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Poster in grocery store window,
In the world of magic, there’s no one as absolutely insane, inventive, and creatively original as the cartoon genius, Dan Sylvester. If you’ve never seen him perform, you’re in for a treat. Click on the video to play.
Johnny Carson was always quick on his feet, but he was at his best when he had someone like Charles Grodin with which to duel. In the above clip from The Tonight Show, the two have a wonderful 15-minute parry-and-thrust that is just hilarious. Click on the above video to play.
Manfred Mann on Monday, just because.
From that miracle year of 1964, when every damn song in the top 40 was memorable.
The Billboard Top 25 of 1964:
|1||“I Want to Hold Your Hand“||The Beatles|
|2||“She Loves You“||The Beatles|
|3||“Hello, Dolly!“||Louis Armstrong|
|4||“Oh, Pretty Woman“||Roy Orbison|
|5||“I Get Around“||The Beach Boys|
|6||“Everybody Loves Somebody“||Dean Martin|
|7||“My Guy“||Mary Wells|
|8||“We’ll Sing in the Sunshine“||Gale Garnett|
|9||“Last Kiss“||J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers|
|10||“Where Did Our Love Go“||The Supremes|
|13||“A Hard Day’s Night“||The Beatles|
|14||“Love Me Do“||The Beatles|
|15||“Do Wah Diddy Diddy“||Manfred Mann|
|16||“Please Please Me“||The Beatles|
|17||“Dancing in the Street“||Martha and the Vandellas|
|18||“Little Children“||Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas|
|19||“Love Me with All Your Heart“||Ray Charles Singers|
|20||“Under the Boardwalk“||The Drifters|
|21||“Chapel of Love“||The Dixie Cups|
|23||“Glad All Over“||The Dave Clark Five|
|24||“Rag Doll“||The Four Seasons|
|25||“Dawn (Go Away)“||The Four Seasons|
Thanks to Youtuber Darryl Hushaw
What’s shown in the video above is, essentially, Dumbledore giving a farewell performance for his students at Hogwarts.
Okay, let’s back up a bit.
There really is a Hogwarts. Only it’s called Tannen’s Magic Camp, and it runs every summer teaching a select number of talented young would-be magicians their art and craft. Many, many of the country’s best professional magicians have passed through this camp both as teachers and students including David Blaine, Michael Carbonaro, Steve Cohen, and actor Adrien Brody.
Magician David Oliver, featured in the video above, had been a key figure in mentoring youngsters at the camp over many years. There’s a lovely documentary about the camp where you can see David gently but firmly insisting to his teen students on the necessity of high artistic standards. About seven years ago, however, Oliver received devastating news: he had developed an awful lung disease called hypersensitivity pneumonitis caused by working and living with the doves in his act. In 2013, he had to undergo a lengthy operation, which resulted in a double lung transplant.
So now you have the context for the video. In it, David is performing for his students a little while after the double lung transplant. The cheering you hear is that of students for their beloved teacher. David is performing a classic of magic, the Zombie, the crude mechanics of which every student in the audience is fully aware. But how David works with that ball is like watching Fred Astaire dance with Ginger Rogers: the grace, the fluidity, the precision, he makes it all seem so effortless and beautiful. I saw him perform this piece in Brooklyn years ago, and it was totally enchanting.
The students are cheering a great teacher, friend, artist, magician, and man of determined courage.
The uncompromising performance artist Susana Ventura, better known as Penny Arcade has been stirring it up for the better part of four decades. She, along with figures like Charles Ludlam and Jeff Weiss were pioneers of the avant-garde scene on the Lower East Side of New York City in the 1970s and 1980s.
She’s still raising hell with her wit, energy, and courageous insights. Listen to her New Year’s Eve piece about Cupcakes and the Decline of New York City, and you’ll understand why she’s still very relevant today. The language at times is Not Suitable For Work.