Sandy Marshall. Photo credit: David Linsell

Magic Inc’s head demonstrator, Ben Whiting is racking up the frequent flyer miles this year.  We were in Blackpool, England together for their big convention, then Atlanta, Georgia for the SAM Convention, and New York City for his “American Gypsy” premiere, but after our journey to Fort Collins, Colorado for the “Magic In The Rockies” convention (where we had a ball) Ben turned on the after burners.  In the last two months he’s been to New York City (again), Las Vegas twice and he just left for London where he will perform a snippet from his inventive show “American Gypsy.” (Check out the article on Ben in the December issue of Genii Magazine.)  Looking forward to seeing him at Magic Inc. one of these days, but the lad seems to have success written all over him.

Tomas Medina and John Sturk have put together a clever show they call “Short Guys With Glasses” which they performed at the Jay Marshall Theatre at Magic Inc. last year.  The show drew a nice crowd and we all saw some terrific magic as they each did their respective acts, but now they have upped the stakes with “Short Guys With Glasses 2.”  This time they played to an OVERFLOWING house, and the laughter is still echoing in the theatre.  In this incarnation of their show they did a lot more interaction, and with very positive results.  “Short Guys With Glasses 2″ is a very funny show that includes magic, music and delicious off-center comedy that will leave you laughing until your sides hurt.  I’m still chuckling over their finale where John plays piano while Tomas does a quasi musical rant about things that bug him.  “IT’S PRONOUNCED VERNET—NOT VERNAY!”  If Tomas and John keep growing like this, they’ll soon be too tall for “Short Guys With Glasses 3″ and I wouldn’t be surprised to find them with a regular theatre gig.

On the New York scene, Todd Robbins’ wonderful new show, “PLAY DEAD” (Written by Todd, and Teller—and directed by Teller) has gotten

Two of my favorite people: The Great Jon Stetson and Play Dead's Star, Todd Robbins

RAVE reviews.  The New York Times called it “Gleeful Gore.”  It’s a one man/four corpse show with spectacular illusions designed by the great Johnny Thompson and engineered by the very talented Thom Rubino.  The floating sixty pound table knocked my socks off.  This is an illusion that would be sure to impress even Dirk Losander, the Master of Levitation.  “PLAY DEAD” is wrapped in the guise of a good old fashioned audience-participation Saturday Night Spook Show.  They say it’s “not for the feint of heart” but if you’re looking for funhouse fun, and some really brilliant magic, don’t miss “PLAY DEAD” the next time you’re in New York.

NEWSFLASH:  Monday Night Magic—New York’s longest running Off-Broadway Magic Show is no longer at the Bleecker Street Theatre, but they have found a new home at the Julia Miles Theatre, 424 West 55th Street (between 9th & 10th Avenues).  It’s a different show every Monday night with the best magicians in the world.  Monday Night Magic was created by Michael Chaut, the late Frank Brents, Todd Robbins, Peter Samelson, and Jamy Ian Swiss.  To magicians, it’s as much of a New York Landmark as the Empire State Building.

We just had some exciting news about my book, “BEATING A DEAD HORSE: The Life and Times of Jay Marshall.” It is currently under consideration for the prestigious Benjamin Franklin Award in THREE different categories: Biography, Interior Design, and The Bill Fisher Award for Best First Book-Nonfiction. On Friday, December 10th (at 7:00 PM) I will be doing the “BEATING A DEAD HORSE” lecture at the Jay Marshall Lecture Hall at Magic Inc., in Chicago, and all are welcome.  It is for adults, and complimentary wine will beer served. In the spirit of the season, Magic Inc. is offering this lecture FREE.  We hope to see you there.

Happy Holidays to one and all, and don’t forget…

Stick it to the man sister.  RANT ON!