Show Business: The Magic Boom: New Sorcery

Dorothy: "You're a very bad man."

Oz: "Oh, no. I'm a very good man. I'm just a very bad wizard."

—The Wizard of Oz

Oz was born a century too soon. Today he would have bought himself an act, taken lessons from experts and played the Emerald City to standees. Across the country, magic is enjoying unprecedented fortune. Says Dai Vernon, 80-year-old dean of American magic: "I've been conjuring for six decades; I don't know when the field has been so fertile." James Randi, a prestidigitator who tours with the Alice Cooper show,...

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