Noah Diamond has put together a streaming talk about the Marx Brothers and their time in New York City. Part of the Freedonia Marxonia Annual Festival. This time the festival will be streaming instead of being held way upstate in Fredonia at the SUNY campus there. So come and attend it!
In this interview Noah talks about what he put into the upcoming LIVE talk.
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 Mammavhat 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.
“Mr. Diamond himself plays Groucho, and he might as well be Groucho. Matt Roper’s Chico and Seth Shelden’s Harpo are also meticulous, and Matt Walters completes the quartet with the less well-known Zeppo, the male romantic lead in the story but certainly not the center of attention.”
Next..you better get tickets NOW before it is TOOO late!
I was delighted at be able to photograph the show early in the run. I did the NY Fringe Festival two years ago and again this year with the ‘full production’.
Here are some moments for this funny, charming, hilarious, musical, Marx Brothers show!
The chorus line is wonderful!
Matt Roper (Chico), Seth Shelden (Harpo) and Noah Diamond (Groucho) are great!
Singing and dancing and fooling around. What else would you want from an evening of theater?
Noah Diamond (Groucho) in a moment of distress.
Melody Jane (Beauty) sits and watches in amazement at Seth Shelden (Harpo) and Matt Roper (Chico) dance a bit!
Melody Jane (Beauty) sits with Kathy Biehl (Ruby) in the drawing room ‘love chair’.
Melody Jane (Beauty) with Matt Walters (Zeppo) singing one of the original songs from the show.
So many other great shots of the show BUT I suggest you see it for yourself!
~ ~ ~ ~
Musical Direction and Arrangements: Sabrina Chap Choreography: Shea Sullivan Directed by: Amanda Sisk
“it reminds us how brightly the Marx Brothers’ brand of lunacy once blazed.”
I usually post ‘The Vaudevisuals Bookshelf’ once a week but this week is ‘Special’.
The publication of Noah Diamond’s new book “Gimme A Thrill“.
I will let you read the text on Amazon since I am a photographer mostly!
A BROADWAY LEGEND OF 1924 Includes more than eighty rare photographs, some published here for the first time. Before they made the films which are their principal legacy, the Marx Brothers were the stars of three Broadway musicals in the 1920s. Two of these, The Cocoanuts and Animal Crackers, are popular classics, familiar from the Brothers’ immortal film versions, and from numerous stage revivals. But the boys’ 1924 Broadway debut, I’ll Say She Is, was never filmed or revived, and it slipped through history’s fingers. Although it was the most successful thing the Marx Brothers ever did on stage, it was unseen for ninety years after the original production closed, and has been considered a lost work. In 2009, writer, performer, lyricist, and Groucho Marxist Noah Diamond began a seven-year odyssey which led to the restoration, adaptation, and finally the historic first revival of this legendary entry in the Marx and musical theatre canons. Gimme a Thrill tells the whole story for the first time—the complete history of I’ll Say She Is from 1923 to 2014. Noah Diamond adapted the book and lyrics for I’ll Say She Is and has a long history of playing Groucho, on and off the stage. He is among the organizers ofMarxfestNew York City’s Marx Brother’s festival and has written and lectured widely on the Marxes and their work. With his partner Amanda Sisk, he wrote and produced the Nero Fiddled musicals, a series of political satires. His previous books are 400 Years in Manhattan and Love Marches On.
I first met this very talented Mr. Diamond while shooting an episode of the wonderful series ‘Vaudephone‘ which I co-produced with Trav SD. Here is Noah performing for us “The United Nations Song” for that series.
So now you can see why you should buy this book! Noah is brilliant in whatever he puts his mind to. And by the way you would be doing yourself a great disservice if you didn’t see the show coming this year.
During this Dick Cavett show only 30 minutes of the interview with Groucho Marx was aired due to time constraints of the network.
Groucho stayed in the studio for another 30 minutes and talked to Dick Cavett and the live audience got to hear and see it.
Here is the full version of that show. Love Groucho!