Friday, May 30, 2014

Rick D. Wasserman is Houdini

Here's a sensational photo of actor Rick D. Wasserman in full costume and makeup as Houdini in the new Malibu Playhouse production, Flim Flam: Houdini and the Hereafter. This photo is by Brian McCarthy and is one of several posted to the Malibu Playhouse Facebook page. I love this!

(Photo: Brian McCarthy)

Wasserman, who says he's been reading every book and watching every documentary he can on Houdini (as well as working on his sleight of hand with technical advisor Jim Bentley), recently shared his thoughts about Houdini on his blog, Conjuring Harry. Says Rick:

"What makes him so fascinating? Why is he so adored? How did he reach the heights? I believe he was compelled to. Driven. He was obsessed with perfection, attention, respect, and notoriety. He was noted as being a uncontrollable egotist, focused only on ensuring his name went down in history much as it has. Perhaps it was being a child among four brothers that he developed this hunger for attention, and this drive was powerful even from a young age. Druglike, the more attention he received, the more he needed. He was further compelled to become the most well-known something by a need to prove himself an intellectual despite little formal education, a need to make-up for the shame he may have felt when his Rabbi father was dismissed from his job, a need to make sure his mother would never want for anything according to his father’s dying wish, and a need to prove to the world he was the best among the thousands of imitators. This is a key to playing Houdini."

Flim Flam: Houdini and the Hereafter is written by Gene Franklin Smith and directed Thomas James O'Leary. The play is set to debut at the Malibu Playhouse on June 20 with an "Opening Night Gala". The play will then run through August 3rd. (I have a ticket for opening night and will be reviewing it here on WAH.)

Other cast includes Melissa Kite as Bess, Sabra Malkinson as Mina Crandon (aka Margery), Cameron Mitchell Jr as Dr. Leroi Crandon, Peter Van Norden as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Gigi Bermingham as Lady Jean Conan Doyle.

Tickets may be purchased through the box office, online at or by calling 323-960-7711. There will be previews on June 18th and 19th. Malibu Playhouse is located at 29243 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265.

For more information visit the Malibu Playhouse website. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter.


  1. He looks like a combo of Hardeen plus Teller. Sounds like fun!

  2. Ha! He does look a bit like Teller.

    It's the ill-fitting tux that I love. That is so Houdini pre 1900.