Category Archives: Memorablia

Who’s Who in Magic!

I clicked onto Canada’s Magic the other morning and saw the subject matter was “The top 100 notable Montrealers”. It didn’t say “The top 100 notable Montrealers in magic”, so my first thought was “What does this have to do with magic..Later in the article it says, like some mind readers might do,  that the reader must be wondering why they bring that up. What does that have to do with magic?

Then I thought there must be a magician in the list. The most popular magician I could think of in Montreal today is Luc Langevin. Almost everyone who walks into the shop asks for a trick they saw Luc Langevin do on TV. But as popular as he is, would it be possible for him to be among the 100 top notables?

And then I read on. This was an article from the Gazette that Canada Magic was referring to and it was from the year 1999. That was 13 years ago. Luc must have been about 16 years old. He was doing magic then, but he was not a household name yet. So who was it. You guessed right. It was “Magic Tom” Auburn. Tom died on January 3, 199o. Nine years after his death he makes the list.  That’s impressive.

Here’s a photo of Magic Tom few have seen. Do you know who the others are? Does it bring back a memory or two?

Can YOU name all three?

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Filed under Magic, Memorablia

Restaurant Magic – Boom Years in Montreal!.

There once was a time, in the 70’s and 80’s and even before and after, that Montreal was a haven for restaurant magicians.  I’d like to name them all, but I don’t know or remember them all. Mark Aronoff, an ex-Montrealer who now lives in Ottawa, helped jog my memory and filled some facts I didn’t know.

I know for sure Magic Tom (Auburn) did walk around magic at the Sheraton downtown for Sunday morning brunch. When George Schindler was in town Phil and I took him to see  Tom and it was a delight. Magic Tom was also a regular at Piazza Tomasso for children’s parties. I remember him  performing at my nephew’s birthday party but I believe that was in the late 60’s. Tom was also a regular every week-end in later years at Grey Rocks in the Laurentians.

Mark filled me in with the following details about himself and some magicians he worked with, etc. I’ll just quote him…

“Hi Evelyn,

Nice speaking with you today. I forgot to give you the name of the restaurant that I worked at before Le Biftheque. That restaurant was Mille Fleurs Restaurant & Reception run by Phil Bloom, it’s gone now but was located at 5011 Buchan Street (near Pare). I did their Sunday Brunch for several months. This is where I met Michael Seltzer, who then hired me for Le Biftheque restaurant for Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. Later, while working at Le Biftheque, I met the marketing people for Restaurant La Maison Kam Fung and was hired to do their Saturday and Sunday Dim Sum in the mornings. After a few months I brought in Joey Incollingo to take over one of the days at Kam Fung. I guess we should thank Doug Henning for this resurgence of Magic in the 80’s.

Take Care,

Mark”

Joey  Incollingo was also doing magic at St. Hubert Bar-B-Q. Also filling in for Mark Aronoff at the Biftheque was Mehdi, Ted Outerbridge, and Mike Etcovitch. Later Philip and Henry worked at Le Biftheque as well.  Philip was a ventriloquist but also a magician.

In the conversation that he refers to he said that Aladin had a regular Sunday brunch gig at the Sheraton. He had a small stage show and then did walk around magic. Mehdi had a similar set up at the Ramada.

Jonathan Levey worked at Le Tulip Noir and also at the Hotel de la Montagne.

Ted Outerbridge did table hopping at Wings and Things on Sherbrooke St. W and later at Mother Tucker’s.

Mike Etcovitch and Jack Frank did magic for a restaurant on Decarie, near Piazza Tomasso. (Nifties).

Blair Marshall had a weekly gig at the Delta.

Brian Zembic, the Wiz, did magic for Thursdays and was popular with the night crowd.

Michel Corriveau opened a magic Restaurant on  Blvd St. Laurent and Gary Kurtz and a host of other magicians worked there.

Mehdi, Richard Sanders. Patrick Kuffs, and Jonathan Levy also worked at Bourbon Street.

And how could we possibly forget Ronald MacDonald? He was in every week buying balloons and magic? I included a youtube of a Ronald McDonald but not our Ronald McDonald.

I’m sure this is the tip of the iceberg, and some of it may be wrong…so please feel free to correct me and make additions to the list.

Regarding other Canadian cities, I know in Vancouver that  Tony Eng was a regular at  the Japanese Village; Roy Cottee performed at the Japanese village in Ottawa. Jon Charles performed regularly at a restaurant in  Edmonton. And I know Toronto had magicians performing because we were in a restaurant that had one, who wouldn’t perform at our table because he recognized Phil and was intimidated by performing for another magician. He told us that later when we asked why he didn’t come to our table. Our guests were disappointed.

So if you have information about yourself or any other magician you know that worked in a restaurant, I’d love you to share that information with us.

A big thank you to Mark Aronoff, for his help!

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Filed under Magic, Memorablia, Performing, Restaurant Magic

Dr. Joe

One of my early blogs was about grandparents. During the summer Dr. Joe Schwarcz came up to the shop with his beautiful granddaughter Adira, who is 5 ¾ years old. It seems she’s a chip off the old block, so to speak, and has a love for magic.

Dr. Joe first came to our shop in the 1970’s. He and a couple of his colleagues put together a wonderful magic show called The Magic of Chemistry, which they have only performed over 200 times. If you didn’t see it, you missed something special.

Anyhow, Adira, it seems is an old hand at magic. She had this and she had that, but I showed her a few tricks she had not seen before. There was no fooling her, however. I had fooled many an adult, but she knew exactly what must have happened in order for the effect to have taken place. Joe and I had a few good laughs watching her. I think she’s hanging out with her Grandpa too much. Even though she figured everything out, and I mean everything, she still appreciated it and if she liked it she took it. Now he’s teaching her paper tears

Watch out you guys (and gals)! Your competition is not far behind.

While on the subject of Dr. Joe, as he is known in Montreal both on radio CJAD 8OO on Sunday afternoons and through his regular column in The Montreal Gazette in Saturday’s paper, in which he demystifies chemistry and tells us all sorts of fascinating facts; he is a great fan of Randi and I somewhere I have a photo of Randi and Joe sitting at a table at Magie Montreal, 1998 but I can’t find it. I mention this because Randi is coming to lecture at McGill University very soon.

So I had some other photos of Randi lecturing at Magie Montreal and one with some of my family. Enjoy.

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Filed under "Amazing Randi", Brian Matlin, CJAD Radio, Evelyn Matlin, Grandparents and Magic, Julie Matlin, Magic, Magie Montreal, McGill University, Memorablia, Perfect Magic, Phil Matlin

“Magic Tom”

Several years ago, maybe ten, Réjean Pagé, magician, friend, and customer of ours asked if I could help him on a project. He wanted to create a website for Magic Tom, to honour and remember him and the impact he had on Quebecers during his lifetime. He had tried to get copies of the weekly TV shows Magic Tom performed but it seems they were not saved nor could he get any information from anyone. We gave Réjean the phone number of Tom’s son and he got in touch with him. Soon after Tom’s son phoned us to ask who this guy Réjean Pagé, is and if he could trust him, etc. We assured him Réjean was a sincere person who would do his best to create a worthy memorial to his father.

A meeting was arranged in our shop and Tom’s son, Byron, daughter, Darleen, Réjean, Phil and I had a meeting that brought tears to all our eyes, and hugs all around. His son had brought a box full of photos and memorabilia, which he gave to Réjean to use for the website. It was a moment to remember. A treasure chest if there ever was one. Réjean did not disappoint.

Five years ago we moved from 4781 Van Horne to 4755 Van Horne to a smaller location, a few Suites down the hall. In the old shop our walls were lined with 8×10 photos but in this shop there is simply no room for them. I took them out of their frames and kept them in envelopes.

When I started writing this blog about 2 months ago, I looked through photos for subject matter and came that envelope and found pictures that Tom has given to us as he felt they should be passed on to someone who cared about magic history. So I will share these photos with you. Enjoy. And if I made a mistake or if you know the name of someone I couldn’t name kindly put it in the comment section below. Thank you and enjoy.

Tom did give us a couple of clues. On the back of one he wrote Tom Auburn and Blackstonetaken backstage at Her Majesty’s Theatre during 2nd World War. Theatre now demolished.

On another was written, Late Danté and Magic Tom during II World War Days at His Majesty’s Theatre and On another Mandrake and Velvet 1956.


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Filed under "Magic Tom" Auburn, Memorablia, Perfect Magic