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Willard The Wizard by Bev Bergeron

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Willard The Wizard

The Last of the Tent Show Magicians

By Bev Bergeron

 Illustrated by Randy J. Ogren

Bev Bergeron first saw the Willard Shows in 1940, eight years later he joined the show and began an adventure that has brought him through every facet of showbusiness. 

This is a classic view of the times, seen through the affectionate eyes of a young man whose life was forever changed by the Willards.
Beginning in Ireland about 1840 with James Willard, Elder, a magic tradition began in the Willard family. At one time there were as many as five Willard the Wizards, each performing with his own large touring show. Harry Willard was the last touring Wizard. He startled the world with his thumb tie and Spirit Cabinet. Three different 2-hour shows were performed each week. Seventeen trucks carried the mysteries. It was a period when magic theatre was enjoyed by all.

Bev Bergeron's story of the Willard the Wizard Shows is a history of theatre, America, magic, and family. Told with reverence, awe, and warmth, filled with photographs, handbills, and anecdotes from others, Bev gives us a wonderful, nostalgic, and amazing look at early 20th-century magic theatre. This book was used by The Smithsonian Institution for research in their tribute to American Tent Theatre.

"One of the 12 all-time books written on the subject of magic"

Contents Include:

30 Mysteries of the Show, The Closest Guarded Secrets of Magic, Publicity, Posters, handbills, 50 Photographs, Tips on How the Master Performed, Hundreds of professional illustrations, Cueing the Spectator and Hyp Act, patter, Touring with a Tent Show, History of the Willard Show, Escapes and Marionettes.

  • The Famous Spirit Cabinet.          Floating Lady.         Vanishing Lady
  • The Willard Thumb Tie.         Canon and Nest of Boxes.         Flowers from Paper Cone
  • Box Escape.         Cremation Switch.         Goddess and the Reptile
  • Welding in the Trunk.         Vanishing Ducks.         Vanishing Bird Cage

An Historical Tribute to a Magical Family

  • Willard Show (Doc Harad)
  • Tiny Titanic Trickster (Arthur Leroy)
  • Poem (George Warrick)
  • The Best Dang Magician You Ever Saw (Walter Blaney)
  • Last of the Old Time Masters (Doc Mahendra)
  • Running Down the Willards

The Tent Show and Its People

  • An Assistant Remembers
  • Get the Flags Flying (Madeline Willard Copeland)
  • The Tent People
  • View of the Tent
  • Press Clippings
  • The Influence of the Willard Show
  • A Willard Handbill
  • The Towners

The Magic of the Willards

  • The Programs
  • The Magic

 The Entertainer

  • Patter
  • Marionettes
  • Cueing and Stooges

The Death of the Tent Show

  • A Tribute (Glenn Tucker)
  • Index
  • Poem (Frances Willard Tucker)


Details: Willard The Wizard - 1st Edition

156 pages, Hardcover with dust jacket, Size 8 1/2" by 11 1/2". ©1978 by Bevely J. Bergeron

Please Note: We have a couple of Autographed copies, at a slightly high price, by Mr. Bev Bergeron, listed elsewhere on this website.

Media Type Shipped Product

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