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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magic names and the media » » Doug Henning - Merlin Video Wanted (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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hkmagic
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Hi, I am interested in tou buy or trade the video of Merlin By dough Henning, Anyone have it, where I can find it?

Thanks


Henry
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DanielSteep
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I Too am looking for this
Sir Pat-Trick
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I don't think there was ever a video made of it. From what I understand. I am a big broadway fan/ theater fan myself. The show was just a flop/bomb that it closed in like a week. The only video/dvd of Doug Henning on broadway is from the musical The Magic Show. I do not think Merlin was ever done like that. Of course I could be wrong.
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AmazingEARL
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Don't hold me to this, but I heard (many years ago) that the New York Public Library has a video archive of nearly every Broadway show since the dawn of video recording. They're strictly for research purposes and you *cannot* remove them from the room, but I understand they're there and can be viewed on premesis with the proper credentials.

Now, I've not confirmed this myself...but wish I could. I've always wanted to see "Merlin" again.

At one time I spoke with Edgar Lansbury (Angela's Brother) about getting the rights to produce "The Magic Show." He said that was impossible, but "Merlin" could be gotten for the right price. Hmmm...

I'd love to see a revival....but it would never work. Sure, you could hire a kid for Christian Slater's part. Maybe Chita Rivera and Nathan Lane could be adequately subbed.

...but could you REALLY make it click without Doug?
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leapinglizards
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IF anyone finds such a video... let me know. I have SO many fond memories of Merlin... Seeing "The Mascot Moth" and many other classic and original miracles of illusion design- and later, getting to spend time with Doug and Debbie, and meet Nathan Lane and Chita Rivera are still fond memories for me!
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evgulick
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I have been told there are a few "unauthorized" copies of Merlin hiding in some video collections in the U.S. I have not been able ever get anyone to fess up that they have a copy but I am pretty sure there are a couple. There are some elements of the Merlin show that can be found including a performance on the Tony awards and on one television talk show he did the double sawing using the props and costuming from the show. As a matter of record the recent Disney Live show which had a magic theme actually used the Merlin double sawing boxes during the tour.

Evgulick

P.S. if somebody is holding a copy of this let me know I really would like to try and get it
Eddie Garland
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I saw the show, it ran for 96 performances, 69 previews. It was big and over produced and Doug looked tiny on the elaborate stage. Great performances by Chita Rivera and Nathan Lane. Doug Henning was even popular on T-shirts and Tannen's was in Times Square.
I preferred Henning's much more intimate "The Magic Show" at the Court but Merlin was spectacular in scope.

You can be certain that it still exists on video in someone's collection.
DanielSteep
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Haha ive watched the comercial a milliion times.. but I wanna see the stage show:( are there any plays that are based around magic and illusion out there todya?
Eddie Garland
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There was a play at a recent NY fringe Festival that involved a postal worker who developed psychic powers....maybe someone could help me here? I heard it was quite interesting, a good bit of mentalism involved I believe, anyhow sounds great right? I wish I seen it.
Bill Brunelle
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Quote:
On 2007-01-19 23:35, Eddie Garland wrote:
There was a play at a recent NY fringe Festival that involved a postal worker who developed psychic powers....maybe someone could help me here? I heard it was quite interesting, a good bit of mentalism involved I believe, anyhow sounds great right? I wish I seen it.



Eddie,
Just saw this ancient post. Hopefully someone let you know that it was the award winning Torkova who wrote and starred in "Thought Prints" where he played the postal worker.
It was a truly charming show and an impressive theatrical debut for Bobby. I'll let him know of your post.
Best,
Bill
landmark
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Quote:
Don't hold me to this, but I heard (many years ago) that the New York Public Library has a video archive of nearly every Broadway show since the dawn of video recording. They're strictly for research purposes and you *cannot* remove them from the room, but I understand they're there and can be viewed on premesis with the proper credentials.

Now, I've not confirmed this myself...but wish I could. I've always wanted to see "Merlin" again.

This is true. I've seen several videos at the NYPL theatre collection as a theatre researcher. Whether they have Merlin is iffy. If a show closes before they get a chance to tape it, I don't think they bother. Maybe sometime in the next few months I'll talk with one of the archivists and see if they have it in their collection.
ClintonMagus
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I have an bootleg audio recording of Merlin. It's not great quality, but it is interesting.
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HerbS
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The New York Public Library does not have a video of the production of Merlin. I have checked. They do have some short excerpts that come from a local TV station which broadcast a news piece about the show. Below is a link to the listing from the Library's catalog that references the footage. If I'm reading this correctly the excerpts are 17 minutes, and I'm pretty sure that's about what I remember from my visit to the Library. TV stations were limited by agreements with the theatrical unions as to how much they could film in Broadway theaters. Those excerpts and the TV commercial, which the Library also has, are all the video that I've been able to find from Merlin.

merlin

I think that it is fairly doubtful that a video of Merlin exists. If one did, I suspect that Jim Steinmeyer, who created many of the show's illusions would have learned of it and made reference to it in the big article about the show that appeared not too long ago in Genii. Or it would have emerged elsewhere by now. I'm surprised that the creators of the show didn't tape it themselves as a way of documenting their work. I think it's interesting to find from this thread that an audio version exists, since the show's score was never recorded.

Unfortunately watching the video excerpts at the Library did not change my memory from the time of the show that it was strained and for the most part not very entertaining. "The Magic Show" was light and pretty silly, but it also was effective in putting a fun, new spin on the face of conjuring. "Merlin" was a valiant effort, but the pieces just didn't come together. To me it seemed a case of everyone trying too hard. I do remember that despite all that Nathan Lane was quite funny. For some reason the night I saw the show he was wearing a cast. I gather that he played a portion of the run with a broken leg. Chita Rivera is a stellar Broadway professional, but she too seemed to be struggling to make something of lackluster material.

Steinmeyer's Genii article and also his book, "Hiding the Elephant," make the case for the innovative nature of the magic, but even that seemed somehow lost in the overwrought production.

Merlin provided the one opportunity I had to see Doug Henning perform live, and so despite all of this, I'm glad I went - even if the experience was less satisfying than I'd hoped.
daffydoug
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Fascinating!!
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HerbS
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Evgulick, in the thread above, mentions an excerpt from Merlin, that aired on the Tony awards. Here it is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_......S_MZ-26o
Randwill
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Thanks for this. What a delight!
Fungineer
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HerbS--
Thanks much!
HerbS
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Glad folks are enjoying that. I forgot that it was around until I was reminded by evgulick's post from 2007!
HerbS
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Evidently there was a reunion of some of the performers from the original Merlin cast who read through the show in a presentation at the recent Los Angeles Magic History Conference. According to the latest Genii (January 2014, p. 68) as part of the presentation clips of unofficial video were screened showing Doug Henning performing some of the magic from the show....so It seems there ARE some additional Merlin clips out there after all.
janos5303
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There exists a bootleg of the show shot from the side of the audience (not head on), also found a very clean, probably soundboard recording of the show (audio only).
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