Thursday, July 8
The Great Tomsoni and Company
The Great Tomsoni & Company (Poland's Finest Magician) are versatile performers with a background of music, magic, comedy and drama. John Thompson (The Great Tomsoni) got his start in show business as a musician and musical arranger. He has toured and recorded with 'Jerry Murad's Harmonicats,' 'The Harmonica Gang' and 'The Harmonica Jazz Quartet.'
He later joined forces with a comedy team with whom he coauthored and co-performed three record-breaking revues for the New York and Chicago Playboy Clubs. It was during this period that he developed his successful comedy magic act, The Great Tomsoni. John continued his comedy magic career in the Nevada casino venues as a supporting act for such stars as Carol Channing, Eddie Fisher and Ed Ames, the Pointer Sisters, Jose Feliciano, Robert Goulet, Brenda Lee, B.J. Thomas, Vic Damone, Diahann Carroll and the list goes on.
When wife and partner Pamela Hayes, actress and comedienne, joined the act, the billing became 'The Great Tomsoni and Company.' The Great Tomsoni and Company have been the recipients of many awards; Stage Magician of the Year, Society of American Magician's 'Superstar of Magic' award; Academy of Magical Arts' highest award; the 'Performing Fellowship'; Prince Rainer's 'Prix S.B.M.'; Magiques de Monte Carlo, Europe's most prestigious magic award.
John has recently been working as a consultant to his protege Lance Burton and to Penn & Teller and has just finished an I-Max movie with Sigfried and Roy. Last year he did the 'Oakridge Boys Live in Las Vegas,' the World's Greatest Magic and the PBS Special, 'The Art of Magic.' John has also received the most prestigious Masters Fellowship award from the Academy of Magical Arts.
Friday, July 9
Ask Zimmerman about his influences, and have a pencil ready. Steeped in musical theatre, he was fascinated at an early age with the ingenious economy of Irving Berlin, the witty innuendo of Cole Porter and the high-wire rhyme and reason of Stephen Sondheim.
You can hear The Beatles and The Beach Boys in there, but folk influences loom large as well -- Phil Ochs' unapologetic blend of humor and politics, Pete Seeger's unflagging commitment to social justice, The Roches' eccentric soulfulness.
Woody Guthrie, The Weavers and Dylan are obvious lights in Roy's pantheon. Other favorite writers are Tom Lehrer for his hilarious and impeccably crafted topicality, Ani DiFranco for her marriage of brilliance and bravery and Joni Mitchell for her seamless union of sound and sense. You can sample his work on Roy's YouTube channel.
"There's nothing funny about World Peace," Roy observes. "Social Justice never killed at The Comedy Store. If we ever attain a worldwide consciousness of peace and justice, I'll be happily out of a job. But as long as power corrupts, I'll absolutely have a career."
Zimmerman lives in Marin County with his wife and frequent co-writer Melanie Harby and their two boys.
The HAM Party II: Talent Show and Party
Do you have a talent? Apply now for a slot in The Ham Party II by writing to Alison@randi.org with your full name and details on what you hope to perform. If you are chosen as a performer, you will gain free entrance to the talent show, and will perform in front of an awesome panel of judges. Magician Mac King, John Lennon impersonator Steve Craig, and jazz pianist Mike “Jonesy” Jones will rate your performance and award the top three fantastic prizes. The deadline for submissions is April 1st, so apply today!
Saturday, July 10
"Quite Disturbing. Have you ever considered working for the Government?" — Dr. Henry Kissinger
Michael Weber delivers astonishing entertainment for thinking audiences. His presentations excite the imagination of every audience member. Imagine what it feels like to meet face-to-face with someone who can determine your innermost thoughts. Concentrate on a name, a secret, any idea or image, and Michael Weber is able to capture your thought with almost scientific precision. With style, wit, charm and absolute discretion, Weber utilizes these thoughts to produce entertaining and mind-shattering results. Mr. Weber has unfailingly demonstrated his unique ability with hundreds of thousands of people around the world including Princes, Prime Ministers and U.S. Presidents.
"...Weber insists he is not reading your mind and then goes on to prove otherwise, time after time." — New York Times
Michael Weber inhabits a unique position in the world of the professional wonder-worker. He holds Masters and Doctorate degrees and has performed before three U.S. Presidents and the Prime Minister of the Great Britain.
Weber's fascination and facility with "Forbidden Knowledge" spans nearly four decades. His lifelong interest in deception, brainwashing, lock picking, camera-less photography, hypnosis, mind reading and cryptography have permitted him access to worlds of experts and experiences which remain well-hidden from the general public.
Widely respected for his problem-solving abilities, his professional insights have been sought around the globe. Scientific American described him as "...a walking Swiss Army Knife."
Weber co-founded the consulting company Deceptive Practices which provides "Arcane Knowledge On a Need- To-Know Basis " to film, theater and television and has worked with writers and directors ranging from Scorsese to Zemekis. Recent examples of his work can be seen in the feature films The Illusionist, The Prestige and Ocean's 13. He is currently consulting on the upcoming Broadway musical HOUDINI starring Hugh Jackman.