Vernon's Silhouette studio

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Bill Mullins
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Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Vernon's Silhouette studio

Postby Bill Mullins » September 12th, 2019, 10:43 am

Used to, Billboard Magazine ran a lot of information on magic and magicians. Bill Sachs had a long-running column full of news and gossip. On more than one occasion, he mentioned that Dai Vernon and Larry Grey had a studio in Manhattan where they would cut silhouettes for walk-ins.

As you might guess, the studio became a hangout for magicians, so much so that Vernon would work in a back room and have staff up front come get him if a magician came in who was worth talking to. Not just any Tom, Dick or Harry -- they would get told that Vernon was busy -- but someone like, for example, Cardini.

One of the articles mentions the street address. 1697 Broadway was a newly constructed theater (started in 1925), called Hammerstein's Theater, after the owner Arthur Hammerstein's father Oscar. In addition to the theater space was office space upstairs and retail space on the first floor (you can buy a slice there at Angelo's Pizza now). The first production was a musical called Golden Dawn, whose cast included an Englishman named Archie Leach. You may know him better by the stage name he later took -- Cary Grant.

The theater is known today as the Ed Sullivan Theater. He started broadcasting his show there in 1948. Jay Marshall performed there a number of times. So did Fred Kaps. and Marvin Roy. A British music group of some fame made their American debut there in 1964.

Merv Griffin started taping there in the 1960s, and hosted a number of magicians (including Vernon acolyte Ricky Jay). David Letterman moved his show there in 1993. He was seen as a tough audience by magicians, but when his son became a fan of magic, the host became more receptive to the craft.

I wonder how many of the magicians who have performed there over the years realized that Vernon was the one who came first?

Brad Henderson
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Location: austin, tx

Re: Vernon's Silhouette studio

Postby Brad Henderson » September 12th, 2019, 12:31 pm

Bill Mullins wrote: Vernon was the one who came first


Much to the dismay of Mrs. Vernon.

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Christopher1979
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Joined: January 23rd, 2017, 10:46 am
Favorite Magician: Ricky Jay, Dai Vernon, Darwin Ortiz, Ed Marlo
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Re: Vernon's Silhouette studio

Postby Christopher1979 » September 12th, 2019, 4:58 pm

Interesting Bill, thank you for taking the time to share!.... and Brad, Hmmm..... really....... Classy :?

Brad Henderson
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Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: austin, tx

Re: Vernon's Silhouette studio

Postby Brad Henderson » September 12th, 2019, 5:09 pm

I’m here to serve.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Vernon's Silhouette studio

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 12th, 2019, 6:14 pm

And you succeed, much to the dismay of many.
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