IBM Ring 59 Newsletter and Meeting Announcement
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Vol. XXII No. 1 January 2016
Next Meeting
Monday, January 4, 2016
Trumbull Public Library


Something Utilizing a Box

Pre-meeting Workshop 7:30pm
Working with the Linking Rings

'Sherlock' Star Benedict Cumberbatch to Become 'The War Magician' in Movie Adaptation of David Fisher Bestseller

Benedict Cumberbatch was chosen to play the titular role in "The War Magician," a movie based on a book of the same name by David Fisher.

The "Sherlock" actor will suit up as magician and illusionist Jasper Maskelyne, who helped defeat the Nazis during the Second World War with his mind-boggling magic tricks and illusions.

According to Variety, this news comes as the first concrete development of the project since it was announced back in 2003. Tom Cruise and producing partner Paul Wagner prompted the film adaptation with two previously attached directors eventually exiting the project.

"The Maskelyne character is so different from the one that Benedict portrayed in 'The Imitation Game' in that Maskelyne was very outgoing and confident," Bob Cooper, one of the chiefs of Storyscape Entertainment, said. "We think this is a perfect blend of acting talent with material," he added.

As per The Guardian, Cumberbatch played the role of the codebreaker and mathematics alumnus Alan Turing in the historical drama thriller "The Imitation Game," which hit the silver screen earlier this year.

Titular hero Maskelyne teamed up with what he called The Magic Gang in order to trounce the Nazis. As per Fisher's book's description, Maskelyne performed various camouflage methods that helped them "hide" the Suez Canal along with 150,000 men with 1,000 guns and tanks, conjure up fake armies and make trucks look like tanks.

The illusionist, who made it to Adolf Hitler's blacklist, also concealed the Alexandria harbor and conjured a dummy version of it where the German bombers launched bombing raids, giving them the impression that they hit their target even though they did not.

Maskelyne also created mirrors that blinded the Nazi pilots. This trick helped his troops go undetected by the enemies. It was through him that General Rommel and the Germans in North Africa were defeated. He is also credited in the victory in the Battle of El Alamein, which he pulled off by creating a bogus army in the middle of the desert.

At present, "The War Magician" is on the lookout for a director. Gary Whitta, whose known for his work in "The Book of Eli" and is currently attached to "Star Wars: Rogue One" and Mark Millar's "Starlight," will be writing the script for the film.

Cumberbatch will also play another magical role in the form of Marvel superhero and sorcerer "Doctor Strange" in a standalone Marvel movie. No word yet on when "The War Magician" will hit the theaters. 


Each month I will try to post a new online crossword with a printable copy available as well. This month's crossword is themed on card magic. To play the online version, click the puzzle image above.

To get the printable pdf version, click here.


Coming Events

  • Jan 27-30, 2016 KIDabra Midyear Conference: KAX
    Oxnard, CA, United States
  • Mar 11-12, 2016 NEMCON 35
    Cromwell, CT, United States
  • Apr 14-17, 2016 Oceanside Magic Invitational
    South Yarmouth, Massachusetts, United States
  • June 12-24, 2016 Florida Magic Camp
    Melbourne, Florida, United States
  • July 2-5, 2016 IBM - International Brotherhood of Magicians
    San Antonio, Texas, United States
  • July 13-16, 2016 S.A.M. National Convention
    Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
  • Aug 14-17, 2016 MAGIC Live!
    Las Vegas, United States
  • Sept 29 - Oct 1, 2016 Atlanta Harvest Of Magic
    Atlanta, GA, United States

Teller Takes on The Tempest in the Toddlin Town

Teller and the Chicago Shakespeare Theater have a hit on their hands with The Tempest.   Labeled  “Shakespeare’s most magical play,” the Windy City critics have fallen hard for Teller’s take on the play.

Chicago television station WTTW interviewed Teller and the creative folks with whom he has worked to stage The Tempest at the Navy Pier.  The production is set in a traveling tent-show during the Dust Bowl and the unique stage allows the audience to be on three sides while the illusions are performed.

Teller is not adding tricks to a show but bringing the classic story to life through magic.

He explained, “One of the challenges of Shakespeare for a contemporary audience is to make clear all of these ideas that are sometimes realized only in the language, and since the language is hundreds of years old it helps to assist that language with strong visual things. For this show, which is about magic, supporting that with magic that is visual really helps to clarify what’s going on.”

Through the integrated illusions, Teller allows the audience to see the effects the exiled Duke of Milan character performs to befuddle and battle his foes.

Magic, says Teller, gets its edge because “it’s not a comfortable form to watch. You don’t just sit back and let magic wash over you because it’s seriously contradicting all your experience, so what you see is coming into collision with what you know and there’s a sort of explosion that’s very exciting, but it also jars you out of your seat. You don’t watch a magic event like this [strikes a relaxed pose] you watch it on the edge because you’re watching both as a complicit participant and as somebody who’s trying to catch it out, and the excitement of that tension gives it a whole different way to watch a show.”

We pride ourselves on being very uncomfortable to watch – even when not performing magic.  Just eating spaghetti can be unnerving to witness.

Our beloved Cubs are in the playoffs for the first time since 2008 and Teller’s The Tempest is at the Navy Pier – magic is in the air.

Check out the full article on Teller and The Tempest here.

Message from the President

I got several messages from members last month, the Friday before, asking if there was going to be a meeting. I've begun putting out our newsletter by the 15th of the proceeding month. This gives you all a chance to prepare for the coming meeting's theme, should you choose to rehearse a piece. I can also alert you to the workshop and any special activities, like the auction, where time to prepare or gather items might be helpful. I'm sorry if my not being "last minute" with the newsletter is throwing some members off.

I'm hoping to have a brief business meeting in January to adopt a budget for the rest of the year. This is another move in my attempt to keep meetings focused on magic and fellowship as versus the nuts and bolts of running the club. With a budget in place, committees can move forward with planning and programming without continually coming back to the membership for approval of funding.

I hope all of you who are active performers got lots of holiday bookings. Happy New Year to all!

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