Variety

Onct a year the Parent (N. Y.)' Assembly of the Society of American Magicians gives a benefit for ita hospital fund and this gives alt the

Siuicker-than-the-eye men a chance or a real spree. Magicians like nothing better than going to see other magis work and the proverbial statement about the busmen's holiday was never applicable with more truth than to members of this craft.

This, show serves a triple purpose. It gives those on the bill a chance to trot out their favorite hanky-panky, illusions and apparatus tricks, "gives those in the audience a l£»V at magic acts many of which play' only outside New York or at least in no other theatre, and finally the show raises money for the hospital •fund.

This year's frolic, captioned *A Night of Mystery' and given as usual at the Heckscher theatre in N. Y.. held nine acts which took three hours to put on, with the entire pro

Sam arranged by Sam Margules.

le audience was about evenly divided between magic nuts and Wall Street brokers, the latter gathered bv Royal V. Heath, Of the Stock Exchange, whose spare time hobby is thinking up mathematical tricks and writing books about them. At least half the seats in the orchestra were $5 a throw, the house being a seU-

March 3f 193?

Cardini was introduced as the most imitated magician and went-through hi» entire act with cardj and cigarettes. He stood out from th« other performers as the only one, excepting A1 Baker, with a really fine act and received a well deserved ovation.

Otto, a comedy juggler from Philly working in one. followed with an old fashioned small time act typical of } many club workers. v drunk which has poastbilitftir hut which needfe better timing and is much too long. He followed this with imitations of Ed Wynn. Bing Crosby and also Cardini giving rather good take-off of the latter.

Show closed with Jewell's puppet circus which is a very good puppet show especially for kids at Xmas time. It's put on to cover the entire stage with audience peering through a drop which simulates another ischium. Puppets are also at the fitting in boxes. Show includes in for many laughs. Cole ought td be able to get niter? bookings but ought to dust off his gag book as he can be very funny.

Chandler and C lemons came on with a fast movng act until male member of the team began to talk What language he was speaking the audience will never know. After several productions of flowers, fish-bowls, etc., he did the rising cards, and blew smoke into a glass container, a trick seldom seen these days but an old one which is still pretty effective. Mannerisms and

C1IC1.HV5. «MUUCI1SIIIS Mli^l "wv.

gestures which are pretty hokey" eletfvm&J tiWs, etc. .

ought to be fine for a place like the These show* put on ey«*7V yenr

American Music Hall. * take, one d^s, hut

Silent Mora from Boston followed 1 show more conclusively than ever with some clever sleight-of-hand | how impossible it is ever to expect a with billiard balls, handkerchief* t revival of this type of program.

.. ^ Actg w almost all dated and while well received by the audience, it's a cinch to see why this is the case and some moves which are original with him. He broke the silence by talking all the way through his act. bringing back reminiscences of the old days with his line to the band leader, 'Music, Professor.*

Eirst half of the show closed with Th«t Great George who started by proaQcTrig a number of objects end-' ing with » duck which disappeared with the old-fashioned Sucker effect.' He also performed the tipover box, needle trick and closed his act with an illusion of the vanishing assistant, who promptly reappeared for the out Magicians for the most part J^FSV^TSKSE «El

SMS 'SOSST-leavtog ^floor}

The Cantons opened the show with paper tearing, linking rings and other novelty material performed in Chinese costume. Like all the .acts pn this program it was well re-h^arbut too long, Jradson Cole, formerly a featured single act in vaude, followed with part of his oJd-tijne act Cole is young in appearance but hasn't

\time illusion show with its boxes, highly colored apparatus and the like.

Second half of the show began With A1 Baker's ventriloquism. Baker, who also acted as master of ceremonies, has a flair for good humor and although he works almost entirely at clubs and private parti-.. . . .

He has a fine wit find has beon j simply be a costly mistake. Every since it's a special type of audience, which would eat up anything which was hocus-pocus, no matter how bad it was. . t

Flowers \vwe given every act through the cdurtesy of Jack TrepeL himself an amateur magician and cuts for the .program were contributed by Hyry Lata, another fan.

Taking all things into consideration, especially the difficulty of finding magic acts which are rapidly becoming fewer it's a very creditable job, but that still doesn't remove the taint of the historical museum to which this type of show has long since been relegated.

The mere thought of putting a show of this type into a modern theatre is an idle dream which only devotees of the black, art cab still entertain. Such an enterprise .il'ould

— ... —-----.7— —r called the Wilf Rogers Of magic. Hi.: j year after the show, magis gather changed his routme or his gags for \ Vent act with Dennis is always wellj together and discuss the possibilities at least 10 years. Included cards, i received as Baker is a master at of this type of unit So far there are egg to flag, and the w. k. egg bag. • handling the dummy. He is also no takers and ft doesn't lopk as t. „«„,„„. ' - age of situations though there would be for a long thing into a bu time which should save somebody

St ,the M*"Hf® 1 SSStftSdS®. ol act as he brinas two kidsup from j to turn a littie thing .

Ifn y*T~a f-V 3 4-/IVT— old colored sand trick, not wen inV^. •KiSSX .ZJl' 7*'J? f these parts for many years. Isis. the ! ^ educated insect which performed telepathic tests was the next number and is one of the show's weaker points. Next follows ropes and rings and then Bamberg performs hand «•««...»-¡»¡«„. shadowgraphs at which his father

> '«mom. and which, ar. enthusiastically received. Trunk escape, well „„„, . presented is next production of a ¡¡f iJt . 8>rl from a fan who did another

(MYSTERIES OF FU-CHAN)

David Bamberg, whose father, Theo. Bamberg (Okito) and grandfather were famous magicians, carries on the family tradition under the name Fu-Chan with a show advertised as the 'greatest magical ex-

¡SS^fLS^ FnreSSstinwUh 'Spanish dance number, and show SSSf Sk^i..v i winds UP with «rand ftnale and P*°'

show, which contains some of the ' coslume-

most elaborate costumes and stage decor ever gathered together for this type of performance.

It has been successfully playing in Latin American countries and is reliably reported to have raked in a lot of dough there. Currently it is presented in a Spanish picture house, entirely in Chinese costume, with Fu-Chan talking Spanish, though he speaks English well and was born in Brooklyn. Intention

The usual assortment of magis were on hand at the opening and were enthusiastic and registering unqualified approval. Most of them said they had never seen anything better of its kind and even the magician's wives, who are tough critics on magic shows of any kind i liked it Magicians usually like anything to do with magic, but it's Bam-| berg s acting and humor, which gets tvirn in nr^irivn mt^tio« » «cross despite the foreign language, ss^&ri. £ iwMch makes good. He h3S

Sttt*1 « ^J«'i. KSftiJli S ' ■ sparkling personality, there is no English, as »on u assistants can iumWilw and the music builds up the learn the language. • 8h0w well.

Fu-Chan is an ingratiating and t AU theM thines are In its favor

SSSBS li!liS Lt i f>mi 5 1turn into a considerable success in' member in direct line of a family \ ils present quarters where it is who have been magicians since the temporarily booked for three weeks.

18th century. His first performance | comnanv "civeu 14 shows a week iff" «») und ***

- i chance it may become a fad for f Show opens with production of ' socialite» and from then on it would Fu-Chan himself from a large book, be easy sailing. Performance of first shown empty. Leaves are > nearly three hours contains plenty of turned by assistants revealing pic- good unit material and Bamberg tures of other performers who as- . should have no trouble getting book-aume the Chinese robes, after which jng jn picture houses if he wants to

Fu-Chan steps out Then follow a series of production tricks, ducks, bowls of water, flowers, goldfish, silk handkerchiefs, and the like." The handkerchief productions are particularly well done. Several sucker tricks common to this type of show are included such as the vanishing ducks and paper tearing. An attractive dancer is produced from a large pagoda, after which Fu-Chan produces an enormous bowl of water ar^ more ducks. Then come the floating ball illusion, the vanishing woman, the needle trick and to close the first half, production of an assistant dressed as a gorilla from a doll's house and finally the vanish-jn-j of the gorilla.

Second half of the show opens %ith a particularly effective illusion with a huge executioner's type of break up his show. Understood, however, that he wishes to keen it intact and move downtown, which may make things tough as the show at present does not seem ready to face legit critics and a Broadway audience. This difficulty could be met with smart styling up of the show to eliminate some of the gaudy sets which, for all their splendor and color, are not in the best of taste. Richness of the costumes which are very attractive, is lost against the sc-ts. Every time Bamberg makes an entrance he wears another Chinese robe and there seems no limit to his wardrobe. There are eight assistants, who also are attractively dressed.

Show has the material for a first class production, it Bamberg will be smart enough to combine forces with

.. . • _ .. stage designer and disregard the blade apparently passing visibly i uncritical backslaoping magical corn-through the bodjr of a woman, with j peers in the audience. This, plus a various chamber of horror effects, on : clever exploitation man. ought to the side. It's presented us a sketch ■ assure him...of contkiersble Jn which white explorer tails into I „ there hasn't been anyone

except one received money.

On the other hand,magicians reviewed are up in arms. They say that the articles are the work of a "sorehead" whose magical ability has become irrepaitably null and void. That such reviews are a bad thing because the magus will lose a lot of work, Variety being a trade paper for agents and managers. They question this fellow's right to be a critic and reason that he cannot have the layman's viewpoint.

What I want are scattered opinions of both amateurs and professionals on the writeups. If it can be shown he's wrong and taking advantage of his position to put across poisoned arrows, let it be done. Every copy of The Jinx containing remarks for and against will be mailed to the Variety editor. I'll give up a page next month to such opinions,but be sure and make them short and containing definite reasons.

If reviews are to be sugary and always flowery, that's one thing. If they should be honest and unbiased, with the faults brought out for assimilation, it is something else again. If amateurs on the same bill with professionals should not be reviewed in the same light, then that point should be made clear and adhered to.

I've been advised not to print these articles and spread the alleged bad reports. However, that wouldn't stop them and we'll get an answer to the question of, "WHEN IS A REVIEW NOT k REVIEW?"

Ithe hands of Fu-Manchu. played bv Bamberg, nnd while the illusion nn<l> tricka are okay, th, biisincs* could be' improved upon. One of the high ita of the show follow, with Fu-"ent presentation <>t the spots of the si lVIM'^ fflfl'^

In effect,the performer takes from his pocket a telegram on which is an obviously coded message. A pair of regular dice are handed a sbectator along with the telegram,and the performer turns his back. The dice are thrown, and the two top figures multiplied together. The spectator then is asked to count to that word in the wire and concentrate steadily uDon it and its meaningi Nothing has been told the performer, and although he has no idea of the numbers arrived at with the dice, he correctly gives out the letters of the wordl

All one needs is a telegram as per that on the cover of this issue and two dice. The spectator actually select» the word as described above and you start to concentrate. After mussing your hair a bit and grunting, say, "My dear sir,you evidently have never had your mind read before,and the word is coming to me in a jumble. However, I will call out letters as I get them, and you please cross them off as I oall them. .Vhen you have crossed out the last remaining one of the letters in the word, say "RIGHT" in a loud voice in order that I may not sink too much into a trance."

The words in the telegram are so chosen and so arranged that no matter what numbers show on the dice, their product will lead to a word whioh you will arrive at by repeating the following letters slowly, and in the order given, until the soectator says, "RIGHT," when all of the letters in the chosen v/ord will have been given.

This makes an excellent impromptu mental stunt. To make it look proper, and not so faked up, send yourself a night telegram and keep it in the envelope ready for use. That is

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in years who has more possibility carrying on with the big magic sn< tradition. In its present form good entertainment which

Modern Maeic l^roefams

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