Monday, May 30, 2011

(definitely not) THE END

The show has been over for a few days now. Indian princess Maya is happily climbing rocks somewhere in Iceland, Prof. Carr enjoyed a wild party in New York and has hopefully recovered enough to return to work tomorrow. I ate a lot of ice cream and hung out with my wife, son and in-laws for the last few days. That version of jadoo will never happen again at the Lyric hall, but the jadoo will continue. It is, after all, my life's work. I will see if any other CT theater wants to host a show, then look elsewhere. It will work...

Saturday, May 28, 2011

closing time...

All good things must come to an end, and this was indeed a good thing. We sold out every show and had to turn people away from a few shows. We ended with a good show tonight to a good crowd who seemed very interested in the fate of the beautiful Indian princess Maya in the blade box. Now everyone is off for a well-deserved rest. Alex will party in NYC, Maya will go climbing with her man and I went home with my lovely wife, child and in-laws. It was a truly magical run and I hope to have the opportunity to do this again somewhere somehow. Maybe next time, we'll get that diving duck trick to work. I will use the blog to publicize upcoming shows, and you can always check my website: Have a great holiday weekend. Hope to see you at my next show. Until then, always stop to smell the roses and enjoy the jadoo. -s

Fire juggling!

I will be juggling fire at the Wooster square farmer's market this morning and selling tickets to the final New Haven performance of Jadoo tonight at 7pm. The oversold house last night convinced us to add this final show. A few people who had waited until the last minute to purchase tickets at the door were turned away yesterday due to the Standing Room Only house last night. To assure yourself a seat tonight, book a ticket online @: You don't want to miss the final performance of this magical show!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

held over!!

The response was so overwhelming tonight that we have been held over at the Lyric hall for a final show at 7pm tomorrow night. There will not be a show at noon, but there will be shows at 3 and 7pm. If you purchased tickets to the noon show, you are welcome for either the 3 or 7pm shows. These are my final public shows in New Haven this year. A few people got turned away tonight because the house was full;  to avoid that you should call: 203.419.6338 to reserve your tickets or purchase them online at the show homepage:


The first two shows filled the house, but tonight we are already booked over capacity on pre-sales! There will be a huge crowd at the Lyric tonight. I hope you are able to get tickets at the door since we have shut off online sales for tonight. If you are unable to get a ticket tonight, there are still two shows tomorrow at noon and 3pm. Given the response up to now, I would advise booking those tickets in advance to assure a seat. Our Indian princess flies off to Iceland after the show closes and my lovely wife and I are booked at a friend's wedding, so it will not be possible to extend this show run right now. Sandy is on his way so I'll see some of you tonight!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

and now, some visuals...

I am obviously writing this blog to promote my show, so if you want to see what a more objective source has to say about the show, there is a lovely article in the New Haven Register that you can read below. 

Read it in the paper!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

after the curtain

The show has opened. People came, they laughed, they clapped, some of them may have even felt fear, or disgust, or desire. They felt something and saw something real and they told me they had a great time. No one but me got hurt, and that little cut on my nose from the smashed cinder block will heal quickly, I hope. I'm now tired and hungry and looking forward to a good night's sleep on a bed of springs and cloth and wood. Hope you are all resting nicely tonight, except those of you working night shifts somewhere, I hope you stay awake and safely finish you work. If you missed the show tonight, you have at most four more opportunities to see it. It was a capacity crowd tonight and once the papers hit the stands tomorrow, I expect to sell out a few more shows. Hope to see you at one of them...

opening night!!

It's here. Our director arrives from New York in about two hours. He and I and the lovely Indian princess Maya will proceed to the Lyric hall where Prof. Paul Cornelius Carr will meet us to rehearse a few bits to make sure they go smoothly for you. By 6pm, my lovely wife Geeta will arrive with our nearly one year old son Anand. This will be his first time seeing his father on stage doing magic so I hope I can keep him entertained. I've been practicing that for a year and am getting pretty good at it. The doors to the theater will open before 7pm giving you a chance to peek into the hall of wonders and prepare for an evening of fusion Indian magic unlike anything you have ever seen or will ever see again. Tickets have been selling quickly and once the article comes out in the newspaper tomorrow, I expect them to sell out quite quickly so don't be left out. Buy your tickets today. See you tonight, tomorrow or friday or saturday afternoon, at the Lyric....

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

crunch time

Dress rehearsals and tech all day today. Have an interview lined up with a reporter from the local paper, a photo shoot and lots more rehearsals. Many of our props were damaged in the massive theater flood last week. I thought the main risk to theaters was fire, but then at the opening night of Tea Co.'s production of 'Boys' at the Tinfish theater in Chicago years ago, there was rain water running into the theater building! You will all be safe at the Lyric hall, but we are still assessing damage to our props and cleaning them off so we can use them. The knives were quite rusted but Alex shined them right up and they look great now. Tickets are selling briskly so to save your seat, buy yours today. Even if we sell out all five shows as I am sure we will, it's not likely that we will recoup the money we have put into the show so far. That is not so good for me, but is great for you. It means you are going to see a show whose tickets should be priced at least $20-$25 but you will pay only $15, (or $10 for discounted tickets). I will not do this show again for this price, so it's a very good deal for you. See you soon.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Blade Box!!

Am off to borrow the blade box from Todd Robbins today. There is sadly no magical way to avoid the rush hour traffic into the city this morning. If I had "real" magic powers, my show would not be worth seeing. It is impressive to realize that a regular guy with a job, a wife and a kid makes time to practice and put together an Indian magic show for you with almost no chance of even breaking even on it. I'm definitely more of an artist than a businessman, much to my wife's chagrin. The t-shirts are in and they are lovely. If you'd like one, let me know and we'll think about making up a few more. We might have a few to sell at the show, just a few. The lower of these two photos shows Marshall Brodien performing the Blade Box. It's quite an illusion. Once I get it back to New Haven this afternoon, we have to figure out how to perform it on our own; we have no instructions, our director cannot come by today, and the secret to this trick is not on the internet. It's nice to have a few mysteries in life. I just hope our Indian princess Maya will be able to learn without getting hurt.... will keep you posted...

Monday, May 16, 2011


Now it's time to really hit the streets with the post cards, make some posters, and try to get us on radio and television. India magicians are good at publicizing themselves; they all call themselves "World's Greatest Magician," except my uncle, who was just "India's Youngest." Since there are no other Indian magicians working professionally in the US, I am in the lucky position of not having to exaggerate my credentials or my show. No one else in the world is a second generation Indian magician mixing Indian magic with western magic into a fun and exciting fusion Jadoo show. My show has packed houses and received rave reviews in Boston, Chicago, Portland, Jaipur, Pune (see samples). It is now your turn to see a new and improved version of this show in New Haven. Alexander Marshall is working with us to keep the show smooth, clean, fast-paced logical and fun, lots of fun. We are all very exhausted from our work so far and we still have more work to do preparing a fun evening of jadoo for all of you. You can't cook us a meal or give us a massage to energize us, but you can start buying show tickets to help cheer us up. The paypal option costs us (not you!) $0.75 per ticket, so we are making an arrangement so people can prepay with cash. I would hate for anyone to miss out on the opportunity to see this show in New Haven, but there are only 5 shows and 50 seats in each show, so if you wait until the last minute, there is a chance you will have to stand, or you may not be admitted to the lovely lyric hall. I would hate to have that happen to any of my friends, so do yourself a favor and buy your tickets now to assure yourselves a seat. See you next Wed, Thurs, Fri, or Saturday. I've got nails to pound and papers to grade.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

rope trick?

People are crowded around gawking in awe at the wondrous Indian Rope trick. A rope has emerged from a basket and a small boy has climbed the rope. We will do a version of this iconic Indian trick in our new show that opens on the 25th and you will be able to have as close a view as these people have since every seat in the house is a really good one. My challenge is to hide a few things from you on a stage with such unforgiving sight lines. It's interesting; I'm really glad to have to opportunity to work with the best director in the world for this show. Watching him work with our circus ringmaster, even for a short while yesterday, reminded me of all the things I can't do in life, including direct people. At the moment, I can't even get an Indian restaurant to sponsor the show. Hopefully that will change very soon so you can all have tea and samosas before or after the show. Do you have a favorite Indian place in New Haven? Let me know and I will contact them. I am still waiting to hear from the owners of the new place Cumin India, and from our friends at Sitar.

In other news, I recently found that that in addition to my lovely wife, my director likes ice cream, so I am going to have to be extra careful not to have too much when I take them both to Ashley's ice cream. I'm not particularly vain, but when you know you are going to be taking your shirt off on stage in a few days, you think about things a little differently. Am also doing as many workouts as I can between now and then, just to keep in shape. I won't look quite like Hritik Roshan or Shah Rukh Khan, but I will do the best I can to present a pleasing look in my show. Feel free to tell me how you think I did when you talk with me after the show. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

let's roll...

At some point, you just have to do it: jump off the building, submit the paper, or physically fight with the terrorists who have hijacked your airplane. For this show, today is that day. Our esteemed director is on a train from Grand Central station, our co-producer John Cavaliere will prepare the Lyric Hall for our work and the cast is hopefully excited to meet each in person and start to build the bonds of trust that will need in order to present such a dangerous and taxing show to all of you in two weeks. How does the writer/producer/magician feel right now? I don't think that matters much to you. What matters is that we do what we need to do in the next two weeks so that when you come for the show, you see a wonderful, magical, fun fusion Indian magic show. And we will do the work. The Palshikar family has been doing magic for two generations and the Marshalls have too. Between these two families, there is at least two centuries of showbiz experience. It's not just two weeks of rehearsals, but two lifetimes of rehearsals coming together today.

A concerned parent recently wrote the following about this show to our friends: "We got a card through school, I think, announcing an Indian Magic Show ("jadoo").  Do you know anything about it?  Are you planning on going?  Is this kid friendly? It takes place May 25-28, at the Lyric Hall on Whalley Ave. Her is their website: Thanks for your thoughts.  I am not sure this is for my kids ...." She was asking for our friend's opinion, but I will provide you with my opinion. I am a parent and if my child can keep quiet and not disturb other spectators in the show, I will let him watch the matinee shows. The week night shows are past his bedtime so he is not allowed at those. My own brother, who is a Mormon (ever heard of a liberal/secular/rational Mormon?) would bring his kids for this show, as would my sister who regularly attends an evangelical Friends (Quaker) church. My mom, who thought that the movie 'Goodwill hunting' was "pornographic" would bring her grandchildren for this show. But they are all related to me. My guess is that if you believe in creationism and are trying to teach that to your children, if you are a fundamentalist or a fanatic of any religions, there might be something in this show that will offend you. Children are actually not easily offended. It's the adults of a certain conservative religious persuasion I worry about. If you think that seeing an image of Hillary Clinton in a newspaper may stimulate sexual feelings in you, as the editors of the conservative Hasidic Jewish newspaper Der Tzitung assert will happen, then you should not come to the show and you may actually need some serious therapy to treat hypersexuality, or priapism, or some terrible psychological condition. But if you are a normal, rational, fun-loving human (other primates who can come up with $10 are welcome too if they don't cause trouble) I think this show will be appropriate for you and your kids. If not, talk to my wife after the show and try to get her to give you your money back. It's worth a try, but just remember she is a Gujarati.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Rajas, Maharajas and a Rani?

Tickets are selling briskly. We will keep you posted as dates sell out. This is not hyperbole. There are only 50 seats in the theater. This makes for an intimate evening of Indian illusions, but makes it likely that some people who want to see the show and wait until the last minute to buy their tickets will miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity. I hate to sound like a TV salesman when I write that, but this is absolutely true. When was the last time you saw an Indian magician? Seriously, when? When do you expect another one to come through New Haven? Well there you go. It's not hyperbole or press hype, it is a fact: this is literally a once in a lifetime opportunity that you can tell your children about, or better yet, bring them so they can tell their children about it. I don't plan to do the bed of nails much after this show closes. It hurts too much, I'm getting old, and I actually have a day job that pays the bills, so I'm really doing this show as a thank you to all my New Haven friends old and new who made the past few years here fun.

You might think I'm exaggerating when I say you will have the opportunity to see an Indian princess in my show. Again, I am not. Maya, our mysterious Indian princess, is descended from the royal family of Cochin. When I was in Cochin in February, they said she is welcome to visit, but being communists, they are quite happy to have the former royal palace open to the public as a museum. Above are some pictures of Raja Rama Varma I of Cochin, an ancestor of our mysterious Indian princess Maya. If you are really curious to know how they are related, you are welcome to ask her in person after the show if you come. As you can see, Raja Varma knew how to dress the part of king with a lovely cape, tassels and a big turban. We are still deciding what his descendant princess Maya will wear in the show. What would you like to see her wear?

Monday, May 9, 2011

ticket sales

At the request of one of our future show guests, we have made the ticket sales procedure on the website much easier. Now when you buy a ticket, you will pick the show date, time, and select whether it is full price or a discounted price. We are offering discounts to students, seniors, and military. My lovely wife Geeta will be working the door at the event and she is very efficient and very good with money.  We try to be a little like Vegas so you can tip her extra for a better seat. Seriously, though we would appreciate the money, all the seats in the Lyric Hall have an excellent view of the stage. And if you want to see from a better angle, we will invite many of you up on stage to inspect the bed of nails or to participate in a fun interactive magic or mind reading demonstration. See you soon....

Sunday, May 8, 2011

cool marathi?

Everyone knows that the coolest Marathis are Sachin Tendulkar and Madhuri Dixit (Nene). Lata and Asha are too classy to be just 'cool.' They are living legends. The most successful Marathi magician in Bombay today is Satish Deshmukh, seen in the first two photos here. He's doing a great business as the premiere corporate magician of Mumbai and I'm really glad for him. As you can see, he's suave, he has a mustache, and the Deo sisters should be proud to know that he's originally from Nashik. I happen to think that the coolest contemporary Bollywood actor is Nana Patekar, pictured in lower two photos. He can probably sing and dance a bit, but, and this is rare in Bollywood, he can actually act. I used to want to work in Bollywood, and still wouldn't mind, (if anyone with the right connections is reading this: my Hindi and my acting training skills are far better than most current Bollywood stars and my wife can surely get me to dance as necessary). As pointed out in a popular Marathi movie, Bollywood may be in Bombay/Mumbai, but it's run basically by non Marathi people: Khans and Bacchans and Chopras and Kapoors. Somehow Nana Patekar has made his way in this business for decades and it's because he's a damn good actor. Unlike most other Bollywood actors, when you see Patekar on screen, you do no think he's a rich Bombay boy, you think he is whatever character he is trying to portray in that film. This is rare in Bollywood as anyone who has seen a few films realizes most of the top actors are still stuck in a Tom Cruise cool guy 'acting' style. Patekar reminds me of the great character actor of the last generation, Nana Palshikar (not relation, sadly, or I by now I would have more than an uncredited walk on part in Rajkumar Santoshi's 'Ghatak' in my Bollywood resume) who worked for decades and really did act. Next time you see a shaved, six-pack sporting Punjabi guy on steroids dancing and hamming it up in front of a Bollywood camera, please do enjoy it. But if you want to see acting, look for Nana Palshikar or Nana Patekar in a film. If it's a Hindi film, they won't be in a leading role, because my people don't run Bollywod just yet, and we probably never will. But that's okay. We don't really like doing crunches, or taking steroids, or even doing that silly Punjabi harvest dance called the Bhangra. The serious and very relevant question that the images above pose for me is how to cut my hair for my upcoming show. Shorter like Patekar/Daniel Craig or longer like Deshmukh. What do you think?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

fire & knives...

Local insurance regulations prevent me from performing fire juggling in my upcoming show. Actually, the fact that the theater owner and I are choosing to follow local laws that makes us choose not to have me juggle fire in the theater for the show. So if you want to see me juggle fire and knives, come to the Art Walk in Edgewood Park today. I will be there, with fire and knives, and a few other tricks from the show. I will perform these tricks and ask for money and hand our post cards to promote the show. It's a lovely day in New Haven and this sounds like a fun, family friendly event.

The other big news is that two move people have joined the jadoo crew. Jill Von Danger is a producer, an actress and a dancer. Alex is a martial artist, an actor, a circus ringmaster and a likely co-director of covert activities. We had a nice meeting last night and they will be joining today to play in the park for a while. It's far too nice of a day to be sitting online. Get out and enjoy the real world for a little while. You may be surprised and find you like it more than this fake world. Real fire burns and real knives are prone to cutting your hands when you juggle them. Come see if any of this will happen to me today as I try out these stunts that I haven't practiced in years live in front of a (hopefully) paying audience that could include... you. See you soon.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Every Indian magician claims to be the greatest magician. Magicians are not shy or humble, but this is a specifically Indian magician problem. Our dear director's late and great father billed himself as "one of the better cheaper acts," Penn & Teller call themselves "eccentric guys who do a few cool tricks." It is true that Seigfried and Roy were billed as "Masters of the Impossible," but they are really Germans. Even David Blaine and Chriss Angel never call themselves the "greatest," though they both must think quite highly of themselves. Good for them; one had tv specials that paid over  million dollars each and aired prime time on NBC and the other had a regular tv show and currently has a Vegas show produced by Franco Dragone entertainment group, which does call itself the " the world's most spectacular show maker." I do not claim to be the greatest or the fastest or the youngest (my uncle used to bill himself as "India's Youngest Magician" for some years:). I can honestly and without hyperbole assure you that my show is unlike any other in the world because I have spent my life creating it. It is true art in the sense that I do it not for the money, (though that is necessary to pay for the props and to keep the lights on in the theater) but to share Indian magic with you. I can go and visit India any time and see the best or the worst of Indian magic (sometimes they are equally entertaining), but this is a world that is closed off to even most Indians. So once in a while, I make the effort to show people a few things from this world in a lovely theater at a price anyone can afford. This isn't marketing speak, it's the truth: if you choose not to see this show, you will miss a once in a lifetime opportunity to see Indian magic. If you do come, it's an evening you will never forget as long as you live and one that will never be repeated. See you soon..

Lyric Hall, ticket sales

Since I have begun to really publicize the show this week, people have been asking me about the show venue, the Lyric Hall. Rather than repeat endlessly what I have heard from others, below is a link to an article about the space from the New Haven Independent. It is truly a magical space and the owner John Cavaliere is an artistic visionary who is helping to revive the Westville village arts scene by reviving an original 1913 music hall. I'm not just saying that because he's co-producing the show either. I considered several venues and decided to produce the show in his venue because it is the perfect place for this show. Once local magicians, jugglers and circus people see this space, I suspect there will be other shows there in coming years, but there will never be another Indian magic show, unless this one is such a success that we make it an annual event.

Ticket sales have begun and I would hate to have anyone miss out on this rare opportunity to see a real fusion Indian magic show because a ticket was not available at the last minute. Some people who are not able to attend the show in person have already begun buying tickets to donate to low income local children who would otherwise never have a chance to see a live magic show. Student discount tickets are only $10, and can be purchased on the show website: 

Lyric Hall

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

post cards...

The post cards are printed and they look wonderful. You will start to see them all over New Haven and if you don't see any at your favorite hangout, let me know and I'll put some there. I printed 5000, so we have enough for you. If you don't live in New Haven and you want one, let me know and I will send it to you. After all, that is the original purpose of POST cards. Had a great phone chat with our director, and we are likely adding a few new people to the team this week. Will tell you more once the deals are sealed. Above are images of two tricks we are working on for the show. The Indian rope trick is likely the most famous Indian magic trick and the East Indian Needle Mystery is almost as famous. People in the 19th and early 20th centuries flocked to India looking for the rope trick, while magicians from the great Harry Houdini to Thurston and even my mentor Teller have performed the Indian needle trick for over a hundred years. Some magicians (including my uncle) swallow razor blades, but Teller explained that there is a certain lovely logic to threading needles; 'threading' razor blades makes no sense; it's just a strange self-mutilation demonstration. In an effort to keep the show aesthetically pleasing and family friendly, I will attempt the needle trick with a strong caution to children not to try it at home as it is the work of a trained professional. The exact version of the Rope Trick that I perform is still being decided but I have a very excellent director of covert activities who is also a physics graduate student working on what will hopefully be a pretty amazing version. There is of course only one way to find out how it all comes together: come see it all live May 25-28 at the Lyric Hall. Ticket are on sale now so buy one today to assure yourself a seat: