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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

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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/

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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!

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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

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Categories
American Circus Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show Book Shelf Cinema Circus History Performing Arts Sideshow Variety Arts Vaudeville Vaudevisuals Bookshelf Vaudevisuals Press Video Women

“Ask Hovey” ~ A talk about midgets featuring Rose’s Royal Midgets book.

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.

And if you want to read more about the book visit the great review from Circopedia‘s founder/director Dominique Jando here.

You can get Rose’s Royal book here!

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Categories
Clown Comedy Dance Magic Music Photography Street Performing Tap Dance Variety Arts Video Women

Central Park Variety Show ~ November 20th, 2020

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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Categories
Jazz Music Pangea Performing Arts Street Performing Variety Arts Women

Eccentric Mr. Matt Roper & Miss Muffy Styler @Pangea 10/23 ~ 7pm

Seating is strictly limited. Pangea has about 20 seats outdoors, so table reservations are necessary.

We would strongly suggest calling (212) 995-0900 to book.

A suggested donation of $15 would be warmly welcomed to support the artists and Pangea.

Everyone is welcome. Pangea is following Covid19 guidelines!

Remember to wrap up warmly for these cooler fall evenings… . 


Pangea has been supporting and providing a platform for artists of all persuasions since the 1980s. Pangea is an out-and-out East Village staple and in these urgent times they, and NYC, need your support more than ever! Plus, the staff are the best and the hospitality is legendary.

Since the Pandemic, many favorite restaurants that are very supportive of the performing arts have been having financial troubles.

No restaurant patrons = Financial Trouble!

So in light of this situation, I am asking anyone to contribute to the GoFundMe campaign for PANGEA!

go HERE for More information

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Categories
American Circus Book Shelf History Interview Performing Arts Photography Rose's Royal Midget Troupe Variety Arts Vaudeville Vaudevisuals Interview Video Women

Vaudevisuals interview with Karen McCarty – “Gladys Farkas”

Karen McCarty and I have known each other for quite sometime. When I heard that her grandmother was a ‘midget’ performer with Rose’s Royal Midgets I couldn’t believe my ears. I am publishing a book on this unique performing company and with this interview I had first hand information about a company that has been gone for years. A company of 25 midgets that performed World-wide for many years.

Trained as a young girl in dance and singing she was quite an asset to the company once she was employed by Ike Rose.

Healthy Humor is a Not for Profit Performing Arts Organization whose performers create joy, wonder, and laughter for hospitalized children nationwide.”


For more information on Rose’s Royal Midgets!

Coming in November – Check out this site to preorder the book!


Categories
Book Shelf Comedy History Juggling Performing Arts Variety Arts Vaudevisuals Bookshelf Video Writer

Vaudevisuals Bookshelf – ‘Juggling – What It Is and How To Do It’

Confused about what to do today?

Try Juggling –

Wondering what you will do tomorrow?

Try Juggling –

Thom Wall is here to tell you what it is and HOW to do it!

JUGGLING – WHAT IT IS AND HOW TO DO IT! by Thom Wall

“I realized that there was no resource that taught contemporary juggling techniques,” Wall says.

“The books that were already available focused on “this old style of juggling performance or juggling training, where you just throw the throw, it does this and then it just works,” he says. “Whereas juggling pedagogy in the past 30 years has completely changed.”

http://jugglingbook.com

~Have a go at it. You might just find that you enjoy juggling~

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Categories
Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show Comedy Juggling Magic Music Physical Theater Variety Arts

Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show – Quarantine Edition – June 29th, 2020

Host Keith Nelson introduces the performers for the show.

Beautiful juggling by Luther Bangert in the wilds of nature.

Keith does some real fun ‘sign juggling’.

Montana Miller recites quite a few chemical names while doing a handstand.

Keith announces the best ‘chatterer’ during the Bindlestiff show.

Angelo Iodice shows off his award sash for ‘best chatterer’.

Denny Daniel introduces a whole assortment of antique items from his museum collection.

Great opportunity to help the performers by making a donation.

Mark Hayward attempts (and completes) this new trick of knocking the chip off his ear with the yoyo using a mirror.

Jenny Vidbel performs with her beautiful trained horses.

Keith attempts to catch the knife in the apple on the board. Nope!

During his weekly “Ask Hovey” segment Hovey Burgess talks about elephants in the circus.

Mentalist, magician Eric Walton performs a trick with an audience volunteer.

Butch and Buttercup perform a high aerial balance act under the roof of The Muse.

Performers take their virtual curtain call.

Next Monday night at 7:30pm. A new show with new performances! Tune in!

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