Filmed “Magic Show”Soundtrack in Full

I thought I would mix things up a little today in terms of “The Magic Show” soundtrack. Now many of us have heard, and probably own, the original show’s album. But, how many of you have heard the filmed version’s isolated score soundtrack by itself?  Well, if you’ve always wanted to hear that, then today…

“Magic Show” 47th Anniversary Playbill Article

I’d be remiss in not mentioning that yesterday, May 28th, was the 47th anniversary of “The Magic Show’s” premiere. Yup, in 1974 the world of modern magic changed forever! To commemorate this, “Playbill.com” has a newish article to mark the occasion. I say newish because a version of it was published last year for the…

Joe Abaldo “This is Broadway” Radio Interview

For those looking for a blast to the past, check out this radio interview with Magic Show understudy and star Joe Abaldo for the radio series “This is Broadway.” The program itself was recorded over 30 some years ago, and syndicated to stations across the country as a way to give listeners a taste of…

Doug’s Understudies-Peter DePaula Playbill

Over the next couple days I wanted to focus on the unsung heroes of “The Magic Show”…Doug’s Understudies! At the time, Doug had issues with the idea of the show continuing without him. As the show’s producer Edgar Lansbury said in John Harrison’s book “Spellbound:” “Doug was always convinced that nobody else could do these…

“Abracadabra Magazine” June 19th, 1974

This rarity comes from Vol. 58 #1483 of Abracadabra, and gives us a real insight into the buzz that was “The Magic Show” premiere at that time.  If this article wasn’t enough to make you want to take a return trip to 1974, then photographer Irving Defor’s covertly taken dress rehearsal photo is worth the…

The Magic Magazine-January 1975

The above cover and article hail from “The Magic Magazine” which ran from 1974-1977. Published by Joseph Cardwell, the magazine itself went on to publish a total of 26 issues, and even had mentalist Joseph Dunninger as a contributing editor.  This issue features a sort of meeting of the magic minds as Doug, Dunninger, and…

“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…

“Mismade Girl” from The Magic Show Movie!

To close off your Friday, why don’t we take a look at the “Mismade Girl” illusion from the “Magic Show” movie?  Designed by magician Chuck Jones in 1968, the illusion has taken on a life of its own over the years, and was a frequent part of Doug’s act and stage shows! Enjoy! Have a…

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’…

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…

The “New Houdini” Advertisement

The above ad certainly makes a bold claim in order to sell the soundtrack record to “The Magic Show.” Doug and Houdini were drastically different in terms of presentation. However, if there were similarities between them, it’s that they totally redefined how the public saw magic in their respective time periods. But, I doubt Houdini…

Liza Minelli Mismade Girl-Dick Cavett Show

The above clip, while poor quality, show’s Doug performing the “Mismade Girl” illusion on the Dick Cavett Show. The illusion itself has been performed many times over the years. But, it’s up to you to decide if this is indeed the first time Doug is performing it on TV as he claims.  But, if seeing…

Derren Brown “Doug” Name Check!

Mentalist Derren Brown, whose current Broadway show “Secret” is smashing records, was recently interviewed by “Long Island Weekly.” In it, Derren discusses the show’s history, and a certain other magician is mentioned regarding their time on Broadway.  “Recently, breaking the record as the longest-running magician on Broadway, Brown made his U.S. debut with Secret, which…

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…