Sunday, July 6, 2008

Didi Conn: Is There Anything She Can't Do?

After that brief discussion of Didi Conn the other day, I saw, on Mark Evanier's invaluable blog News From Me, this clip of the late Doug Henning performing the famous Metamorphosis trick, assisted by none other than Ms. Conn (nee Edith Bernstein, if you can dig that). Assisted probably isn't the right word, since it's clearly Didi who's doing the heavy lifting here.

In addition to her facility with magic, Didi also shows the ability to execute a highly rigorous series of calisthenics, and to wear Henning's trademark rainbow accoutrements without sacrificing every last shred of her dignity.

This is from Henning's Broadway opus, The Magic Show, circa 1981. Prepare to be amazed:


MJN said...

But why does he call her "Cal"?

T. Nawrocki said...

"The Magic Show" was not just an evening of magic but a full-fledged Broadway play, with a plot and everything. here's a synopsis I found:

The setting for the show is a seedy nightclub, the Top Hat, where an aging alcoholic magician "Feldman the Magnificent," an overly grand performer. Manny the Top Hat owner wants to replace him. Because he is drunk all the time, the Manny brings in Doug Henning's character, also named Doug. Well, he is very unconventional as far as magicians go, as Feldman points this out in "Style."

Doug has this assistant named Cal who is quite a chatterbox. She is in love with Doug, but he is focused on advancing his career and pays little attention to her. She sings that she'd like to be a "Lion Tamer," in order to get him to notice. Donna and Dina are the rock act in the club. One of them dates the nephew of a big agent named Goldfarb. Goldfarb is coming to the club to check out Donna and Dina as a favor to the nephew. Everyone is excited, especially Feldman.

Meanwhile, Doug realizes he needs a beautiful assistant. Cal gets mad, as if to say, "what am I, chopped liver?". She tells him she's just going to go back to West End Avenue. Doug is busy conjuring up the beautiful Charmin.

Charmin says when Goldfarb gets a look at her, it's Doug's act that he will love. Donna and Dina get worried, and along with Feldman, plot to expose the secrets to Doug's tricks during the show. They fail. Doug realizes he loves Cal, and gets to her before she leaves. Charmin is sent back to wherever she came from. Feldman tries to do an act with Donna and Dina. Happy ending!

MJN said...

Whew. Thanks, I guess.