ABBOTT EMPLOYEES STAGE GREAT SHOW
From the Colon Express newspaper, November 14, 1940: “When more than two hundred men, women and children gathered at the Abbott Magic Theatre last Saturday night, they came to enjoy the first of a series of shows given my the Abbott Employees’ Club, and enjoy it they did.
For the most part, the two-hour program was made up of acts in which the mysteries of legerdemain predominated, but there were novelties interspersed with the magic acts, and good humor throughout, so all of the folks in the chairs were glad they had come.
Besides the acts presented by the various members of the club, three out-of-town performers, Jack Ricketts of Battle
Creek, Neil Sweet of Kalamazoo, and Keystone the Magician, now playing through Michigan.
Percy Abbott officiated as master of ceremonies and did bits of magic before his announcements of the various acts, as well as a turn in which he did the linking rings and a thumb tie trick just before the closing act. He introduced the acts in the following order:
Jack Riketts opened the show with clever presentation of a milk vanish and a later production of mild from a seemingly empty handkerchief. Jesse Thornton, with his usual easy manner, followed with a cut and restored taps tricks, caught money from the air much to the amazement of a young lad who assisted him, and closed with the chopper illusions in which the lad was his victim. Mel Melson appeared with some new sketches in chalk and Cliff Bennett manipulated cigarettes in a clever manner. The fist half was closed by Lyman and Company, one of the high spots. Lyman did a variety act in which he quickly removed a wood block from a tape, sawed a rabbit in half and produced a canary from a light bulb.
Gen. Grant opened the second half with some fast effects – baking a cake in a man’s hat, vanishing a half dollar and producing it in a lemon, causing a dozen cards to go one at a time from his outstretched hand to his pocket, and closing with the shooting through a woman illusion, assisted by Gladys Abbott. Neil Sweet then came on to do his shadowgraph act and this proved one of the most amusing and entertaining acts on the bill. Keystone closed the show with a clever dove production, some humorous hocus-pocus with a youngster from the audience and a dice box, production of a bowl of water, and various silk tricks.”