At the nightclub Chez Manny, a new young magician, Doug, and his assistant, Cal, are hired as the headline act. Unlike the washed up no talent, Van Zyskin with his cliché style, Doug is an young ingénue with long hair and casual clothes, but with amazing talent. With the rumor of an important producer coming to see the show, the jealous Van Zyskin is determined not be overshadowed by the young upstart. He plans to steal Doug's secrets and undermine his young rival's confidence despite what unappreciated protection that Cal can provide. Can Doug keep true to himself and his art and appreciate his gifts despite what the villain plans? The result are certain to be magical. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
If you have fond memories of the Broadway show or adored the original score, please do yourself a favor and do not buy the DVD that is available. Do not spoil your memories.
West End Avenue is gone, the Goldfarb Variations are gone, Charmin's Lament has been changed out of all recognition.
The actor who plays Van Zyskind is adequate, I guess. Didi Conn (who I love, btw) is fine, although I don't think her voice really handles Lion Tamer too well. Anita Morris is great, but her performance has been hamstrung by the changes to her character. Doug, well, Doug Henning was a terrific magician...the inspiration of many performance magicians who followed...and it's wonderful to see him perform.
And, if all you want is his magic and not the magic of the original stage production and you don't care that they left in only two songs worth having (Lion Tamer and Up to His Old Tricks (although not arranged as well)), go ahead and buy it...if you can find it cheap.
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