|Polk County Enterprise - Local News
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The Mystique of Harry Houdini
"Handcuff King. Escape Artist. International Superstar." Since his death almost 90 years ago, Harry Houdini has been recorded in books, films and television. Who has not read about or watched as he escaped from cells and handcuffs, trunks thrown into the river or being chained and suspended upside down in a water tank? In The Secret Life of Harry Houdini, the Making of America's First Superstar, magic expert William Kalush and author Larry Sloman describe in detail the demons that drove Houdini to perform even more dangerous feats. This biography traces the master magician's life from poverty to world- wide fame and a life based on deception. According to Tony Barrell, London Sunday Times, "Kalush and and Sloman appear to have raked through every known Houdini archive to produce the most comprehensive and controversial biography every written about the man, with its contention that he was a spy who may have been murdered by a cult." Ken Freehill, accomplished actor of stage, screen and television and playwright, will be presenting a first person review of the biography of Houdini's life. He takes his audience on a journey of the life of an escape artist, magician and the secret life of a spy. Freehill's one-man first person reviews have included Edgar Allan Poe, Will Rogers, and A Christmas Carol's Tiny Tim. Brunch & a Book's final event will be held Thursday night, April 18 at 6 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church at 2801 Hwy 190 West. Tickets are $10 and may be bought from any committee member, FUMC, Sheryl's Florist, Sue's Boutique on the Lake in Onalaska and at the door. A reception and refreshments will follow the review. The Brunch & a Book experience was brought to Livingston by Audrey Eckelman who thought it would be fun to offer entertaining book reviews to the public on a regular basis. The "fun" soon incorporated fund-raising to benefit Polk County charities which serve families. Through the dedicated and community-minded work of Eckelman and the Brunch & a Book committee, over $40,000 have been donated to those charities over the past 10 years.