Tales from the Magic Crypt, Part 2: Living Artifacts

May 17, 2010

Today’s guest blogger is Richard Hatch, a featured performer of our Magic! exhibition, as well as an instructor of the Museum’s Adult Magic classes. He will be performing a special evening of magic and music with his wife, violinist Rosemary Kimura, accompanied by pianist Jo Ellen Hubert, in Houston on June 12.

The Magic! exhibition currently featured at HMNS is unique in having secured the services of some of the world’s leading magicians to act as “living artifacts,” giving performances both close up and on the stage as an integral part of the exhibit. According to HMNS President Joel Bartsch, “As fascinating as the artifacts are by themselves, we became convinced that they were only “complete” when they were accompanied by performances—in our case both live and taped. It is only when these artifacts are animated and brought to life by talented magicians that the dialogue loop between the artifact and the museum visitor is completed.”

The first performer to headline on the exhibit’s stage was John Carney, one of the world’s greatest sleight of hand artists. John performed at the Museum for the first two weeks, then returned after a two week break to perform for another two weeks. Tomorrow evening, May 18, John will be the featured performer on CBS’s popular “Late Show with David Letterman” which is celebrating a week of close-up magic. In the meantime, a video of John performing his original “invisible” coin routine may be viewed online here and is featured in the Magic! exhibit.

Currently featured as headliner on the exhibit stage is Canadian born magician Christopher Hart, winner of many magic competitions and probably best known for his role as “Thing” in the three Addams Family movies: The Addams Family (1991), Addams Family Values (1993) and Addams Family Reunion (1998). Ironically, Christopher’s stage performance has long featured a vignette with a disembodied hand, which both predates his Addams family role and was independent of his casting in that role. Even more ironic, given his Addams family casting, as a teenager he actually worked as a gravedigger and was nicknamed “Lurch” due to his lanky frame!

Christopher is currently closing his stage performances with this signature piece involving the disembodied hand that comes to life. Other highlights of his current performances at the Museum are his superb card manipulation and a demonstration of pure digital dexterity in which the entire audience is invited to participate! Christopher will only be at the Museum through June 6 so make reservations soon to come see him! He truly is “the real Thing”!

For a full listing of the performance schedule, check out the Live Show site.

To read Richard Hatch’s previous blog click here.
Don’t miss your chance to see Magic!, open now at HMNS.

Authored By Steven Cowan

Steven never dreamed his first job out of college would be in public relations, and on top of that working for one of the top museums in the country. After all, he majored in History at Vassar College. Within three months of graduation, he landed a spot in the PR department and has not looked back since. He is fast becoming a communications fanatic, spending a tremendous amount of his time promoting the museum and all it has to offer.

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