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Book Shelf Circus Comedy History Performing Arts Vaudevisuals Bookshelf

Vaudevisuals Bookshelf – “The Grand Gypsy” A Memoir by Ottavio Canestrelli

 ~ The Grand Gypsy ~

A Memoir by Ottavio Canestrelli with Ottavio Gesmundo

The Grand Gypsy is a memoir of life in the circus, filled with daring feats and tragic mishaps. It is the true story of a man who experienced historical events as he toured with his family through five continents and countless nations. Among these events are his harrowing experience fighting in World War I against the German Army in Italy, and the excavation of the Sphinx in Egypt.

Replete with over 150 rare, historic photographs, The Grand Gypsy is a chronicle of a circus dynasty from the late nineteenth century in Europe to the new millennium in the United States of America. Included are significant images that document an extensive tour through such exotic locations as Burma, Sumatra, New Guinea, Syria, and Mesopotamia during the early twentieth century, and numerous portraits and captured performances in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Hollywood, Las Vegas, and Sarasota, Florida.



“The Grand Gypsy is indeed fascinating and highly enjoyable reading, not only for anyone interested in circus history but also for any curious or adventurous mind.”

Dominique Jando – Editor, Circopedia.org

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“The story of Ottavio Canestrelli is unique and this book, rich with history and filled with humor, is fresh and memorable.” – “readers will definitely be interested in his remarkable story.” 

The Booklife Prize by Publisher’s Weekly

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“The story of his travels, his acts and those of his talented family will enthrall any reader, and this is a most well-written and structured book”  

Circus Report

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“The roster of names dropped along the way, along with an expansive collection of photographs from every period covered in the book, should provide a good deal of pleasure”.

Spectacle Magazine

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“​The pictures in the book are astonishing. With its pictures and rich anecdotes, this is a treasure of a book.”

Judge, 25th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards


BUY IT HERE!


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Categories
American Circus Bindlestiff Family Cirkus Cabaret Cabaret Circus Comedy Magic Magic Music Performing Arts Photography Tap Dance The Cutting Room Variety Arts Vaudeville Video Women

Bindlestiff Family Cirkus Cabaret @The Cutting Room

Bindlestiff Family Cirkus Cabaret @The Cutting Room

What a treat! The Bindlestiff Family Circus Cabaret put together an ‘all-star’ lineup of talent for this show!

Directed by Michelle Matlock.

I was in the 2nd row so I didn’t get the best shots from that seat but I will share a few decent ones with you.

The Bindlestiff Family Circus band was so ‘on-point’ for all the acts. Great addition to the show. Live music makes a difference.

Eric Biondo and Robert Cowie.

(Sorry Eric and Robert- Could capture any shots of you from my seat)

Bindlestiff Co-founder Keith Nelson introduced the audience to the show’s lineup.

Multi-talented Chloe Somers opened the show with a beautiful aerial act.

The Great Kaplan (David Kaplan) mesmerized the audience with his magic.

After magically producing a candle it mistakenly (on purpose) caught his suit carnation on fire.

His credits are so long I will just link you to his webpage. A master indeed! Hysterical and very skilled.

After The Great Kaplan’s grandfather’s uke gets destroyed by a rogue bowling ball he gets consolation from Bindlestiff’s Co-Founder and stage manager Stephanie Monseu.

Keith Nelson entertained the audience with 2 classic vaudeville glass balancing stunts.

Chloe Somers returned to the stage by balancing  and walking on Champagne bottles

She then rearranged them in a different order/line and balanced/walked on them again.

Chloe Somers was fantastic in her skills.

The Great Kaplan returned to the stage playing a ‘turkey baster’.

Evan Ruggiero played the guitar brilliantly and tap danced with his peg-leg. 

Chloe Somers showed her multiple skill set by returning to the stage with her hula-hoop act.

Chloe Somers worked the hula-hoops with such charm and personality.

Keith Nelson performed his 8 spinning plate act.

Keith was successful in keeping all 8 plates spinning and catching the spoons in the glasses.

Mr. & Mrs. G finished off the show with their ‘crossbow’ act. Beautiful and daring indeed!

Mrs. G. (Naomi Brenkman) prepares her crossbow for shooting.

Both Mr. & Mrs. G. fired crossbows at one another in the act. Attempting to hit the target.

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One More show tomorrow afternoon at 2 pm!

For more information on Bindlestiff Family Cirkus and their upcoming events go here!

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Categories
Aerial Acts Bindlestiff Family Cirkus Cabaret Cabaret Circus Comedy Juggling Magic Music Performing Arts Photography The Cutting Room Women

Bindlestiff Family Cirkus Cabaret @The Cutting Room

Get ready!

2018 Bindlestiff Family Cirkus Cabaret at The Cutting Room,

May 23-27!

I have had the pleasure of photographing this company for years and I must say “They are great.”

The performers are amazing, professional and top of the line in their particular discipline.

A very special venue is The Cutting Room. Don’t miss your chance to see this show!

Tickets are $25.00 in advance, $35.00 at the door.  $25.00 at the door for those attending in clown makeup or circus costume

Tickets can be had here!

Chloe Somers Wall

Evan Ruggiero

The Great Kaplan

Mr. & Mrs. G – Crossbow stunts

Keith Nelson spinning the china bowls. (Photograph ©2018 Maike Schulz)

The Bindlestiff Family Cirkus Cabaret features cast members Keith Nelson (vaudevillian juggler and sideshow marvel), Stephanie Monseu (emcee and instigator), The Great Kaplan (Eccentric man of magic, and purveyor of deadpan nonsense), Evan Ruggiero (triple threat, singer, actor, and one-legged tap dancer) and Chloe Somers Walier (delightfully daring aerial acrobat).  The Bindlestiff Family Cirkus Band features Robert Cowie on keyboards and Eric Biondo on trumpet and beats.  The show is directed by Michelle Matlock, the originator of The Ladybug role in Cirque du Soleil’s “Ovo”.

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Categories
Performing Arts Radio Vaudeville Variety Arts Vaudevisuals Interview Video Women

Vaudevisuals interview with Mr. & Mrs. G – Crossbow Stunts

Mr. & Mrs. G – Crossbow Stunts

I was fortunate to meet these two adorable performers at The Bindlestiff Open Stage last week. They were standing amongst a crowd of performers all of whom I knew. But I didn’t know them. So I introduced myself and we had a great conversation and arranged a time to do this wonderful interview.

Now I have to see their act ‘in person’. Hopefully, we will cross paths again soon.

MR. & MRS. G. a.k.a. Ottavio Gesmundo & Naomi Brenkman-Gesmundo are professionals with extensive performing credits that include The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, The Britney Spears Circus Tour (opening video segment), Spider-Man Live! At Radio City Music Hall & National Tour, Le Plus Grand Cabaret du Monde, Paris Television Show and the First International Company of Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida Musical in The Netherlands.

They are performing currently in The Box.

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And here is a video of their amazingly great work!

You can check out their schedule and see more videos on their site HERE!

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Besides being a terrific performer Ottavio has also co-authored a book about his grandfather’s career in show business in the early 20th Century.

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The Grand Gypsy is indeed fascinating and highly enjoyable reading, not only for anyone interested in circus history but also for any curious or adventurous mind.”  – Dominique Jando – Editor, Circopedia.org

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More information about his book can be found on the website here.

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