21 Person Cabinet (aka Twenty-one People Cabinet Production)
Designer: Guy Jarrett
The magician produces several assistants from a cabinet that is head-high with split curtains in front. The assistants can then re-enter the cabinet and emerge with different costumes (or possibly different assistants? The audience is unsure). By the end of the illusion, a full cast of 21 people are produced from an impossibly small cabinet. The cabinet is on 18 inch legs and is well away from any backdrops or wings. Additionally, it’s a completely different principle than the MDM illusion. Jarrett mentions there was no “re-loading” of the cabinet.
Jarrett developed the illusion the 1920s and sold copies to The Greenwich Village Follies (where it played in Wintergarden), Judson Cole (who toured it on the Orpheum circuit, and Han Pien Chien (who performed it in China).
Doug Henning performed the illusion on Feb. 14, 1982 for an NBC television special. He produced Bruce Jenner and 21 Los Angeles Rams cheerleaders complete with pom poms (22 people in all).
Sources: Steinmeyer, Jim, The Complete Jarrett, Hahne, California, 2001.