In 1983, I created a full evening theater show loosely based on the old spookshows, with campy "creepy" magic performed by Dr. Bizarre (me!) and my crazy crew of magical assistants.
The idea was to have a family-friendly show that featured all of the expected spooky illusions, like the Sawing In Half, the Blade Cabinet, and the Asrah Levitation.
Many of the illusions and props I used were actually vintage pieces.
The Flash Appearance at the start of the show was once owned and used by Will Rock.
The Circus Tent, which I used to produce our two pet turkeys, was from the Servais LeRoy show in the 1920s.
The Head Cremation was used by Dante in his 1949 show season.
And the Razor Blades once belonged to Orson Welles, who said he got them from Hardeen.
Vintage or not- I wanted to use them!
The show was performed a number of times during the later 1980s, but this was actually the very first performance, at Proctor's Theater in Schenectady New York.
I was 29 years old when this show was filmed.
My assistants were local actors, models and friends, and my wife Jackie was the stage manager.
By the way, Jackie sewed all of the costumes by hand, including the wonderful (and heavy!) red-lined cape I wore.
I still have the cape, and still wear it to open my stage shows.
She also hand stitched the big Question Mark switch curtain, used in the finale.
Though Proctor's Theater is a grand old house, it did present some problems for us.
The main issue- the theater was in the middle of a major renovation.
The building had no back wall when we did this show!
It was late fall in upstate New York, and it was probably around 20 degrees outside.
We only had a cloth curtain between the back of the stage and the outdoors.
When we used that fog, it froze on the stage and was it ever slippery!
Sorry that the film is rather grainy, as it is probably a 10th generation copy of a bootleg recording of the show.
Hope you enjoy my Spookshow- A Creepy Thriller Chiller!