Thursday, May 8, 2014

Wonderful Chinese Illusionists and Magicians -- May 8, 2014

This 1908 bill at San Francisco's National Theater featured the "Best Show of the Season." It included the Okito Family, "Wonderful Chinese Illusionists and Magicians ." Dutch Theo Bamberg, member of an old family of magicians, created the Japanese character Okito. He later switched the character from Japanese to Chinese, but kept the name. Theo was an excellent magician and the creator of many illusions.

Note that the theater was managed by Sid Grauman, who later went to Los Angeles and opened some famous theaters, including Grauman's Chinese:  

Theo's son David grew up and created a character called Fu Manchu, which was no relation to Sax Rohmer's master criminal character.
One year after this show, Theo sold the Okito act and character to a plumber who wanted to go into magic.

From the 16-July-1908 San Francisco Call.

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