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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Doug Henning. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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RJE
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M.O.

Doug did many different stage shows and after this many years, I like a lot of others have forgotten some and confused others.

In one of his live shows, in Toronto (at the then St. Lawrence Theatre I believe it was called), I remember he did a neat little thing with a kid's pedal car, a sack escape, miser's dream and a giant version of the board game Mouse Trap among other things. Members of the local IBM ring #17, (called The Hat and Rabbit Club at that time) were able to purchase a video tape of some of the show and an interview with Doug.

Doug did a show at an earlier date at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Toronto and I believe this is the one that was filmed for wider distribution. Called "The Magic Show" it also starred Didi Conn, Jon Finlayson, Jack Creley, Sandee Currie, Taborah Johnson, Anita Morris and Paul Soles. It should still be available for purchase.

Doug had some family in the Mississauga area of Ontario and was booked early on by some Toronto agents like Dan and Terry Stapleton of Golden Productions. If you are still doing research for your book (I believe you mentioned somewhere that you were doing some sort of project on Doug) you may also want to contact some of these people.

All the best,

Rob
ssucahyo
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indonesia
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He do the girl production, vanishing elephant.
Creator of the "High Voltage Gimmick" and Shaman's spirit table
https://youtu.be/Rlgl4CzUa98

IG: @affordable_illusions_magic
Starrpower
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Yes, he does the Motorcycle Vanish on the Canadian DVD version of "The Magic Show." No pedal car, sack escape, or Miser's dream (although I've seen him do all of those tricks, so he may have changed the magic in "The Magic Show" on occasion.)
DanielSteep
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Dear RJE,

I am doing a project on famous "to me" magicians . yes your correct. I also emailed you from d.steep@tcc.on.ca about 3 days ago and never got a response. I'm sending me email again. THANKYOU all!
RJE
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Hello MO,

I'm afraid I never received your first e mail, but I have just seen one from you today, and I promise to respond.

Starrpower,

Those routines were not in "The Magic Show." They were performed in another stage show that he did in Toronto following the taping of The Magic Show, also in Toronto.

I was a guest at the filming of The Magic Show because I was dating his cousin at the time. I was in the audience of the second show (a few years later)because I was a member of the Hat and Rabbit Club. On both occaisions, I had the opportunity to meet and speak with him after the shows. Really nice guy who left us far too early.

All the best,

Rob
DanielSteep
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Thanks Mr Evans,
the second email was tghe same as the first,, mayvbe it just didn't send properly
RJE
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Not a problem MO.

I will be performing fairly close to your hometown tomorrow night in Camlachie (between Forest and Sarnia). It is a stand up comedy show that I will be emceeing (I do comedy and magic). However, it is an adult only show.

All the best,

Rob
DanielSteep
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RJE ,

believe it or not I am an hour from london almost 2 hrs from Camlachie! lol will you responde to the email soon as tomorroiw I will be steppiong out uyntil tuesday
Blair Marshall
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Don't confuse the Broadway "Magic Show" with the production produced here in Canada, and available on DVD (a great buy for Doug fans)and shown on TV. Many many differences: songs, magic performed etc.

Does anyone know of any video/film material exists on "Merlin"????

Blair Marshall
"ShaZzam!"
silverking
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Most of what people want to know about Doug exists in the heads of those that were with him throughout the major part of his career, and his wife.
Those people are Jim Steinmeyer, Debbie, Glen Preist, and probably guys like Willie Kennedy and John Gaughan.

The only person in the above list that was with Doug from Toronto through Merlin was Glen Preist, he was listed in various positions as Dougs personal assistant, Technical Director of Magic on the Magic Show, etc.

It was Glen who worked with Doug and Jim designing illusions, and developing them into the story taking place onstage. It was Glen who was backstage each night preping the illusions, and making sure stagehands knew how to do whatever it was they were doing.
Fine details, lost in time, like where Doug lived while working the Magic Show, and what he did on weekends exists in the head of guys like Glen.

Glen worked at EXPO86 in Vancouver as the fireworks supervisor/designer, and then sort of dissapeared.

Does anybody know Glen Preist, and where he might be today?

He would be a major source of Doug Henning information from Doug's humble beginnings in Toronto, until Doug was "on the stem", and on into magic history.
Bill Hegbli
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Doug Henning performed traditional illusions. Many of his early illusions were from Abbott's Magic. You can check out their catalong on line.

http://www.abbottmagic.com
Pete Biro
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I remember working with Glenn when Doug did an hour for me on the IBM Convention show ini Long Beach. Stienmeyer was there as the creative guy too. However, one of the advisors that really did a lot with Doug was Charles Reynolds.

One time when I was visiting New York I went with Reynolds to see Doug do a show at a college campus. Sitting in the front row watching Doug do the Paul Curry travelling knot nailed me so bad I literally fell out of my chair to the floor.

I had no clue.

One of my prized possessions is a poster from the NY production of The Magic Show that Doug inscribed to me.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
silverking
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Thanks Pete,
Charles Reynolds definitely was in that list of close associates.
I worked with Glen for a year during EXPO86 and it was almost at the end of the year that he finally told me what he had actually been up to for the past decade.
For some reason he didn't speak often about Doug, perhaps he was just totally focused on the fireworks show for EXPO, which he was in charge of for about 20,000 people each night for six months, or maybe it was a little to raw considering what precipitated his departure from Dougs camp.(which I always assumed was TM and Vedaland, with Doug stopping doing magic).

It wasn't until much later (in the late 90's) that I came to realize just how much Glenn had to do with Doug.

I stumbled across the Internet Broadway Database which had Glen listed as "Personal Assistant to Mr. Henning" on The Magic Show, and as "Magic Technical Supervisor and Designer" for Merlin.

I've said it before here on the Café, but I sure hope Jim Steinmeyer, Charles Reynolds, Debbie, and others who were close to Doug are assembling facts and details that would someday result in the definitive book about Doug Henning. For his part, Glen seems to have dissapeared.

Todd Karr indicated when he was a special guest here on the Café a couple of months ago that he "might" be working on something about Doug, but I've actually not heard any further information to indicate that anybody is working on a book.
Chris Murphy
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Quote:
On 2006-04-08 11:39, silverking wrote:
Fine details, lost in time, like where Doug lived while working the Magic Show, and what he did on weekends exists in the head of guys like Glen.

One quirky thing I have, in a woodworking book of all places, is an article about a guy who ran a supply company for wooden boat builders and he talks about his celebrity customer - Doug Henning. I need to locate this article, but from (my probably unreliable) memory, he says that Doug had a hobby of building wooden boats in his summer retreat in Maine(?). I thought it was an interesting aspect of the man which I've never read about in magic focussed interviews.

Fingers crossed that somebody gets onto this while just about everybody is still with us and puts a definitive "Doug" book together.

Chris.
Chris Murphy
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silverking
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That's an amazing tidbit Chris, I've never heard that before.

If you're a fan of Doug's, it's nice to imagine that he floated around in his little boat up in Maine dreaming up new illusions and contemplating magic!

It's a personal opinion, but I believe that time will reflect on Doug Henning as one of the most important magicians in the history of the art.
Those who study magic in a historical perspective already place Doug near the top in terms of magicians who've impacted not only other magicians, but the general population.

It's such a rare opportunity to provide for future studies of magic the complete and detailed history of where Doug came from and how he got there.

I honestly believe that the key lies with Jim Steinmeyer, Debbie, and Dougs family. Working togeather those folks could deliver a book for the ages.

As a guy who has all of Jim's books, both the popular titles like "Hiding the Elephant" and "The Glorious Decoption".....and all of his "special" books like "Jarrett" and "Alan Wakling", we can only hope that he either writes the book, or participates fully in it and somebody like Todd Karr writes it.

MMMMMMM, I wonder if Jim, Debbie, or anybody in Doug's family reads the Café?...............
Chris Murphy
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Yep, I've got my hopes up that Jim will tackle this one too - I too get that smug, warm, feeling whenever I look at my bookshelves and see his full title list sitting there! Fingers crossed.

I'm trying to find the source for my post about the wooden boat thing - may take a few days.

Chris.
Chris Murphy
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Chris Murphy
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I found the book... my recollection was reasonably close - Doug bought and restored a wooden boat off the guy who is featured in my woodworking book. It says Doug spent his winters in Maine (I guess at least at this time) and bought an inexpensive wooden boat and restored it himself with the assistance of some long-distance advice from the boat guy who has a business in Cincinnati.

Chris.
Chris Murphy
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Dennis Loomis
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First, the original question did not say whether they wanted to know the illusions that Doug did in the Broadway show or the Canadian TV version of the show which he did many years later. They are very different. By the time that Doug did the TV version of The Magic Show, he had been a successful professional magician for many years and had created, in conjunction with many consultants, a lot of great illusions. He got as many of the new "better" illusions into the old Magic Show storyline as possible.

The illusions which he did in the Magic Show on Broadway were, for the most part not his original ideas and were mostly the same as the illusions he had done in his show "Spellbound" at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto. This show was produced by Ivan Reitman (yes THAT Ivan Reitman) who was also instrumental in getting the Broadway producers to come to Toronto to see Spellbound.

The illusions I recall from the Broadway show include the Asrah Levitation, Lions Bride, and subtrunk.

Many of the illusions for his first TV special were built by Owens Magic Supreme. After that he worked extensively with many prop builders and suppliers and creative thinkers. Certainly Jim Steinmeyer was largely responsible for many of the illusions that Doug trouped with in the last couple of years of his career. But over the years, Doug worked with John Gaughan, Dick Zimmerman, and even Kirk Kirkham was brought on board by Charlie Reynolds to make a couple of pieces for one of Doug's TV Specials.

Secondly, the previous comments in this thread are right on about the people closest to Doug once he had made the move to New York. Glen Priest and Charlie Reynods probably know the most about Doug and his career. However, in the early years, before Doug left Canada, you could come up with a quite different list of names. As one who was close to Doug "way back" I would mention: Gene Anderson, Jim Robertson, Jerry Conklin, Dick Oslund, Maya, Marsden Barrick, Brian Lumley, Sid Lorraine, Bruce Posgate, and your scribe.

Dennis Loomis
P.S. Todd Karr was most definitely talking about a book about Doug. I do not know if he's still planning this or not. He would certainly do a marvelous job, if his previous work is any indication. I certainly hope that he does.
Itinerant Montebank
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Amazing Magic Co
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When I was a kid, I remember seeing Doug on Johnny Carson. That following evening we were in a restaurant in Fire Island and I commented that the gentleman at the other table looked just like him. When he walked by my mother said something and it turned out to be him. When he heard I was interested in magic, he spent 20 to 30 minutes chatting with me. Needless to say, more than 30+ years later, I'm still inspired. Since then, my greatest is to inspire others ... then, I know the magic really is alive.

Dan.
Presto Productions
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Today, in honor of Doug Henning's birthday, we have launched a brand new Doug Henning site at http://www.doughenning.com

The Doug Henning Wiki Project is a community based history reference on the life of magician Doug Henning. Based on the wiki framework, anyone can contribute or edit articles.

With your help we'll be able to create a site that will keep Doug Henning's memory alive as well as provide a definitive resource on all things Doug Henning.

Please help us by contributing your knowledge.

Thanks,

Greg Mulvey
Creative Director
Presto Productions
http://www.prestoproductions.com
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