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Pangea Performing Arts Vaudevisuals Interview Women

Vaudevisuals interview with Tammy Faye Starlite – ‘Why’d Ya Do It?’

“Tammy Faye Starlite went all the way: impersonating Marianne Faithfull, rock musics fallen woman, with an uncanny accuracy. Her simulation of Ms. Faithfull’s vocal style and combustible blend of arrogance and scabrous sarcasm only begins to tell the story.” 

Stephen Holden – New York Times

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“Now, as Marianne Faithfull, British pops queen of survival, Starlite resurrects 1979s Broken English as a thoroughly modern tale of adventure, abyss and hard-won vengeance  one of the most brutally frank albums of its time, made flesh again, in poignant lethally honest character.”

David Fricke/Rolling Stone

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Following a month of sold-out performances in March of her portrayal of Marianne Faithfull, pegged to the 40th anniversary of the landmark Broken English album, Tammy Faye Starlite has announced a new production titled “Why’d Ya Do It?: Tammy Faye Starlite Performs Marianne Faithfull’s Broken English at Pangea” this fall. The show, directed by Michael Schiralli whose credits include Varla Jean Merman and the Mushroom Heads, Scraping the Bottom: The Most Offensive Songs of Jackie Hoffman and Tammy Faye’s own acclaimed Nico Underground, launches Wednesday, September 25 and then plays every Thursday in October with the run concluding on Halloween.  Two preview performances are set for Thursday, September 12 and September 19.

Tammy Faye originally performed Broken English at Lincoln Center and brought it to Joe’s Pub and The Metropolitan Room; later she performed Marianne Faithful: Exposed at Joes Pub and McCabes in Los Angeles.  Thereafter, she took Cabaret Marianne on the road to Provincetown, Chicago and St. Louis.

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More information/tickets

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Big Apple Circus Clown Vaudevisuals Interview Video

Vaudevisuals interview with Mark Gindick & Adam Kuchler

Vaudevisuals‘ Karen Jenson sat down with Big Apple Circus clowns Mark Gindick and Adam Kuchler to hear what they had to say about
‘clowning’ and where they got their start.

More about Mark Gindick and Adam Kuchler:

Mark Gindick is a professional actor, clown, physical comedian, director, teacher and writer/creator of his own theatrical shows. Wing-Man, his original theatrical piece without one spoken word, won BEST ONE-MAN SHOW in United Solo Theatre Festival, the largest solo festival of it’s kind in the world. Mark has appeared in major feature films, including the Nora Ephron comedy Julie & Julia with Meryl Streep; on televison, The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’Brien and was featured in The PBS mini series CIRCUS; starred Off-Broadway and at the Edinburgh Theatre Festival in the New York Times acclaimed hit The Comedy Trio Happy Hour; clowned on circuses such as Cirque Du Soleil, Ringling Brothers and the Big Apple Circus as well as teaching clowning at SUNY Purchase College and other New York City venues. Mark wrote and starred in How To Be A Man at the Palace of Variety on 42nd Street (NYC) and Mark’s unique blend of vaudeville, dance, and physical comedy earned him three Golden Nose Awards.

Adam Kuchler is originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Adam followed in his uncle’s footsteps and became a clown. Since 1995, he has worked in 43 of the United States and 14 countries around the globe,  in circuses, variety theaters, parks, cruise ships, and once in a bullfighting ring.   He appeared on Late Night with David Letterman multiple times, and in 2012, was honored to be awarded a special prize for clowning at the International Circus Festival in Figueres, Spain.  In his spare time, Adam enjoys playing ukulele and eating popcorn.

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For more information/tickets!

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Big Apple Circus Circus Performing Arts Vaudevisuals Interview Video Women

Vaudevisuals interview with contortionist Elayne Kramer – Big Apple Circus

BIG APPLE CIRCUS

The great, entertaining and delightful Big Apple Circus is back at Lincoln Center for the Holiday Season! With it are many amazingly brilliant acts that include Elayne Kramer.

Elayne is a contortionist and is interviewed here by Vaudevisual’s  Karen Jenson.

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Here is a glimpse of Elayne Kramer performing at the Circus Awards Ceremony in 2015

And here is a sample of what you will see if you attend The Big Apple Circus!

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Now through Jan. 7th 2018

For more information and to purchase tickets go HERE!

Categories
American Circus Big Apple Circus Circus Clown Comedy Juggling Music Performing Arts Photography Women

Celebration of American Circus @ Big Apple Circus – Tues. Jan. 5th, 8pm

Celebration of American Circus

Tickets still Available for Celebration of American Circus here!

Categories
Aerial Acts American Circus Big Apple Circus Circus Clown Comedy Juggling Music Performing Arts Photography Tent Show Video Writer

Big Apple Circus – “The Grand Tour” @ Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

THE BIG APPLE  CIRCUS – “THE GRAND TOUR”.

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 12.46.30 PMAll Aboard the S.S. Big Apple Circus

2015.10.20_BAC.002The Opening Scene of the new Big Apple Circus Show “The Grand Tour”.

2015.10.20_BAC.304Ringmaster John Kennedy Kane delighted the audience and kept the show moving right along.

2015.10.20_BAC.346Chiara Anastasini was magical in her ability to keep all the hula hoops going.

2015.10.20_BAC.363Brent McBeth and Joel Jeske keep the audience laughing with their “Feeling Hot” routine.2015.10.20_BAC.375

2015.10.20_BAC.364Joel gets a face full of water thru the port hole door.2015.10.20_BAC.369Joel finds an innocent audience member and threatens him with a bucket of water.

2015.10.20_BAC.393Alexander Koblikov performs an amazing ball juggling act.

2015.10.20_BAC.415Alexander Koblikov drops all the balls at the end of his act.

2015.10.20_BAC.417A professional ‘class act’ all the way from beginning to end.

 2015.10.20_BAC.444Jenny Vidbel and Emily McGuire make a wonderful dog act with jumping and running dogs.

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2015.10.20_BAC.471Brent helps Jenny with the ‘jumprope’ for this amazing dog.

2015.10.20_BAC.476Dogs are the best!

2015.10.20_BAC.485The Energy Trio perform a muscularly amazing Handstand act.

2015.10.20_BAC.489The Energy Trio with their balance and strength showing here.

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2015.10.20_BAC.515John Kennedy Kane, Joel Jeske and Brent McBeth all contribute to the “Red Nose Transplant”.

2015.10.20_BAC.524Eric & Jayson Dominguez appear in a thick fog before they climb onto “The Wheel of Wonder”

2015.10.20_BAC.526The Wheel rotates as the two walk inside the circular open path.

2015.10.20_BAC.537Eric Dominguez walks on the outside of the circle blindfolded.

2015.10.20_BAC.550Brent McBeth reminds the audience what to ‘hashtag’ when they ‘tweet’ the show.

2015.10.20_BAC.128Jenny Vidbel and Emily McGuire perform a beautiful “Arabian Horses” act.

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2015.10.20_BAC.150A graceful bow by Jenny Vidbel’s horse was gorgeously performed.

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Joel Jeske and Brent McBeth were clowning the whole evening and singing and dancing as well.

2015.10.20_BAC.631The camel with Joel Jeske hanging onto the tail was part of a piece titled “Istanbul” that was performed with Brent McBeth.

2015.10.20_BAC.643The ZUMA ZUMA TROUPE performed a  wonderful balancing acrobatic act.

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2015.10.20_BAC.664The Zuma Zuma Troupe worked great together accomplishing great balancing.

2015.10.20_BAC.203Sergey Akimov performed an amazing “Aerial Straps” act flying up in the tent.

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2015.10.20_BAC.673Sergey Akimov performed with grace and strength throughout his act.

2015.10.20_BAC.719Joel Jeske with Brent McBeth performed an audience participation “Musical Chairs” that was hysterical.

2015.10.20_BAC.218After the others get disqualified it becomes a battle between Joel and this cute young girl.

2015.10.20_BAC.224Joel is infuriated that he didn’t win the chair!

2015.10.20_BAC.234The Dosov Troupe complete the show with their athletic ‘Teeterboard’ act.

2015.10.20_BAC.735Flying off the teeterboard into the air.

2015.10.20_BAC.744Flying off the teeterboard onto the seat.

2015.10.20_BAC.274 The cast leaves the circus ring after the ‘finale’ and says GOODBYE to the audience.

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“THE GRAND TOUR”

Written and Created by Joel Jeske

Directed by Mark Lonergan

Scenic and Lighting Designer: Maruti Evans

Sound Designer: Jean-Pierre Perreaux

Props Designer: Katie Fleming

Costume Designer: Oana Botez

Associate Director and Choreographer: Antoinette Dipietropolo

Props Master: Becca Bernard

Musical Director: Rob Slowik

Original Music and Arrangements: David Bandman, Peter Bufano, Jeffrey W. Holmes

Clown Material Created by Joel Jeske

Big Apple Circus Executive Director: Will Maitland Weiss

Big Apple Circus Artistic Director: Guillaume Dufresnoy

2015.10.20_BAC.286Artistic Director Guillaume Dufresnoy introduces the show at ‘Dress Rehearsal’.

Categories
Aerial Acts American Circus Circus Comedy Juggling Magic Performing Arts Photography Puppetry Sideshow Ventriliquist

Excerpt from Tim O’Brien’s book “Ward Hall – King of the Sideshow”

WARD HALL – The Official Biography by Tim O’Brien

I attended the ‘launch party‘ for this book at the ‘Morbid Anatomy Museum‘.

I ask Tim if he would be so kind to share some of the wonderful text with my readers. He agreed!

Ward Hall biography by Tim O'Brien

Ward Hall — King of the Sideshow
“Ward Hall – King of the Sideshow!” is the first-ever biography of the man who has helped shape the American Circus Sideshow into what it has become today.
Ward has worked with monkey girls, half-people, fat men, sword swallowers, fire eaters, giants, colossal snakes, huge rats and diminutive horses. In addition to owning dozens of sideshow and circuses during his long career, Ward has written four books, four musical stage productions, has appeared in seven movies, and more than 100 videos and TV specials, performed at Madison Square Garden and Lincoln Center in New York City and has sung at Carnegie Hall.
Ward has the memory of an elephant, the exagerative dialogue of a Ginsu Knife salesman and a sequined wardrobe that would have made Liberace turn his head.
Ward Hall joined his first circus in 1944 when he was a 14-year-old kid living in Colorado. A year later, as a 15 year old 10th grade dropout, he ran away for good, joining the Dailey Bros. Circus. He never looked back. By 16 he was performing in a sideshow and by age 21, he owned a sideshow!
***
It was spring 1946, Ward was 15, and he was prepared, or at least he thought he was, when a Billboard ad caught his attention. Dailey Bros. Circus was looking for a magician and fire eater. He didn’t know how to do either very well. He didn’t tell them he was only 15, and he didn’t have a plan. He just knew he had to join the show at that time. Ward responded to Milt Robbins asking for the job, and soon a telegram arrived that read:
Salary OK.
Show opens April 1. Join anytime.
Winter Quarters, Gonzales, Texas.
– Milt Robbins, Show Manager
Ward daringly told his father that he was going to leave and take the job with the circus. His father didn’t argue, telling Ward that he would get the circus out of his system and be “back in two weeks.” Ward laughs. “They are still waiting for me.”
Using what he had left of his last paycheck from the part-time job he had on the railroad to buy a $51.50 bus ticket, he caught up with Dailey Bros., still at its winter quarters in Central Texas. He borrowed his uncle’s steamer trunk, packed it with his one suit, a few other pieces of clothing and a small collection of homemade magic tricks. The day he climbed off the bus in Gonzales, Ward recalls thinking that at that point, he “was beginning the second part of my life. On that momentous day, my childhood ended.” It was March 27, 1946 – 116 days before his 16th birthday.
Anxious to get on with his life, he arrived in Gonzales more than two weeks early. Instead of the circus bosses sending him home, he was put to task on several small projects. He slept in a small shed along with sideshow equipment that would be traveling with the show that year. Ward’s pay was $30 a week with cookhouse privileges, which meant he could eat at the official circus cookhouse and share a berth on Car 79 of the circus train when the show hit the road.
While new to the circus itself, he had a pretty good idea of what to expect before he stepped off that bus, having been reading news and stories about the big top in Billboard for years.
It didn’t take Ward long to be noticed on the lot, but not necessarily in an endearing way. On his second day, he decided to further educate himself on fire eating, having never truly learned the skill. In his letter to Robbins, Ward claimed he could eat fire, so he thought he had better learn as soon as possible. On his first attempt he badly scorched his lips, turned around in pain, kicked over the fuel can and caught the shed on fire. Needless to say, a good eye was kept on this aggressive but polite newcomer to the business from that point on. Ward moved into the men’s dormitory where he spent only a few nights. “Having been a loner all my life, I was not knowledgeable on how men act after drinking large quantities of alcohol, so I discovered an abandoned circus wagon which became my living quarters until we moved onto the train.”
***
In August 1973, while playing in Indianapolis, Ward appeared in a television special called On Location: Alan King at the Indiana State Fair. Alan King kept asking very basic and non- informed questions and it was obvious to Ward that King didn’t quite understand, or like, the sideshow business. “I can’t imagine why anyone would pay 50-cents to see this stuff,” the comedian told Ward, referring to the sideshow acts. Taken aback, Ward retorted, “I can’t imagine someone paying $5 to go to a nightclub to see your act.” King bragged, “They pay $15.” To which Ward responded: “That’s actually worse!” The network edited out that exchange, but the edited segment effectively showed that freak shows “provide honorable livelihoods for handicapped men and women who otherwise might be unemployable.”
***
With the life that Ward Hall has led, it seems impossible that one single event would stand out to him as the best. What’s even more improbable is that event had nothing to do with a sideshow.
On April 22, 1994, Ward was the singing master of ceremonies at Carnegie Hall for Circus Blues, a show that was part of The Carnegie Hall Folk Festival. Stephen Holden, a reviewer with the New York Times, attended the show and wrote of Ward. “Wearing a sequined top hat and tails, Ward Hall, a former lion tamer and pitchman, presided over the program of old-time circus musicians, like Ralph Edwards leading a big top version of This is Your Life. Ward sang three numbers with the orchestra to get the show under way. “Hi, Neighbor!,” “There’ll Be Some Changes Made,” and “When You’re Smiling.” Among the musical guests on the same bill were Blind Willy, Guitar Gabriel (Robert Lewis Jones), Diamond Tooth Mary and Willa Mae Buckner.
“I have said it many, many times that singing at Carnegie Hall in New York City was the highlight of my life,” said Ward. “It’s the one singular thing that I have enjoyed most, and being a part of that program is one of my proudest moments.” Surprisingly, not too many people who know of Ward and his sideshow prowess know that the Carnegie Hall event took place, said Ward. “I don’t usually tell people that I sang at Carnegie Hall. It is so unbelievable that this sideshow bum would have been top billed in a program at Carnegie – with great reviews the
following day.”
***
Ward celebrates 70 years of working in the weird, wacky and wild world of the sideshow in 2014. Now 84 years old, he doesn’t travel often with his show and he has passed the baton on to a younger generation who are now his partners. But he checks in daily and occasionally surprises them all by showing up in his red, sequined jacket, taking the microphone as he immediately starts attracting the curious to the front of the tent. There is only one person silver throated kind of the carnival talkers who could do that, Ward Hall.
__________
Tim R. O’Brien is the author of Ward Hall — King of the Sideshow!, available wherever books are sold and online at Amazon.com and Casaflamingo.com.

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Ward Hall 'talking' at Rock ShopA recent photograph of Ward Hall doing his pitch.

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Categories
Clown Mask Mime Performing Arts Variety Arts Video

Movement Theater Studio – A Physical Actor’s Bootcamp

When an individual thinks about becoming an actor they assume it means taking ‘acting classes’.

What is called ‘working from the inside out’. Learning a technique to act! StanislavskiMethod Acting – etc.

The most interesting training an actor can really have is ‘physical theater’ training. This is where the actor learns to act ‘from the outside in’.

I have been an advocate of the technique of French master Jacques Lecoq and his training. Many performing groups that I have photographed over the years have been trained by either Lecoq himself or someone that studied with him.

Currently, the show at Lincoln Center‘s Vivian Beaumont Theater is WAR HORSE and several of the actor/actress’s have had this training. I contacted Richard Crawford who is the co-director of Movement Theater Studio and he introduced me to two of his students who are performing in the show. I was invited backstage to interview Hunter Canning and Leah Hofmann.

After they talked about their training and how imperative it was for working in theater , I then interviewed Richard Crawford and Virginia Scott from MTS.

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For more information on Movement Theater Studio go here.

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Circus Clown Music Photography Variety Arts

NY Goofs – WATER FOR CLOWNS show – At The Flea Theatre

The press release for this show reads as follows:

WATER FOR CLOWNS is the yet untold story of a troupe of traveling clowns during the depression who endure the harsh reality of show business when a drought prohibits the use of water in their routines. Our story follows a young meteorologist who is just about to graduate from MIT when he learns his dog Biscuit has been hit by a car driven by the parents of a guy who was about to graduate from veterinarian school.

The story of the veterinarian was told in Water For Elephants. Our meteorologist, Dusty Hinkle, gets his turn in the spotlight when he jumps on a train that leads him to the Martini Brothers Circus.

Combining the skills and spills of eight professional loonies, WATER FOR CLOWNS guarantees a night of surprises and visual delights performed by some of America’s greatest clowns. Perfect for all ages, this group of professional clowns and clown teachers gather at the end of the NY Goofs Ultimate Clown School and put together a riotous night of pure insanity and laughter.

Led by Dick Monday, the Goofs received the 2009 Golden Nose Award for Best Clowns, and have appeared worldwide in festivals, theaters and circuses, including Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall.

The cast includes some of America’s most accomplished physical comedians: Hilary Chaplain, Jay Stewart, Joel Jeske (2011 Drama Desk nominated for Room 17B with Parallel Exit; Live! with Regis and Kelly), Tom Doughterty (Big Apple Circus, Ringling Bros. Circus) Evelyn Tuths, Rob Lok, Mark Gindick(Big Apple Circus), Tiffany Riley and Dick Monday (Late Show with David Letterman; The Tonight Show; Sweet & Lowdown).

 

The show on OPENING NIGHT was hysterically funny, touching and full of heart felt moments.

Jay Stewart, Mark Gindick, Hilary Chaplain and Evelyn Tuths.

Tom Dougherty and his dog Lucy.

Jay Stewart(l) and Joel Jeske passing some ‘bucks’!

Jay Stewart and Tiffany Riley wash the dishes together.

Tiffany Riley and Dick Monday making moves.

Joel Jeske and Tom Dougherty making funny music.

Hilary Chaplain performing her piece FRANK.

Dick Monday a little ticked off at the failure of his juggling trick.

Tiffany Riley provides the Water for Clowns

Tom Dougherty and his companion Lucy on stage relaxing.

Chet Monday showing off his technical skills with charm.

Hilary Chaplain helps close out the show with some juggling skills.

Rob Lok preparing for the jump rope routine on stilts! He is crazy.

After jumping rope on stilts he proceeds to do a handstand on top of 3 chairs on stilts.

The cast all together ends the show on a high note of dancing and music. (Not visible is Tom Dougherty and Rob Lok)

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Here is a video excerpt from the show.

 

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