The above photo comes courtesy of Brian Lumley, but was given to him by Montreal based magician Blair Marshall. A big thank you to both.
Some of you may know the fabled story of how Doug and director Ivan Reitman developed what would become “Spellbound” over a long rehearsal and fundraising period. However, when the show was quickly booked at Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre over the 1973 Christmas season, it’s success was not guaranteed. I’ll let Brian explain the ad’s origins:
“This was a true stroke of genius by Ivan Reitman. He threw it together in a week; including taking the photo. It came out Dec.1973, the day of our first pre-production performance.
This ad may be the only photograph of the Shadows in costume. I’m camera left with the rounded hood closest to the tree, torch in my right hand. Glen (Priest) is next to me with the peaked hood. Doug is in his Appearance/Fire Bowl Cape waving a sword. Maya is levitated on the sword. (The) Photo was taken on Cherry Beach in Toronto; that’s snow on the ground. It was very cold and the wind was blowing – we were all in long johns under our costumes.
(Producers) Joe Berhu & Edgar Landsbury saw the ad… Ivan’s description of Spellbound matched what they were looking for. A quick phone call to their buddy Ed Mirvish (the theatre owner) solidified the value of coming up for a look.”
Without these crucial chain of events, it’s doubtful we ever would have had “The Magic Show” on Broadway.