Ring 211’s 25th Annual Hocus Pocus Party

On Saturday, November 5, Ring 211 — The June Horowitz/John deVries Magic Club in Grand Rapids, Michigan — held its 25th Annual Earl Ray Wilcox Memorial Hocus Pocus Party. Members sold tickets to another record crowd of nearly 400 people. Attendees came from all over West Michigan.

Members, their friends and family members enjoyed a fun-filled evening of magical wonderment which included a delicious buffet dinner and cash bar, a strolling close-up magic period, sponsored raffle giveaway prizes, and a fabulous cabaret show. Again it was held at The Knights of Columbus Hall on the south end of town. This year there were attractive designed table decor, and a program booklet which showcased each act and allowed advertisements from sponsors including our own members. This event was also advertised on local TV station web site calendars, Facebook, and Twitter.

hocuspocus2011-013Prior to the full dinner buffet, member Glenn Eberhardt and his Three In Accord Band played upbeat tunes. Variety act master and stilt walker Ric Carver as Ric Roc Zoo from the Detroit area and jester Steve Thompson amused many. Raven Keckler greeted many old and young as Harvee The Rabbit.

A four-line full food buffet dinner got people through quickly so a period of strolling close-up magic could begin. The following Ring 211 magi amused, amazed, and dazzled our guests: Roger Bus, Dave Bogdan, Kellen Bogdan, MagicBob Zoerman, Bill Rasmussen, Gil Scott, Sonny Tgiros, Ron Carnell, Krag Ryal, Dave Storms, Charles Bennett, John Dykstra, Steve Thompson, Peter Stobie, Jesse Shira, Jim Parkes, Wayne Ramsdell, Randy Baker, Bob Panlener, Don Tremblay, P. J. Weber, Nemencio Flores, Ed Smith, Gary Oisten, Dennis Favreau, Dr. Jack Vander Wal, Randy Vander Wal, Rick Merrill, and PIP June Horowitz. Jerry Herdegen delighted many with his balloon creations.

Ring 211 President Michele Parkes had each of the close-up performers stand up prior to the evening show to receive recognition. TVP (Michigan) Randy Vander Wal recognized the Wilcox family in attendance as the idea of this party began from the fine work of the Late Earl Ray Wilcox (which the party is named in honor) along with member Ray Bielecki. Also, Randy presented Michele and to the club a TVP Proclamation congratulating it for its production of Hocus Pocus Parties for now twenty-five years.

The evening concluded with an extremely entertaining cabaret show featuring Gil Scott as the M.C., Dennis Favreau, Ric Carver, P. J. Weber, and headliner David Kaplan.

Gil Scott performed his Marked Deck routine, Vanishing Coke Bottle, Invisible Deck, and an eight linking ring routine between the acts. Our own local actor and film star (has recently been in four featured films produced in Michigan and in commercials), Dennis Favreau to music opened with an extraordinary cut and restored and knot rope routine, then astonished us with his two linking ring routine climaxing to six linking rings, and concluded his act with his “firefly” D’Light routine.

Ric Carver as in his character “Lupe” endeared us with a bombastic beguiler of bumbling buffoonery with a folding chair. P. J. Weber with co-star and wife Tina distinctively dazzled us with their “chi-weenie” dog production, mouth coil to dove production, the Growing Head Illusion, and his version of the Torn & Restored Newspaper.

Dave Kaplan, known as The Great Kaplan, not only astonished but amazed and comically enticed us with his vaudevillesque spectacle of colliding illusion, music, juggling, and deadpan comedy. Highlights were his hat trick routine, balancing a cane on forehead, perpetual ping pong mouth juggling, juggling two balls with a cigar and hilarious by-play with an audience assistant which included a burned up bill revelation from appearing inside the cigar, giant three bowling pin juggling with the assistance of a kid who was completely surprised that the bowling ball had floated to the ceiling, and playing melodies on a turkey baster and breaking a wine glass with a melody by letting the air out of a balloon. He brought the house down and received a standing ovation. Wow!

And Magic Top Hats Off to Ring 211!

What another astounding Hocus Pocus Party! There are many to thank: the entire membership for selling tickets, Jim and Michele Parkes for obtaining the place and managing all ticket sales, Gil Scott and Dave Bogdan for putting the show together, our stage, close-up performers, and other artists, Bill Rasmussen along with Peter Stobie and MagicBob Zoerman for heading the sound and lighting, Charles Bennett with Jim & Michele Parkes heading the prize drawings and producing the program booklet, Dr. Jack Vander Wal with supplying the jet sets, Jerry and Kathy Herdegen for decorating each table to magic affair, and to Tina Weber, Dennis Favreau, and my cousin Derek Lieverdink for photos and videotaping. A final thanks to any other member who helped out in any way and to The Knights of Columbus’ staff for their pleasant hospitality. An event such as this allows Ring 211 to host many lectures throughout the year being free to its club members.

[A Photo Album for Hocus Pocus 2011 was posted earlier.]

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