Original Stage Manager”Merlin” Script with Notes

The following script excerpts comes courtesy of John Harrison, author of the excellent biography “Spellbound: The Wonder-Filled Life of Doug Henning.” I’ll be posting it over the next couple of days, but rather than talk about the script myself, I’ll let John explain it further.  “It is Act I, Scene 6 (the final act prior…

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…

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…

Lion Tamer from “The Magic Show”

One of my favorite songs from The Magic Show is “Lion Tamer.” The song itself was composed by Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell), and originally performed by actress Dale Soules. However, this version is recreated by Didi Cohen (Grease) for the filmed version of the musical from the early 1980s.  It’s a simple, but heart warming…

“The Magic Show” on Amazon Prime Streaming

John Cox of Wild About Harry was kind enough to let me know that the 1981 filmed version of “The Magic Show” is now available for streaming on Amazon Prime. While this production has been available on DVD for a while, this is the first time anything by Doug has been available on a streaming platform.  Notably,…

“The Magic Show” and “Merlin” Songbooks

Out of the blue this week I received these wonderful pictures from Doug fan Frank Simpson. As you probably gathered, they are the songbooks for the original productions of “The Magic Show” and “Merlin.” While “The Magic Show” did have an official soundtrack, “Merlin” did not. So items like these are even more important as…

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…

“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…

Doug and The Washington Post

I just came across this treat of a “Washington Post” interview I think everyone will enjoy. It was published on June 9, 1982 and takes place right before Doug was winding down touring to concentrate on the creation of “Merlin.” Compared to other interviews I’ve read it really delves deeply into Doug’s thoughts on the…

“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…