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Comedy History Marx Brothers Performing Arts Vaudeville Video

Home Again: The Marx Brothers in New York City

A Marxian multimedia adventure through New York City, in the company of its funniest sons and writer and performer Noah Diamond (I’ll Say She Is, Marxfest, The Marx Brothers Council Podcast). With special guests, a lot of laughs, a few tears, and a few surprises. Presented by Freedonia Marxonia.

What great fun I had watching this wonderful story assembled with so much care by the amazingly talented Noah Diamond!

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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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Book Shelf Cinema Clown Comedy Marx Brothers Photography Recommended Reading List Vaudevisuals Bookshelf

Vaudevisuals Bookshelf – “Growing Up with Chico”

Growing Up with ChicoGROWING UP WITH CHICO – by Maxine Marx

Maxine Marx’s book about her experience as part of the family that gave us the Marx Brothers is deservedly well-known and much loved by classic movie fans.  Her anecdotes are funny, loving and revealing.  In some ways, the book doesn’t feel as though it were written by someone in such close proximity to these famous characters, but this jives with her description of the brothers’ closeness.  Even the immediate family came after the brothers, and nothing and nobody came between them.  Except maybe money.  
I enjoyed the tidbit describing Sam “Frenchie” Marx’s gentle nature, which has a lot to say about women in the Marx family.  Walking home after viewing The Scarlet Letter at the movies, young Maxine asked her grandpa “why they had put the A on the lady’s dress.”  “Pshaw,” he replied.  “Pshaw.”  After a bit, he added, “Don’t tell der Mamma vhat you saw, yah?”
I knew very little about Chico although he was always my favorite performer in all the movies what with the finger shooting and the  “Attsa boy, make a big slam! Make a big, big slam!”  Now I am in awe of  tough little Betty Marx for putting up with all his shenanigans.  Still, Chico manages to come across as charismatic.   I’m glad the mafia didn’t whack him after all.
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