Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Original 'Wizard of Oz'. Australian magician Hugard

'The Birth of the Sea Nymph' (also known as 'The Birth of the Pearl') was performed from 1919 to 1926 at Luna Park in Coney Island, New York by illusionist 'Jean Hugard and his modern Miracles'.

Hugard was actually born in Toowoomba, in Queensland, Australia and worked as both a bank manager and meatpacker before giving into his desire to be a magician.
In 1896 at the age of 24, he finally got an act together and toured Australia and New Zealand for many years.
In 1916 he moved to the USA and, after doing the rounds of the vaudeville circuits as an oriental magican, he eventually established his own theatre at Coney Island.
In 1943 he started his own magazine 'Hugard's Magic Monthly', and was also the author of numerous magic texts, which are still classics in their field.

(ref. 'One Hundred Years of Magic')

Hugard's 'Birth of the Sea Nymph'.
Poster c.1920

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