Mystery-Showman Dante of "Sim Sala Bim" Seems To Produce Beer Out of Empty Barrel
Successor to Famous Thurston Can Fool All The People All The Time
"Our show runs two hours without a blush; you can bring your mother-in-law to see it, and you don't have to worry."
Thus spoke Dante--prestidigitator, illusionist, showman par excellence, whose so-called mystery spectacle, "Sim Sala Bim," is now causing worried frowns and bewildered head-scratching at the Shubert Theatre in Boston.
But the fact that Carrie Nation and even the Will Hays office couldn't find anything to kick about doesn't make "Sim Sala Bim" any less of a slambang, rip-roaring event, which makes up in excitement what it lacks in sex. You can bring your mother-in-law to see it, all right, but you'd better make sure she's got a sturdy constitution!
Pacing the entire show to the blare of a circus band, Mystery Man Dante whirls through a seething inferno of prestidigitatorial feats, makes stooges disappear right and left, introduces bouncing chairs, eerie levitation, mysterious cabinets, live stock of every description, and even produces beer right out of empty barrels.
Dante himself is a bearded, white bearded trickster, who revealed that his greatest pleasure lies in hoodwinking audiences; in fact , hoodwinking has become his hobby, even in private life. Dante's real name is Harry Jansen, under which name he once worked with Thurston, to whom he considers himself the logical successor as the leading light of American magic.
Creates Own Illusions
He now creates all of his own illusions, formulating the ideas for them, and then piecing out parts to various assistants. He does the final assembling himself. Although the idea for an illusion may come in a flash, the work of putting it together may, he says, take several months.