Showing posts with label Dorothy Dietrich. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dorothy Dietrich. Show all posts

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Houdini-opoly The Board Game For Magic Fans!

This is really almost too good to be true. I mean, who would go to the time, effort, and even struggle to produce a version of an Opoly Game with HOUDINI as the focus? Umm, well, Houdini fans and magic historians, that's who! And when it comes to fans of Houdini's and two people who have dedicated their lives to keeping the memory of Houdini alive, you can't get much more dedicated than Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brookz.

They began the process with a kickstarter campaign and ended up producing an extremely successful campaign! The concept of a board game about Houdini seems on one hand to be very dated. But SO WAS HOUDINI. He's from another time. Yet even though he lived 100 years ago, he is just a relevant and popular today as ever. So I'd say their choice of a board game was sheer brilliance!

I will be honest, when the box arrived, it's so breathtaking I did not even want to open it. It was a struggle in fact to tear open the shrink wrap and see what was inside. It's one of those double edged swords, do I or don't I? But I had to. Curiosity for one was just overwhelming. But secondly, I needed to see if the inside was as spectacular as the outside. The answer....

WOW! It's even more amazing on the inside! Take a look at the board itself. So many incredible details included on the board, so many great photos. And now look at what comes inside the box...many pieces familiar in other Opoly games, the properties, the cards and money. But take a closer look, the cards, the money, they've been Houdini-ized!

I'm not sure I can bring myself to open the bags and money/houses/game pieces though. So that means I might never get to PLAY Houdiniopoly. Wait? What am I saying??? I've GOT TO PLAY THIS GAME NOW!!!! I'm going to contact some fellow magicians and coordinate a Houdiniopoly Night! How cool would that be!?!

There is one more little treat I'd like to share with you. For the folks who contributed to the kickstarter campaign there were some goodies given as a thank you for contributing. This was a bag of extra game pieces, all based on Houdini's career. So you've got an Elephant for the Vanishing Elephant, a couple dogs that are just like Houdini's pets, a Milk Can, some barrels, a playing card, top hats and more! It's just awesome.

If you're wondering how to get one (or two or three) of these board games yourself, it's so easy. Just go to I'm beyond impressed with the quality of this product. The thought and time and energy that went into this is evident in the final product. I want to thank Dick and Dorothy for including my name among those who helped with this. I'm not sure how much I really did, other than contribute. I was a bit 'out of touch' when this was all being developed. In fact, looking back over the various emails, I see that I had planned to contribute more to put an ad on the back of the game for TheMagicDetective. com but I just didn't get it done. Life has been a little challenging the last couple years, but things are looking up. And things will be looking up for YOU too when you order your own Houdiniopoly Board Game!!! Do it today as I'm sure these are in limited supply.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Some Grim News, But It's All Good

Sunday Night, TCM will be airing for the first time EVER, Houdini's greatest movie The Grim Game. You will be witnessing history in more ways than one. Of course, the first showing on TV is history making in itself. From what I understand the first showing at 8pm will have the same score used in the previous viewings of the movie this year. That score was done by Brane Zivkovic under the supervision of Rick Schmidlin, the restoration producer. However, the second viewing at 11:45pm, will contain a new score done by Steve Sterner. Mr. Sterner is known as The Piano Man of the Silent Screen. Why? Read on.

Apparently, the one complaint with the early viewings, was that the score of the movie was a bit repetitive. This was first brought up by Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brooks during an early version of the restoration. They made suggestions but apparently were ignored.

During the original showing in Hollywood, the praise for the movie was universal, and the one negative point was the repetitive score, which most agreed was very good at times, but needed more to it. So now, on October 18th, you get a chance to hear the first score at 8pm and then the newer score at 11:45pm. Set your DVRs it's going to be one great night for HOUDINI!

There was a lot more drama that went on behind the scenes while trying to get this movie restored. To read more about what went on, check out what Dick Brooks and Dorothy Dietrich had to say. They were instrumental in getting this movie out to the public and frankly, we would likely not be watching it at all if it were not for their efforts. They have done an incredible amount of fantastic work keeping HOUDINI's name alive and thriving into the 21st Century!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Houdini Museum In the News

I have to admit something which I'm not happy about. I've not been to the Houdini Museum in Scranton PA. Why haven't I? That's a good question, for which I don't have a good answer. BUT, I can tell you that I'll be making a trip up there fairly soon!

The museum is run by Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brookz. You should all be very familiar with them at this point in time. Their efforts to help and promote the name of Houdini in the past few years are incredible. Their latest effort of course was getting that film footage that Larry Weeks had into a better safer home. Had it not been for Dick and Dorothy, I hate to think what might have happened.

But, let's get to the museum. They've been getting a lot of press lately and the most recent article is from The article lists the best things to do in Scranton and a visit to their Houdini Museum tops the list! I think for any magic fan and especially Houdini fan, a visit to their museum is a must do!

The photo below shows Dorothy and Dick and their holding a vest once worn/owned by HOUDINI himself. They brought the vest with them to the Turner Classic Movie Film Festival in California recently. This is just one of the wonderful items that they'll share with you during the tour. In the photo at the top I can see images of Houdini's Father and Mother hanging side by side on the wall. So much cool stuff! I can't wait to go there in person so I can give a much better description of everything. Until then, if you are in Scranton, please arrange a visit!

Open year round Saturdays and Sundays, in July and August Daily. Only one tour and show (plan on 3 hours) per day, $17.95 adults, $14.95 under 11. You must CALL for RSVP (570-342-5555). The museum is in a house on a very busy main street, with a parking lot in the back.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A Special TCM Thanks For Dorothy and Dick

I was not present at the special screening of The Grim Game last Sunday at the TCM Classic Film Festival. I was surely there in spirit however. Much has been made about how this 'lost' movie found it's way to the light of day. Frankly, it was Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brookz who took the initiative to get the ball rolling and thankfully helped in bringing this film to the light of day again.

In addition to all Dorothy and Dick did for The Grim Game, they were also special guests at the TCM Classic Film Festival and they gave an introduction to Houdini. Before the screening of The Grim Game, Dorothy presented a straightjacket escape and did a card routine using one of Houdini's actual vests. It set the mood for what was about to happen and the folks at the TCM Classic Film Festival were thrilled. They sent Dorothy and Dick a very glowing letter of thanks, and D&D shared it with me to share with you all.