Goodspeed Opera House is sponsoring the 71st annual Harry Houdini seance starting 11 PM Oct. 30, in connection with its current production, Houdini, the musical.
During his lifetime, the famous magician vowed that after his death he would make contact from the spiritual world, if it were possible to do so. Houdini enthusiasts gather each year on the anniversary of his Oct. 31 death (coincidentally Halloween), to attempt contact.
Elaine Kuzmeskus, a professed medium and founder of the New England School of Metaphysics in Suffield, CT, will conduct the seance on the Goodspeed stage in East Haddam, CT, where the new musical is performed nightly. Houdini has music by William Scott Duffield, book by James Racheff (Abyssinia) and lyrics by Duffield and Racheff. The production runs through Dec.14.
The Oct. 30 event begins at 11 PM with a history of the seance. The actual seance will begin at 12:01 AM on Oct. 31.
Seance organizer Sidney Radner told Goodspeed, "Conditions for contacting Houdini are more ideal than ever before. As the site of a musical about Houdini, Goodspeed has a direct connection to this master showman who craved publicity and would relish appearing on the stage where his life is portrayed nightly." Special guests seated at the seance table will include Radner, a Houdini historian and protege of Houdini's brother, Hardeen; Thomas J. Boldt, Executive President of The Houdini Historical Center; Dr. Morris Young, a magic historian and Houdini biographer; Anna Crankshaw, granddaughter of the psychic, Margery, who helped Houdini try to contact his mother after her death; and actor Timothy Gulan, who portrays Houdini in the musical at Goodspeed.
Seance tickets cost $5, and are available by calling Goodspeed at (860) 873-8668. -- By Robert Viagas