Handwritten “Merlin” Monthly Expenditure Notes

Money, money, money! It makes the world go round doesn’t it?  The notes featured below list the general costs and supplies that went into producing “Merlin” per month. While $421.74 may not seem like much now for a Broadway show, in 2019 dollars that equals to $1116.84 per month.  Unfortunately, not everything can be conjured…

1983 “Merlin” Animal Breakdown Sheet

If yesterday weren’t enough for you feast your eyes on this detailed breakdown sheet of how the animals in “Merlin” were positioned and used. It really brings you a whole new appreciation to see the level of care and preparation that goes, and still goes into, the usage of magic and animals on stage. Enjoy!…

Original “Merlin” Dressing Notes

“Spellbound” author John Harrison was kind enough to share with me some truly eye-opening items from his Henning collection. If you ever wondered how complex “Merlin” was to put on every night, just look at this “Dressers’  Notes” sheet. This document, and a few you’ll see throughout the week will give you a fascinating window…

Grover Dale: Final Thoughts on Doug

Special thanks to Grover Dale for adding this exclusive comment to “The Doug Henning Project” to cap off a great week of memories.  ‘Surrounded by Broadway pros, Doug Henning not only grew as an illusionist. He grew as an actor, performer, and human being.  He caught the ball and ran with it. Witnessing his exceptional growth…

Grover Dale Remembers “The Magic Show:” Stephen Schwartz and Beyond

The Meeting that Triggered Broadway’s 8th Longest-Running Musical Next day.   From the moment I describe replacing Henning’s rock-star approach with the sweet-lovable-kid-next-door that he actually is, Stephen’s eyes light up.  It got even better as we shared the impact an over-the-top-and-much-older magician could make during attempts to steal Doug Henning’s illusions from him.  ‘A mad-cap…

Grover Dale Remembers “The Magic Show:” Part One

All this week, “The Doug Henning Project” is fortunate to be printing excerpts from “Magic Show” director Grover Dale’s upcoming autobiography. Mr. Dale has been gracious enough to allow the chapter devoted to “The Magic Show” to be previewed here, and what a chapter it is! As you will see all this week, “The Magic…

Magic Show Monday: Before Your Very Eyes!

Lets’s get this week started on a high note with a musical selection from “The Magic Show” soundtrack. “Before Your Very Eyes” is one of the showstoppers of the musical, and still holds up extremely well today! While it’s difficult to find a proper video recording of “The Magic Show” as originally presented (I’m not…

eBay Week: Wonder Whim Sunday!

What better way to close out “eBay Week” than with that toy of toys a “Wonder Whim?” While, Doug’s failed experiment with this 1980s toy line stands as a bit of an anomaly in his career…what an anomaly it is.  A cross between a Cabbage Patch Kid and Rainbow Brite, this lonely and down and…

ebay Week: Rarely seen Doug and Chita Rivera “Merlin” Photo

Now we’ve all seen pictures of Doug and Chita Rivera in their “Merlin” costumes. However, I gravitated to this one because of its natural and over all congenial tone between the two stars. I’m guessing this was taken at the premiere of “Merlin” (correct me if I’m wrong), and it shows a bit of a…

eBay Week: “Spheres of Merlin” Framed Poster

This beauty hails from 1976, and features one of Doug’s most famous quotes: “The art of a magician is to create wonder. If we live with a sense of wonder, our lives become filled with joy”  Painted by fantasy artist Gilbert Williams, I assume this was part of Doug’s touring merchandise. The only place I have…

eBay Week: 1977 “World of Magic” Doug and Earth Press Photo

Doug literally goes global in this little seen press photo publicizing 1977’s “World of Magic.” I have to admit, I’ve seen many, many photos of Doug in my time. But, this one is a first even for me. Its odd choice of having Doug ominously standing over the Earth with beams shooting out of his…

eBay Week: Love, Peace, and Magic Poster

This week I thought I’d try something a little different, and highlight what I feel are some of the more unique Doug collectibles on eBay right now! The above “Love, Peace, and Magic” poster comes from a 1975 issue of “Dynamite Magazine.” I really love the design and typeface of it all, as it really…

Happy Birthday Doug!

Today is what would have been Doug’s 72nd birthday! While Doug may be not here to celebrate with us, his memory stays strong in the hearts of everyone who has ever picked up a deck of cards or believes in the power of magic to entertain, thrill, and astound! So, wherever you are today, remember…

“Magic Detective” Doug Themed Podcast!

Dean Carnegie’s excellent “The Magic Detective Podcast” will be featuring another Henning based episode premiering this Friday. As it will be Doug’s 72nd birthday, the timing of this is more than appropriate. In it, Dale intends to pick up from Episode 13, and continue to discuss the specials. If the last episode is any indication,…

“The Doug Henning Project’s” 2nd Anniversary!

Two years ago today I began this website not knowing what to expect, or even if I’d be able to post something new every day. Well, as you all know that hasn’t been the case, as the magical world of Doug Henning is a very rich and positive place with always something new to find. …

Dean Gunnarson, Doug, and the Water Torture Cell

Escape Artist Dean Gunnarson was kind enough to share with me some rare items from his Doug collection, highlighting of course Doug’s original “Water Torture Cell” from “World of Magic I.” Dean had bought the original cell from Brett Daniels in 1990. To confirm its provenance, Dean even had the opportunity to show the cell…

Alternative Christmas Wreath Publicity Photos

Is this thing on? After a two week absence,” The Doug Henning Project” is back and ready for action! I apologize for the delay, but with work and further filming of my Doug documentary things became a little hectic to say the least.  Anyway, what better way to start than with a little Christmas in…

1985 All-Stars of Magic Charity Event Photo

The 1985 picture is certainly one of the more famous pictures in terms of magic all-stars. Organized by Lance Burton and Fielding West, this one night only event featured a who’s who of magic to raise money for hunger in Africa. No one can argue that this photo certainly captured a rare moment in time that…

Merv Griffin Photo-Doug, Burt Reynolds, and the Maharishi

The rare above photo features Doug on the Merv Griffin show in Autumn of 1977. Sitting with Doug is the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and…Burt Reynolds. While I have not seen this particular appearance, my guess is that a discussion about Transcendental Meditation was on everyone’s lips that day.  Based on his expression, does anyone care to…

“Magic Show” Movie Newspaper Articles and Ads

The newspaper articles below represent the time when Doug made a live filmed version of “The Magic Show.” Meant to be an accurate recreation of the famed musical, this production was plagued by legal and funding issues which never allowed it to live up to its potential as a proper motion picture. In the end,…

At Home with Amy Sedaris- Lance Henning Appearance

Comedian Amy Sedaris and Doug Henning are two names you probably wouldn’t think of as going hand in hand. But, Amy and “Lance” Henning recently cooked up some “magical” dishes on a recent episode of  TruTv’s “At Home with Amy Sedaris.” Whether, “Lance” has as much “wonder” as his more famous clone is up for…

Doug Henning Marionette

I came across this unique item recently, and just had to put it up. Made by puppet builder Darren Moreash, the marionette itself is a one of a kind item where Doug’s personality shines through 1000%! From the rainbow and star vest to the sneakers, it’s all there! For more information on the “Darrionettes” please…

1986 Providence Performing Arts Ctr. Ad

Recently Michael Whitecar was kind enough to pass on this item from his collection to me. I had been wondering what the year may have been for this appearance, but I suspected it was from Doug’s last and smaller tour.  Then I remembered a couple years ago I posted a commercial of a later tour,…

1985 Saturday Night Live Sketch-Martin Short as Doug

To make your weekend even better I thought I’d post a link to this vintage Saturday Night Live sketch from January 12, 1985. In it, Billy Crystal plays Joe Franklin hosting, appropriately, “The Joe Franklin Show.” However, this sketch wouldn’t be on this website if it wasn’t for Martin Short’s brilliant impersonation of Doug. The…

Doug and Barbara Walters-Full Photo

The above photo comes from a July 16, 1974 appearance of Doug on a Barbara Walters NBC program titled “Not for Women Only.” While actual footage from this program isn’t readily available, this photo certainly gives you a taste of Doug utilizing Walters in the sawing illusion. as featured in “The Magic Show.” While I…

I.B.M. Plaque Unveiling Color Photos

The following photographs come from the collection of Dean Gunnarson, and feature Doug at the 1986 plaque unveiling ceremony commemorating the first location of the I.B.M headquarters in Winnipeg. For those unfamiliar, I.B.M. is the abbreviation for the esteemed organization the “International Brotherhood of Magicians.”  While I have featured this event before, never have I…

“Beyond Reason”-CBC Game Show Pilot Clip

The clip featured in today’s post originally aired on June 1, 1977. In it, Doug finds himself on a sort of psychic “Dating Game” called “Beyond Reason.” While shielded from view, several psychics try to guess who the mystery guest (Doug) is in a limited amount of time.  I’ll leave it up to you as…

New Playbill “Magic Show” Article

For those seeking new Doug content look no further than “Playbill’s” mini retrospective on the “Magic Show” that was posted this past Friday.  It’s a quick rundown of the show’s history, musical highlights, and how it’s sadly one of the more unknown Stephen Schwartz scores.   There’s even a great clip of Carol Burnett and Cher…

1965 Focus on Hocus Program

“Focus on Hocus” seems to be a little known and very early performance in Doug’s career. Taking place on September 4, 1965, an eighteen year old Doug shared the bill with many professional magicians of the day in a show rightfully billed as an “International Magicians Extravaganza!” It’s also worth noting that Micky Hades is…

Gary Brown Remembers Doug…

Some weeks ago, magic historian and writer Gary Brown reached out to me with his experiences of writing a 1997 Henning retrospective for “Genii.” It’s a fascinating tale of missed connections, and planting the seed in Doug’s mind that maybe just maybe he was appreciated.  First, I’m part of what I like to consider the…