Close-Up Magic with Doug!

While Doug always excelled at grand illusions it was the moments on his specials that focused on close-up magic that have always fascinated me. For the most part, these would always take place with children in the audience, and thirty-five years on they still speak volumes to his skill and ease with this very unique…

NY Times “Merlin” Interview: Part 3

FOR HIM, MAGIC IS MORE THAN TRICKS By GLENN COLLINS Published: February 13, 1983 Television newsmen have tried to bribe Mr. Henning’s stagehands – unsuccessfully – to learn his secrets. ”I could patent the illusions,” he said, ”but then anyone could find out how it’s done.” Instead, through the years, the hundreds of people who…

NY Times 1983 “Merlin” Interview: Part 2

FOR HIM, MAGIC IS MORE THAN TRICKS By GLENN COLLINS Published: February 13, 1983 Some of the ”Merlin” magic, like the horse and rider that vanish in midair, or the monster robot that mysteriously comes to life on stage, is new. Other illusions are updated variants of necromantic classics, like the elegant disappearing-duck stunt, based…

Fan Mail Mystery!

Magician Pat Darienzo of Long Island shared with me this article he wrote soon after Doug passed away. What you are about to read is truly a Doug Henning mystery…and living proof that our mail system may be a little slow.  The Greatest Trick Doug Henning Never Did By Pat Darienzo     Doug Henning, to whom…

Please Stand By…

Due to a rather severe bout of food poisoning, “The Doug Henning Project” will be on a short hiatus. I’ll be back up again next week.  See you soon!

Alternate “Magic Show” Poster

This phenomenal and eye catching poster for the “Magic Show” television adaptation is truly, pardon the pun, a “wonder.” Rarely seen, it shows a totally different concept than the traditional poster that was used for the Broadway  and television versions.  If anyone has more information on this, where it was used, and the artist please…

“Magic Show” Movie Props!

Today’s images again come from Steve Zigmont’s impressive collection. What you see below are the bottles that the evil magician Van Zyskin uses in his act for “The Magic Show” movie.  Filmed for Canadian television, this version of “The Magic Show” differs from the famed Broadway production. However, it is the only version of the play…

“Merlin” at the Tonys!

It’s a Merlin kind of Monday here at “The Doug Henning Project!” In my You Tube travels, I came across this excellent musical clip from the 1983 Tony Awards featuring the “It’s About Magic” number from Merlin.  As with all things “Merlin,” whenever you find any scenes from the show it’s a rarity. So, please…

People Magazine Interview: Part Two

After Falling Under the Spell of Wife Debby, Doug Henning Hopes to Charm Broadway Again (Part.2) “My friends said there was practically a flash of light,” says Henning, 35. “I had never felt anything like it in my whole life.” The dazzler was Debby Douillard, 27, an abstract painter with bottomless blue eyes who was…

Houdini’s Magic Magazine: Pictures

What a treat these pictures are! Flipping through the magazine, I was taken aback at how rare some of these shots are, especially of “The Magic Show” itself.  For those with an eagle-eye, yes that is not Doug in the title role. By that point Doug had left the show for greener television and touring…

Vault Treasures: Part Two

Welcome back for a just as exciting Part 2 as we continue to look at Steve Zigmont’s collection featuring many items from Doug’s famed NBC specials. Enjoy!

Vault Treasures: Part One

Not long ago retired magician and current effects specialist Steve Zigmont was generous enough to share with me pictures from his extensive collection of “Henning-ana!” Is that a word? Well, it is now. So, if you’ve ever wondered where some of Doug most priceless costumes, props, and posters ended up you are in for a…

Merlin Mania!

What you are about to see are two very rough, but very cool commercials for the original production of  “Merlin! As mentioned before, Merlin was Doug’s 1982 follow-up to “The Magic Show.” Directed by his old college mate Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters, Stripes, Twins), the show boasted huge production values and illusions. Starring in the title role, Doug led…

John Cox: Part Two

How important do you feel “The Magic Show” was to the audience’s appreciation of magic? Doug Henning brought magic back to Broadway and back to legitimate theater…So, it really was “The Magic Show” that re-introduced the world to grand illusion…I wish I would have seen it…When you read about it, it was a good mix…

John Gaughan: Part Four

What was your reaction to when he gave up performing? John Gaughan: Well, he was always stopping performing…He only wanted to work for a couple weeks on the road and then come back and rest for four weeks…Doug didn’t care too much about money and then the transcendental meditation kind of overtook it. Then he…

John Gaughan: Part 3

Is there an illusion that you designed for him that is a highlight? John Gaughan: Well, they were all kind of wonderful things to play with. The big Japanese warrior that came to life (in Merlin) was a lot of fun, and I remember bringing that thing in because that was one of the last…

John Gaughan: Part Two

Why do you think “Merlin” isn’t looked up on as being as successful as “The Magic Show” was? John Gaughan: I think in reality it was more successful. The problem was you had a bigger theater and the cost at that time was close $275,000 per week. Then Doug didn’t have a lot of stamina…

John Gaughan: Part One

This week we have another treat in store for you with one of the art form’s most prominent and respected designers: John Gaughan. For over fifty years, John has been delighting audiences with his work for such artists as Siegfried and Roy, David Copperfield, David Blaine, Criss Angel, Mark Wilson, and Ricky Jay. However, most…

Jim Steinmeyer: Part Two

What were your impressions of Doug’s as a person? The thing about it was that that was 100% him. He didn’t come offstage and put on a three-piece suit, put his feet up, smoke cigars, and say “Hey, what do you think of this hippy look? What do you think I should be doing?” There…