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Circus Comedy Interview Juggling Performing Arts Vaudeville Video

Vaudevisuals interview with Thom Wall – Juggler

Thom Wall was coming to Brooklyn in between gigs and I got a chance to interview him. He is currently performing with Cirque du Soleil show ‘Totem‘.

Here is Thom’s personal site with video and more information.

And here is more of Thom performing his wonderful ‘vaudeville’ style juggling.

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Categories
Comedy Film Vaudeville Vaudevisuals Interview West Fest Women

Vaudevisuals interview with Trav S.D. – “West Fest”

“I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it.” Mae West

Vaudevisuals interviews Trav S.D. about the upcoming ‘West Fest‘ dedicated to all things Mae West. August 17th to the 29th at numerous historical locations.

Mary Jane “Mae” West (August 17, 1893 – November 22, 1980) was an American actress, singer, playwright, screenwriter, comedian, and sex symbol whose entertainment career spanned seven decades, known for her lighthearted bawdy double entendres and breezy sexual independence.

West was active in vaudeville and on the stage in New York City before moving to Hollywood to become a comedian, actress, and writer in the motion picture industry, as well as appearing on radio and television. The American Film Institute named her 15th among the greatest female stars of classic American cinema.

WEST FEST – Aug 17 – 29th, 2018

For more information about the West Fest Click Here!

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August 17 (Friday)
Mae West Walking Tour
Time: 11:00 am
Location: Cypress Hills Cemetery
833 Jamaica Ave, Brooklyn (meet at main entrance)
Cost: $25 (cost of lunch and drinks separate). Advance registration required; space is limited.
To purchase tickets, visit: http://bit.ly/2Jj2pk8
Visit Mae West’s final resting place with historian and tour guide Kevin Fitzpatrick. Afterwards, walk (.7 miles) to Neir’s Tavern, an 1829 bar where Mae is said to have performed, for lunch and drinks before visiting her former home.

August 18 (Saturday)
Let’s Talk About Mae
Time: 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Location: Jefferson Market Library, 425 Sixth Ave
A series of talks about Mae West will take place in the former courthouse whose prison she spent the night in after being convicted on obscenity charges in 1927.
Cost: Free
Full schedule below and here: https://on.nypl.org/2mRBV0d

12:00 pm: Mae’s Early Life, Career, and Vaudeville—Trav S.D., writer and performer; best known for critically-acclaimed “No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous” and the blog Travalanche.

1:00 pm: Mae and Broadway—John Calhoun, librarian, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

2:00 pm: Mae and Race—Chicava Honeychild, scholar, actress, proprietress of Brown Girls Burlesque, and artist in residence at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater.

3:00 pm: Mae and Spiritualism— Kathy Biehl, scholar, actress, freelance writer, and certified, award-winning psychic and astrologer.

4:00 pm: Rebel Mae West—a panel discussion moderated by Grady Turner, curator of “Bare! True Stories of Sex Desire and Romance;” featuring Dirty Martini, the international burlesque sensation; Elyse Singer, CUNY teaching fellow, artistic director of Hourglass Group, and director of two critically-acclaimed revivals of Mae West plays: “Sex” (1999) and “Pleasure Man” (2003) as well as participants Trav S.D., John Calhoun, Chicava Honeychild, and Kathy Biehl.

August 19 (Sunday)
Mae West Double Feature
Screenings: “She Done Him Wrong” (1933) and “Belle of the Nineties” (1934)
Time: 2:00 pm
Location: Jefferson Market Library, 425 Sixth Ave
Cost: Free
Films introduced by Michele Gouveia, West Fest chair, writer, and producer.

August 25 (Saturday)
Screening: “My Little Chickadee” (1940)
Time: 1:30 pm
Location: Metrograph, 7 Ludlow St
Cost: $15
To purchase tickets in advance, visit:http://bit.ly/2OuLVbJ
Film to be introduced by Dr. Harriet Fields, the granddaughter of W.C. Fields. There will also be a Q&A following the film.

August 27 (Monday)
Staged reading of the musical “Come Up ‘n’ See Me”
Time: 8:00 pm
Location: Friars Club, 55 W 57th St
Proper attire is expected.
Cost: $15
Tickets must be reserved in advance and paid for at the door (check or credit card only).
To reserve tickets, visit: https://www.comeupnseemethemusical.com/news
“Come Up ‘n’ See Me” is an original musical about the life of Mae West. Book by Bianca Leigh, Bonnie Lee Sanders, and Ellen Schwartz. Music and Lyrics by Bonnie Lee Sanders and Ellen Schwartz. Directed by Crystal Chapman. Musical Direction by Thomas Spahn.

August 29 (Wednesday)
Screening: “I’m No Angel” (1933)
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave, Huntington, Long Island
Cost: $11 members/$16 public
To purchase tickets in advance, visit:http://bit.ly/2vNX2Vm

Categories
Big Apple Circus Circus Clown Dance Juggling Performing Arts Photography The New Victory Theatre Vaudeville Vaudevisuals Interview Women

Vaudevisuals interview with Acrobuffos – Christina and Seth

Vaudevisuals interview with Acrobuffos – Christina Gelsone and Seth Bloom

I have enjoyed watching Christina and Seth perform for many years. In fact, many of those times it was behind my camera documenting them either solo or together. I recently was so moved by their new show “Airplay” that I had to find out more about their work process and their lives. Here is my interview with Acrobuffos!

Click here for a lovely video from The New York Times about Acrobuffos!!

Seth Bloom performing in the Big Apple Circus 2013 Season.

Christina Gelson and Seth Bloom (Acrobuffos) performing in the Big Apple Circus show ‘Legendarium’ at Lincoln Center in 2013.

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Categories
American Circus Bindlestiff Family Cirkus Cabaret Cabaret Circus Comedy Magic Magic Music Performing Arts Photography Tap Dance The Cutting Room Variety Arts Vaudeville Video Women

Bindlestiff Family Cirkus Cabaret @The Cutting Room

Bindlestiff Family Cirkus Cabaret @The Cutting Room

What a treat! The Bindlestiff Family Circus Cabaret put together an ‘all-star’ lineup of talent for this show!

Directed by Michelle Matlock.

I was in the 2nd row so I didn’t get the best shots from that seat but I will share a few decent ones with you.

The Bindlestiff Family Circus band was so ‘on-point’ for all the acts. Great addition to the show. Live music makes a difference.

Eric Biondo and Robert Cowie.

(Sorry Eric and Robert- Could capture any shots of you from my seat)

Bindlestiff Co-founder Keith Nelson introduced the audience to the show’s lineup.

Multi-talented Chloe Somers opened the show with a beautiful aerial act.

The Great Kaplan (David Kaplan) mesmerized the audience with his magic.

After magically producing a candle it mistakenly (on purpose) caught his suit carnation on fire.

His credits are so long I will just link you to his webpage. A master indeed! Hysterical and very skilled.

After The Great Kaplan’s grandfather’s uke gets destroyed by a rogue bowling ball he gets consolation from Bindlestiff’s Co-Founder and stage manager Stephanie Monseu.

Keith Nelson entertained the audience with 2 classic vaudeville glass balancing stunts.

Chloe Somers returned to the stage by balancing  and walking on Champagne bottles

She then rearranged them in a different order/line and balanced/walked on them again.

Chloe Somers was fantastic in her skills.

The Great Kaplan returned to the stage playing a ‘turkey baster’.

Evan Ruggiero played the guitar brilliantly and tap danced with his peg-leg. 

Chloe Somers showed her multiple skill set by returning to the stage with her hula-hoop act.

Chloe Somers worked the hula-hoops with such charm and personality.

Keith Nelson performed his 8 spinning plate act.

Keith was successful in keeping all 8 plates spinning and catching the spoons in the glasses.

Mr. & Mrs. G finished off the show with their ‘crossbow’ act. Beautiful and daring indeed!

Mrs. G. (Naomi Brenkman) prepares her crossbow for shooting.

Both Mr. & Mrs. G. fired crossbows at one another in the act. Attempting to hit the target.

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One More show tomorrow afternoon at 2 pm!

For more information on Bindlestiff Family Cirkus and their upcoming events go here!

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Categories
Music Photography Vaudeville Video Women

Cliff Edwards – ‘Ukulele Ike’ -A Popular Vaudeville Star

Cliff Edwards was the voice of “Jiminy Cricket” and has his own brand of playing the Ukulele. Born June 14th, 1895 as Clifton Avon Edwards (soon to be known as Ukulele Ike) he was an American singer, actor and voice actor who enjoyed considerable popularity in the 1920s and ear;y 1930s, specializing in jazzy renditions of pop standards and novelty tunes. He had a Number One hit with “Singing in the Rain” in 1929. He did many animated cartoon voices but he is best known for “Jiminy Cricket” in Walt Disney‘s ‘Pinocchio‘ (1940).

Click here for the video

For additional information on Ukulele Ike go here.

A scene from the film “Hollywood Revue of 1929” with Cliff playing the Uke.

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Here is Cliff Edwards singing the opening song of the film ‘Pinocchio by Jiminy Cricket. Lyrics by Ned Washington who received an Oscar for it.

Here is a wonderful clip from the 1935 short film “Starlit Days at The Lido”. Featured is Cliff Edwards singing ‘We Gotta Get Together’ but sitting next to him is Suzy Wandas. Considered to be one of the best ‘slight of hand‘ artist ever. She was born in Belgium as Jean Van Dyk. She could speak 5 languages and performed in Europe and America for decades until she retired in 1959.

In a funny scene from 1933 with James Dunn looking on, he sings the wonderful “I Did It With My Ukulele”.

In case you haven’t seen enough of this charming and funny uke musician here is a somewhat corny short bio.

Hannibal, Missouri is the home of Mark Twain. But also the home of Cliff Edwards. Here is a humorous short bio of Cliff.

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Categories
Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show Clown Comedy Dixon Place Juggling Magic Magic Performing Arts Photography Story Teller Variety Arts Vaudeville Women

Bindlestiff Open Stage – Nov 6th, 2017

Dixon Place hosted another great night of Variety presented by The Bindlestiff Open Stage. The first Monday of every month (almost every month) Keith Nelson hosts a wonderful evening of variety. This week was spectacular with a full house!

Host Keith Nelson opens the show with his ‘Chinese YoYo’.

Pamela Wess performed a clown piece with lots of special juggling and other twists.

Olga Karmansky & Anna Venizelos performed a beautiful contortion duo act

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Tanya Solomon performed a wonderful and scary magic trick.
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Hélène Demé Elzévir performed a wild story in mimic and sound effects.
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Sam Malcolm was clever, funny and juggled knives.
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Will Shaw added ‘deadpan’ to the show with his unique sense of timing and piano.
Will Shaw is a very seasoned professional. He even seasons his piano keys.
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Jenny Tufts performed an amazing hula hoop act.
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Keith always uses this show to practice his delightful yo-yo tricks.
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Collette Campbell performed a fun and personal clown piece.
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Mr. Spring attended a whole new hand balancing act to the show.
Posing for photographs before starting his hand balancing act.
  This act takes much discipline and hard work.
Amazing physical control in his act.
His daughter Gemma got into the show in a big way!
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Snö Bunta performed an amazing contortion act.
 Amazing physical dexterity in these moves.
 
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To finish the wonderful evening of variety Keith Nelson did a new plate-spinning act.
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Categories
Cinema Comedy Film Marx Brothers Music Performing Arts Photography Vaudeville Video

The Marx Brothers Weekend – Sept. 9th – A Video/Photo Excerpt

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The Marx Brothers and World War I

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The Trivia Section of the day at 2:00 pm with Brett Leveridge

Noah Diamond displays one of the Prizes for Trivia winner. Marx Brothers Comic Book.

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Marx Brothers Sing-Along

Marx Brothers Singalong: “Alone”

There are two kinds of people: those who would enjoy a group singalong of Marx Brothers songs, and those who simply don’t know how to have fun. I assert that you have not truly lived until you’ve heard a room full of people singing Chico’s version of “Everyone Says I Love You,” in glorious unison. This video documents another of the Singalong’s many highlights: “Alone” (by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown, from A Night at the Opera), led by Bill Zeffiro on the keys. (Noah Diamond contributed this and all other text for this post.)

Marx Brothers Singalong: “Dr. Hackenbush” and “Lydia the Tattooed Lady”

The Singalong concludes with a pair of Groucho specialty numbers. The penultimate selection is “Dr. Hackenbush” by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby, one of Groucho’s favorite musical signatures, despite its unfortunate exclusion from A Day at the Races. The Singalong concludes with the immortal “Lydia the Tattooed Lady,” by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg, from At the Circus, led by Bill Zeffiro and me.
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Deep Dive Into Cracked Ice: Duck Soup Before Duck Soup!

Cracked Ice is an early draft of Duck Soup, written by Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby, and Grover Jones. It has some obvious similarities to the finished film, but it also reveals the more characteristically Marxian (and notably darker) comedy that was being planned before the director Leo McCarey imposed his vision on it. The first day of Marx Brothers Weekend ended with this cold reading, featuring Kathy Biehl, Melody Jane, Brett Leveridge, Jonny Porkpie, Matt Roper, Trav S.D., Seth Shelden, Matt Walters, and me. (Noah Diamond)
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Categories
Comedy Juggling Magic Music Performing Arts Photography Variety Arts Vaudeville Women

‘The Handsome Little Devils’ at Barfly in Denver, Colorado

THE DEVIL’S WORKSHOP

performed by ‘The Handsome Little Devils‘.

On the outskirts of Denver there exist an adorable ‘beat’ bar named after Charles Bukowski’s “Barfly” film. It is next door to the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema on West Colfax Avenue.

The night I attended the show featured ‘The Handsome Little Devils‘ duet. The show included juggling, magic, smoke, audience participation and a really fun time! This was the 1st night they were presenting this show at this venue! They will return EVERY first Wed of the month

Here are a few images I captured that night.

Cornelius doing a wonderful ‘hat juggling’ routine.

Audience participation was a key element in this show.

Cornelius doing a ‘$100 dollar bill penetration’ magic illusion.

Cornelius  (Mike Huling) juggling an egg, chainsaw and bowling ball!

Mike(Cornelius) and Cole Huling taking a well-deserved bow.

The company “The Handsome Little Devils” has many hands working to make these productions possible.

Mike Huling

Cole S. Huling

Dan Huling

Joseph Wartnerchaney

Coy Middlebrook

Jeff Calhoun

Check out their wonderful website for more information about their many varied successful shows!

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Categories
Bouffon Comedy Mime Performing Arts Silent Film Television Variety Arts Vaudeville Video

Ed Wynn on Broadway – “Boys and Girls Together”

Ed Wynn – The Perfect Fool in

BOYS and GIRLS TOGETHER

Presented at The Broadhurst Theatre beginning October 28, 1940.

Ed Wynn (The Perfect Fool) at The Broadhurst Theatre

Inside Program for “Boys and Girls Together”.

Inside Title Page of Program

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Staff listing for Ed Wynn

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Later in his career, Ed Wynn had a TV show “The Ed Wynn Show“. Here is a clip from one of this show that featured Buster Keaton.

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Visit Vaudevisuals.com regularly for more inside Vaudeville/Sideshow/Theater/ and eccentric acts information.

Categories
Clown Comedy Performing Arts Photography Variety Arts Vaudeville

Mennetti & Sidelli – ‘Two Boys and Six Tables’ – Ludicrous Acrobats

Vaudeville Acts – Acrobats

Mennetti & Sidelli – “Those Ludicrous Acrobats” (Collection Vaudevisuals)

Their act was subtitled “Two Boys and Six Tables” and looking at the ads that appeared in theatrical papers of the day these two acrobats seemed pretty busy.

Evening Star – Oct 1916

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Coronado Eagle and Journal March 1918

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Melbourne Truth – Aug 1916

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