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Ask The Experts Coney Island USA Vaudevisuals Bookshelf Vaudevisuals Interview Vaudevisuals Press

Coney Island USA “Ask the Experts” ~ Wed. Nov. 18th, 2020 Rebroadcast.

Coney Island USA presented a wonderful evening of discussion and interviews. Hosted by Adam Realman and featuring photographer/publisher Jim R Moore and writer/producer/performer Trav SD. The discussion topic was the new book from Vaudevisuals Press ~ “Rose’s Royal Midgets and Other Little People of Vaudeville.”

For more information and/or to purchase the book “Rose’s Royal Midgets and Other Little People of Vaudeville” click here.

So many other great events happening at Coney Island USA!

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Categories
Comedy Coney Island USA Performing Arts Puppetry

Vaudevisuals interview with Boxcutter Collective


PUPPETS COME HOME! at Coney Island USA Presents… BOXCUTTER TV!!

Calling all comrades! BoxCutter Collective is live on the air! Meeting our nation’s dire need for more online video content, Judy and Weasel are broadcasting live from an abandoned Coney Island funhouse to bring you the answers to the questions you never knew you desperately need the answers to. Will their Pirate TV station be the spark to ignite the workers revolution or will the bad guys win once and for all? Or will it be somewhere in the middle? Tune in to Boxcutter TV to find out!

TICKETS
$0-$15, sliding scale (pay what you can!)
A donation link will be provided during the show.


ARTIST BIO:


The BoxCutter Collective is: Sam Wilson, Jason Hicks, Tom Cunningham & Joe Therrien & an extended family of rabble-rousers & mischief-makers. Our aim is to take down the rotten empire one cardboard puppet show at a time.

Produced & Hosted by Brendan Schweda as part of the Puppets Come Home! series at Coney Island USA.

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Categories
Coney Island Coney Island USA Culture Project Exhibit Film History Interview Photography

Interview with Dick Zigun – Sideshow Hall of Fame

When you visit Coney Island USA you have an odd feeling you have stepped into another time. This ‘not-for-profit’ corporation is dedicated to ‘popular entertainment’ and like the rest of Coney Island, it means fun and excitement.

Dick Zigun is the founder of this wonderful oasis and has created a “Sideshow Hall of Fame” for all of us that are a ‘little different’.

Here he explains it all for you in this Vaudevisuals interview.

Become a member of Coney Island USA!

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Circus Coney Island USA Mask Performing Arts Puppetry Sideshow Tap Dance Variety Arts Video Women

The Seashore Variety Hour at Coney Island USA – August 1st, 2019

Steeplechase’s own ‘Funny Face’ (Brendan Schweda) the first to take the stage and introduce the show.

San Francisco based ‘chair stacking balance’ performer MeeZee hosted the evening with Coney Island based sword swallowing, aerialist Wendy Blades.

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Featuring the other talents of Koo Koo The Bird Girl, Jelly the Clown and Rasutin’s Marionettes.

Koo Koo The Bird Girl started the show off with her wonderful eccentric act.

Koo Koo performed blind folded in an aerial hoop and was wonderful.

The Seashore Variety Hour had their clown act too! Jelly The Clown.

Jelly the Clown couldn’t seem to keep his red clown nose on so he nailed in to his skull.

Then Wendy Blades got dressed in a straight jacket (with the assistance of MeeZee) and escaped!

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MeeZee introduced Matt Scott Rasputin and his charming sideshow marionettes.

The finesse of Matt Scott Rasputin’s control over these puppets was wonderful. Here is the sword swallower wetting the sword before it goes down the hatch.

The ‘tap dancing dandy’ was amazing in how he kept the beat with his music and tap shoes.

Wendy Blades swallowed the sword as MeeZee watches in astonishment.

MeeZee performs one of his ‘impossible’ hand balancing feats on the stacked chairs.

Wendy closed the show with a ‘fast’ aerial rope spinning act.

For more information on The Seashore Variety Hour visit their site here!

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Categories
American Circus Circus Amok Clown Comedy Coney Island Juggling Music Performing Arts Pranks Women

Circus Amok – Coming to a Park Near YOU!

Are you ready for some Circus Amok??

For those of you not familiar with this wonderful group here is an excerpt from a book written about Radical Street Performance by Mark Sussman.

(Circus Amok…reinventing the circus form, borrowing drag fabulousness from Charles Ludlam’s Theater of the Ridiculous, large scale transformation using whole-body masks from Bread and Puppet Theater, and the outdoor bally and verbal rhythm and repertoire from the sideshow, as well as movement vocabulary from post-modern dance. The troupe balances danger with laughter, slipping its critique between the pies in the face and the surreal, scary, and sometimes gender-bent characters of the charivari.)

Saturday, Sept 2
Socrates Sculpture Park, Astoria
Broadway & Vernon Blvd.
3:00pm

Sunday, Sept 3
Coney Island, Brooklyn
On the Boardwalk near 10th Street.
2:00pm & 4:00pm

Friday, Sept 8
Tompkins Square Park, Manhattan.
9th Street and Avenue A
4:00pm & 6:00pm

Saturday, Sept 9
Sunset Park, Brooklyn
6th Ave and 44th Street
3:00pm


Sunday, Sept 10

Marcus Garvey Park, Manhattan
Madison Ave and East 122nd Street
3:00pm

Saturday, Sept 16
St. Mary’s Park, Bronx
St. Ann’s Ave and East 149th Street
3:00pm

Sunday, Sept 17
Prospect Park, Brooklyn
Enter at 9th Street, cross the road and down the hill.
2:00pm & 4:00pm

ALL THE SHOWS ARE FREE!

To make a donation to Circus Amok (since these shows are FREE they need some $$$ to produce them)

Circus Amok is a 501(c)3 organization and all of your donations are tax-deductible!!

Go HERE. And Thank You!

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Categories
Coney Island Magic Performing Arts Photography Sideshow Variety Arts Women

Historical Coney Island – in pictures!

Coney Island has been a mecca for the popular culture for whatever era you were from!

Coney Island, 1945  (AP Images)

1937 Coney Island Aerial Shot.

In 1960 I won a trip to Steeplechase Park by selling numerous subscriptions to a newspaper. The trip was very special since the park was to be closed down in 1964.

From Wikipedia

“Steeplechase Park was an amusement park in the Coney Island area of Brooklyn, New York created by George C. Tilyou (1862–1914) which operated from 1897 to 1964. It was the first of the three original iconic large parks built on Coney Island, the other two being Luna Park (1903) and Dreamland (1904).[1] Steeplechase was Coney Island’s longest lasting park. Unlike Dreamland, which burned in a fire in 1911, and Luna Park which, despite early success, saw its profitability disappear during the Great Depression, Steeplechase had kept itself financially profitable. The Tilyou family had been able to adapt the park to the changing times, bringing in new rides and new amusements to Steeplechase such as the Parachute Jump.”

The amusement areas at Coney Island — Dreamland, Luna Park, and Steeplechase Park — made it the largest amusement area in the nation from the end of the 19th century through World War II.

This photograph taken in May of 1943 show a couple riding the ‘steeplechase’ ride that was the ‘signature’ ride for the Steeplechase Park.  None of the three original amusement parks are there anymore, thanks to several fires and closures. A new version of Luna Park opened in 2010.

August 1948 photograph and today the crowds are still there every summer.

The beach at Coney Island is particularly loved by all folks from all parts of New York.

The Wonder Wheel is the oldest ride in the area. It has been operating since 1918 and is now known as a National Historic Landmark.

One of the unique institutions still existing on Coney Island is “Coney Island USA“.

Still emitting that ‘old Coney Island’ feeling, this bunch of wonderful folks bring you many forms of entertainment.

The Mermaid Parade, the Coney Island Circus Sideshow, the Coney Island Museum, and Coney Island Film Festival

Coney Island has always been the populace mecca. For so many years throngs of people head to Coney Island for everything their heart desires!

COME AND VISIT!

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Categories
Coney Island USA Juggling Magic Music Party Performing Arts Photography Sideshow Vaudeville Video Women

Coney Island USA Benefit – Amazing Night for All!

CONEY ISLAND USA BENEFIT SPECTACULAR

Fred Kahl and Dick ZigunThe Great Fredini (Fred Kahl) and Coney Island USA founder/director Dick Zigun.

Adam Bishop and Patrick David Wall

Bambi The Mermaid and Chuck Varga

Reverend Billy and his megaphone reached out to all those present to honor Coney Island USA and Founder  Dick Zigun.

Coney Island’s ‘in house’ photog Norman Blake hard at work capturing the essence of Coney Island USA for years!

Tiger Bay (Miss Coney Island 2017) Patrick Salazar (Mr. Strange) and Fancy Feast (Miss Coney Island 2016

Velvet Crayon performing some of his own tunes.

Adam Realman performs his awesome cigarette swallowing act.

The Great Fredini performs the infamous sideshow trick “human blockhead” with 2 ice picks.

Mat Fraser performs the ‘Sealo the Seal Boy’ act made famous by Stanley Berent in 1941.

Jennifer Miller performed a juggling act with machetes and a hysterical monolog.

Fire eating performer Nola Star lights up the stage with fire and heat! Wonderful act!

Tesla coil, fire and wild makeup are the token ingredients for Jellyboy the Clown.

Unzipping the overalls and revealing the bird costume was burlesque performer Tiger Bay’s act.

One of the many Auction Table’s where curious and wonderful items were going to the highest bidder.

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Reverend Billy with his megaphone preaches to the crowd!

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Categories
Coney Island USA Photography

Vintage Coney Island Postcards

img001STEEPLECHASE PARK – World-Famous Amusement Park at Coney Island.

The most popular seaside resort in the metropolitan area.

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img002Swimming Pool, Parachute Jump and Ferris Wheel in Steeplechase Park, Surf Avenue, Coney Island, NY.

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img003Cyclone Rollercoaster, Coney Island circa 1950.

Opened June 26th, 1927, the Cyclone reached 60 miles per hour and dropped 85 feet at a 58 degree-angle on half a city block.

Received state and national landmark status in 1991. Still in operation today!

Categories
Coney Island USA Performing Arts Photography Sideshow Video

Mermaid Parade @Coney Island USA – Saturday, June 20th, 2015

Coney Island Mermaid Parade
The Mermaid Parade is the largest art parade in the nation. A celebration of ancient mythology and honky-tonk rituals of the seaside, it showcases over 1,500 creative individuals from all over the five boroughs and beyond, opening the summer with incredible art, entrepreneurial spirit and community pride.

And here is Dick Zigun in a video I shot for Coney Island USA.

About Coney Island
Coney Island is a New York City neighborhood that features an amusement area that includes 50 or more separate rides and attractions; it’s not a centrally managed amusement park like Disneyland or Six Flags. As a result, specific questions about rides, filming privileges, etc., should be directed to individual businesses. This website is maintained by Coney Island USA, the not for profit arts organization that runs the Mermaid Parade, the Sideshow and the Coney Island Museum, among other programs.
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Here are two photographs taken by Coney Island’s most loved photogs: Kenny Lombardi and Norman Blake. These show off the parade just fine!
Mermaid Parade at Coney Island

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 12.56.00 PM

Categories
Clown Coney Island USA Film Video

1932 Video of Coney Island’s Steeplechase Park – British Pathe

Coney Island’s Steeplechase Park was an amazing place to visit and play. Here is a video from the British Pathe archives of that wonderful park and some of the rides that it provided. Also, at Luna Park we see Victor Zacchini -The Human Canonball- get fired out of a canon as part of the season’s outdoor show.

See all the British Pathe Newsreels now available on YouTube here.