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…

“Rubber Girl” Illusion from “Magic on Broadway”

The “Rubber Girl” illusion above was featured on Doug’s 1982 “Magic on Broadway” special. A lot of the special had sort of a greatest hits feel about it, and was a perfect venue for Doug to show off some old favorites sprinkled with new illusions. In retrospect, all this is appropriate as this was the…

“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…