A History of Stagecraft and Spectacle
By the 1920’s, magicians like Harry Houdini and Howard Thurston and Harry Blackstone Sr. were the superstars of their era, touring the nation and packing theatres with lavish shows. But Houdini’s death, talking films, the Great Depression and other events changed this. Smaller, more intimate club or “tableside” magic–invented in Chicago–took its place.
Soon, clubs like Schulien’s, magicians like Blackstone, Jay Marshall, and later Marshall Brodien (inventor of TV Magic Cards) made Chicago the epicenter of a new form of magic, which lasted well into the 1980’s.
The book also highlights Chicago landmarks like Magic Inc. Riverview, and profiles a new generation of magicians including Dennis Watkins, Neil Tobin and others who are preserving the tradition.