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

Anita Morris and Doug Copyright: Grover Dale

                                        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 approvals, David Byrd assures us we’ll see the final rendering within an hour.  He’s out the door.

On the first day of rehearsal, Stephen, Bob, and I establish a ‘courtesy condition.’  Opinions about performances will not be expressed in the presence of the cast.   The privacy of a nearby office will ensure that the cast isn’t subjected to random criticisms.

Halfway through rehearsals, Edgar Lansbury informs us another backer’s audition is needed to secure financing for the show.  Would the cast be willing to participate?  Thankfully, they were.  On a sunny April afternoon, forty-five investors sat in on a full run-through of ‘The Magic Show.’  The following day, Lansbury informs everyone that the opening scheduled for May 28, 1974 will happen as planned.  ‘The Magic Show’ was fully financed

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Anita Morris Copyright: Grover Dale

                                           We are a ‘Go!’

By the time previews got underway, we rocked a number of Broadway traditions.  Crew members and ushers signed confidentiality agreements protecting Doug ’illusions.  Running time of the show is reduced to 81 minutes.  The musical being performed in the Cort Theatre was produced for less than $300K.

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Anita Morris at Opening Night Party  Copyright: Grover Dale

After 10 previews, the show opens on May 28, 1974.  Within six weeks, the show is selling out.  Standing room only.  It recoups its original investment in less than 15 weeks and goes on to enjoy a 5-year run with over 1900 performances.

Special Thanks to Grover Dale

One Comment Add yours

  1. Steve Greenstein says:

    I saw the Magic Show as a teenager.
    I used to perform magic. A stop in Times Square at Lou Tannens magic shop was a must. Doug Henning was changing traditional magic.The show was so 70s and had the feel of the times
    Lion tamer, West End Avenue and Style really nice musical theater tunes.


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