Dynamo: Stage Magic Needs Reinventing

Inside Magic Image of DynamoUK Magician Dynamo says traditional magic shows like those of David Copperfield and Siegfried & Roy helped magic but it is time to bring stage magic “up to date” and change “what people see as the stage magic show.”

He is moving from the television series Magician Impossible arena and stage venues and looks to ‘reinvent’ live magic.

Dynamo told reporters at a recent Edinburgh International Television Festival that he is going to hit the road.

“This is the final series of Magician Impossible. I think everyone wants to see me do it live and I think the possibilities in the live arena for magic is open for someone like myself to step into,” he said.

He added: “The magic shows we think of on the stage and in theatres are David Copperfield and Siegfried and Roy. What they did for magic was phenomenal but now it’s time to reinvent [stage shows], and to bring up to date what people see as the stage magic show. I will have a go at that.”

By “have a go,” Dynamo means he will attempt or try to do something.  “Have a go” is metric for “try, attempt or endeavor.”

The Year of Penn Continues

Inside Magic Image of Magician and Author Penn JillettePenn & Teller joined the select few included in the UNLV Entertainer & Artist Hall of Fame this weekend. Siegfried Fischbacher and Lance Burton attended, showing their support for the magic duo.

Former Nevada Lieutenant Governor, lounge singer and hall of fame member Lorraine Hunt-Bono presented the team their beautiful and pointy crystal trophies. Teller broke his silence to say "thanks" to the attendees.

Las Vegas Sun columnist John Katsilometes has deigned 2012 to be The Year of Penn:

I'd joked that 2012 was shaping up as the Year of Penn, given his ubiquitous-ness in the first 4 months of this year. Jillette even showed up at Marty Allen's 90th birthday party celebration at Palace Station on Saturday afternoon, joining a similarly odd collection of celebs and newsmakers onstage at Louie Anderson Theater that included Allen, Mayor Carolyn Goodman (presenting Allen with a key to the city), former mayor Oscar Goodman, Anderson and Allen's wife, Karon Kate Blackwell.

It does seem Penn is appearing in more places and garnering more television time. We have seen him on political talk shows, British stump the magician series and of course The Celebrity Apprentice. He survived last night's episode and thus continues his fund-raising for Opportunity Village, a Las Vegas foundation providing vocational training for our fellow citizens with intellectual disabilities.

"If I worked all the time I was on 'Celebrity Apprentice,' and gave all that money instead to Opportunity Village (laughs), they would do better," he says. "But I give them a lot of attention, no question about that, I have raised awareness. So you can't be too cynical about it."

Penn & Teller continue to entertain capacity crowds at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and offer the best magic per dollar spent in town.

Siegfried & Roy: “A Christmas Miracle”

Inside Magic Image of Siegfried & RoyRobin Leach describes Siegfried & Roy recently leaked news as "beyond magic — it's a Christmas miracle." The duo announced they will soon be celebrating "a very big step in Roy's extraordinary rehabilitation this holiday season."

The magical pair was on hand to support the local charity, Opportunity Village and host their annual party for friends and colleagues from their record-breaking magic show at the Mirage Casino and Resort and conservation project co-workers.

Mr. Leach reports the assembled cast, crew and staff greeted Siegfried & Roy with a standing ovation upon their arrival at the event. According to Mr. Leach, "Roy, who suffered severe blood loss, was said to have died three times on the operating table at the University Medical Center trauma unit here in his fight for life. He suffered partial paralysis and, at one point to relieve the pressure on his swollen brain, part of his skull was removed and protected in his stomach pouch. It was later reattached during his long-term recovery and rehabilitation at UCLA Medical Center."

Roy's recovery has been long and difficult but has apparently progressed to the point where he can ride a horse once again. Roy surprised Siegfried with the gift of two horses and his promise "that they'll be able to ride together at their Little Bavaria farm."

Siegfried told Mr. Leach he managed him to ride for 35 minutes this week – his first such activity since his injury. "In fact, we had to beg him to stop and get off so he wouldn't be sore," said one of the riding instructors helping with Roy's recovery workout program.

The development not only marks encouraging progress in Roy's physical therapy and rehabilitation, it also gives him the freedom to traverse the couple's ranch independent of his wheelchair or walking cane.

 


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Trying and Failing to Stop Time

Inside Magic Image of Woman With Winning HandAs we look at Magic tonight, we are confused.

We are not sure which issues will be with us forever and which will leave us as soon as the next fad comes into town.

Will we care about “knock-offs” in five years?

Will it matter that David Blaine was in a glass box for 44 days?

Will we assume, perhaps ten years from now, that there will never be a better magic show than (fill in your favorite nominee) and that Magic had reached its zenith?

Right now there is much to be concerned about. The most successful magic show in the history of the United States, Siegfried and Roy, may have performed their last show.

The problem with live magic is that it is live.

If you did not see Doug Henning at the Court Theater in New York during his run in The Magic Show, you never will again.

If you never saw Dai Vernon perform his card magic, your chance is over.

If you failed to see Harry Blackstone, Jr. perform the Floating Light Bulb, you will never have another opportunity.

Many of our special events are saved on film or, now, in digital format.  Unfortunately, they have not yet invented the recording device to capture the excitement when the lights dim, the music builds and the curtains part.

If you did not see the young David Copperfield starring in the play The Magic Man, you will never see him like that again.

That is the problem with living in a linear and time-based world.

Even as we write this, there are magicians we know and love who are growing older.  They are pulled towards their individual twilight, moving closer to the point where they can only look back fondly or with regret on their current need to perform six nights a week, 48 weeks a year.


Continue reading Trying and Failing to Stop Time