Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Join me Friday for a "Houdini Weekend" at the New-York Historical Society

I'm very excited to have been invited to kick off the The New-York Historical Society's "Houdini Weekend" this Friday, July 13, with a talk about "Houdini in New York" and a screening of the excellent PBS documentary, Houdini (2000). Below are details:

Houdini (2000)
Fri, July 13th, 2018 | 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Free with Pay-as-you-wish Friday Night 
To watch Harry Houdini perform was to see a man rush headlong toward death—only to escape it at the last possible moment. He overcame our darkest nightmares: drowning, suffocation, being trapped. No lock could hold him. No entertainer could out-dazzle him. He took his audiences to the brink of tragedy and left them breathless with fear. Discover his adventurous life in this jaw-dropping PBS documentary. Drawing on remarkable film footage and photographs, and featuring commentary by David Copperfield, The Amazing Randi, and E.L. Doctorow, Houdini takes you backstage to meet the man who made his living in an intimate dance with death. Runtime 60 minutes. 
Introduced with a presentation of "Houdini in New York" by John Cox, writer of the popular blog Wild About Harry, member of the world-famous Magic Castle, and consultant on a variety of Houdini-related projects. 
The Robert H. Smith Auditorium at the New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024 
Free as part of our Summer of Magic evenings. Reserve tickets by calling (212) 485-9268 or clicking Reserve Now. Unclaimed tickets will be released ten minutes before the program begins. Full details.

The weekend will continue with:

Houdini’s Needle Swallow & More Parlor Magic!
Saturday, July 14, 2018, 12–4 pm
Step right up to discover parlor magic performed by The Great Dubini! Gasp as he swallows needles in homage to Houdini and marvel at some of the oldest tricks in the history books. Full details.

Meet an Escape Artist!
Sunday, July 15 | 1–4 pm
Be amazed by sideshow and variety performer Adam RealMan and his special tribute to Houdini’s escape acts. Get behind-the-curtain tips on how to magicians free themselves from restraints, and marvel as Adam escapes a straitjacket, rope, and handcuffs! Full details.

The New-York Historical Society's Summer of Magic: Treasures from the David Copperfield Collection exhibition features rare treasures from the Golden Age of Magic, including Houdini's original Milk Can, Metamorphosis trunk, straitjacket, Bess's stage coat, and the Mirror Handcuffs (the first time the cuffs have been shown publicly in some 20 years). The exhibition runs through Sept. 16, 2018.

For more details and a full list of all the upcoming events, check out the New-York Historical Society's website and Facebook.

Hope to see you on Friday!



  1. I so wish I could go to this. I'll have to ask my friend Chris (C.E.L. Welsh) if he plans to attend. Hope you have an awesome time. I know your audience will.

    1. I'm hoping Chris will be there. If not, hoping to meet up with him elsewhere.

  2. BTW, I rewatched this doc last night again (to double check that my talk doesn't overlap info). It's very well done. But one thing that always jumps out at me is the story of Houdini "going out of his way" to view the remains of burned children from a fire. I don't know where this story comes from. I know he went to the sight of a massacre of Jews in Kishinev, Russia to report on it in his Dramatic Mirror column. Is that what this is referencing maybe?

  3. The macabre fascinated Harry. He kept photographs of the grisly remains of people that suffered gruesome deaths.