Tag Archives: magician

What Houdini ate: An Austin archive reveals foodie facts about the magician…

Eric Colleary, curator of the theater and performing arts collection at the Ransom Center, has a side interest: The history of foodways, how eating habits and culinary practices change through the eras.

Colleary maintains a blog, The American Table, in which he documents his experiences trying historic recipes for dishes such as Election Cake  and delves into topics such as the story of butchering in America.

“Food hits all the senses,” says Colleary. “Tasting foods made from historic recipes gives you a sense of the labor, the skill, the economy, the geographic and historical influences, and the palate of a person.”

And so when he set out to organize an exhibit in conjunction with the 90th anniversary of Harry Houdini’s death, Colleary culled the Ransom Center’s collection of the magician’s papers and books for any information on what the famous illusionist liked to eat.

Says Colleary: “For a figure like Houdini, (understanding what he ate) cuts through the legend directly to the person, who, like everyone else, has to eat.”

The Houdini exhibit, on view through Nov. 6, dovetails with “Houdini Speaks to the Living,” a new play devised from the Ransom Center’s Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle collections to imagine the two men in a debate about the true nature of magic. Read more….


Magician Criss Angel on Becoming a Human Shish Kabob for His New TV Special..

PEOPLE Now caught up with the illusionist on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, and the star dished all about his one-hour television special coming to A&E Wednesday.

“I’ve done more hours of magic on television than any magician in the history of TV — that’s a fact — and I’ve never done anything as exciting as this show tonight,” said Angel, 48. “Over 40 crazy demonstrations in an hour! We blow people’s minds.”

One of his most astonishing tricks? When he turns himself into a human shish kabob — “a Criss Kabob,” if you will — much to the shock of the restaurant’s patrons.

“I spin, and a sword goes through me that they use to hold the meat,” said Angel, quipping: “I’m healing good.”… Read more…