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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

The Magic Magazine-January 1975

The above cover and article hail from “The Magic Magazine” which ran from 1974-1977. Published by Joseph Cardwell, the magazine itself went on to publish a total of 26 issues, and even had mentalist Joseph Dunninger as a contributing editor.  This issue features a sort of meeting of the magic minds as Doug, Dunninger, and…

Original “Magic Show” Marquee Photo

Well, hello again everyone, and welcome to 2021! I apologize for the long delay in posts, but I had been recovering from a very painful pinched nerve in my shoulder and arm. However, I was able to recover 100% over the holidays, and am looking forward to more Henning magic and wonder over the coming…

Tony Randall Segment-“Magic on Broadway”

Tony Randall was a familiar and beloved fixture on sitcoms and late night talk shows for years. From the “Odd Couple” to David Letterman, his smooth air of sophistication and sly bombasity always brought a smile to viewers’ faces.  So, it goes without saying that he seamlessly blends in as Doug’s assistant. Appearing first in…

Metamorphosis from “Magic on Broadway” Special!

Previously I posted Doug doing “Metamorphosis” in the filmed version of “The Magic Show.” However, something I like to do if possible is present Doug performing alternative versions of his illusions. With 1982’s “Magic on Broadway,” that is exactly what  we get. A stand out for me is the historical background sprinkled in the introduction…

“Fountain Levitation Illusion” from Magic on Broadway

Hello All! Well, I thought I’d dip my foot back into the proverbial posting pool today courtesy of the “Fountain Levitation Illusion.” With Ann Reinking as his assistant, Doug is at his best with this legendary illusion that never seems to get old over time.  This vintage illusion fit well into the special’s “best of”…

“Bed of Horrors” Article by Brian Lumley-Conclusion

The Bed of Horrors: Part Four ©2020 Brian H. Lumley Another “Bed of Horrors” came from Owens for The Magic Show national tour. It had the same set of problems as the original unit. All the changes that were made for the Broadway illusion were incorporated into the design of this piece, but it still…

“Bed of Horrors” Article by Brian Lumley-Part Three

The Bed of Horrors: Part Three©2020 Brian H. Lumley On Broadway they wanted the “Bed of Horrors” bigger with longer teeth. This meant extending the four posts 4’ at the top and replacing the spikes with new ones 12” long. Now the top had to drop further, slide over a new seam, land smoothly and…

“Bed of Horrors” Article by Brian Lumley-Part Two

The Bed of Horrors: Part Two©2020 Brian H. Lumley The “Bed of Horrors” was a bad dream come true — it just would not work with any guarantee. The canopy slid down the four posts guided by four sleeves of square tubing about a foot long welded to the corners of the canopy frame. This…

“Bed of Horrors” Article by Brian Lumley-Part One

Over the next few posts, I’m going to be publishing an exclusive article from Brian Lumley. I’m sure many of you know, but Brian, along with Glenn Priest, was Doug’s right hand man and technician during the early days of Doug’s career.  This article encompasses the treacherous set-up of the “Bed of Horrors” illusion from…

“Motorcycle Illusion” from Magic on Broadway

The motorcycle illusion featured today made its first TV appearance with Doug all the way back in 1977’s “World of Magic III.” Without a doubt, it became one of Doug most memorable and famous illusions. So much so in fact, that he recreated it for his penultimate special “Magic on Broadway” in 1982.  Now, in…