14 March 2012

The Mercury Wonder Show

Actress Rita Hayworth performing in a magic show for U.S. soldiers put on by radio personality Orson Welles.

As part of the home front war effort, Orson Welles gathered some of his Mercury Theater friends (including Joseph Cotten and Agnes Moorehead) and other actors and actresses for a carnival-like affair dubbed The Mercury Wonder Show. Combining magic, carnival, and humor, the show was put on for servicemen beginning in August 1943. Originally stationed on Cahuenga Boulevard in Los Angeles, Welles also took a stripped down version of the show to military facilities around the nation.