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Coney Island USA ~ Ask the Experts: Trav S.D. ~ “More than Munchkins: A History of Performing Little People”

Ask The Experts: Trav S.D. – Live on Zoom

For centuries Little People have been a mainstay of popular entertainment. In this illustrated talk, author and performer Trav S.D. traces the historical ups and downs of very short-statured entertainers from medieval times through the era of P.T. Barnum and dime museums, to side shows and circuses, to vaudeville, to movies and television. Along the way, we trace the evolution of the Little Person’s image in popular culture, from one of cruel derision in the age of the court jester…to one of glamour, as personified by sex symbol and Emmy-winning actor Peter Dinklage…to a virtual return to carny days on reality tv.

Bio: Writer/performer Trav S.D.’s books include No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Made Vaudeville Famous (2005), Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies (2013) and Rose’s Royal Midgets and Other Little People of Vaudeville (2020). He has spoken at such venues as the Modern of Modern Art, Columbia University, NYU, Brooklyn College, the New York Public Library, and of course the Coney Island Museum, His blog Travalanche contains the world’s largest repository of vaudeville biographies, and much more. Read him daily at travsd.wordpress.com

FOR TICKETS TO ASK THE EXPERT

Wednesday, June 9, 2021 – 7:00pm

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Comedy Midgets Music Performing Arts Rose's Royal Midgets Television Vaudeville Video

Billy Barty on Spike Jones Show ~ NBC Jan. 1954

Talented Little People were quite a draw for audiences from the early 1920s through the 1950s. Billy Barty was no exception! His talent was musical and comedic. Here he is appearing on the Spike Jones show impersonating the extravagant musical media star Liberace. Along with Sir Frederic Gas (Earl Bennett) performing as Lee’s brother, George. Liberace and George, who played the violin, performed together when they started out. NBC ~ January 30th, 1954.

For more great stories about talented little people grab a copy of the new book from Vaudevisuals Press.

Text by Trav SD and Foreword by James Taylor. Illustrated with over 100 vintage postcards and personal photographs.

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