Performance - Spookshow

Posted by Peter Monticup on 10/24/2020 to Monticup Performs


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!


Date 11/4/2020
Spencer Farmans
This show was as good as the Blackstone Jr. extravaganza I saw at the Blackstone Theater in Chicago in 1979. Blackstone Jr. recreated his fathers' grand illusion show, including the floating light bulb and the the Asrah levitation. I had no idea, Peter, you had both the props and talent to produce such a terrific evening of magic, reminiscent of the old grand masters traveling magic shows. It was a sheer delight of both the mind and eyes. I completely lost myself in the grandness of the show, your showmanship, and the throwback to those grand stage shows of the past I so fondly remember in my youth. Bravo, Peter! And thank you for the experience and sharing.

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