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(Amsterdam, Holland: 15 July 1875 - 28 June 1963)

Bamberg, [Tobias Leendert] "Toby", then since 1903 "Theo" Aka "Okito" (name derived from Tokyo). Eldest son of David Tobias "Papa" Bamberg. Learned at age 11 assisting father. Pro illusionist with pseudo-Japanese act since 1893. Invented vanishing wand in 1887 and fall-apart box (jointly with Carl Willmann) by 1908.

Played the Lisbon Coliseu 1900; Casino de Paris 1900, 1901, and 1902 (4 weeks); the Paris Folies-Marigny 1902 (2 weeks); Madrid; and the Winchester Hippodrome 1902-03. "Toby" (Tobias) informally became "Theo" (Theodore) in 1903 at the insistance of his bride. Then played the London Tivoli 1903 (as "Okito and Polising"); St. Petersburg 1904; Europe 1904 (including Russia again); Japan c1905 (as "Lung Tchang Yuen"); Europe 1906-07, Indonesia and South Asia (1907, with his father); and the Paris Folies-Bergère in 1907.

Moved to New York City 1908-1919 (becoming USA citizen in 1916). Invented the Okito Box in 1909. In 1909 swapped his "Okito" name and act for Doc Nixon's flat in Brooklyn. Magic dealer (Bamberg Magic and Novelty Co., as partner with Joseph Klein) in New York City 1909-1914. Trouped as prop builder and shadowist with Thurston 1910-11, Rouclere in summer 1911, and Thurston again in 1911-12. Toured USA on own 1913-19 as "Houang Yuen" and "Theo Bamberg".

Toured South America in 1919 as assistant and shadowist with Carl Rosini, resuming his "Okito" name and act in Buenos Aires. In 1920 moved to England, touring there in 1920 and playing London's St. George's Hall 1921, 1925, and 1929. Toured South Africa 1920; and Egypt and India 1923-24. Toured Europe 1924-25, playing the Berlin Wintergarten (1924 and 1925), the Vienna Ronacher (1924), the Berlin Scala (1924), the Paris Empire (1925), Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia. Played the Paris Empire again in 1925. Toured South America 1925-26; thence in 1927 Algiers, Morocco, Russia, and Egypt. Toured Argentina and Brazil (with son David) 1932. Lived in semi-retirement in Holland 1932-39 when he fled to Latin America where he toured with his son David. In 1947 moved permanently to the USA, working at Berg's Magic Studio in Chicago 1947-51. Assistant to Don Redmon in Kentucky 1951-52 when retired to Chicago where he died.

1935 Sphinx Award. SAM Hall of Fame.

Wrote (as "Okito") Quality Magic (1921, 99pp). Unreliable autobio snippets are in his Okito on Magic: Reminiscenses and Selected Tricks (1952, 216pp, with Robert Parrish; 2nd rev ed 1968, 242pp). Tricks in Tarbell #5 and MUM.

Coauthors: Robert Parrish

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Okito & Robert Parrish
Okito on Magic: Reminiscences and Selected Tricks by Okito & Robert Parrish

A fascinating glimpse into Okito's (Theo Bamberg) life and creations. The Bamberg dynasty had magicians spanning seven generations. Okito was a prolific inventor, builder of tricks, and exceptional performer. Learn the details of many of his most cherished secrets.

From the introduction by Dorny:

As the inventor of more magical effects than anyone else in the past half-century, he is constantly planning and building new tricks and illusions. In the construction of his miracles, he is a perfectionist. His finished work is always a masterpiece. Nothing is left to chance. With Theo, it must work. ...

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Quality Magic by Okito

From the Foreword:

This is my first book on Magic, and it will probably be my last, because its contents are the result of my life’s work.

All the sleights and tricks explained in this book have been worked by me; therefore I know they are practical. One often hears of tricks which seem to be very good theoretically, but which turn out to be anything but good when one tests them by a private rehearsal.

  • Foreword
  • The Bambergs
  • Sleights
    • Thimble Sleights
    • Coin Sleights
    • Billiard Ball Sleights
    • Playing Card Sleights
    • Cigar Manipulation
  • Card Tricks
    • Okito's Card Mystery
    • The Envelope...
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Okito on Magic by Okito

This wonderful ebook recounts the story of Okito's very first stage show. It is history as told by the great Theo Bamberg (Okito) to magician and writer Joe Palen. He sat with Okito, as he found an old photograph (re-printed in the booklet) and told him stories of his props on stage, their origins and even some of their workings. This ebook is the result of that conversation.

Do not confuse this booklet with the much larger work with the same title: Okito on Magic: Reminiscences and Selected Tricks.

1st edition 1973, 12 pages; 1st digital edition 2012, 10 pages.

★★★★ $9.95
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