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Greetings, friends! Again it's time/To weave magicians into rhyme.

Bodine Balasco and Joe Cahn judge a talent show

Steve and Bodine try to rustle up a poker game

THE GENII SPEAKS -- And speaks and speaks and speaks. Richard Kaufman has dreamed up another way for many of us to waste our time by launching The Genii Forum, a free online bulletin board for Genii friends and subscribers. The first week's exchanges have been lively, civil, and informed. Genii columnists will monitor the various topics. Check it out at

DOUG AND DIDI -- Doug Henning's The Magic Show, announced last month as being out on DVD, is in our hands and is quite wonderful. A handful of stars, or pixie dust, to this production. Although some have expressed disappointment at changes from the original Broadway production (Didi Conn replaces Dale Soules, songs were deleted, illusions were added and deleted, etc.), it's still a fun show and a great look at a young Doug Henning and the magic that made him a household name.

MAGIC CONVENES -- Next month, to celebrate 10 years of great issues, MAGIC magazine will host a one-time only convention at The Orleans in Las Vegas. Stan Allen promises one of the most exciting lineups of talent in recent convention memory, all at the very comfortable and affordable Orleans hotel. Hope to see you all there.

July 2001

July brought us a return visit to magic on the Mississippi with Bodine Balasco and company, along with some incredible reading and videos. Unfortunately, we missed Kevin King's wedding, but you can check out Mike Powers' photo coverage at All this plus late-breaking bad news of another loss in magic.

DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE -- I hope that most of you by now have read the Bodine Balasco interview in the June issue of Genii, a 10-page story on a true riverboat legend. Bodine and his "entourage" -- his engaging wife Sandi, New Orleans chef Joe Cahn, the Bodine and Joe puppet show, and a Travel Channel videographer -- returned to Little Egypt on July 3 as part of the Great Steamboat Race 2001. Once again Bodine and Joe judged the banner and talent competitions between the Delta Queen and the Mississippi Queen, to the delight of the winners and the wrath of the losers. Joe used the "Bodine" issue of Genii as part of his shtick to amuse the crowd. The good news is that, despite negative rumors, the contest will transpire again in '02, with the larger and younger American Queen replacing the venerable Delta Queen in the race. Bodine himself is working on a video for public consumption.

THE LEMMING CHANNEL -- Is this stuff too nutty for cable? Probably. I spent several delightful hours this month watching the new four-volume Simon Lovell videos from Randy Wakeman. Three are teaching tapes (not, alas, DVD; where is Louis Falanga when you need him?), and the fourth is a full show by Simon at Monday Night Magic. If you've always wanted to learn how to find a card with your tongue or wondered whether Simon could be constrained by a straitjacket, these are the tapes to buy. Simon has been one of my favorite sources of material in recent years, and it's a treat to finally get to watch him do this stuff.

BRIT LIT -- Someone recently suggested that I sample the card magic of Great Britain's Lewis Jones, and what a nice suggestion that turned out to be. I tracked down three of Mr. Jones's books (Cardiograms, Lusions, and Con Sessions) via H&R Magic Books. Very much like the works of Peter Duffie, these are self-produced booklets of about 20 tricks each, involving cards, books, business cards, and birthdays. The material ranges from sleight-driven items to ingenius self-working mysteries. Mr. Jones is fond of stacks, and he provides ways to get around the black-red giveaway, along with a new mathematical "memorized" stack that is the easiest I've encountered.

ALOHA, MRS. MARTINEZ -- Late-breaking bad news: Mary Martinez passed away on July 26, at age 90. Mary was by far my favorite lady in magic, known to most magicians as mom to Chuck Martinez and as most-of-the-time mom to Paul Harris. I recall fondly the days in her tv tuner repair shop, where she gave over a corner to her son's blooming magic shop business. What a neat, neat mom.

Little Egypt Magic is the erratically updated web site of Steve Bryant, spawned (the site, not Steve) by a former internet magazine known as The Little Egypt Gazette/for magicians only.

Steve Bryant is an obscure magician and writer who generates this site from a computer in Bloomington, Indiana. He frequently journeys to and performs magic in Little Egypt, the local name for extreme southern Illinois, where the towns bear such names as Cairo, Thebes, and Karnak.

Past issues of this web site: June 01 | May 01 | April 01 | March 01 | January 01 | December 00 | November 00 | October 00 | September 00 | August 00 | July 00 | June 00 | May 00 | April 00 | March 00 | February 00 | January 00 | December 99 | November 99 | October 99 | September 99 | August 99 | July 99 | June 99 | May 99 | April 99 | March 99 | February 99 | January 99 | December 98 | November 98 | October 98 | September 98 | August 98 | June 98 | May 98 | April 98 | February 98 | December 97

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