The Royal Family of Magic

the round table
The “Torn and Restored Newspaper” has always been a great trick as there is no way you can “palm” a duplicate sheet of newspaper. Jack reasoned people must think you hid the torn pieces up your sleeve or in your coat. So….A hospital screen (a metal frame with a black cloth stretched within the framework) was rolled on stage. Jack, with sleeves rolled up, stuck his hands through two slits in the screen so all you could see were his hands, bare arms and his head above the screen. Ann, his assistant, would hand him several full sheets of newspaper and he would tear them up and restore them with his hands isolated so there was no place to conceal anything. Ed (Marlo) said it looked impossible. It was really the same old trick, done in the same old way, but it was the staging that elevated it to a whole new level.
Litttle Red House Guests
Jack Gwynne: Master Showman
by Steve Draun

When performing the classic “Anti Gravity Glasses,” Jack walked out into the audience carrying a tray with a pair of glasses. He would pass out everything for examination and borrow a bill from someone. He then put the dollar on the tray and the glasses mouth down on top of the bill. Then, while holding only the tray in one hand, he turned the whole thing upside down. The glasses clung to the tray. In case the audience thought there were any clips, hooks, or sticky stuff keeping those glasses from falling, he slowly removed the bill from between the tray and the glasses and returned it to its owner, proving there was nothing attached to the glasses. They were just floating there below the tray. Again, he used the standard method but by performing in the audience and borrowing the chief proof of the trick (the bill), he proved his great flair for showmanship.
                Steve Draun
                Chicago, 11/17/03
Photos courtesy of Marshall Brodien (1982)