December 1915 Houdini at the Orpheum and Hardeen at Pantages in Los Angeles. The brothers portrayed themselves as rivals for publicity but in this case the jig is up! In the article below the writer reveals that they are actually brothers working together.
In the advertisements below Pantages plays up Hardeen’s challenge escapes listing that a Brewery will lock him in a “Cask” of Beer, and “Chief Snively’s Punishment Suit challenge”. “Snively!” This has Dash’s sense of humor written all over it! Other escapes are mentioned “The Milk Can” and the “Oregon Boot”. The Orpheum lists Houdini as “The Genius of escape”.
Houdini and Hardeen, the escape wizards playing in Los Angeles this week, are brothers. Both look alike and are said to share the other’s trick secrets.
In November 1915 Houdini was on the Orpheum circuit performing the Water Torture Cell or the “Upside Down” as he called it. By day he created publicity by performing his famous Straitjacket escape while suspended from a high building above a swarming crowd of onlookers below on the street. Hardeen was touring for Pantages. The brothers played as rival acts. Hardeen was performing his brothers old Handcuff Escape routine but was still drawing crowds. Below is an article from November 18, 1915 that mentions both Houdini and Hardeen playing in Palo Alto California. It says Hardeen performed an 8 act show. What I would do to have a time machine to travel back to that week to see both of the brothers Houdini perform!
At the Theaters
"A Pair of Sixes" by Edward Peple
is the farce offering for this week only
at the Cort. Oscar Figman plays the
A dramatic sensation, "On Trial," is
remaining at the Columbia for a third
week. A great revolving stage gives
the facilities needed for a realistic
portrayal of this play.
With Evelyn Vaughan back in the
cast of players, "Kick In," Willard
Mack's New York comedy success, is
well received at the Alcazar.
Herbert Bashford, a San Francisco
writer, is the author of "The Woman
He Married," which is being inter
preted at the Wigwam theater this
week, by the Lawrence-Oakley stock
Houdini, "the genius of escape,"
headlines the Orpheum vaudeville
menu for the second week. Idealistic
comedy, musical novelty and farce
acts, compose the remainder of the
Robert Mantell, greatest of Ameri
can tragedians, makes his debut as a
film star in the screen drama, "Rlind
ness of Devotion," at the Empress this
week. A number of vaudeville acts
of merit are also shown.
"King of the Handcuffs," is the title
claimed by Hardeen, who heads an
eight-act show at Pantages.
Hippodrome vaudeville features the
Seven Manjeans, accomplished acro
bats. A five-reel movie feature com
pletes the program.
Motion picture specialties provide
entertainment at the Imperial, Savoy,
Portola, and Tivoli theaters.