Categories
Clown Comedy Coney Island USA Sideshow Story Teller Tattoo Variety Arts Vaudevisuals Interview Video

Vaudevisuals interview with eccentric performer Jelly Boy the Clown ~ Coney Island USA.

A visit to the eccentric sideshow at Coney Island USA was a great trip. Now the show is OPEN again to the public and the performances are every Fri. through Sun. I had the pleasure of interviewing Jelly Boy the Clown backstage after his show.

Jelly Boy the Clown is currently writing his autobiography. Look out for it next year at your local bookstore.

Jelly Boy reveals the coat hanger to be used in the sword swallowing routine.
Volunteer audience member removes clown nose hammered into his head with a nail. A magnetic device is used for safety.

# # # # #

Categories
Ask The Experts Circus Coney Island USA Midgets Performing Arts Rose's Royal Midgets Sideshow Variety Arts Women

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

# # # # #

Categories
Magic Performing Arts Photography

Jeff McBride – Grand Master of Magic ~ MagicQuest online!

“Grand Master of Magic Jeff McBride takes you along on his lifelong quest to discover real magic. Limited dates for this Show, Tour, and VIP Afterparty!” May 2021

I promise you a virtual show unlike any you’ve seen before!

4 SHOWS ONLY!

Abagail and I would be delighted if you could join us for this unique combination of Interactive Illusion, World-Class Sleight of Hand, Mime, Martial Arts, Kabuki Theater, Tarot, Alchemy and more.  You have the choice of showtime but do this now please. Just go to this site to select you showtime https://mcbride.wellattended.com/

# # # # #

Categories
Coney Island USA Livestream Music Party Sideshow Story Teller Variety Arts Vaudeville Women

First Ever Rock & Roll Circus Benefit ~ Thursday 4/29

What an amazing LINEUP!

Tickets are on sale now for our 2021 Spring Virtual Gala on Thursday, April 29th at 7pm, ET! A Night of High-Voltage Entertainment Produced in Cooperation with @jessemalin, @theboweryelectric and @rollinglivestudios!
The gala will feature a line-up of East Village and Coney Island personalities performing songs, spoken word, burlesque, and sideshow feats.
Tickets are $20. Donations made during the broadcast go directly to Coney Island USA, your Non-Profit Arts Organization at the beach!
Get all of the details at our event page! Invite your friends and thanks for your support!

For More information and tickets!

# # # # #

Categories
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.

# # # # #

Categories
Amercian Vaudeville Theatre Charlie Chaplin Cinema Clown Comedy Film History Online Course Performing Arts Silent Film Story Teller Vaudeville

Online Course in ‘Comedy” by Trav SD.

Check out the Onlne Course in Comedy taught by Trav SD.

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”!

Check out Trav SD’s course in Comedy by signing up here!

# # # ##

Categories
American Mime Theatre Comedy History Mime Performing Arts Physical Theater Video Women World Mime Organization

The American Mime Theatre ~ Celebrating its 69th Wonderful year!

The American Mime Theatre will celebrate its 69th Year on April 7th, 2021. The Company and  School, in New York City, was founded by Pau J. Curtis in 1952. Mr. Curtis is the creator of the performing art form known as “American Mime”,  and his Medium and its services continues under the direction of Jean Barbour

Paul J. Curtis, Founder and Director of The American Mime Theatre

For more information about The American Mime Theatre.

Click here to see my previous post on The American Mime Theatre.

# # # # #

Categories
Book Shelf History Recommended Reading List Variety Arts Vaudeville

Abide by the Little People ~ A Book Review by Frank Jogler Jr.

 

Nowadays it is with frequency that we encounter much in the way about multiculturalism, diversity and inclusion. Yet, paradoxically perhaps, it is in the realm of the theatrical firmament that what is offered for exhibition before our collective eyes is circumscribed, in scope delimited. 

In yesteryear – but, in fact, actually not too long ago – theatergoers avid for both excellence and novelty had an array of choices for their entertainment pleasure that we today, simply do not have, alas. 

For those studying the actual timeline of vaudeville, variety, and ancillary cultural attractions presented in various public venues, we may comprehend, from our distance, the nostalgic, pining away for now once regnant theatrical forms once upon a time loved by the masses, minstrelsy, ‘coon-shouter’ acts, fairground exhibitions of ‘human oddities’, and other novelty acts and performers, all of which audience and spectators valued immeasurably and with enduring sincere thankfulness: this period in our cultural life was a beholder’s paradise, and now superannuated by sensibilities our forebears might not find to be, in fact, of a truly progressive arc.

 Comes now, a further, evocative and contextual addition to our imaginative resources by which to re- examine this cultural time of the past, and theatrical glory of a unique sub-set of talented people: the new book, Roses Royal Midgets and Other Little People of Vaudeville, published by Vaudevisuals Press with essays by Trav SD..

 In the book’s well written pages, we encounter theatrical heroes and heroines, small in stature by the measuring-stick of biological normies yet obvious cultural giants, whose very existence and talents were recognized as true testament of the transcendency of our in-common human condition.

If PT Barnum’s featured attraction, the diminutive General Tom Thumb ever needed similar dimensioned phalanxes to lead, then these small Vaudevillian troops of midgets might well have become his troops and legatees.

And the new book allows readers to luxuriate in fascinating mini-histories and profiles of the little people and of producers who showcased their marvelous ways and artistry of all sorts, for the pages are replete with extracts from published souvenir-programs, lavish poster lithographic studies, photo ethnographic documentation of this Lilliputian subculture; Bravo to all: Trav SD

essays, Jim Moore, publisher and James Taylor Foreword author and freak-loris

On stage in their specialty-numbers, and their dancing, song, skits, comedy routines, instrumental playing and acrobatics, etc., they regaled spectators with phenomenal virtuosity, similar to that in normal Vaudeville time and in variety circuits across the land.

It’s illuminating to behold, this unique slice of humanity and, as well, since these people are, in photos adorable, one wishes one could pluck them from out of the pages, and cradle them in the crook of one’s elbows!

As the French author La Fountain, compiler of fables, wrote, centuries past, that when you throw the goose out the front door of the house, it waddles back in from the back of your house; so filmmaker Spike Lee in ‘Bamboozle’ felt that minstrelsy had come back this time repurposed as gangsta-rap 

Apropos of this, perhaps other past theatrical forms – including those we are reminded of in this book under review here – may. too, be resurrected, but, unlike Mr. Lee’s example, with more salubrious, and of transcendent purpose..

Just as a character on TV, Archie Bunker, said “Those were the days,” and, most probably, those were quite better days culturally, and the currently vogueish shibboleths of the “cultural studies” mavens cannot gainsay the actual cultural excellence displayed by our brassy show-biz inheritance including midgets and all; minstrelsy and all; freaks and all…

Available here in both softcover and Limited Edition Hardcover/Color

# # # # #

Categories
Aerial Acts Burlesque Cabaret Comedy Dance Juggling Magic Music Performing Arts

Vaudevisuals interview with Kyla Ernst-Alper ~ The Underground Cabaret!

Brought to you by Kyla Ernst-Alper and her team at Anver Entertainment. DeKalb Stage presents The Underground Cabaret.

On any given evening, join one of our sensational hosts, The Maine Attraction and Ivory Fox, for the first circus and variety show to open in Downtown Brooklyn. The showcase will feature live aerialists, legendary burlesque performers, and award-winning variety acts.

Rotating Cast of Performers

Media Noche, Gigi Bonbon, Darlinda Just Darlinda, Nina LaVoix, Chartruice, Samson Night, Margot Mayhem, Tansy, The Great Dubini, Michael Karas, Jean-Taé Francis, Pinkie Special, Snö Bunta, The Dragon Sisters, Ben Franklin, Joshua Dean, Elizabeth Munn, Lisa Natoli, Kyla Ernst-Alper, Lani Corson, Kris Olness, Juanita Cardenas, Gemini Blitz, Troy Lingelbach, and many more!

COVID Safety Protocols Are In Place.

Face coverings, social distancing, temperature checks, and limited capacity are strictly enforced …

Dinner by Miznon

3-Course Mediterranean Meal​

Thursdays and Saturdays

7:30PM – 10:30PM

The Show Must Go On: April 8 – May 31

Only at DeKalb Stage​

Dress Code

Dust Off Your Finest Frocks and Sharpest Suits

Limited Seating. Walk-Ins Welcome.

Tickets: $135.00

# # # # #

Categories
Clown Comedy Commedia dell' Arte Interview Performing Arts Vaudevisuals Interview Women

Vaudevisuals interview with Caroline Dream – clown/teacher/author

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.

Caroline Dream performing as one of her clown characters.
Click the book to go to Caroline’s “CLOWN YOURSELF” on Amazon.com

You can discover more about Caroline HERE!

# # # # #