Stan Kramien's career has spanned 70 years in nearly every entertainment medium: vaudeville, night clubs, USO, circuses, casinos, cruise ships, television and the full-evening stage shows with which he toured throughout North America. Born in 1925 in Portland, Oregon, Kramien grew up watching the great magicians of the day such as Blackstone, Dante, Virgil, Birch, Gwynne and many more, when they appeared at the local vaudeville theaters. During World War II, Stan was assigned to the USO where he entertained thousands of troops in camps and hospitals. Following the war, Kramien took his act to clubs around New York, where famed news columnist, Walter WInchell dubbed him "The Mad Man of Magic." Back on the west coast, he toured the last remaining vaudeville theaters with an illusion act. During the summer months he took the show out under his own tent, playing county and state fairs. In the late-1940's he toured the night club circuit in an act throughout the west, including apearances at El Rancho Vegas in Las Vegas. As television boomed in the 1950's, Kramien hosted his own children's TV show in the Seattle area, plus making countless personal appearances throughout the area. He also created a large tent circus that played cities in the west. Kramien acted as ringmaster, magician, clown, elephant and lion trainer. He toured with the show for several seasons and in the early 1960's became agent for "Sky King" the Flying Cowboy (Kirby Grant), spending a season on the huge Carson and Barnes 5-Ring Circus touring across the country. By the late-1960's Kramien felt that an entire generation of children were growing up without the opportunity to see the large full-evening magic and illusion shows as he had in his youth. As his friend, Mandrake the Magician told him: "Every child should see a circus and a real live magician." So, Kramien built "The Wonderful World of Magic" which later became "The Mad World of Magic" that toured through the mid-1970's when he formed "Magic Capades." At a time when there were no other large-scale magic shows regularly touring, Magic Capades appeared coast-to-coast, traveling in a 48 foot semi truck, bringing a full 90 minute stage production to 200 towns and cities annually. Each year, major features of the show would change, bringing eager return audiences in each city. In 1977, Kramien enlarged the show to become "Magicazam!" The truck grew to 53 feet, with a cast of seven, again touring to more than 200 cities each year. After bringing a condensed version of the show to the Magic Castle in Hollywood, Kramien was featured on the "It's Magic!" show at the Variety Arts Theater in Los Angeles, and in the nationally-touring company of "It's Magic!" It was during this time that Kramien was featured on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show, with David Letterman assisting in the performance of the Giant Buzz Saw illusion, which was seen by millions on television. During the 1980's, Kramien presented "An Evening With Kramien" as a concert attraction, as well as appearing many times on network television with his "Educated Parrots" - a troupe of avian actors, trained by Kramien, who is a life long exotic bird fancier. In the mid-1990's, Stan, together with his son, Rick, who had grown up around the Kramien shows, built "Shazam!" The show toured the west in two trucks with a cast of 13 people, playing civic auditoriums and arenas, again spreading the magic to a new generation. In May of 2000, Stan was involved in a serious automobile accident. Close to death, for months he fought back and regained his health. He limited his performing to smaller shows for friends and charitable groups. Now, having recently celebrated his 88th birthday, Stan Kramien is looking ahead and wants to share the tools of his trade - those that have helped him entertain millions of people - with a new generation of magicians, illusionists, collectors and enthusiasts. We look forward to you joining us at the Kramien Auction on September 1st.
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