In the 1970s Ward Hall and C. M. Christ had several tented shows with magic illusions, circus acts and revue production numbers. We were influenced by the Tihany Circo Spectacular which we had visited in Argentina. It was and is the most beautiful tented show in the world. At that time Franz "Tihany" Ceizler lived in Sarasota, Fl. and I knew him from there. He is an amazing man, a great magician - illusionist, producer, and businessman. His son is now running the show but I don't think he performs in it.

 

Our first tent show "Wondercade" was booked for a Caribbean Islands tour by Charlie Cox. It was a buyout by a sponsor. The magic in the show was done by Dick Johnson  who still has a magic show which tours only in Florida. That was in spring of 1970, In 1974 we had purchased the Pete Kortes show and changed it into a carnival illusion show. In 1975 Chris built a theatre from the ballroom at Crystal Beach Ontario, (The amusement resort owned by the Hall family) and therein produced "Doctor Miracles Wondercade" starring the great illusionist Vince Carman for the entire season. That show had twelve major illusions and the dancers and show girls which were cast in New York by Larry Crane, who directed the show. Jerry Ross who was in management wit numerous of our carnival shows over the years was company manager.

 

For 1976 we greatly enlarged the show and took it to Mexico for an 18 month tour with promoter "Verdoni". The show was presented in a European style circus tent seating three thousand two hundred people. Two shows a day three on Sat and as many as four on Sunday. The show starred Vince Carman doing 17 major illusions, with five elaborate production numbers and numerous featured circus acts. We sold this show while it toured Mexico to the promotion company. It opened April 5 through July 10 in one location in Mexico City, some time after that tour finished I was instrumental in getting Vince Carman booked into the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas. He was a Las Vegas star for the next 20 years.

 

In 1981 we booked 12 shows into the Ohio State Fair, which was doing a pay one price including the midway. Our contract was a buy out with Pugh Amusement Co. Chris designed and built several new shows, including a new "Wondercade" show. It had three production numbers with a line of chorus girls plus four show girls and starring Roy "The Great" Houston presenting ten major illusions and five circus acts. The show did three shows a day. We could seat 750 people in the big top.

 

That winter was a busy one at our winter quarters.

 

For 1982 We bought a big top from the Beatty-Cole Circus and seating for 2700 people. Chris built a portable steel stage that was two thirds the size of the stage at Radio City Music Hall.  It had to be very strong because we added Mike with Stoney the Elephant which did it's routine on stage and then was vanished. We added a live orchestra under the direction of Jerry Maas. (the orchestra in 1981 was conducted by Bob Amato who came to us from Circus Tivoli in Canada) We had a number of circus acts booked: Vidbel dogs, a tropical bird act, chimp act, Elizabeth Campa Tight Wire, Venicuos airiel display, a three people juggling act with David Mass. 12 girl and two boy dancers, six show girls and a production singer. We had about twenty five support personnel. The transportation including the private and advance required twenty vehicles. The show made three day stands. It was too big and too heavy and way to expensive, resulting in a short season which lost money.

 

 In 1983 the Wondercade Tent show made it's final stand in Nov at Baton Rouge, La.


Thought you might enjoy this bit of history,

 

 Ward Hall


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