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The Slipper Room

The Slipper Room – needs your help!

The Slipper Room is a New York institution. A House of Variety!

The Slipper Room is facing serious financial difficulties.

I did a wonderful interview with producer James Habacker in 2016. I am posting it here for your viewing. In the meantime, I have put a link below the video to the GoFundMe campaign that is currently set up to help them make it back in one piece! Please Help!

HELP THE SLIPPER ROOM!

The Slipper Room – No Place Like it!

In the meantime, you can watch some of the ‘exile’ shows here!

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Burlesque Cabaret Magic Music Photography The Slipper Room Variety Arts Women

Corn Mo and The Love Show ‘Show’ at The Slipper Room

The Corn Mo & Love Show Show

Last Monday every month at The Slipper Room.

Corn Mo sings one of his tunes for the audience to start off the show.

Featuring the magic of Matthew Holtzclaw. Seen here doing a fire magic trick.

Stage presence is such an important part of the magical performance and Matthew has it.

Laurie Lee Anderson and Sarah Conrad danced up a storm on one of the numbers.

The evening had an edgy feel to it when “Stache Novak” showed up to perform his ‘male strip routine.”

Introduced as the ‘bathroom attendant‘ he quickly removed his pants for the audience’s delight.

And then Laurie Lee Anderson (the winner of Miss Coney Island USA 2020) started her amazing act.

Ridding herself of the dinosaur head she immediately titillated the audience. An audience pleaser for sure she got to her basics real soon. Rockin the house with her jump rope routine Laurie Lee Anderson was wonderful.

Entertaining the audience with her unique looks and style.

For more information about Corn Mo’s show and The Slipper Room

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Categories
Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show Comedy Dance Dixon Place Juggling Magic Performing Arts Photography Women

Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Revue – August 2018

Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety RevueHost for Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Revue and coproducer Keith Nelson starts the show.

Keith opens the show with his very skilled ‘Chinese Yoyo’ act.

Conjuror Nelson Lugo entertained the audience with a wonderful adaptation of classic magic trick. 

His magic skills are excellent and telling stories about his dreams got the audience going.

Keith returned in between acts and introduced his top spinning act.

Zero Boy shared some improv with aural acrobatics with the audience.

Utilizing mime skills and storytelling Zero Boy communicates stories to the audience.

Jason Applebaum brought poetry to the Variety Revue.

Keith loves to play with fire in his sideshow act. Here is a plain wooden match which he decides to eat to the amazement of the audience.

Lou Johnson brought some good ole classic juggling to the show.

Lou Johnson made it a fun act with his ‘amused’ look.

Barbara Gentile and Emily Blue made a beautiful aerial act for the audience.

Stagehand (for the night)  (And mighty wonderful performer) Adam Auslander encourages the audience to contribute to the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus. A not-for-profit group.

Slight of hand magician Greg Dubin (The Great Dubini)  fooled the audience with a great trick.

The audience volunteer watched as the card she is secretly selected rises out of the deck before her eyes.

Lou Johnson juggles with real fencing swords.

Keith Nelson flips an apple and knife into the air and when they come back the knife lands in the apple.

Venatrix performed a wild burlesque act with a red heart filled with liquid.

Keith always surprises the audience with one of his wicked sideshow acts. Here he picks up the yo-yo with a fishhook stuck in his tongue.

Marcela Duarte performed a wonderful dance piece that ended in the air.

Great show with wonderful talented performers. Every first Monday of the month

at Dixon Place – The Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Revue.

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Burlesque Cinema Comedy Film Performing Arts Photography Variety Arts Vaudevisuals Bookshelf

Vaudevisuals Bookshelf – “The Night They Raided Minsky’s”

When I was a student at SVA studying Film Production I spent a day walking around the neighborhood and found a film set which had been created on West 26th Street. They had reconstructed an old 1920’s neighborhood to film “The Night They Raided Minsky’s”. I was really taken by the work they did on that block. It made it ‘old’ and remarkably believable. The set even included an elevated train and track.  Here is the book the film was based on.

THE NIGHT THEY RAIDED MINSKY’S by Rowland Barber (April 14, 1920 – September 5, 2012)

My signed copy of the original hardcover copy. ‘Morton Minsky’!

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Text from inside front cover flap.

“Take it Off, Take it Off!

In response to the perennial pleading voice from the rear – here is the book that does it. It takes off the dark curtain that, these 35 years, had shrouded the great American institution of burlesque.

It brings back the days of Minsky Brother’s pleasure palace on New York City’s Lower East Side, where, for three bits, you could feast your eyes on those Risque, Frisque Minsky models; those Union Suit teasers; those Naughty-Night Girls and those 13 Luscious Peaches on an Illuminated Runway of Joy.

It puts you in the audience. Around you are the neigborhoodniks (with salami lunches and a change of socks) and the Uptown crown, among whose regulars are Robert Benchley, Edmund Wilson, John Dos Passos, e.e. cummings and Otto Kahn.

It gives you, in short, an uncensored look at the unclad, unblushing Eden that was burlesque in the days when funny men were funnier, girls were girlie-er, and the only G-string in the house was on the Pro-fes-sor’s fiddle. You see the strange extravaganza, eavesdrop on the dressing-room conversations, kibitz the permanent floating pinochle game of the backstage area, case the house as the money is made and lost. You meet one of the most fantastic casts ever assembled between hard covers, includingL:

Mlle. Fifi from Paris, France – she drove a million Frenchmen wild!

Jack Shargel, Jack Shutta, Raymond Paine, Walter Brown, with their hoary, hilarious comedy bits.

Leon Trotsky (in person), who just happened to be around.

Billy Minsky, the Bantam Barnum of Burlesque, who masterminded the whole shebang.

It is a tantalizing, provocative, wildly entertaining. And the sensational, full cast, five-star Grand Finale is reenacted before your very eyes as the Society for the Suppression of Vice picks April 20, 1925, for the historic NIGHT THEY RAIDED MINSKY’S.

The author Roland Barber also co-wrote “Harpo Speaks” with Harpo Marx and “Somebody Up there Likes Me – My Life So Far” with fighter Rocky Graziano.

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The book was made into a film (directed by William Friedkin) in 1968.

In the book Minsky’s Burlesque, Morton Minsky (with Milt Machlin) wrote, “As for April 20, 1925, the day that the raid on which the book was based took place, it was hardly epochal in the history of burlesque, but it did turn out to be a prelude to much greater troubles… Anyway, the raid story was fun, but the raid itself was simply one of the dozens to which we had become accustomed; certainly no big crisis.”

Minsky’s theater, the National Winter Garden on Houston Street, was raided for the first time in 1917 when Mae Dix absent-mindedly began removing her costume before she reached the wings. When the crowd cheered, Dix returned to the stage and continued removing her clothing to wild applause. Billy Minsky ordered the “accident” repeated every night. This began an endless cycle; to keep their license, the Minskys had to keep their shows clean but to keep drawing customers, they had to be risqué. Whenever they went too far, however, they were raided.

According to Morton Minsky, Mademoiselle Fifi was a woman named Mary Dawson from Pennsylvania. Morton Minsky suggests that Billy Minsky persuaded Dawson to expose her breasts to create a sensation. By 1925, it was permissible for girls in legitimate shows staged by Ziegfeld, George White and Earl Carroll—as well as burlesque — to appear topless as long as they didn’t move (as a “living tableau”). Mademoiselle Fifi stripped to the waist but then moved, triggering the raid. “Although the show, in general, had been tame,” he wrote, “Fifi’s finale and the publicity that soon followed the raid ensured full houses at the soon-to-be-opened [Minsky’s] theater uptown [on 42nd Street].”

In 1975, Dawson, then 85, refuted the legend. “I was never a stripteaser. I never did anything risque.” She said that novelist Rowland Barber “just put all that in the book to make it better.” She wasn’t even at the theater that night. Her father was a policeman and a straitlaced Quaker, although he never came to New York City and never led a raid on one of the Minsky burlesque houses.

For information on the film (Norman Lear, Jason Robarts, Elliot Gould, Britt Ekland, Bert Lahr, Norman Wisdom) go to Wikipedia HERE!

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Categories
Photography Year in Review

Check out Vaudevisuals – Review – July 2016

Vaudevisuals Year in ReviewVaudevisuals Year in Review – July 2016

July is always a ‘hot’ month in New York. I was in Seattle and visited the wonderful Pike Street Market‘s “Can Can” show, photographed the delightful Gustavo Pace’s “Naked Brazilian” performance and NY’s Fringe Festival and video taped the hot jazz group “The Brooklyn Blowhards” at The Waterfront Barge Museum.

 VAUDEVISUALS BOOKSHELF – “MONSTROUS PROGENY”

1974 INTERNATIONAL MIME FESTIVAL IN LACROSSE, WISCONSIN

‘CAN CAN’ IN THE PIKE STREET MARKET, SEATTLE

CLASSIC ANTIQUE STREET MAGICIAN ILLUSTRATIONS

NAKED BRAZILIAN – GUATAVO PACE @FRINGE FESTIVAL

VAUDEVISUALS BOOKSHELF – “ORIGINALS” BY ADAM GRANT

“THE BROOKLYN BLOWHARDS” – A JAZZ ENSEMBLE @WATERFRONT BARGE MUSEUM

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Categories
Bouffon Burlesque Cabaret Comedy Magic Music Pangea Performing Arts Photography Variety Arts Women

“The Secret Variety Society” at Pangea

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2016-12-07davida_091Starting the evening off is Reverend Roper and his attempt to get all present to be ‘blessed’.

2016-12-07davida_097With kazoo and piano, Sabrina Chap provides more than ample music for the evening.

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2016-12-07davida_108Wild and wonderful comrade Miss Ekaterina sways down the aisle with a bottle in hand.

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 2016-12-07davida_144Magic Brian heats up the audience with his delightful magic.

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2016-12-07davida_345Jenny Lee Mitchell always has the audience roaring with laughter with her many characters and musical talent.

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2016-12-07davida_180The evening wouldn’t be complete without a visit from ‘Wilfredo‘. Always dancing, singing and flirting.img089

A fun evening of variety, comedy, magic, burlesque and ‘surprises’!

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The Secret Variety Society will back at Pangea on January 11th and February 8th. Both nights at 7:30 pm

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Categories
Cabaret Cinema Comedy Story Teller The Slipper Room Vaudevisuals Interview Writer

Vaudevisuals interview with James Habacker – SlipperRoom Players

James Habacker is a busy man! When he is not running The Slipper Room or producing shows there he is writing and directing a movie.

Vaudevisuals caught up with performer/producer James Habacker at The Slipper Room last week. He talked about his new feature film that will be released on Oct 15th. “The Cruel Tale of the Medicine Man” is directed and produced by James Habacker.

The Cruel Tale of the Medicine Man is being released on Friday, October 15th for download worldwide and we’d like you to come along and help us celebrate. We’re holding a press launch party on 10/10 – and we’d love to see you there! Arrive early for complimentary drinks. Please RSVP at press@slipperroom.com

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Categories
Aerial Acts Comedy Juggling Music Performing Arts The Slipper Room Variety Arts Vaudevisuals Interview Video Women

Vaudevisuals interview with James Habacker – “The Slipper Room”

THE SLIPPER ROOM

I visited James Habacker on a weekday afternoon at The Slipper Room. We went to the balcony and I set up for this interview.

The Slipper Room is delightfully decorated in a New Orleans/English Music Hall fashion. Quaint and beautiful. Here is James talking about how he started it and where it is now.

For more information go to the wonderful website here.

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Categories
Aerial Acts American Circus Burlesque Circus Comedy Dixon Place Film Juggling Music NYGoofs Performing Arts Photography Variety Arts Ventriliquist Video Women

Hovey Burgess 75th Birthday Spectacular at Dixon Place – A Celebration!


Hovey Burgess speaks at the Opening of his Birthday Celebration.

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Cover of Souvenir Program

List of Acts performing at Spectacular Birthday Party

Phil Marsh, Jen Slaw, Kristin Olness, Dick Monday, Carla Rhodes, Zero Boy, Valerie Benoit, Trixie Little, Boo Boo Darlin, Michael Davis, Tara Quinn, Pinkie Special, Keith Nelson, Michelle Dortignac, Tanya Gagne, Lil’ Miss Lixx, Logan Kerr.

See Full Program here!

 2015.09.07_HoveyB.196Hovey opened the show with a nice talk. (see  video above)

Stephanie Monseu host the evening’s festivities.

2015.09.07_HoveyB.224Phil Marsh led the show off with a great rendition of Country Joe McDonald’s song. (see video)

2015.09.07_HoveyB.240Jen Slaw performed a beautiful cigar box and ball routine.

2015.09.07_HoveyB.342Kristin Olness performed an exquisite aerial hoop act.

Dick Monday played the saw and touched the audience’s funny bone in his unique way.

Carla Rhones and Cecil Sinclair tore up the house with the ‘Donald Trump’ impersonation.

2015.09.07_HoveyB.447-2Zero Boy performed a hysterical ‘Road Runner’ cartoon with his vocal sound fx and physical comedy.

Valerie Benoit and Tristan Nielsen performed a lyrical acrobatic act that was amazing.

Trixie Little and Boo Boo Darlin were the B’day cake surprises for Hovey.

2015.09.07_HoveyB.519Hovey looks on as Trixie and Boo Boo get ready to ‘bake the cake’ for Hovey.

2015.09.07_HoveyB.532The brilliant comedian Michael Davis was hilarious.

2015.09.07_HoveyB.545He explained to the audience that he wanted to do his ‘pingpongball’ act but Hovey insisted on juggling.

Michael Davis at Dixon PlaceMichael Davis’ finale was  juggling a machete, meat cleaver and hachet.

Tara Quinn at Dixon PlaceTara Quinn performed an amazing physical balance/contortion act.

Pinkie Special performed her hysterically physical ‘twirler’ act.

Keith Nelson at Dixon PlaceKeith Nelson introduces the audience to the sword and how deep it goes.

Keith NelsonKeith Nelson swallows the sword for the audience.

2015.09.07_HoveyB.791An aerial trio was performed by Michelle Dortignac(Left), Kris Olness (Top) and Tanya Gagne. (Left)

Hovey Burgess throws a ‘kiss’ to the audience as Paul Binder (left) and Stephanie Monseu stand nearby.

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Categories
Circus Comedy Dance Dixon Place Juggling Music Performing Arts Photography Physical Theater Puppetry Story Teller Variety Arts Ventriliquist Video Women

Hovey Burgess Birthday Show presented by Bindlestiff Family Cirkus @ Dixon Place

Screen Shot 2015-08-21 at 11.19.55 PMCelebrating Hovey Burgess 75th Birthday

Great show and great cause! Proceeds from the evening’s show are being donated to Bindlestiff Family Cirkus.

A Night of Circus, Sideshow and Burlesque

Hovey Burgess (juggling legend, circus historian, NYU professor, chairman of the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus board of directors…) is celebrating his 75th Birthday by creating a show that he wants to see. Join him for a night of entertainment.

The evening is hosted by Bindlestiff co-founder Stephanie Monseu. The line-up features an all-star cast including Kristin Olness, Boo Boo Darlin , Trixie Little
Pinkie Special, Jen Slaw, Michael Davis, Phil Marsh, Carla Rhodes, Tara Quinn, Keith Nelson, and many surprises.

Hovey asks that you do not bring him presents, instead, he requests that you contribute to Bindlestiff Family Variety Arts.

The evening is a fundraising event for Bindlestiff Family Cirkus.

In case you aren’t familiar with Hovey Burgess here is an interview I did with him several years ago. 

Screen Shot 2015-08-21 at 11.30.17 PMClick here to watch Part 1 interview

Screen Shot 2015-08-21 at 11.32.10 PMClick here for Part 2 of the interview

Hope you can make it! Sure to be a magnificent night of talent!

TICKETS CAN BE PURCHASED HERE

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