Abbotts Halloween Special

SPOOKSTERS OF MAGIC PAST AND PRESENT

Bill Neff Baffles Me 1953

by Tommy Windsor

Local theatre manager, Durward Duty of the Shea chain, invited me into his office the other day and laid out Bill Neff's press book, publicity material, mats, etc., for me to look over. He has the Neff Show set in Marietta at the Colony Theatre for Jan. 29. The last time Dr. Neff played Marietta was in the spring of 1948. He has played here a number of times, always to capacity business and always with a good show. In my opinion his chief girl assistant is one of the best in the business, I can't think of her name right off. I always like the way Bill does Magic nice clean-cut tricks. Especially do I like the way Neff does some of Abbott's illusions such as: The Broom Illusion or Suspension, Cremation Illusion, and the Basket Illusion, etc. Of course most of you fellows have caught Neff's show and know all this. His press book is swell, his paper and publicity is tops all the way through. He is a real Magician . . . he even BAFFLED ME! Yes, he did, and here's how he did it:

Two days before he played here last time he sent me a wire saying a crisis had arisen and he neded a girl assistant and would I be good enough to round up some girls who would like to troupe so he could select one from the bunch. For two days, I did some tall hustling around college dramatic department dancing schools, etc. When he arrived I had assembled three or four girls who would take a chance on breaking into the show business via a spooker.

Neff interviewed them all, reserved his decision, made no comment. Jeanne and I put in a lot of hard work getting these girls down to the theatre and reassuring them that they would like the job, etc. Two days AFTER Neff's Show left town, MY WIFE received a wire (addressed to her this time) from Neff offering HER the assistant's post, asking her to join at Dayton. Believe me, I'm STILL trying to figure this one out! JAI HIND!

The legal department of Universal Pictures has issued the green light "go ahead" sigral to keep on booking Dr. Silkini's "Asylum of Horrors" Midnight Spook Show, as the Baker brothers have renewed their license with Universal to use The Frankenstein Monster. All VERY interesting.



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