VINTAGE PLAYBILL: Stephen Schwartz's The Magic Show, 1974 | Playbill

News VINTAGE PLAYBILL: Stephen Schwartz's The Magic Show, 1974
On this date in 1974 the Stephen Schwartz musical The Magic Show premiered on Broadway at the Cort Theatre.

The musical starred illusionist Doug Henning as an aspiring magician. The cast included future Tony nominee Robert LuPone, future Emmy nominee David Ogden Stiers and Dale Soules, who recently returned to Broadway in Hands on a Hardbody. Paul Shaffer made his Broadway orchestra debut as the original keyboardist.

New York Times reviewer Clive Barnes applauded the "terrific" Doug Henning and his "brilliant" act, but he deemed the show and the songs written to accommodate the illusions "feeble....not clever enough to be camp and not smart enough to be silly."

Despite a chilly critical reception, the musical became a hit and played a four-year run of 1,920 performances. Later replacement performers would include Nick Wyman, Rita Rudner, Loni Ackerman and Lynne Thigpen.

Read a 1974 Playbill from The Magic Show in the Vault.

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