“Fergus’ Dilemma” from Merlin

The above song, of course, comes from “Merlin” and features one of Nathan Lane’s musical numbers from the show. While the sound quality is lacking, it does give you a “representation” of what the music was like.  Over the years, Nathan Lane hasn’t talked about “Merlin” all that much. When he has, it always hasn’t…

Doug Henning on Broadway-Annie Slide Illusion

It’s two Annie actresses for the price of one in this clip from 1982’s “Doug Henning: Magic on Broadway!” Taped during the Merlin era, the special’s slide illusion features the original Annie Andrea McArdle transforming into the then current Annie Allison Smith. Did the Sun really come out tomorrow with this illusion? Well, that’s for…

Lion Tamer-Magic Show Original Soundtrack

I’m going to put it out there that I feel “Lion Tamer” is one of Stephen Schwartz’s best songs. While it may not be his most famous or well known, it has a a subdued and simple arrangement that instantly takes you to the heart and soul of what “The Magic Show” was.  Dale Soules’…

Chip Romero Collection: Original Negative “Magic Show” Newspaper Reviews

When talking to Chip Romero recently, he pointed out how influential “The Magic Show” was, and how its initial reviews weren’t exactly glowing.  As the expression goes, “Time Wounds All Heals,” and it goes without saying that “The Magic Show” has since  become a classic of the Broadway stage and magic. Hey, if something ran…

Playbill-16 Cast Albums That Aren’t Available to Stream

“The Magic Show” gets a quick, but nice shout out in this new online article from Playbill.com. The article  features cast albums that notoriously aren’t on steaming and other online platforms.  It’s a nice mention as you can see below: From “The Wiz” to “Promises, Promises,” it’s a quick read and a great 16 part…

“West End Avenue:” Original Magic Show Cast Album

This Stephen Schwartz song speaks of a West End Avenue in New York City that no longer exists. It was a time where West End Avenue was a provincial, but somewhat seedy part of the city. It was a place that people wanted to get out of…to find themselves. This is the predicament that finds…

Merlin-Original Marc Hellinger Theater Photos

Due to a pinched nerve in my shoulder, I’m not able to write extensively until it heals. However, I wanted to give a special thanks to writer Michelle Ainsworth for sharing these original photos taken by her father during the original run of “Merlin.”        

Doug on the “Today Show” with Bryant Gumbel (1984)

(ED. Note: Due to legal reasons this video was apparently removed by You Tube. Sorry about that) This 1984 “Today Show” appearance comes from when Doug returned to Broadway with his “World of Magic” show.  After the perceived failure of “Merlin,” Doug was able to cleanse the palettes of many critics with this, by all…

“Magic Show” Mystery Footage Solved

Well, so much for wishful thinking guys. After speculating (and hoping) last Friday, that the grainy image below may have been a video image from the original Broadway production of “The Magic Show”… As seen below once again, we are left with the undeniable proof that it isn’t. What sealed the deal was that some…

“Magic Show” Original Cast Footage Video Still?

I came across this intriguing still while searching the internet recently. While there are many photos of the original production of “The Magic Show” to be found online. What stands out is that this grainy image features Doug and actress Anita Morris in what appears to be video footage from the original show itself. However,…

Two’s Company from “The Magic Show:” Cast Album and Live Version

What better time than self-quarantine to cross compare the two versions of “Two’s Company” from “The Magic Show?” While there isn’t a proper filmed version of the original production that is widely available, we do have the out of print cast album. Which is basically the closest we’re going to get to seeing the show……

Genii: “Merlin Crusade” Article by Jim Steinmeyer-Part Three

All photos shown in this article are from the original Genii Magazine article, and are the property of Jim Steinmeyer and their respective copyright holders.  Having fun yet? I certainly hope so! Be sure to come back tomorrow for the exciting conclusion to Jim Steinmeyer’s “Merlin Crusade!” Special Thanks to Jim Steinmeyer

Genii: “Merlin Crusade” Article by Jim Steinmeyer-Part One

As we all have a little more downtime these days, I decided it was high time to tackle this superb article from 2013. Written by Jim Steinmeyer, it details the triumph and tragedy that was “Merlin.” Many people know Jim Steinmeyer from his work as an acclaimed author and illusion designer, however this first-person article…

Rare “Magic Show” Australia Cast Film Footage

I stumbled across this gem of a clip recently and had to put it up. While it has no sound, it is footage from the 1975 Australian production of “The Magic Show.” As you can see, Doug was not a part of this production and had handed the reigns over to actor/magician Larry Anderson.  It’s…

“Magic Show” Hexaflexagon

What’s a Hexaflexagon you ask? Well, good question. A Hexaflexagon is a paper polygon with many folded faces.  It’s a novel and fascinating concept that was so novel and fascinating that Doug had them put one in the soundtrack album to “The Magic Show.” I must admit I haven’t had the time to fold this…

Original “Magic Show” Vinyl Cast Album

In 1974, Bell Records released “The Magic Show” cast album on vinyl. The album is rare in the sense that it is just as special, unique, and fun as the musical itself. The  back cover really give you a sense of what audiences at the time must have felt seeing Doug perform his illusions upfront,…

Style from “The Magic Show” Movie

For all of you stuck at home for the foreseeable future (myself included), why not sit back, relax, and enjoy the lively number “Style” from “The Magic Show.” Originally performed by David Ogden Stiers on Broadway, this version features Jon Finlayson in the role of evil magician Van Zyskin.  As mentioned before, the TV movie…

Doug and Chita Rivera-Merlin Stage Door Photo

As everyone knows right now, things have been a little crazy around the world. In times such as these, it’s important to tend to our own loved ones and personal health. However, when possible I feel it’s important to post when I can. Hopefully, Doug’s perpetual positivity can shine a little love and light onto…

From the Playbill Archives: (New) Merlin Interview

Well, it’s not often that you get some new Doug Henning news in your Google feed. However, that’s exactly what happened today when Playbill.com dug into their archives for this vintage article from the opening of “Merlin.” As you would imagine, Doug talks enthusiastically about the show and its illusions. What else would you expect?…

Solid Silver Platform Shoes-The Magic Show

Hey it’s a Saturday, and why not a little musical selection from “The Magic Show” to brighten that weekend glow? By the way, I apologize for the lack of posts this week. My freelance design job has been busy, and it’s not always easy to balance the two. But fear not, posts will keep coming…

Happy Holidays…and a NY Times Article!

Well folks, it’s that time of the year where I close up shop and reflect on the year that just passed and the one that is just upon us. As always, I wish you the happiest of holidays and sincerely thank you for all your support over the past two, almost three years. It’s everyone’s…

Derren Brown “Doug” Name Check!

Mentalist Derren Brown, whose current Broadway show “Secret” is smashing records, was recently interviewed by “Long Island Weekly.” In it, Derren discusses the show’s history, and a certain other magician is mentioned regarding their time on Broadway.  “Recently, breaking the record as the longest-running magician on Broadway, Brown made his U.S. debut with Secret, which…

Unseen Merlin Production Publicity Photos

These pictures were given to me by writer Michelle Ainsworth and really showcase the scope and scale of “Merlin” very nicely. The top color photo was taken by photographer Peter Cunningham and is a real stunner if you ask me. While there is no documentation as to who took the second photo, I suspect it…

Merv Griffin Show- Chita Rivera Performing “Merlin”

Finding existing performance clips of “Merlin” is a lot like finding Sasquatch or seeing a UFO. They tend to be very fleeting, and you have to look hard.  Well, as luck would have it I recently came across this excerpt from the “Merv Griffin Show” where Chita Rivera performs “I Can Make it Happen.” As…

Original “Magic Show” Set Design Sketch

The above piece comes from Henning admirer Glen Henry and is a real rare piece of Broadway history.  It’s not often that you find a production sketch from the original version of “The Magic Show” at a small store in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. But that, my friends, is exactly what happened. How it ended…

NY Times: World of Magic Broadway Review

Doug Henning only seems to dema terialize – and re-materialize – and levitation is a mechanical rather than a natural wonder. But it is beyond the ken of nonmagicians to understand how he performs his illusionary feats. As we know from his first two Broadway shows and his frequent television appearances, he is a genial…