April is a crazy month for classic comedy anniversaries, including the birthdays of Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd and (this year) the centennial of the first comedy short directed by Buster Keaton (though not the first one he released). And numerous others, as well. Join me Monday, April 19 (7pm) for my zoom crash course on classic comedy, where we’ll be talking about these guys and many others, and what makes them unique, how they influenced each other, and everyone who came since! The talk will be available only to members of my Patreon family — go here to join so you can take part in all the Travalanche zoom talks, and other exclusive benefits, like my upcoming Podcast about Old Time Medicine Shows, coming up in early May. Come find out why the poet tell us “April is the Foolish Month”!
The wonders of the internet! I am always amazed at the simple things in life and how technology has enabled us to talk and record conversations and interviews with people all over the world. Today I was talking to and did a great interview with clown/teacher/author Joe Dieffenbacher who resides in Oxford, UK. His professional work as a clown spans over 3 decades and he has taught at some very prestigious schools as well. His new book “Clown ~ The Physical Comedian” is a great textbook for working on a clown show.
Here is one of Joe’s wonderful videos with his students performing.
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I absolutely adore laughter. I love feeling it, sharing it, hearing it, and provoking it. It’s my passion, which is why I’ve spent so much time with clowns, clowning, teaching others to clown, and writing about my art. I know that there’s so much more to this ancient and heart-warming art, but it’s still the joy of laughter that motivates and inspires me.
You can discover more about Caroline HERE!
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You’re invited to a double birthday party.
Next Friday, on Parallel Exit’s Artistic Director Mark Lonergan’s birthday, Parallel Exit celebrates 25 years.
On Friday, February 26th, at 7:00 pm, we celebrate a quarter-century of work, with laughter, performances, and interviews with some of your favorite Parallel Exit artists
I have photographed many of this company’s wonderful shows and I can say that they are ‘brilliant’. Both the director and the company bring so much joy and laughter to the audience. You will not be disappointed if you attend this Celebration!
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Luca lives in Naples, Italy, and has been performing Quick Change for quite a few years now. He has written a book on the topic which I am listing here for your consideration. Translated from Italian with all the wonderful nuances found in that process.
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Clown Jango Edwards wins the Circus Circus Award for Best Trajectory
- The American artist, famous for his provocative style, is considered one of the benchmarks of the most contemporary language of clowns and has lived in Catalonia for almost 20 years.
- Due to the new restrictions due to the pandemic, the Night of the Circus is readapted and will be a television broadcast without an audience where the winners of the eleventh edition of the Zirkòlika de Circ Awards will be announced (Mercat de les Flors, Wednesday 23, 19.00 h)
- The clowns Pepa Plana and Noël Olivé, the juggler Totó, the young company Nom Provisional and the comics Toti Toronell and Pere Hosta, among others, will take part in the show Nit de Circ
The American clown Jango Edwards (Detroit, 1950) has won the Circus Zirkòlika Award for Best Trajectory for a long career that he has developed mainly in Europe and Catalonia. Considered one of the greatest references in the contemporary language of clowns and a representative of the so-called clown power, his humor between provocation and tenderness has always had a great impact on the public and critics. He has toured in theaters, circuses, and large venues in Europe, America, and Oceania, and for almost 20 years he has lived in Barcelona, one of the headquarters of the Nouveau Clown Institute, the clown school he has been promoting since 2009.
Although he is known as Jango Edwards, his real name is Stanley Ted Edwards. He performed for the first time in Barcelona at the Saló Diana in 1977, and since then he has established very close links with circus and theater professionals in Catalonia, as he has recently shown. At the age of 70, last September he organized the festival The man, the myth and the legend at the La Gleva theater in Barcelona , where he shared the stage with artists such as Pepa Plana, Tortell Poltrona, Roberto Oliván, Andreu Buenafuente and Mario Gas. Throughout his career he has created, among others, the shows Penzilpeeni Zircus , Nothing but the truth , Nightmirrors , and Garbage, which established him in the eighties as a reference artist and clown.
Circus Night readapts
On the other hand, and due to the new restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Circus Night gala is readapted and will be a television broadcast that will be broadcast next Wednesday the 23rd, from 19:00 hours. . It can be followed live on the social networks of the magazine Zirkòlika (YouTube and Facebook) and watched in full from 23.00ha through laxarxa.com and 14 other channels of the Local Television Network.
The winners of the eleventh edition will be announced in this broadcast. The show, without audience, will feature live music by the group Sakapatú and performances by clowns Pepa Plana and Nöel Olivé and comics Toti Toronell and Pere Hosta . In addition, there will be performances by Luis Niño ‘Totó’ (juggler), Martina Covone (aerial rope), company Nom Provisional (Chinese hanger) and Léa Legrand (balance ball). All the circus artists participating in this show directed by Xavier Erra were nominated or awarded at the last edition of the Zirkòlika Awards.
The awards are produced by the organization Zirkòlika , a project for the dissemination and communication of circus arts that has been published since 2004 as the only magazine specializing in circus in the whole of Spain and also maintains a portal of information on the Internet. The awards, which have the cooperation of the Government of Catalonia , the Barcelona City Council and Barcelona Provincial Council , was founded in 2010 to support the creation and recognition of the work of artists and companies Catalan circus.
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Central Park Variety Show producer/performer Ambrose Martos introduces the evening’s festivities.
MC for the evening was Muffy Styler.
Muffy Styler sang some great tunes with Aldo Perez on guitar.
Brian Klimowski performed a ‘chinese yoyo’ routine and a magic yoyo string restoration. Wonderful!
Tyler West performed two very wild physical comedy sketches.
Ambrose Martos followed with another wild ‘flasher’ routine!
Muffy sang another song and closed out the show.
Curtain call group shot ~ Lea McGowan with Dingo, Muffy Styler, Brian Klimowski, Ambrose Martos, Tyler West and Aldo Perez.
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A pioneering photographer of the early cinema, James Abbe captured the spirit of entertainment in New York, Hollywood and Europe in the 1920s with his magically-lit portraits of the stars of screen and stage. A unique album of show business personalities, this book brings together Abbe’s iconic images of silent movie stars, his exuberant studies of revues at the Folies Bergere, and his fascinating record of early British cinema. Concluding with his reportage of the turbulent politics of the 1930s, Limelight encapsulates an era through one man’s brilliant career.
Born in Alfred, Maine, James Abbe’s boyhood took place in Portsmouth, Virginia. His family owned the most important bookstore in that maritime city. At its counter James sold his photographs of ship launchings and arrivals taken with an inexpensive camera. Saturated with the print culture of the period, Abbe realized that photography was underutilized as illustration in American periodicals. He began placing photo illustrations with magazines in 1916. In 1917 he moved to New York City.
A sociable, witty man, Abbe had little trouble placing photographs in periodicals, but his break into the world of theatrical photography took place when he made a number of memorable portraits of the Barrymore brothers on stage in costume during dress rehearsals for “The Jest” in 1919. Abbe became fascinated with the nascent movie industry. He did portrait photography for several New York based cinema groups, especially for D.W. Griffith, and became the third New York based camera artist (after Karl Struss & Frank Bangs) to venture to the West Coast and work as a lensman in Hollywood. He worked for Mack Sennett for several months, even directing a now-lost comic two reeler, and as a photographer for Photoplay for another several month stint. He was the first bicoastal entertainment photographer.
Abbe had a remarkable talent for inspiring trust in stars and Lillian Gish convinced him to come to Italy in 1923 to work as a lighting consultant and still photographer for “The White Sister.” He closed his Broadway studio, abandoned his wife and children, and moved to Italy. He spent the next period of his life in Europe, photographing movie and stage productions in Paris and London and working as a photojournalist. Several landmark photographs of Joseph Stalin in a trip into the Soviet Union during the late 1930s would make him a celebrity of news photography during the late 1930s. His book, I Photograph Russia, was one of the important volumes of early photojournalism. He signed his vintage prints with his last name in red crayon on the lower-left corner of his images. He used a credit stamp for publicity images. Despite the relatively short duration of his career on Broadway, he was one of the greatest portraitists of the great age of theatrical portrait photography.
Abbe’s theatrical work was one of three photographic specialties he cultivated during his career. He also became an expert movie still photographer in 1920 and an important photojournalist in the 1930s. Brought to New York by magazine publishers interested in his experiments for using photographs as illustrations for narratives, Abbe won overnight renown in 1919 for his stage portraits of performers in costume. Enhancing the available stage lighting with a battery of portable lamps, he made intensely vivid images suggestive of interrupted stories.
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CLOWNING IN CANADA – edited by Julia Lane and Linda Mancini
This wonderful issue of Canadian Theatre Review features all articles devoted to clowning in Canada. Click here to read more!
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