Original “Magic Show” Set Design Sketch

The above piece comes from Henning admirer Glen Henry and is a real rare piece of Broadway history.  It’s not often that you find a production sketch from the original version of “The Magic Show” at a small store in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. But that, my friends, is exactly what happened. How it ended…

NYPL Photo Archive: The Magic Show Part Three

All Photos by Ken Duncan These photos are copyrighted by the New York Public Library’s Billy Rose Theater Division. Any unauthorized usage of those for profit or personal promotion is in violation of copyright laws.

NYPL Photo Archive: The Magic Show Part Two

Let’s do it again shall we folks? I have to say I’m really loving this collection of photos. What strikes me the most about them is that their electricity and energy truly make you feel as if you’re in the Cort Theater’s front row circa 1974. As these pictures prove, the production itself was sparse and…

NYPL Photo Archive: The Magic Show

The following photos come from the photo archive of the New York Public Library, and represent some incredibly rare and unseen photos that haven’t seen the light of day in 35 years. This is it folks, the start of Doug’s Broadway career in crisp and glorious black and white. Taken by photographer Kenn Duncan between 1974-1975,…

“The Magic Show” Movie-Up to His Old Tricks Opening Number

Happy Monday folks! The above clip comes from the opening of “The Magic Show” movie. It sets the stage (so to speak) for this televised version of the show to be a kind of “Doug’s Greatest Hits” package. In it, the “Mis-Made” and “Handkerchief” illusions make a welcome re-appearance to an enthusiastic audience. While the…

Admired from Afar-The Magic Show

It’s Monday folks. So, what better way to start the week than something else with the letter “M” in it…Anita Morris! This number features Morris recreating her role of Charmin from the Broadway “Magic Show” production. As the wife of its original director Grover Dale, she truly was a powerhouse performer who always lent the…

Genii-“Goodbye Doug” Issue-Final Part

So, in this third and final part we get some nice reprints of articles from earlier “Genii” issues. Both really bookend the tribute issue as a whole by bringing the readers back to a time in Doug’s career when things were less complicated and innocent. The article by Bill Larsen (co-founder of the Magic Castle)…

Doug Does Some Magic for the “New York Sunday News”

I wasn’t really sure how to title this post other than to say what it is: Doug Henning shows you how to do some really cool close-up magic! Enough said really.  However, what really appeals to me about this article is that it was done at the height of the “Magic Show’s” popularity in December,…

“Right Before Your Very Eyes!” from “The Magic Show”

Let’s rub those Monday doldrums from your very eyes with this lively and well known number from “The Magic Show.” Aside from the original show’s cast album, this filmed for television version is really the only way this rollicking number can be experienced today. While it may not be a perfect representation of what audiences…

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…

“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,…

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…

Peter DePaula Playbills and Magazines!

Today’s post is dedicated an unsung hero in the history of “The Magic Show.” When the time came for the production to tour, it was obvious to everyone that Doug wasn’t going to be the one to do it. Enter touring understudy extraordinaire, Peter DePaula. While a tour of Australia never panned out, DePaula (handpicked…

Brian Lumley: Final Musings on The Magic Show

Metamorphosis by Brian Lumley Part Five These are the kind of things that would serendipitously happen.  They are part of the magic that made The Magic Show and kept it going. Needless to say, Doug never trusted the bag set again.  He and his assistant double checked it every time. What those particular stagehands thought…

Brian Lumley: Metamorphosis Comeuppance

Metamorphosis by Brian Lumley Part Four Fingers were pointed at everybody like a Three Stooges routine. But it came down to who touched it last.  I was blamed by the stagehands.  But it was pointed out by the stage managers that the stagehands had demanded they take over that props pre-set.  This had been done…

Brian Lumley: Metamorphosis Mixup

Metamorphosis by Brian Lumley Part Three Doug lifted the banner to his waist on one. Then raised it over his head.  He then lowered it to his waist again and looked down at the trunk.  He was supposed to say two when he raised it over his head, but instead he was talking to Dale…

Brian Lumley: Metamorphosis Mishap

Metamorphosis by Brian Lumley Part Two Charlie was the man that convinced the producers that The Magic Show could not make it without Doug’s personal Special Assistants.  He had seen how closely we worked with Doug…He also advised IATSE and the production that we should be the only people to touch the magic props.  This…

Brian Lumley: Magic Show Metamorphosis

Over this week, early Doug collaborator Brian Lumley is going to be sharing more memories of Doug and, specifically, his time with The Magic Show. Enjoy! Metamorphosis by Brian Lumley Part One The average person would not believe the level or intensity of the screw ups we had running The Magic Show.  Especially in the…

Peter DePaula NYC Speaking Event

The following was sent to me by Joe Fox as featured in the “Genii Forum.” Peter DePaula, Doug’s touring replacement on “The Magic Show,” will be hosting a S.A.M evening of memories from his time with the show, and even teach some close-up magic that was used to promote the original touring production.  As noted,…

The Magic Show-Celestial Elevator

There’s nothing like a brief snippet from the TV version of “The Magic Show” to start the day off right! If all elevator rides were this fun…

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…

Never Before Seen Backstage Production Photos

The pictures featured below are a hodgepodge of never before seen production photos from “World of Magic 6 and 7,” as well as the filmed version of “The Magic Show.”  All of them really give a nice snapshot (no pun intended) into what went into making these legendary specials.  Special Thanks to Steve Zigmont-Doug Henning…

Doug at Ali’s Training Camp by Brian Lumley: Part Two

On stage in front of the Broadway audience Ali invited Doug to come to Africa as part of his entourage.  Doug did a massive sputter not knowing what to say; there was so much going on that others did not know about.  Then Muhammad saved the day when he invited him up to his training…

Doug and Muhammad Ali by Brian Lumley: Part One

Today’s multi-part story comes to us from Doug collaborator and website friend Brian Lumley. Brian has been kind enough to share a first hand account of when Doug met another legend in his field, the great Muhammad Ali. As you would expect, it’s a riveting story, and I’m very excited Brian has decided to make…

Tour and Show T-Shirts: Part One

Enjoy this plethora of vintage Henning T-shirt swag courtesy of Michael Whitecar. As you can see, each one truly represents a unique era and phase of Doug’s career.  Collect that All!

Current New York Magazine “Magic Show” Article

You can’t say it’s very often these days that there is a new article on “The Magic Show.” Let alone one featured in “The Cut” from New Magazine.  So, you can imagine my surprise when friend of the website Brian Lumley passed this onto me. It’s all about writer Christopher Bonanos’s first trip to see…

Doug Henning and Walter B. Gibson

The above image once again hails from the fine auction house of “Potter & Potter.” It’s from their upcoming June 16th David Baldwin auction, and in my opinion is a rare find indeed. The inscription reads: “To Walter Gibson–My favorite magical author. Magically yours, Doug Henning” Doug signed many autographs in his life, but this…