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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magicians of old » » Wonder Show of the Universe (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Lord of Illusion
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Ok, what I'm looking for/want is a listing of the running order of Thurston's Wonder Show of the Universe. Any season, but I'd really prefer one of the last ones that was a full evening show. Also, music that was used would be helpful (I have this long running - crazy idea to recreate it and I can't seem to find a list of what I want, just bits and pieces)

Azrael
Edward Wolfgang Poe,

The Necromancer of the South
Father Photius
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You might watch e-bay those old programs show up once in a while, just enter Thurston in the search and anything under that name will crop up. There are a few dealers who handle such old magic stuff, generally at a very premium price. Plus, to the best of my knowledge, Thurston bought Keller's show and primarily didn't change it. So if you can find one of Kellers program listings you can get a good start. Also Dante was hired by Thurston to do a traveling version in the smaller venue houses in Vaudiville. So the show was the same as Thurston's, so again you should be able to get a Dante program and get the same show.
I was looking at some of Uncle Harry's (Blackstone) old programs and they are often deceptive. The same effect would have three successive listings like it was three tricks, and each listing would only be 1) the introduction of the trick 2) the main performance part of the trick and 3) the final effect. I understand that such ballyhoo in programs was quite normal in those days, so any program of Thurston, Keller, and Dante might be a bit hard to read. You might try checking a Thurston biography, more than likely you will find a clearer definition of the effects in his show there.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
Terry Harris
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It would be too expensive to put the show on the road today-Terry
David Charvet
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The Thurston Illusion Show Workbooks (by Jim Steinmeyer/Maurine Christopher) have a rundown of the show, music and some transcribed patter. Johnny Thompson recreated a bit of Thurston years ago at an IBM convention. An attempt to perform the whole Thurston 2-1/2 hour show would be a serious challenge for any actor - let alone trying to gather the props, scenery, assistants (or an audience!) Good luck, and I'll be the first in line to buy a ticket.
David Charvet
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A side note to Photius, above. When Thurston took over Kellar's show in 1908, he scrapped all of Kellar's show except the Levitation of Princess Karnac and the Spirit Cabinet. The rest of the show was "new" Thurston material. You'll find info. in the Bill Miesel/Mike Caveney biography of Kellar - "Kellar's Wonders" and also Guy Jarrett's "Magic and Stagecraft" book (recently reissued as "The Compete Jarrett" by Jim Steinmeyer.)
Father Photius
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Thanks for the info, David.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
Michael Dustman
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I will check at home. I have a Wonder Show of the Universe when he appeared in Youngstown, Ohio.

Also...off the top of my head, I can remember that in the April 2001 issue of MAGIC Magazine, there is a blow by blow detail of the Thurston's show. It is the issue with Copperfield on the cover and it is the article "The Greatest Show I Ever Saw." When I get home and get that copy, I can try to post a running order.
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