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Hank Lee’s Cape Cod Conclave 2007

Hank Lee’s Cape Cod Conclave 2007 held a pleasant surprise this year for those who attend regularly. It has been a tradition for the weather to be lousy. This year the weather was gorgeous and more than one attendee took advantage of it with a walk along the seashore.

As with any magic gathering, there were both high and low points. One of the best was the Great Tomsoni and Company. Johnny and Pam are still knocking them dead in the seventies and their Sunday morning lecture on their history was pure delight. How can Pam still be so beautiful after so many years?

Nathan Kranzo was wonderful. I had heard of him but was not familiar with his work. I have become a fan. A wonderfully genuine and talented performer. Jon Allen had problems with getting his props delivered but through the generosity of some of the people was able to put on a marvelous performance. Losander gave away some of his levitation secrets in his lecture and though we all bought his things, we all were painfully aware that they will never look quite as good in our hands. David Regal showed off some of his truly inventive magic and humor. As a bonus, David actually gave away his update of Peter Kane’s Jazz Aces for free! Now, that’s something you seldom see at a convention. Chris Capehart was so good, I actually pulled out my wallet and after shooing away the moths plunked down the cash for his video and a set of linking rings. Wow!

Al Lampkin’s finale for the Friday evening stage show had him putting on a ‘Kiss The Cook’ apron and bringing out a barbecue for a card stab using a barbecue fork. He missed but pro that he is, gave a silly grin and danced off stage to great applause. On the Saturday stage show, James Dimmare looked really classy in his tux making dove after dove appear. Right in the middle of his act, he pulled out a barbecue fork with a card attached. He smiled at the audience and said ‘Is that your card’ The people who hadn’t attended the Friday show didn’t get the joke but the rest of us did and it was wonderful. Losander floated his amazing table and did fabulous things with bubbles.

One of the real highlights for me was mentalist Bob Cassidy. I had heard of him for years but had never seen him. On Saturday night, I had the good fortune to have supper with him and a friend at a small restaurant. You can tell if you’ve had a great time with someone like this if you can talk non-stop for over an hour and not mention magic. A really great and friendly guy. He did tell me that internet piracy is really killing him. Bob said that you can actually download in one file everything that his has ever written. So, don’t do it!

The only major downside that people complained about was the Saturday midnight show. Instead of magic, Hank put out his son’s high school singing group. Now, I’m sure that Hank is a proud dad but the general consensus was that we had paid for magic and this was inappropriate. The show was poorly attended and a lot of the people had left by the time the kids ended.

In the end, a good time was had by all. You always make new friends and meet interesting people. I met a man in the lobby who was showing off his Al Baker book. Turns out he is an actor named Peter Maloney who was actually in John Carpenter’s The Thing. (If you check him out at www.imdb.com, he has several pages of credits). Next year is the 20th Conclave and Hank promises it will be special. It’s already on my calendar. See you there!

About the author… Jim Canaday has been a magic hobbyist for many years and is a member of I.B.M Ring 122 in Boston. For several years, he has also run the Magic Portal website as a resource for magicians. http://mysite.verizon.net/jhcanaday/