Blackstone at WMU Miller Auditorium This Thursday Evening at 8:00 P.M.
Colon Express, March 6, 1985: “Editor’s note: The picture and press release of Harry Blackstone Jr. were sent to the Express from Western Michigan University’s Miller Auditorium. Some of our readers keep scrapbooks of Colon’s magicians, and since Harry is probably our most famous one, following in the footsteps of his father, here’s his latest.
Kalamazoo – Continuing a legacy of magic magnificence dating back nearly a century. Harry Blackstone Jr., son of The Great Blackstone, will bring what Newsweek Magazine has called, “The largest and most spectacular traveling magic show ever” to Miller auditorium on Thursday, March 7, at 8:00 p.m.
As a child, he learned the elements of the craft of magic under the watchful eye of his father and uncle. By trial and error he mastered all the world-famous Blackstone illusions … the Floating Light Bulb, Dancing Handkerchief, Vanishing Birdcage, even the terrifying Buzz-saw.
But then in his late teens, feeling eclipsed by the shadow of his famous father, he decided to specialize in some other area. His love of the theatre prevailed, however, and he majored in theatre arts, eventually starring in stage production of Teahouse of the August Moon and eventually moving into a part-time job on a local television stationed owned by then Senator Lyndon B. Johnson, in his job as producer, he cast himself as a magician for a commercial. The spot was successful and led to further involvements as a magician.
Later in other producer jobs, he was involved with the Smothers Brothers’ CBS-TV variety show, managing three west coast companies of the smash hit Broadway musical Hair and producing the Smothers Brothers’ acclaimed Las Vegas act. He was, in fact, creating another kind of magic .. the offstage masterminding of elaborate shows. And this experience and success eventually came together with his mastery of magic to create “the most spectacular magic show ever”.
Harry did not re-enter the world of magic until after the death of his famous father in 1965, but at the urging of many of his father’s former associates, Harry decided to devote his considerable skills to enhance the name of Blackstone and all it stands for.
Harry Blackstone says, “What I am undertaking is the challenging, but delightful, task of bringing this magnificent art to even higher levels, building on what has gone before, but injecting a modern, innovative presentation that is very much of the present, of the future and of my own creation.”
Harry has headlined at top nightclubs, hotels and television shows all over the world, including his own syndicated special. In 1978 he mounted the largest illusion show the world has seen since his father’s retirement. His first tour was an immense success as have been subsequent tours. His 1980 Broadway show was the longest running illusion show in the history of New York theatre.
The success of Harry’s magic show has not kept him from other forms of theatre. He has acted on TV in “Hart to Hart”, and on stage. He has starred in numerous TV specials. He created all the illusions incorporated by Earth, Wind and Fire into their 1983 international tour. In addition to all his appearances and collaborations he has authored several books and magic kits, has done numerous commercials, and won numerous awards acknowledging him as the master magician of his time: America’s Bicentennial Magician in 1976; the Star of Magic, an honor bestowed only 11 times in 80 years; “Magician of the Year” by the Academy of Magical Arts. Through Harry Blackstone Jr. one of the world’s favorite forms of entertainment flourishes. To his skill he adds charm and wit and the extravaganza of a major musical production. And he invites his audience to participate with all the good humor of a house party.”