Got The News, Better Hang Loose


Every Monday through Thursday morning, Michael G. Haskins introduces his WBAI radio Morning Show with a snippet of “Hang Loose,” by the Brooklyn-based band, Mandrill. I thought it might be fun to post a full live performance of the song with a Soul Train audience digging it in true 70s style.

Thanks to YouTuber  Neftali Santiago

Son of Happy Fun Ball


Recently, I bought a set of electric hand warmers. They are little devices that you put in your gloves or socks to keep you warm during the winter. I was familiar with the one-use little plastic package warmers, so I thought a reusable electronic version might be useful. Little did I know until I read the directions which made me laugh out loud, that I had just purchased the equivalent of the true-life version of the legendary fictional Happy Fun Ball. I especially enjoyed the helpful advice in Precaution note #5, should misfortune arise:


Rest assured, I will not Taunt the Fourheart Hand Warmer.

Cloudburst Crooning


Monday morning, you jump out of bed onto a lamppost  for the opportunity to make a splash.

The wonderful title song from the movie, performed and choreographed by the effortless Gene Kelly, and brilliant direction by Stanley Donen.

Favorite part: the explanation to the cop at the end.

Thanks to YouTuber ozabbavo77

Dealt: Fate Shuffles The Deck For Magician Richard Turner




Magician Richard Turner, the fabled blind card mechanic, is the subject of a compelling new film documentary directed by Luke Korem called Dealt. I interviewed Korem who spoke about the challenges and pleasures of making the film. Though ostensibly about magic, the story is also about independence, disability, discipline, creativity, and about learning how best to play the hand that life has dealt us.

Click on the grey triangle to listen to the interview as broadcast yesterday on the Arts Express radio program on WBAI 99.5 FM..


Learn Fun Fact’s Blog Party: Share Your Blog Here

I don’t often do this (umm…never in fact), but I enjoy Edward Law’s daily blog Learn Fun Facts so much that I’m re-blogging his kind post where he offers other bloggers a place to share their blogs. Thanks, Edward. I think that if you enjoy reading my blog you will also greatly enjoy Edward’s daily posts as well.

“It’s Just Their Time To, I Reckon.”


The “bench scene” from Carousel, “If I Loved You,” with the original Broadway cast, John Raitt (father of Bonnie) and Jan Clayton. In my opinion, the best love scene and music that Rodgers and Hammerstein ever wrote. And stay until the end to catch the amazing Jan Clayton in the final  clinch.

Thanks to YouTuber fvydt

Stick ‘Em “& Up” To The Max



(Click to enlarge)

E 16th Street

Brooklyn, New York

***Bonus: if you enlarge the picture and look at the orange window sign, you’ll see the announcement of the owners’ new business plan to change the name of the store to “99¢ & up.”

All The Things You Are: Sonny Stitt



Monday morning you wake up in a panic and realize it’s been more than a year since you posted another version of “All The Things You Are.” (For other versions I’ve posted, see here, here, here, and here)

So, another great take here:

Sonny Stitt – alto & tenor saxophone
Joe Newman – trumpet
Duke Jordan – piano
Sam Jones – bass
Roy Brooks – drum

Trapped: Penn & Teller



Last year, Penn & Teller performed this little stunt from their classic repertoire on their television series, Fool Us; it’s still a knuckle-biting performance.

But for the purists who remember the original version, here’s a clip from twenty-five years ago, back when Teller took a few more hair-raising chances . . .

Thanks to YouTuber secretSociety40

My Six Red Months In Russia




“Every one leaving the Palace was searched, no matter on what side he was. There were priceless treasures all about and it was a great temptation to pick up souvenirs…”

A hundred years ago this month, The Russian Winter Palace was taken over by the Bolsheviks as the culminating act of the Russian Revolution.  American journalist Louise Bryant was an eyewitness to these events, and wrote about them in her exciting memoir of the period, Six Red Months in Russia.

Mary Murphy and I produced this 10-minute radio segment featuring readings from Bryant’s memoir, broadcast yesterday on the Arts Express program on WBAI-FM.

Click on the grey triangle above to listen.

Lightning Wit: Harrison Greenbaum


I recently had the pleasure of seeing Harrison Greenbaum’s comedy magic act at two different venues, and he killed at both of them.  His philosophy of performing comedy magic is that the comedy has to be good enough to stand alone without the magic—and indeed that is what he has done for a good deal of his career; that is, he often performs hilarious stand-up comedy only, without the magic. But don’t underestimate his magic chops either—his routining and performance of the venerable magic Baby Gag is a standing ovation wonder.

Here’s Greenbaum with one my favorite comedy routines of his—no magic—“Lightning Roy,” the man who defied lightning.


Day Tripper



What a trip. It’s the third anniversary of this blog this week. It’s a little scary to think I’ve posted that many times. It’s been so nice to hear from readers.

Here are a dozen of my favorite posts and memories from the past year that you may have missed, which you might also enjoy:

Finding the Red Card: The Performance of Three-Card Monte

Late In The Day: Constance Norgren

Our Way 

Mike and Ruthy’s Hoot Love

“Jack Hath Not Gill”: Love’s Labour’s Lost

Pilobolus Umbrellas

Poet For Hire

Final Bow

Safe Harbor

Letter By Letter

Crowds and Party by Jodi Dean

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