History of The Wizard's Club
On Friday, July 1st 1932, The Wizard's Club, an organization for magicians and kindred arts, was organized at the home
of Sam Berman. The founders were Anthony Albino, Andmar, Joe Berg, Sam Berland, Sam Bernan, Art Glueckstein,
Alex Gordon, Francis Haldane, Jack Hecht, and Anthony Lubasz. They chose to form the club because at that time
Jewish magicians were not allowed to join the Society of American Magicians. The Great Zano was made an honorary
lifetime member at the club’s inception. It was Zano who suggested the name the club now bears.
The first Ladies Night was held in the Chicago Art Theater of the Fine Arts Building November 16, 1932. Meetings
were held the first and third Wednesdays of the month, later changed to the first Wednesday only. Subsequent
meetings were held on the first Friday of the month at Magic Inc. Other meeting places were at the Majestic Hotel,
Cube Theater, Morrison Hotel, Sherman House, Palmer House, Congress Hotel, Midland Hotel, Hamilton Hotel and the
Lawson Y.M.C.A. For the last several years the meetings have been held at Magic Inc. on the first Monday of the month
so that working magicians can have Friday open to take jobs.
Our first professional show was held in the Fine Arts Building, and the second one in Kimball Hall. Other places were
the Cube Theater, Chicago Woman’s Club Theater, Loyola Community Theater, Sherman House, Palmer House, Cathedral
Auditorium, Congress Hotel, Eighth Street Y.M.C.A., etc. Many big name acts appeared on these shows.
The Wizard Club News was our first official publication. Alex Gordon, our first president, was the editor. After eight
issues it was discontinued, the first issue being dated October 1933. Some years later The Tops Magazine was
created. Today it is known as The Wizard Gram. Clettis Musson published The Wizard Gram for more than thirty years.
For the last several years the current President at the time has been the publisher.
The Wizard's Club celebrated its 25th anniversary on May 19, 1957 by holding a celebration in the Mirror Room of the
Hamilton Hotel. On June 10th 1984 The Wizard Club held a gala affair at the Venus Banquet Hall in Chicago honoring its
52nd anniversary and past presidents. Clettis Musson was unanimously made Dean of The Wizard Club on May 4, 1984.
Over the years, such famous magicians as the following have been members of The Wizard's Club of Chicago: “Okitto”,
Carl Ballentine, Johnnny Platt, Werner Dornfield, Jay Marshall, Bill Malone, Jack Gwynne, Tenkai, Doctor Harlan Tarbell,
Frances Marshall, James Ryan and Joe Berg.
In November 2002 The Wizard’s Club held a banquet celebrating its 70th year, making it the oldest independent magic
club in the Midwest. At this banquet Marshall “Wizzo the Wizard" Brodien was given an Honorary lifetime membership.
The Wizards Club celebrated its 75th year with a huge banquet celebration on October 1st 2007. The oldest independent
magic club in the Midwest showed it is still going strong. The evening was led off by MC Ken Mate with performances by
Jason Reberski, Chuck Field, Marshall Brodien, Mr. Ash, Walter King Jr. (The Spellbinder), and The Lighter Side (spoof act
by Keith Cobb and Toni McDill).
Our special guest of honor was past member Carl Ballantine (the World’s Greatest Magician) who flew in from California
and received an Honorary Lifetime Membership Award. He also showed a video of his act and answered questions about
his fascinating career including what it was like working with Elvis, academy award winner Ernest Borgnine, Ed Sullivan,
and Jay Marshall.