October 18, 2000 |
After 45 minutes of waiting to have my picture taken with the president at an environmental fund-raiser in a Bel-Air living room, I finally get to the head of the line. What will I say? People are motioning for me to hurry. I approach the president, who it seems is also motioning for me to hurry. "Hello," I say. "Carlos Fuentes says hello. " Talk about currency. The president smiles. "He's my friend," he says, to the chagrin of all the handlers. "We had a terrific dinner together once on Martha's Vineyard with Vargas Llosa and William Styron.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 31, 2013 |
SAN DIEGO -- The special mayoral election is shaping up as a serious affair, with lots of high-tone discussion of restoring integrity to city government after the scandalous downfall of Bob Filner. The campaign leading to the Nov. 19 vote will not be leavened with much humor. For one reason, the clown-prince of San Diego politics -- Loch David Crane, author, magician, Buffalo Bill-lookalike, Star Trek fan, admirer of Merlin and Capt. Kirk -- says he will not be a candidate. For half a dozen mayoral elections, Crane has punctuated his rivals' discussion of taxation and infrastructure by displaying his exploding wallet or repeating one of his favorite slogans: “It's time to change the kitty litter in the cat box at City Hall.” Crane, 65, has stoutly refused to grow up but he has inevitably gotten older.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 1, 1987 |
A magician was burned in a bungled escape trick staged in his backyard after he was denied a permit to perform it in public, but police said they were unaware he would attempt the stunt at home. David Lee Schneider, 32, whose stage name is David Lee, was unable to pull off the escape Friday night. He suffered second-degree and third-degree burns chained inside a burning cage, police said, and was in fair condition Saturday in St. Nicholas Hospital.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 28, 2013 |
John Calvert, a Hollywood illusionist whose magic tricks won him numerous fans as well as several film roles, including three movies during the 1940s in which he played the detective known as the Falcon, has died. He was 102. Calvert died Friday in Lancaster, according to the International Brotherhood of Magicians. No cause was given. Hollywood's Magic Castle said on its Facebook page Friday: "We are very sad to report that Mr. John Calvert, our oldest performing magician, has passed away at the age of 102. " Calvert impressed many of Hollywood's most famous personalities with his sleight-of-hand tricks, and he invited some of them to perform in his stage shows.
October 10, 2009 |
Newbery Medal winner Kate DiCamillo has made a specialty of chronicling animal protagonists who overcome unfortunate circumstances to become better versions of themselves. Whether she's writing about a big-eared mouse who defies familial expectations in "The Tale of Despereaux" or a haughty rabbit who learns humility and the true meaning of love in "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane," her stories are masterful middle-reader gems that inspire, educate and entrance. With her latest book, "The Magician's Elephant," DiCamillo again delivers an elegant and imaginative story, this time centered on a pachyderm mistakenly conjured by a magician in a trick gone wildly wrong.
August 16, 2012 |
"The Magic Life" is an underdeveloped, though largely engaging documentary profiling a trio of magician hopefuls as they attempt to turn their unique avocation into a profitable career. Producer-director Nelson Cheng shows clear respect for his movie's intriguing topic, but the newbie filmmaker's lack of technical and narrative proficiency makes this an underwhelming first effort. On the upside, Cheng has chosen his charming lead subjects wisely. They include the ebullient Yang Yang, a 17-year-old from Beijing who visits America to attend magic school; Matthew Noah Falk, a mid-20s L.A. street magician hamstrung by his high apartment rent; and 30-ish New Yorker Michael Friedland, who exits the business world for a shot at performing at Hollywood's Magic Castle.