Twas in a dream (Or was it real?
The plot had such profound appeal!)
That magicdom would congregate
At Hollywood 90028,
Within a Castle on a hill
Where Milt stands guard and time stands still
To share some legerdemainic fun
And ring in Century 21.
The Castle invitations read
On letters raised, in script well bred,
"Attend our gala New Year’s fete;
A thousand years we’ll celebrate.
Here’s your chance to mix and mingle
With Danny Orleans and Derek Dingle,
To share our New Millennium bash
With Stephen Minch and Martin Nash,
A Wizard’s Summit, if you will,
With Glenn and Frances, Sheets and Spill,
To help the new millennium turn
With Silly Billy and Jason Byrne.
Mind our dress code Ps and Qs,
Bring ID, wear fancy shoes.
(We’ll waive the ten buck entrance fee
For drop dead gorgeous Jinger Leigh.)"
In Hollywood the evening falls
Bathing pink the stately halls;
Turrets, gables, all aglow,
Await the pending Magic Show.
There’s Army Archerd, mike in hand,
Welcoming Rene Lavand,
Joanie Spina (that stunning ms!),
Richard Kaufman and new bride Liz.
All hail arrivees Teller and Penn,
Eugeny Veronin, Rebekah Yen,
Omar Pasha, our pal Frank Zak,
David Copperfield! Welcome back!
Darren Romeo, matinee singah,
Say hi to Nicholas Night and Kinga;
Louis Falanga! Do convene
With R. Paul Wilson and Gordon Bean.
Emit a Magic Castle whoop
For Luxor’s cast of Blue Man Group,
For friend Bill Taylor, FX whiz,
Kreskin, Krenz, and Tamariz.
Welcome Marvyn Roy and Carol,
Steve Valentine, James Swain, and Daryl,
Rick Thomas from the Tropicana,
Jim Steranko, Sonny Fontana.
Inside the bookish Entry Hall
The girl assesses one and all;
Getting in may take some doing:
Channing Pollock’s tux is cooing!
Chris Hart’s here with extra arm,
Rudy’s leg count gives alarm,
AJ’s bowling shoes are showing,
Rocco’s thumb is clearly glowing!
Say Open Sesame to the owl
(The Castle’s gilded guardian fowl):
Through secret passage you will pass;
Just follow Jonathan David Bass.
It’s easy to get lost inside
With Mr. Mysto as your guide;
Hold hands with Juliana Chen,
Aaron Fisher and David Ben.
Up the stairs is where you’ll eat.
(We’re with the Biros – Linda, Pete;
With Bill Wells and his better half
And the entire Joe Stevens staff.)
Try the Festal salad plate
With Mahka Tendo and Kardor the Great,
Ken Fletcher, prince of upscale malls,
Cesareo Palaez and Edwin Dawes.
The Prime Rib Blackstone is worth the fuss;
Just ask Carl Andrews or Eric Buss,
David Regal, Marshall Brodien,
Robert Neale or Scott Cervine.
Of course save room for a fab dessert
With Michael Caveney and Tina Lenert,
Tone Picasso, Danny Sylvester,
Loren C. Michaels and bud Neil Lester.
Jim Patton, publican supreme,
Dispenses drinks throughout this dream,
Now here now there all o'er the house
(Closely tailed by Roger Klause).
Quaff shots down in the Hat and Hare
With Kevin James and James Dimmare,
Or in the sumptuous Palace Bar
With Les Pendragons, Jon and Char,
Perhaps the Owl Bar (mezzanine)
With Persi D and Pete Reveen
Or in the ritzy Grand Salon
With Mr. Racherbaumer (Jon).
Enjoy a private stock Merlot
With Brad Burt and Fantasio,
Eddie Tullock, trade show great,
Michael Ammar and foxy mate.
Consume some cold White Zinfandel
With Luis de Matos, Lynette Chappel,
T.C. Tahoe, pal Don Wayne,
Peter Duffie and Harry Lorayne.
Engage a subtle Chardonnay
With Dominque Duvivier,
Rich Marotta, Sam Dalal,
Hank Lee and Juan Mayoral.
Over rocks imbibe Campari
With Jamy Swiss and Geno Munari,
Gazzo Macee, Alain Nu,
And all the Flicking Fingers crew.
We’ll finish with a steaming toddy
With bubble artist Thomas Noddy,
Followed by Kahlua and cream,
With Mullica, Dill, and Steven Beam.
This special night the shows are hotter
Than fiction’s wiz-kid, Harry Potter:
The Close-up Gallery overflows
From all Paul Gertner’s early shows,
And late show seats? You’d better phone
To catch a spot for Bill Malone.
Mac King in early Parlour rocks
With killer Card in Cereal Box,
While later Simon Lovell shines
With Card in Mouth and wacko lines.
O'er in the Palace, seats we’re savin’
For emcee/mentalist Max Maven;
In second spot, each move’s a pix
As Ballantine muffs all his tricks;
And who best to complete this dance?
Up there, aloft with girl, is Lance.
(In Leo Kostka’s seance room
Amid Houdini’s handcuff gloom,
There plays, among departed friends,
A game of hearts that never ends.
Ose deals, not off the top,
Scarne wants to call a cop;
Dai leads off, but Kuda trumps;
The door creaks open, Leo jumps.
But if a mortal should burst in
He’d see no cards, he’d taste no gin;
No clue to where the players went
Beyond the faintest cigar scent.)
In Haunted Cellar down below
The staff performs for overflow;
Catch miracles by Bruce Cervon,
Brian Gillis and Sisuepahn.
Outside where smokers must retreat
Behold a new World Record feat
As Ricky Jay hurls cards (no spoof)
Over the Castle’s gabled roof.
On the dance floor "Twist and Shout"
With MNM host Michael Chaut,
Bunny Hop with Becky Blaney,
Sandy Kort, Bill McIlhany.
Get Happy Feet with the Great Flydini,
Get down with Aldo Colombini,
"Peppermint Twist" with Jon Brunelle,
Boogaloo with Ken Krenzel.
Swing your partner, dos-a-dos
With Jade and Tony Giorgio;
To "Don’t Be Cruel," roll and rock
With Robert Farmer and Richard Bloch.
For a more romantic pace,
It’s Melinda I’ll embrace;
A sax plays "Stranger on the Shore"
As we dance inches off the floor.
Queue beneath the mistletoe
With master juggler Mike Goudeau,
Erika Larsen (Harry’s new hottie!),
Joycee Beck, Mark Setteducati.
Deploy a friendly New Year’s smack
On Sophie Evans or Handsome Jack,
Paul Harris (genius retiree),
Sherry Lukas or Debbie McGee.
Enjoy this chance to osculate
With Cheri Soleil or Allan Slaight,
Arlene Larsen (Milt’s main squeeze),
Princess Tenko or Darwin Ortiz.
Make some serious liplock whoopie,
With Mystina, Norm or Lupe,
David Blaine (Fiona’s toy),
Lisa Menna, Siegfried or Roy.
For pleasure Irma’s ancient keys
Conjure ghostly melodies,
Till midnight strikes 2K plus one,
And all our hearts are then undone.
All eyes are moist as we recall
The Castle greats not at this ball:
Play Auld Lang Syne for Peter Pit,
For Donald Lawton, Castle wit,
For Johnny Platt, that "topless" mage,
For Senator Crandall, caustic sage,
For Larry Jennings, Charlie too,
And Mr. Derman (Friday night Lou).
The Bergs, we miss ‘em (Ronnie, Joe),
Albert Goshman’s close-up show,
Maury Leaf, the Blackstones (Harry),
Whitey Roberts and Joe Cossari.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot?
Jim Cooper and Jay Ose – not;
Vernon, Carlyle, Michael Skinner,
And William Larsen, prez forever.
But enough! It’s time to cheer
With Lennart Green and Jules Lenier,
Time for horns, to toss confetti
With Gaeton Bloom and Hans Moretti.
Ye Scot Ron Wilson is our host
For this eve’s Official Toast;
Attend, ye bonnie lads and lasses
And raise aloft your champagne glasses:
"Happy New Year, each and all,
Especially our pals Brad Ball,
Joshua Jay, teenage phenom,
And Bonnie Saxe, Melinda’s mom.
We wish the Magic Castle’s best
To Matthew Field and Fielding West,
Scotty York and Nicky Lewin,
Andre Kole and young Greg Frewin.
Joaquin Ayala, happy new ano
The same to writer Chuck Romano,
Allan Ackerman, ace side stealer,
And Michael Rogers, baseball dealer.
We tip Don Alan’s magic fez
To Dale R. Hindman, Castle prez,
To Johnny Thompson, Harry Riser,
Howie Schwarzman and Earl Keyser.
We wish a thousand years of love
To both the Vaughns (Goldfinger and Dove),
Guy Hollingworth, so very Brit,
And Jonathan Levit, X-Files hit.
We wish a thousand years of peace
On both Frank Everharts (pere et fils),
On pal Docc Hilford, bizarre mage,
On Eric Mead and Patrick Page.
A thousand years of hearts and flowers
To Martin Lewis and Michael Powers,
To Billy Goodwin, Ed Alonzo,
Roberto Giobbi and Alfonso,
To dear Phil Willmarth, Linking Ringer,
And fav Earl Nelson, finger flinger,
To Murray ("With CDs and hair"),
Anne White, Al Cohen, and Ian Adair.
A big congrats to Jennifer Sils.
(How nice that Harrah’s pays the bills!)
The new will soon displace the old,
So welcome, newborns, to our fold.
We’re at the dawn of another thou
And hope these babes will be, somehow,
As clever, skilled, and savvy, say,
As Kennedy (John) or Sankey (Jay)."
Mark Wilson now assumes the mike
With an announcement all will like:
"To end this eve, we thought it wise
To institute a major prize.
This moment is a time for lists
For sifting magic from the mists
Enumerating which is best
Discarding all the feeble rest.
Your Castle board has met and thought
To pick the trick we think that ought
To wear the mantle, most sublime,
The Very Best Trick of All Time.
A little later we’ll reveal
The winner, and we think you’ll feel
We’ve chosen wisely, sagely, smart
The best example of our art."
The magi form small groups and huddle;
Which trick will surface from this muddle?
Into wee hours opinions fly,
Which is the best, the worst, and why.
Eugene Burger’s Gypsy Thread?
Michael Finney’s Card on Head?
Doc Eason’s Card Through Ceiling Fan?
Ed Balducci’s Floating Man?
Steve Fearson’s Floating Cigarette?
Don’t forget Brett Daniels’ jet!
Lee Asher’s breakthrough aces twist?
Kurtz’s dreamlike coins to mist?
(If you want three coins to fly
Kenner is your go-to guy
Though Kohler lets them fly with ease,
If you have the req. three Cs.)
Richard Ross’s linking rings?
Jasper Marshall’s glove that sings?
J. Ace Palmer’s cups and chicks?
Michael Close’s Pothole Trick?
Larry Becker’s Russian Roulette?
Coins Through Table by Gary Ouellet?
David Williamson’s Raccoon?
Danny Harlan’s gaffed Card-Toon?
Bodine Balasco’s Three-Card Monte?
Jim Steinmeyer’s Origami?
Kevin King’s new morphing bill?
Norman Gilbreath’s principle?
Eddie Fields’ mindreading code?
Shimada’s famed umbrella load?
Alex Elmsley’s paper tear?
Henning’s floating girl in air?
Surely it is almost dawn
As all flock to the Grand Salon;
The Blackstone’s packed and Irma’s too;
The Gothic Staircase? Like a zoo!
Ah, they whisper, that’s the one
As you-know-who precedes the sun.
Into this overcrowded home
Steps Irish icon, Bill McComb.
He holds a cage containing ... cotton?
(Its character is soon forgotten.)
"His name is Humphrey, just a mouse."
Familiar words bring down the house.
Bill covers Humph with red chiffon,
The gathered magi all peer on.
And then all see, in motion slow ....
The cage, the mouse, just seem to go ...
The cage just melts, the cloth just falls,
Invoking wild sustained applause
Which Billy takes in veteran stride
Enjoying his 21st century ride.
Like stars throughout our childhood skies,
Billy sees with moistening eyes
A fitting end to this all-nighter:
In each lifted hand, a lighter.
At last dawn’s golden fingers reach
The Hollywood hills, S. Monica beach;
The magi stumble, bleary-eyed:
There’s David Roth, there’s Jeff McBride!
Forty winks we’d love to catch
With Charlie Randall and Richard Hatch,
To close our eyes and resume snoring
Like Meir Yedid and friend John Moehring.
Fred Becker, usually on cruise,
Fights the urgent need to snooze;
Stan Allen, MAGIC’s ed in chief,
Prays for Sominex relief.
Galina stifles a pretty yawn,
Pam Thompson puts her PJs on,
Jillian Gotlib rests her head,
Connie Boyd adjourns to bed.
While in the kitchen, on fabled legs,
Irene Larsen scrambles eggs,
Serves up stollen, crullers, scones
To Michael Giles and Stacy Jones,
Serves a buttered warm croissant
To Martin Gardner, famed savant,
Serves a lovely Eggs Sardou
To Reno’s Kalin (and Hobson too!).
Here’s a latte and cappuccino
For Jerry Andrus and J. Vallarino,
Some café au lait and coffee (strong)
For Ton Onasaka and chum Chad Long.
The caffeine does its magic stuff
Reviving all but Algonquin McDuff;
Milt Kort awakes, Paul Daniels too;
Oh God, the party starts anew.
But dreams disperse, reality knocks
To snatch us back to duties, clocks.
It’s time again to make amends
To oh-so-many unnamed friends.
If anything displeased you here
Or if your name failed to appear,
All I can say is rotten luck
And offer these fine words from Puck:
"If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber'd here
While these visions did appear."
Who’s to say what dictates dreams,
Or complex plots, or rhyming schemes?
What really formed this rambling cast?
The pizza from my last repast!
So Happy New Year all and each
Your good wishes I beseech.
Your magic gifts enrich us all;
Do catch our next Millennium Ball.