This man drew a good size house this afternoon. The biggest Monday matinee we had for quite a while. All due, I presume, to the extra amount of advertising. He received some little advance applause. Got his committee very readily and he went through his handcuff work. The Jury did not seem to enthuse any. In fact, they were very cold. He then went into his other various stunts and they warmed up slightly. He closed up with pretty fair applause and took only one bow. 19 min, full stage. EIGHT PERFORMANCE: Houdini’s performance. Worked out a couple of stunts ourselves, which greatly improved his act. He closed with very strong applause and took a couple of bows. The house was the biggest for Monday night for many weeks. Great numbers leaving after he was finished.
On at 4.20, 20-35min, full stage. He has this town hypnotized. He is to do a series of special stunts this week, a different one at every performance. Last night he was bolted and rivetted inside an iron boiler. He escaped in 56 min. He says this is one of the toughest tests he has ever undertaken.
Started his work here by performing his usual jail breaking feat under the auspices of Capt. Of Detectives Donaghy and in the presence of a hundred officials, magistrates, members of the press and etc. The feat was successfully performed, and was highly commended by everybody. It was a good introduction to opening here to-day, and he received strong advance applause. His stage presence is all that could be desired, and has a frank way of addressing the audience that stamps him a man that can do things. The handcuffs that the citizens brought on the stage, he managed to certificate himself from with very little difficulty. Each one of his feats was liberally applauded, and the chest act, wherein he changes places with his wife in a locked trunk get a big hand. Houdini’s work is absolutely unique and strong. There is no doubt about his drawing ability here, and he will be booked to the limit. 22 mins. Pal. In 4.
“Handcuff King.” 26 to 60 min. F.S. 2 shows. On at 9:45. In the afternoon Houdini broke out of a straight-jacket to the intense delight of the holiday crowd, and in the evening, after forty five minutes of the hardest work he ever had in this theatre, he extricated himself from an iron-bound hamper, made by one of the big Philadelphia firms. I think that people realize that it will be a long time before Houdini returns to Phila. If ever, and seem to think that it is quite the thing to do to see him and enter the general discussion of where he is the greatest genius of his time or merely a clever fakir. At any rate, although the enthusiasm over his work does not compare to the riotous nights of last year, he is a stupendous drawing-card.
This is his second week and everyone in Pittsburg is talking about him. Sorry to say we were unable to take care of the people who wanted to see him. He is a great and willing worker and has every artist in vaudeville beaten when it comes to figuring out ways to boom business.
‘The Handcuff King.’ From 20-40 minutes, depending entirely upon what is scheduled. This man gets out of the handcuffs very easily and has been responsible for a big week with us, but I would not imagine he would be worth anything to a bill unless he was helped to work his act up. It is necessary to boom [sic] him far in advance and to do many things that is not necessary with other feature acts. We were fortunate in getting some of the officials who were above suspicion to go on the stage from time to time and attempt to lock Mr. Houdini in straight jacket and handcuffs. In this way we were able to get a big week.
This handcuff expert and magician is of great value to any vaudeville theatre if properly exploited. Escort him to a police station or jail and permit him to be stripped and locked up. He will escape from the handcuffs, manacles and cells, and the press will do the rest if properly handled by the press agent. It was worked with tremendous success here. The sheriff of the county appearing on the stage and tying up Houdini in a straight jacket from which he escaped in full view of the audience. Monday the theatre was packed to the doors at both performances and we expect to do a phenomenal business all week. His act runs from 20 to 30 minutes according to the work he is given to do by outsiders.
This man’s reception to-day was very big, lasting for fully a half a minute. His hand-cuff work was watched with great interest and secured some little applause. Finished the act with the trunk tick, which carried him off fairly good. One the second performance, he escaped from the strait-jacket, which brought forth a tremendous applause. At the evening performance, all of his work went much stronger. He held the attention of the audience and finished very strong. We have quite a number of excellent advertising schemes on hand to boom this fellow, although it is pretty hard to saw, on account of the holiday, as to his drawing-power, but I presume from the general comment and interest taken in his pictorial display, that he will again hold his own. 23 min
Ascending and descending a spiral while locked inside a steel ball. Of the sensational order and one of the most desirable numbers on the bill. Full stage.
The self liberator extricates himself from many locally made devices.