NY Sunday News-1974 “Magic Show” Sunday Spread

The above page comes from a 1974 “New York Sunday News” newspaper spread. In it, Doug is interviewed, while giving kids a lesson in magic. It’s a fun piece, and a nice representation on how “The Magic Show” was promoting itself during its very first holiday season.  As the article itself is fairly intricate, I’ll…

Sept. 12th Cort Theatre Renaming

As mentioned back in March, the Cort Theatre is about to enter a new era. As of Monday, September 12th, the theater will be renamed after venerable actor and Sith Lord himself, James Earl Jones. The theater itself has been undergoing extensive renovations during COVID, and when I saw it last November you could barely…

MDA Telethon Appearance-August 31, 1975

Today’s video was recently posted on the MDA Telethon You Tube channel. It’s part of a playlist of magicians that appeared on Jerry Lewis’ eponymous telethon over the years. Of course, Doug had to make the cut! Originally broadcast on August 31, 1975, Doug appears with his “Magic Show” co-star Dale Soules. In it, the…

Original “Merlin” Contract

Today I thought I’d present something not really magical. But, very necessary in the creation of “Merlin,” one of its original contracts.  The tumultuous tale of “Merlin” has been told many times elsewhere on this blog. It’s a long cautionary one of a revolving door of talent that made its way to Broadway in 1983….

Updated 2021 MTA Broadway Subway Ad

Recently, I was going through photos of my trip to New York City last November, and came across this photo I had long forgotten about. At the time, the city was trying to reignite Broadway audiences long dormant during COVID and fearful of subways. To do this, the MTA looked to the past to influence…

“Doug Henning and his World of Magic” New York Times Ad

A lot of people tend to focus on the closing of “Merlin” as Doug’s big failure on Broadway’s fabled “Great White Way.” However, what people frequently don’t realize is that a year after “Merlin” closed, Doug returned for what was a very successful follow-up called “Doug Henning and His World of Magic.”  The show itself…

“Magic on Broadway” NBC Commercial

It’s a blink and you’ll miss it moment from TV’s yesteryear. In this brief clip, Doug’s final special “Magic on Broadway” is promoted on NBC. Anybody else out there miss commercials like these?  Original Commercial Air Date: November 12, 1982

Original “Magic Show” Souvenir Book: Part Two

To Be Concluded Tomorrow… Special Thanks to Brigitte Marlt Splash Page: Billy Rose Theatre Division, The New York Public Library. “The Magic Show, 1974 May” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1974.

Original “Magic Show” Souvenir Book: Part One

A full scan of the “Magic Show’s” souvenir book recently came my way, and what a time capsule it is!  From director Grover Dale’s introduction, to Kenn Duncan’s photos, to even the coloring book in the back, it all makes you feel like you were there seeing the show for the very first time. But,…

Jim Steinmeyer Reflects on Ivan Reitman and “Merlin”

Esteemed Author/Illusion Designer Jim Steinmeyer graciously agreed to share his thoughts on working on “Merlin” with Ivan Reitman and Doug in today’s post. “Merlin” turned out to be the last collaboration between Doug and Ivan. While the production’s troubles are well known, Jim reminds us of how Reitman brought joy to the rehearsal process, and…

Cort Theater Expansion-Nov, 2021

Whenever I’m in New York City, I make it a point to walk by the Cort Theater off of 49th and Broadway. As you all know, it was the original home of “The Magic Show.” As these photos from a couple weeks ago can attest, it’s been going through a lot of changes as of…

1983 Merlin Fan Letter

The above fan letter was sent to me recently by Steve Schlanger who had no idea of its origins. But, as you can clearly see, Harriet Weston of 19 Willits Road throughly enjoyed her time at Merlin. So much so, that she put pen to paper to tell Doug about it.  This letter is a…

Potter and Potter: September 11th Magic Auction

For all those looking for Doug items in a future Potter & Potter auction then look no further than this coming September 11th.  Both items are nothing new or groundbreaking in terms of Doug collecting. However, what they do represent are two of the most iconic and influential posters in Doug’s career.  First up, seen…

John Gaughan “Merlin” Instagram Photos

Hey everyone! If you weren’t aware already, I wanted to direct you to illusion designer extraordinaire John Gaughan’s extensive Instagram account.  While the account by itself is a sight to behold, recently they have been posting unseen photos of “Merlin” on stage and behind the scenes. I’d love to post them all here on the…

“Merlin” Times Square Billboard

“Join the Crowds who are Cheering!” So started this billboard that hung above Times Square in the early 80s. If it wasn’t evident already, “Merlin” was heavily promoted during its relatively short run on Broadway. There was a lot on the line and at stake for Doug’s second appearance on Broadway, and the producers weren’t…

“Magic Show” 47th Anniversary Playbill Article

I’d be remiss in not mentioning that yesterday, May 28th, was the 47th anniversary of “The Magic Show’s” premiere. Yup, in 1974 the world of modern magic changed forever! To commemorate this, “Playbill.com” has a newish article to mark the occasion. I say newish because a version of it was published last year for the…

Magic Magazine Magic Show 40th Anniversary Issue: Part 3

Today’s is the final part of Magic Magazine’s 40th Anniversary “Magic Show” Retrospective. Yes I know, it’s been a blast! But, they could only spare so many pages to this memorable show. This last part by Alan Howard, focuses on the various iterations of the show that performed to masses after  its initial Broadway success. …

Magic Magazine Magic Show 40th Anniversary Issue: Part 2

After a brief hiccup, we are back with Magic Magazine’s “Magic Show 40th Anniversary” issue. In this edition, you’ll get to read more excerpts from John Harrison’s brilliant biography of Doug “Spellbound.” If that weren’t enough, David Charvet sits down with composer Stephen Schwartz about the genesis of the show’s music.  All this,”Right Before Your…

Magic Magazine Magic Show 40th Anniversary Issue: Part 1

Over the coming days, I will be reprinting Magic Magazine’s 40th Anniversary “Magic Show” issue. The issue itself is from May 2014, and is one of the largest retrospectives ever done before or since on the show. It features a lot of write-ups by friends of the website John Harrison and David Charvet, and covers…

Louie Foxx Collection: Signed Playbill and Photo w/Doug

The following items come from magician Louie Fox who was kind enough to share them with me. They represent kind of a grab bag of items: one is an autograph not meant for him, but the other is a photograph a lot of us wish we could have been in.  The “Playbill” featured above was…

Complete “Magic Show” Libretto: Part:2

Hello, everyone! Sorry for the delay in more pages from the libretto of “The Magic Show.” Between the four year anniversary of the site and Doug’s birthday some posts took precedent.  So, enough of me! Without further ado is Part 2… Special Thanks to Michael Mitnick

Complete “Magic Show” Libretto: Part:1

A big thank you to Michael Mitnick who was more than kind enough to send me an original copy of the libretto from “The Magic Show.”  It goes without saying that it’s a fascinating read, and one that I’ll be breaking up over several days. As there are no videos of the original Broadway production,…

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…