  They can also be brutal.

We were relieved, then, to read the glowing reviews of The Illusionists: Witness the Impossible in The Wrap.

The producers of that ill-fated “Houdini” musical starring Hugh Jackman can let out a collective sigh of relief that their star decided not to do the show. “The Illusionists: Witness the Impossible” opened Thursday at the Marquis Theatre and there’s no way a tuner based on the life of the world’s most famous illusionist could possibly be any more fun and awe-inspiring than this new magic show on Broadway.

The review describes the performers in glowing terms and with the enthusiasm normally found in a devotee rather than a jaded critic.

“Anyone who’s ever seen newsreels of Houdini performing this feat, or others like it, has wanted to go back in time to experience first-hand the cheesy excitement of seeing a brilliant stunt performer at work risking his life. Here’s your chance.”

The reviewer describes Inside Magic Favorite Dan Sperry’s performance as the most frightening.

The scariest moment in the show, however, involved a woman from out of town who really, really didn’t want to play a game of Russian roulette with the very Goth and genuinely weird Dan Sperry (The Anti-Conjuror). By the way, what is an anti-conjuror? Whatever, in addition to creeping people out, Sperry conjures up a whole menagerie of flying birds from his Count Dracula get-up. Truly amazing.

The Illusionists: Witness the Impossible runs through January 4 on Broadway before embarking on a multi-city tour of the United States.

Read The Wrap’s review here.

Charlie Frye & Company Bring Masters of Illusion Show to Gibraltar

Charlie Frye & CompanyThe all star cast is headlined for the 6th triumphant year by Las Vegas hit show Charlie Frye & Company.  When it comes to combining world class juggling, sleight of hand, and physical comedy, no one does it better.  Charlie Frye & Company are renowned throughout the world and this is their first ever show in Gibraltar helping build on the success of this magical event.

Also starring this year:

YUNKE
A magical innovator whose magic is full of mystery beauty and risk.  He has performed in all five continents and appeared on TV shows across the world including A3s popular “El Hormiguerro”. His state-of-the art illusions are second to none: his magic is different: his working philosophy and approach to magic are unique.

MANU
Manu will take you back to the origins of magic, how did it all start? Showcasing some of the oldest illusions made famous by Harry Houdini and other historical magicians.

NUEL
Nuel is back by popular demand with new mind-blowing acts, he takes magic to new levels and audiences around the world have loved his act. You may have seen him at Masters of Ilusion last year and at the Family Pavilion at the fair. He can’t wait to be back and we’re sure neither are you to see him back!

FASTER THAN MAGIC
Our local illusionists, and organisers of this event, will also be taking to the stage with brand new illusions.  The team will be showcasing some new tricks which will blow your mind.

ALEXANDER G
A young magician with a very creative and different act. This year he has been invited to Le plus cabaret du monde the most important variety in France TV.

A show for all the family with profits donated to the GBC Open Day.  From 4th – 7th December at Ince’s Hall Theatre with matinees on 6th & 7th at 2:30pm  Tickets £12 on sale at Chique Boutique, Ocean Village

Wes Iseli’s Magic Marathon for Miracle Network

Wes IseliCharlottesville, Virginia’s The Daily Progress has a great write-up about magician Wes Iseli’s quest to perform 72 magic shows in a row to raise awareness and funds for the Children’s Miracle Network.

He will be at the Walmart in Ruckersville performing his “24 Hours of Magic”  beginning next Tuesday at 10 a.m.

“I will be there for 24 hours. Come before work, come after work, come during your lunch break. Come and watch for a few minutes and throw some loose change in the bucket to help a good cause.”

This is the eighth annual magic marathon and a great way to start the holiday season.

“One year a cop pulled up late at night and asked me what I was doing out there on the sidewalk,” Mr. Iseli said. “I explained that I was doing a 24-hour magic show, and I did a couple of tricks.

“The cop spoke into his radio, ‘Bob, you have to see this.’ Before I knew it, there were 12 police cars around me. There wasn’t anything going on at that time of night, so I did my show, and they stayed for about an hour. It was a blast.

“This is by far one of my favorite events each year,” Mr. Iseli said. “The fact that I can use my love for magic to help these kids is just awesome.”

“The University of Virginia Children’s Hospital, with the help of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, is able to provide high-quality care for children in Central Virginia and beyond,” said Ryan Lightner, the Children’s Miracle Network program coordinator at UVa.  “For eight years now, Wes has been a great advocate for us with his 24 Hours of Magic, and we look forward to working with him for many years to come.”

Check out Mr. Iseli’s website at: www.wesiseli.com

Jennifer Lawrence Loves Close-Up Magic

Jennifer LawrenceWe knew we liked Jennifer Lawrence for some reason.  Yes, she is a big star and in that movie about hungry kids fighting each other and watching TV or something.

But more importantly, she was outed yesterday as a lover of close-up magic.

According to ABC News Elizabeth Banks spilled the beans in an MTV interview:
“She loves close-up magic,” Banks told MTV. “That’s just a thing about her. She’s like obsessed with David Blaine.”

The reporter asked Banks if Lawrence, 24, could perform magic, and once again, her response was classic.

“She can’t do any magic,” Banks said of Lawrence. “Except entrancing nations to fall in love with her. But she really enjoys magic tricks.”
We’re not making this up.  You check it for yourself and see here.