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 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
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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, fairground exhibitions of ‘human oddities’, and other novelty acts and performers, all of which audiences 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 S.D.
In the books’, 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 P.T. 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.
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 S.D. essays, Jim Moore, publisher, and James Taylor Foreword author and freak-lorist.
On stage in their specialty-numbers, and their dancing, song, skits, comedy routines, instrumental playing and acrobatics, etc., they regaled spectators with phenomental virtuosity, similar to that in normal Vaudeville time in variety circuits across the land.
It’s illumitive 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, 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 Minstreals 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 shibeleths of the “cultural studies” mavens cannot gainsay the actual cultural excellence displayed by our brassy show-biz inheritance including midgets and all; minstrels and all; freaks and all…
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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
Dust Off Your Finest Frocks and Sharpest Suits
Limited Seating. Walk-Ins Welcome.
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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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On Monday night I watched the wonderful Bindlestiff Open Stage Quarantine edition and was pleased to see the “Ask Hovey” segment (featuring circus historian/teacher/performer Hovey Burgess) where he talked about ‘Midgets’ and mentioned the Vaudevisuals Press book “Rose’s Royal Midgets and Other Little People of Vaudeville“. Here is the video excerpt from the show.
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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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So now you have most of the information about this wonderful upcoming event. If you are ready to purchase tickets go HERE!
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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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