Doug Does Some Magic for the “New York Sunday News”

I wasn’t really sure how to title this post other than to say what it is: Doug Henning shows you how to do some really cool close-up magic! Enough said really.  However, what really appeals to me about this article is that it was done at the height of the “Magic Show’s” popularity in December,…

Doug Henning and Season 4 of “The Muppet Show”

Doug’s appearance on Jim Henson’s iconic program “The Muppet Show” is a bit of an enigma. Sure there are some great clips from it that exist on You Tube (which have been shown here), but it’s not widely available for viewing or for purchase. This is mainly due to the fact that Disney (who owns…

First Special “TV Listings” Cover and Interview

Today’s post comes from the collection of magician Greg Gleason, and features more fabulous TV listings and interviews that were commonplace over Doug’s long career. The interview and article itself is a general rundown of the making of the first special, and give a nice window into Doug’s pressure filled life at this time. Can…

“World of Magic 1981”-TV Guide Ad

It’s Wednesday, and you know what that means? It’s time for an awkwardly staged “TV Guide” advertisement with Doug, Marie Osmond, and Ricky Schroeder. Hey, but all things are forgiven when it comes to “TV Guide!”  These kinds of ads really drive home how much of an event Doug’s specials were, and what they meant to…

1998 “Globe” Tabloid Interview

The above article is from “Globe Magazine” and, if you do the math within the interview, it hails from around 1998. In it, Doug discusses what he has been up to in the ten years since he retired from the public spotlight. If you can get past the tabloid and slightly patronizing feel of the…

“Right Before Your Very Eyes!” from “The Magic Show”

Let’s rub those Monday doldrums from your very eyes with this lively and well known number from “The Magic Show.” Aside from the original show’s cast album, this filmed for television version is really the only way this rollicking number can be experienced today. While it may not be a perfect representation of what audiences…

The Merlin Understudy that Never Was

The above picture is of Doug with actor Andrew Hill Newman. If history had operated accordingly, Andrew was to have been the first understudy to take over Doug’s role in “Merlin.” However, many of you don’t need this website to tell you that “Merlin” was a somewhat tumultuous production with many ups and downs. Many…

Magic Magazine “Magic Show” Anniversary Cover

The above 2014 cover was made in honor of the 40th anniversary of, you guessed it, “The Magic Show.” The cover itself serves as a nice variation on the classic poster fans are used to, while giving it a bit of a more modern and flashy spin.  While the original production of “The Magic Show”…

“World of Magic III” Sword Levitation Newspaper Clipping

In preparation for “World of Magic III,” Doug and special TV guest Sandy Duncan whipped up a little Sword Levitation publicity for the press. This undated AP photo (taken in front of someone’s house apparently), made sure that readers, as well as the press, got the point…so to speak.  Special Thanks to Michael Whitecar  

Doug Henning and David Copperfield Photo

The above photo is one that some of you may have seen before. But, believe it or not, I’ve never posted it on the site until now.  To my knowledge, it’s the only circulated photo of Doug and David Copperfield together. Taken at the AMA awards (I believe), it really represents two icons of modern…

Shimada “World of Magic” Bound Script for Sale

Rudy Sanchez brought to my attention a truly one of a kind item he is selling…Shimada’s bound script from 1974’s “World of Magic 1.” As you can see from the photos below, the item itself is the real deal and comes with a certificate of authenticity and letter proving its provenance. Aside from being a detailed…

Sundays with Doug, Debby, and a Puppet

To lighten up your Sunday afternoon, I thought I would post this true 1980s gem of a picture.  Whether this is a Wonder Whim or a distant cousin, the memory of its penetrating stare will certainly stay with you for a lifetime.   Special Thanks to Michael Whitecar  

1985 All-Stars of Magic Charity Event Photo-Alternative Angle

While this “1985 All-Stars of Magic” photo was featured in an earlier post, this version is of a different angle. Organized by Lance Burton and Fielding West, this one night only event featured a who’s who of magic to raise money for hunger in Africa. Fielding himself can now be seen on the far right hand…

Rare Peter Cunningham “Merlin” Photo

The photograph featured below was taken by well known theater and music photographer Peter Cunningham, and features a stunning image from “Merlin” that I’ve never seen before.  As related to me by its owner Michelle Ainsworth, the photo was purchased from Cunningham himself, and was one of the first times he had photographed a Broadway…

“Merlin” Illusion Breakdown Sheet

Today’s post is a doozy, as it’s not often we get to see the actual illusion breakdown from “Merlin.” The document itself gives us a good idea of the order of the illusions themselves, and just how many there were within the show itself. Now, obviously I had to some redacting in the “How” column….

Handwritten “Merlin” Monthly Expenditure Notes

Money, money, money! It makes the world go round doesn’t it?  The notes featured below list the general costs and supplies that went into producing “Merlin” per month. While $421.74 may not seem like much now for a Broadway show, in 2019 dollars that equals to $1116.84 per month.  Unfortunately, not everything can be conjured…

1983 “Merlin” Animal Breakdown Sheet

If yesterday weren’t enough for you feast your eyes on this detailed breakdown sheet of how the animals in “Merlin” were positioned and used. It really brings you a whole new appreciation to see the level of care and preparation that goes, and still goes into, the usage of magic and animals on stage. Enjoy!…

Original “Merlin” Dressing Notes

“Spellbound” author John Harrison was kind enough to share with me some truly eye-opening items from his Henning collection. If you ever wondered how complex “Merlin” was to put on every night, just look at this “Dressers’  Notes” sheet. This document, and a few you’ll see throughout the week will give you a fascinating window…

Grover Dale: Final Thoughts on Doug

Special thanks to Grover Dale for adding this exclusive comment to “The Doug Henning Project” to cap off a great week of memories.  ‘Surrounded by Broadway pros, Doug Henning not only grew as an illusionist. He grew as an actor, performer, and human being.  He caught the ball and ran with it. Witnessing his exceptional growth…

Grover Dale Remembers “The Magic Show:” Broadway Success!

                                        Back to the Magic In Edgar’s office, the team evaluates David Byrd’s poster.  It’s stunning.  ‘All that’s needed to complete it,’ David confides, ‘is a title.  What do we call it?’  After three predictable ideas, I share a thought.  ‘Why don’t we just call it what it is, ’The Magic Show.’  Following a round of…

Grover Dale Remembers “The Magic Show:” Stephen Schwartz and Beyond

The Meeting that Triggered Broadway’s 8th Longest-Running Musical Next day.   From the moment I describe replacing Henning’s rock-star approach with the sweet-lovable-kid-next-door that he actually is, Stephen’s eyes light up.  It got even better as we shared the impact an over-the-top-and-much-older magician could make during attempts to steal Doug Henning’s illusions from him.  ‘A mad-cap…

Grover Dale Remembers “The Magic Show:” Part One

All this week, “The Doug Henning Project” is fortunate to be printing excerpts from “Magic Show” director Grover Dale’s upcoming autobiography. Mr. Dale has been gracious enough to allow the chapter devoted to “The Magic Show” to be previewed here, and what a chapter it is! As you will see all this week, “The Magic…

Magic Show Monday: Before Your Very Eyes!

Lets’s get this week started on a high note with a musical selection from “The Magic Show” soundtrack. “Before Your Very Eyes” is one of the showstoppers of the musical, and still holds up extremely well today! While it’s difficult to find a proper video recording of “The Magic Show” as originally presented (I’m not…

eBay Week: Wonder Whim Sunday!

What better way to close out “eBay Week” than with that toy of toys a “Wonder Whim?” While, Doug’s failed experiment with this 1980s toy line stands as a bit of an anomaly in his career…what an anomaly it is.  A cross between a Cabbage Patch Kid and Rainbow Brite, this lonely and down and…

ebay Week: Rarely seen Doug and Chita Rivera “Merlin” Photo

Now we’ve all seen pictures of Doug and Chita Rivera in their “Merlin” costumes. However, I gravitated to this one because of its natural and over all congenial tone between the two stars. I’m guessing this was taken at the premiere of “Merlin” (correct me if I’m wrong), and it shows a bit of a…

eBay Week: “Spheres of Merlin” Framed Poster

This beauty hails from 1976, and features one of Doug’s most famous quotes: “The art of a magician is to create wonder. If we live with a sense of wonder, our lives become filled with joy”  Painted by fantasy artist Gilbert Williams, I assume this was part of Doug’s touring merchandise. The only place I have…

eBay Week: 1977 “World of Magic” Doug and Earth Press Photo

Doug literally goes global in this little seen press photo publicizing 1977’s “World of Magic.” I have to admit, I’ve seen many, many photos of Doug in my time. But, this one is a first even for me. Its odd choice of having Doug ominously standing over the Earth with beams shooting out of his…

eBay Week: Love, Peace, and Magic Poster

This week I thought I’d try something a little different, and highlight what I feel are some of the more unique Doug collectibles on eBay right now! The above “Love, Peace, and Magic” poster comes from a 1975 issue of “Dynamite Magazine.” I really love the design and typeface of it all, as it really…

Happy Birthday Doug!

Today is what would have been Doug’s 72nd birthday! While Doug may be not here to celebrate with us, his memory stays strong in the hearts of everyone who has ever picked up a deck of cards or believes in the power of magic to entertain, thrill, and astound! So, wherever you are today, remember…