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Photography

Circus Amok Entertains in Prospect Park – Sept 17, 2017

On the warm and beautiful Sunday afternoon in Prospect Park last Sunday I attended the delightful antics of CIRCUS AMOK.

This was the last stop in a multi-park tour they did this summer. The Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Sunset Park and now Prospect Park.

Gathering together some of New York’s finest performers, Circus Amok is a real treat for audiences of all ages.

Founded and directed by the juggler, Professor (Pratt Institute) and former Coney Island USA Sideshow performer Jennifer Miller.

I captured some photographs and video of that day’s festivities. BUT if you really want to witness Circus Amok you have to see them LIVE!

I was there 15 minutes before the show and captured some backstage shots.

Seated (with hat)Lee Houck with band and Carlton Cyrus Ward with Clare Dolan.(stilts)

Heather Green

Jenny Romaine

Mark Ettinger on Trumpet, Lee Free on Drums

Heather Green, Jules Skloot, Carlton Ward, Jennifer Miller, Ariel Federow, Kali Theirren, & Claire Dolan.

Ariel Federow and Jules Skloot. (Band in background)

Jennifer Miller and Carlton Ward as The Liberty Sisters.

Ben Meyers on the Trombone

The cast – Heather Green, Jules Skloot, Carlton Ward, Jennifer Miller, Ariel Federow, Kali  Theirren, Clare Dolan

The Cast doing a Pyramid Balance.

The Curtain Call with Cast and Circus Amok Band. 

(The Circus Amok Band was Jenny Romaine, Lee Free, Mary Feaster, Mark Ettinger (filling in for Jessica Lurie.)

For more information on CIRCUS AMOK visit their website here!

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Categories
Photography Vaudevisuals Bookshelf Women

Vaudevisuals Bookshelf – “Girls Will be Boys” by Laura Horak

“Girls Will be Boys” by Laura Horak

Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, and Katharine Hepburn all made lasting impressions with the cinematic cross-dressing they performed onscreen. What few modern viewers realize, however, is that these seemingly daring performances of the 1930s actually came at the tail end of a long wave of gender-bending films that included more than 400 movies featuring women dressed as men.

Laura Horak spent a decade scouring film archives worldwide, looking at American films made between 1908 and 1934, and what she discovered could revolutionize our understanding of gender roles in the early twentieth century. Questioning the assumption that cross-dressing women were automatically viewed as transgressive, she finds that these figures were popularly regarded as wholesome and regularly appeared onscreen in the 1910s, thus lending greater respectability to the fledgling film industry. Horak also explores how and why this perception of cross-dressed women began to change in the 1920s and early 1930s, examining how cinema played a pivotal part in the representation of lesbian identity.

Girls Will Be Boys excavates a rich history of gender-bending film roles, enabling readers to appreciate the wide array of masculinities that these actresses performed—from sentimental boyhood to rugged virility to gentlemanly refinement. Taking us on a guided tour through a treasure-trove of vintage images,Girls Will Be Boys helps us view the histories of gender, sexuality, and film through fresh eyes.

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“Horak has produced a meticulously researched, astutely argued, and highly readable text … her use of archival materials is impeccable and her filmic and historical analyses clearly display a nuanced understanding of her topic.”   Publishers Weekly
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 “Girls Will Be Boys is an excellent work of film scholarship, meticulously researched and expertly presented, while still being an approachable and enjoyable read for the diligent non-academic reader. This is a wonderful book for those cinephiles who take an interest in how gender and sexuality have been presented throughout film history, and for social historians who recognize the important role cinema has played over the last century in shaping popular perspectives on gender and sexuality. Laura Horak has written an informative and necessary book.”

Fourth & Sycamore

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LAURA HORAK is an assistant professor of film studies at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. She is also the coeditor of an award-winning book, Silent Cinema and the Politics of Space.  
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Categories
Burlesque Cabaret Clown Dance Magic Music Performing Arts Photography Story Teller tinydangerousfun Variety Arts

‘tinydangerousfun’ – March 2014 @ Branded Saloon – Brooklyn

John Le0 and Andy Sapora at tinydangerousfun

we’re back y’all!

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Adina Ballerina does the entire Nutcracker (much abridged).

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2014.03.04_tinydanfun_020John Leo stands alone on stage as his friend and co-MC Andy Sapora shoots him head on.

John Leo reveals his trick 'blood splurting' device.John Leo reveals his trick blood splurting device or ‘squib’

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Andy Sapora and John Leo perform the 8 Plate spin.Andy Sapora and John Leo perform the 8 Plate spin.

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tiny dangerous fun at Branded Saloon

Jill Stoddard with a HILARIOUS true story that she made up.

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tiny dangerous fun at Branded Saloon

Penelope Labradoodle Rockefeller  performs an Inner Beauty Makeover.

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Gio presents a slideshow lesson on how to talk like his mother.

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The 13th Act at tinydangerous fun

The 13th Act!

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tinydangerous fun variety at Branded Saloon

Amy Virginia and Eben Hoffer perform sweet, sweet songs.

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Torkova mesmerizes the audience with his mentalism.

Torkova blows our minds again!

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Andy Sapora and John Leo reading the cue cards.

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Wonderwoman (Emily James) shows off her superpowers.Wonderwoman (Emily James) shows off her superpowers.

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For more information about attending or performing go to this LINK!

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Categories
Cabaret Comedy Magic Performing Arts Photography Puppetry Variety Arts Vaudevisuals Interview Ventriliquist Video

Vaudevisuals Interview with Steve Samuels – “Charles Ludlam & The Ridiculous Theatre Company”

Charles Ludlam portrait

During his visit to NY last year I was fortunate to interview Steve Samuels. I met Steve when he was the General Manager of The Ridiculous Theatrical Company which was created by the brilliant Charles Ludlam. (pictured above)

I was so lucky to have seen many of The Ridiculous Theatrical Companies productions including The Mystery of Irma Vep, The Ventriloquist’s Wife, Corn, Camille, Reverse Psychology, Salammbo, The Artificial Jungle.

Steve Samuels is now producing, directing and acting in productions of his company The Magnetic Theatre Company in Asheville, NC.

In this interview he talks about his time with The Ridiculous Theatrical Company and his ever changing relationship with Charles Ludlam.

“Theater is life itself—you give people two hours of your life, onstage. Time is all we have, and sharing that with people is different from just creating an object.” 

“What I do is not gay theater — it’s something much worse. I don’t ask to be tolerated. I don’t mind being intolerable.”

Charles Ludlam 4/12/43 – 5/28/87

Everett Quinton and Charles LudlamEverett Quinton (left) with Charles Ludlam in “The Mystery of Irma Vep”.

(Photograph Anita & Steve Shevell)

Charles Ludlam by Frank RichPosting in The New York Times by Frank Rich

(Samuel French Page of Charles Ludlam Plays)

Here is a wonderful write up on ‘Dangerous Minds‘ blog about the great and throughly researched book “Ridiculous!: The Theatrical Life and TImes of Charles Ludlam” by David Kaufman. There is also a video of Charles on the Madeline Kahn show performing in drag. Great piece of TV history.

Steve Samuels worked with David Kaufman on this book as well.

 

Click here!

BONUS: Here is a link to Charles Ludlam’s lost 16mm films. Part 1 or 9 parts on YouTube. Click HERE.

 

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