‘Houdini’ in performance

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The Friends of the Idyllwild Library announce their upcoming annual meeting at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Rainbow Inn. After the ratification of new officers for the

Artist rendering - Harry Houdini. Stock art.

Artist rendering - Harry Houdini. Stock art.

Friends, reports from the former office holders, and summary transactions of new business, an invitation is extended to all attendees for the annual performance event, which features noted local actor Duffy Hudson in a live personification of the great illusionist Harry Houdini.

Nearly 90 years following his death, the name “Houdini” still resounds with a special mysterious cachet that few stage magicians or performers of any era can approximate. Arising from a desperate Central European background and virtually forced to be on the move from birth, first to Wisconsin and later to New York City, Houdini adopted not only his name but his character from the world of the stage, thus adding a personal touch to his act that few even today would dare to attempt.

Following his debut at age 25, the young man continued his fascination with his adopted performing skill that led to the long line of iron chains, sealed water tanks and prison cells that he demonstrated as not “escape-proof” time after time. Furthermore, Houdini’s reputation as the first and foremost debunker of ordinary practitioners of the conjuring art would seal his place in the history of stage magic — even if his best-known performances took place in much larger arenas.

Hudson is well qualified to represent the gentleman magician, through his extensive researches of the subject as well as his stage presence. One only has to remember Hudson’s extraordinary personifications of most of the major characters in his adaptation of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” as well as other solo efforts involving various authors.

The Friends certainly expect another straight-ahead performance at this event, where light refreshments will be provided and a genial and somewhat excited atmosphere certainly will prevail.

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