Doug and Dai Vernon at the 1978 S.A.M Convention

Sorry for the lack of posts this week. But, due to some work related projects many balls have been in the air this week. However, I wanted to get something quick off to everyone, and this picture of Doug and Dai Vernon at the 1978 S.A.M. New York convention does the trick! I’ve only seen cropped,…

Magic Collectors’ Corner Returns!

I can’t think of a better way to start my 700th post than with the announcement that the “Magic Collectors’ Corner” is back this Sunday! Last year, this online Zoom show thrilled audiences over 33 weeks with a deep dive into all things magic and magic history. There was even one show dedicated to Doug…

Christian Slater on Merlin

In the almost four years I’ve been doing this website I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned that Christian Slater was in “Merlin” as a child actor. Yup, that Christian Slater played the young “Merlin” in this infamous and fabled production. As he’s had a rich and varied career since, I’ve always wondered what he had to say…

1985 Fox Theater St. Louis Dancing Handkerchief Photo

There’s a lot to love in this photo of Doug and Debbie performing the always fun “Dancing Handkerchief” routine. This was taken at St. Louis’s  Fox Theater circa 1985, and really shows the fun the two were having performing this famous illusion.  A dancing handkerchief, or a picture, really does speak a thousand words! Special…

One Wacky 1980’s “How To” Magic Article with Doug!

Just when you thought you’ve seen everything.  In my travels online, I came across this single page, and it’s a bit of a head scratcher to say the least.  Alternately fun and frightening, the article clearly was a “how to” article for kids to learn “magic.” I love the design choices in this. Taken at…

CAM JAM w/ Chip Romero this Wednesday!

Hey everyone! It’s great to be rested and relaxed after a week off and back in action. Let’s get to it! I’m particularly excited about today’s post as it features a very special live event this coming Wednesday, April 14th at 8pm EST. The Society of Canadian Magicians will be featuring Henning collector extraordinaire Chip…

Doug Henning Face Mask

You can chalk the above item to one of the most timely bits of Doug merchandise out there today. Yes for $15 you can be a proud owner of a Doug Henning “Magic Show” face mask. The poster art itself is from the 1981 filmed  version of the musical, and it certainly makes for a…

Unseen Magic Show Publicity Photo: Part 2

Like I mentioned last Saturday, all this week I’m going to be featuring “Magic Show” photos from 1976 taken by photographer Martha Swope. These will show you alternative takes of familiar scenes, and illusions covered in previous 1974 photos.  There is definitely a fun and a spark to these photos that give you a hint…

Unseen Magic Show Publicity Photo

I recently came across some rarely seen “new” photos of “The Magic Show” from 1976. A lot of what we see from the production are images taken in 1974 by photographer Kenn Duncan. Many I showed in a previous post a couple years ago, and those photos really gave you a taste of a fresh…

Doug and Debbie Houdini Plaza 1986 Performance

I’d be remiss in not mentioning that yesterday, March 24th, was Harry Houdini’s 147th birthday.  In honor of that special day, I thought it would be appropriate to post the above photo of Doug and Debbie in May, 1986. Where was it taken you ask? Well, if the town of Appleton, Wisconsin means anything to…

Joe Abaldo “This is Broadway” Radio Interview

For those looking for a blast to the past, check out this radio interview with Magic Show understudy and star Joe Abaldo for the radio series “This is Broadway.” The program itself was recorded over 30 some years ago, and syndicated to stations across the country as a way to give listeners a taste of…

“Magic Show” MTA Subway Ad with Joe Abaldo

If you were riding New York public transportation in the late 1970s then chances are you saw this famous advertisement. By using then Broadway actors, the MTA was hoping to entice audiences to take the subway to their favorite shows. The ad would eventually become indicative of the era, and famous in its own right. …

Doug’s Understudies-Peter DePaula Playbill

Over the next couple days I wanted to focus on the unsung heroes of “The Magic Show”…Doug’s Understudies! At the time, Doug had issues with the idea of the show continuing without him. As the show’s producer Edgar Lansbury said in John Harrison’s book “Spellbound:” “Doug was always convinced that nobody else could do these…

Haversat & Ewing Auction Results

Last month I profiled two very unique items featured in Haversat & Ewing’s February auction. The first being an extremely rare “Henning and Mars” signed publicity portrait (one that I’ve never seen). The other a vibrant hand drawn portrait by the great Gary Darwin. Who won these items you ask? Drumroll please… Chip Romero is…

Linking Ring- March,1972 (Doug in Hollywood)

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Many of us have read about Doug’s early days in Hollywood studying with Dai Vernon at the “Magic Castle.” However, this my friends is the real deal. Written at the time it was happening, this article gives us a first hand account of the whispers and rumors surrounding this Doug Henning….

Bill Hargate Designed Doug Costume

Today’s item once again comes from the collection of Mumdo Marzouki, and is an excellent example of a Bill Hargate costume designed especially for Doug.  Bill Hargate (1935-2003) was a legendary Emmy award winning designer who worked primarily in stage and television. Hargate designed many of the costumes throughout Doug’s career, in addition to being…

Original “Magic Show” Program

Magician Mumdo Marzouki was kind enough to share with me recently some items from his collection. What struck me with this item from “The Magic Show” was that there even was a larger program. I had seen the original Playbill from the Cort Theater before. However, I was even unaware of this tantalizing three page…

“Abracadabra” Sept. 1974-Doug and the Larsens

The pictures below hail from the September 21st, 1974 issue of “Abracadabra.” Profiling that year’s S.A.M Boston Convention, the event was seemingly a who’s who of magic at that time.  Most notable is the picture of Doug with Bill and Irene Larsen, co-founders of the “Magic Castle.” In fact, it was Bill Larsen who began…

Cort Theater Renovation and Expansion

Some good news out of New York City is that Broadway’s Cort Theater is scheduled for a full renovation and expansion. Known for being one of the theater district’s smaller venues, the theater already has the hearts and minds of magic fans as being the original home of “The Magic Show” from 1974-1978.  To read…

AI Animated Doug Head

This modern technological miracle comes to me from Doug fan Peter Ross. Click away! I’m sure you’ve been seeing this latest trending craze  of turning famous people’s photographs into lifelike three dimensional renderings. In fact, it’s so popular that John Cox of Wild About Harry coincidentally did one of Houdini today.  While it’s hard to…

Pantages Retrospective: Part 5

Well, the lights have turned on, the show is over, and it’s time to leave the theater doors, and venture back out into the dreaded real world. I can only imagine this is how audiences must have felt at the end of each Pantages “World of Magic” show, but what a high they must have…

Pantages Retrospective: Part 4

As promised, here are more newspaper interviews with Doug that served to barrage the Los Angeles public that, yes, he was indeed in town.  The 1981 shows were, obviously, a real event and something of a hot ticket. People’s memories and newspaper articles only do so much, and seeing film footage of the show would…

Pantages Retrospective: Part 3

While at the Pantages Doug sat down with Danielle Roter of the “Los Angeles Herald Examiner.” This interview originally appeared on October 16, 1981, and includes a review of the show at the end. It also has the distinction of being one of the most serious and non-smiling expressions on Doug’s face that I’ve ever…

Pantages Retrospective: Part 2

And we’re back… As promised, today’s Pantages post involves Doug’s fabled 1981 performance at the venue. Running from October 13-25th, the show featured highlights from Doug’s career up to that point.  Friends of the website Mark Willoughby and John Cox attended one of the shows, and spoke to me a bit about their memories. While…

Criss Angel Studio Sale

Sorry to interrupt our regular scheduled broadcast. I know I had started a Pantages performances retrospective yesterday. But, I’d be remiss in not mentioning that magician Criss Angel is currently having a studio sale of his many props and illusions.  Notable among them, though I’m biased, are three of Doug’s more popular illusions: Water Levitation,…

Pantages Performances Retrospective

Over the past four years I’ve had the pleasure of featuring items from Doug’s various performances at Hollywood’s famed Pantages Theater.  Known for being one of Los Angeles’s premier theatrical venues, it has been home to hundreds of Broadway shows, film premieres, concerts, and the Oscars. So, it goes without saying that in his career…