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Home Again: The Marx Brothers in New York City

A Marxian multimedia adventure through New York City, in the company of its funniest sons and writer and performer Noah Diamond (I’ll Say She Is, Marxfest, The Marx Brothers Council Podcast). With special guests, a lot of laughs, a few tears, and a few surprises. Presented by Freedonia Marxonia.

What great fun I had watching this wonderful story assembled with so much care by the amazingly talented Noah Diamond!

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Photography

Vaudevisuals interview with Noah Diamond ~ “Freedonia Marxonia”

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.

Pardon the sync issue. Difficult to record off the computer streaming screen!

From: Freedonia Marxonia FB page.

Every fall, the State University of New York at Fredonia pays homage to the town’s near-namesake, Freedonia-the mythical kingdom at the center of the Marx Brothers’ 1933 classic Duck Soup. Since 1987, the Freedonia Marxonia festival has become a tradition for Marx Brothers fans. This year, with the pandemic restricting public gatherings, Freedonia Marxonia has gone virtual.

Click here to read more of the text.

Julius Henry Marx (Groucho) on the left and Adolph Marx (Harpo) on the right holding a rat terrier dog, c. 1906

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Photography

2019 – Vaudevisuals Year in Review

All together I posted 73 times in 2019! Over 1000 views per month. Pretty good for an ‘eccentric’ performing arts blog!

You can use the drop-down menu for Month to Month Archive viewing. I will list some of the highlights here.

Dec 2019 – Interview with Cirque Mechanics Chris Lashua ~ Interview with Coney Island’s own Dick Zigun – Sideshow Hall of Fame.

November 2019 – Corn Mo and The Love Show ~ Vaudevisuals interview with Hilary Chaplain ~ Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Revue ~ Karen Gersch Portfolio ~ Vaudevisuals Bookshelf ~ Martin Ewen’s ‘Panto Damascus’.

October 2019 – Vaudevisuals interview with Kevin Venardos.

September 2019 – Vaudevisuals interview with Noah Diamond & Amanda Sisk ~ Vaudevisuals interview with Adrienne Truscott.

August 2019 – Vaudevisuals interview with Tammy Faye Starlite ~ Ernie Kovacs Centennial Panel Discussion ~ Vaudevisuals interview with Dick Zigun – ‘Bloody Brains in the Juke Box’ ~ Vaudevisuals interview with Sarah the Bird Girl ~ The Seashore Variety Hour

July 2019 – Southern Sideshow Hootenanny Benefit ~ Vaudevisuals interview with Amber Martin ~ Vaudevisuals interview with Tyler West.

June 2019 – Vaudevisuals interview with Trav SD ~ Vaudevisuals interview with Bill Bowers ~ Vaudevisuals interview with Mallory Catlett ~ Vaudevisuals interview with Ralph Lewis ~ Bindlestiff’s ‘brooklyn abridged’ show ~ Vaudevisuals interview with Kevin Augustine ~ Vaudevisuals interview with Everett Quinton. ‘Galas’.

May 2019 – A.J. Silver – A Cowboy from the Bronx ~ Vaudevisuals interview with Boxcutter Collective.

April 2019 – Congress of Curious People – James Taylor ~ Vaudevisuals interview with Greg Dubin ~ Vaudevisuals interview with A.J. Silver ~ Trav SD’s American Vaudeville Theatre.

March 2019 – Vaudevisuals interview with John Jesurun & Nicky Paraiso ~ Vaudevisuals interview with Coney Island Ritual Cabaret Festival.

February 2019 – Coffeehouse Chronicles: Ethyl Eichelberger ~ Bindlestiff Open Stage at Big Apple Circus ~ Lord Buckley by Heathcote Williams.

January 2019 – Vaudevisuals Bookshelf: ‘Atomic Clown’ by Sara Moore ~ Bindlestiff Open Stage ~ Tribute To Rob Torres.

~ HAPPY NEW YEAR ~ 2020 ~

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History Photography United Solo Festival Vaudevisuals Interview

Vaudevisuals interview with Noah Diamond & Amanda Sisk

400 Years in Manhattan Brings New York City History to the Stage

400 Years in Manhattan will be seen in the United Solo Theatre Festival at Theatre Row on September 30 at 7:00 pm, and October 4 at 9:00 pm.

The October 4 performance is sold out.

Tickets are available for the Sept 30th show HERE!

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Cinema Comedy Film Marx Brothers Music Performing Arts Photography Vaudeville Video

The Marx Brothers Weekend – Sept. 9th – A Video/Photo Excerpt

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The Marx Brothers and World War I

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The Trivia Section of the day at 2:00 pm with Brett Leveridge

Noah Diamond displays one of the Prizes for Trivia winner. Marx Brothers Comic Book.

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Marx Brothers Sing-Along

Marx Brothers Singalong: “Alone”

There are two kinds of people: those who would enjoy a group singalong of Marx Brothers songs, and those who simply don’t know how to have fun. I assert that you have not truly lived until you’ve heard a room full of people singing Chico’s version of “Everyone Says I Love You,” in glorious unison. This video documents another of the Singalong’s many highlights: “Alone” (by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown, from A Night at the Opera), led by Bill Zeffiro on the keys. (Noah Diamond contributed this and all other text for this post.)

Marx Brothers Singalong: “Dr. Hackenbush” and “Lydia the Tattooed Lady”

The Singalong concludes with a pair of Groucho specialty numbers. The penultimate selection is “Dr. Hackenbush” by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby, one of Groucho’s favorite musical signatures, despite its unfortunate exclusion from A Day at the Races. The Singalong concludes with the immortal “Lydia the Tattooed Lady,” by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg, from At the Circus, led by Bill Zeffiro and me.
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A

Deep Dive Into Cracked Ice: Duck Soup Before Duck Soup!

Cracked Ice is an early draft of Duck Soup, written by Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby, and Grover Jones. It has some obvious similarities to the finished film, but it also reveals the more characteristically Marxian (and notably darker) comedy that was being planned before the director Leo McCarey imposed his vision on it. The first day of Marx Brothers Weekend ended with this cold reading, featuring Kathy Biehl, Melody Jane, Brett Leveridge, Jonny Porkpie, Matt Roper, Trav S.D., Seth Shelden, Matt Walters, and me. (Noah Diamond)
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Comedy Film Marx Brothers Photography Vaudevisuals Interview

Vaudevisuals interview with Noah Diamond – “Marx Brothers Weekend”

For those of us who are ‘huge’ fans of the Marx Brothers, this event is supreme!

Here is Noah Diamond talking about this special weekend and the upcoming ‘Fredonia‘ event as well. 

Noah Diamond as ‘Groucho’ in the 2016 production of ‘I’ll Say She Is’.

Both of these events promise to be hilarious for all that attend!

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Check out Vaudevisuals – Review – April 2016

Vaudevisuals.comApril 2016 Vaudevisuals Posts

April was quite a month. The Clown Un_Mask series returned with a portrait of Matt Roper.

Vaudevisuals interview with Parallel Exit director Mark Lonergan with physical comedian Mark Gindick.

The book ‘Clowns’ by John Towsen and “Gimme a Thrill” by Noah Diamond.

Check out the links below if you missed them in April.

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L’HOMME CIRQUE – A SHORT VIDEO WITH DAVID DIMITRI.

THE CLOWN UN_MASK – MATT ROPER (AKA WILFREDO)

THE VAUDEVISUALS BOOKSHELF – CLOWNS – BY JOHN H. TOWSEN

THE VAUDEVISUALS BOOKSHELF – “GIMME A THRILL” BY NOAH DIAMOND

VAUDEVISUALS INTERVIEW WITH MARK GINDICK AND MARK LONERGAN – ‘CIRCO DE LA LUNA’

VAUDEVISUALS INTERVIEW WITH BILL BOWERS – “ALL OVER THE MAP”

VAUDEVISUALS BOOKSHELF – “UNFORGOTTEN NEW YORK” – DAVID BRUN-LAMBERT

VAUDEVISUALS INTERVIEW WITH BELLO – “BELLOMANIA”

Bello being interviewed by Jim R Moore

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Comedy Dance Marx Brothers Music Performing Arts Photography Video Women Writer

“I’ll Say She Is” – The Lost Marx Brothers Musical at The Connelly Theater

First of all…there is this wonderful NY Times review!

“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!

2016.06.01.MarxBros_026The chorus line is wonderful!

2016.06.01.MarxBros_074Matt Roper (Chico), Seth Shelden (Harpo) and Noah Diamond (Groucho) are great!

2016.06.01.MarxBros_248Singing and dancing and fooling around. What else would you want from an evening of theater?

2016.06.01.MarxBros_252Noah Diamond (Groucho) in a moment of distress.

2016.06.01.MarxBros_204 Melody Jane (Beauty) sits and watches in amazement at Seth Shelden (Harpo) and Matt Roper (Chico) dance a bit!

2016.06.01.MarxBros_327Melody Jane (Beauty) sits with Kathy Biehl (Ruby) in the drawing room ‘love chair’.

2016.06.01.MarxBros_404Melody 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!

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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.”

NY Times

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ONLY UNTIL JULY 2nd, 2016

Tickets and more information here!

 

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The Vaudevisuals Bookshelf – “Gimme a Thrill” by Noah Diamond

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 of Marxfest New 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.

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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.

Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 11.41.54 PMClick here for more information on this show!

Here is Noah talking about the Marx Brothers and I’ll Say She Is during a Vaudevisuals interview.

OK! Go see the show when it opens and here is the information for you to buy his new book!

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2014 New York Clown Theatre Festival – ‘tinydangerous-popcorn’

Andy Sapora and John Leo hosted an evening of ‘clown short’ films. However they didn’t waste any time getting into their ‘tiny dangerous‘ fun!

2014.09.21_NYCTF_019John Leo and Andy Sapora start the show off with some eccentric dancing and stuff.

2014.09.21_NYCTF_027

2014.09.21_NYCTF_045Andy Sapora juggles some razor pen knives for some ‘ooohs and aaahs’.

2014.09.21_NYCTF_058John Leo pierces this arm with a long needle and bleeds a little. (the ‘dangerous’ part of tiny dangerous’.)

2014.09.21_NYCTF_069Just before intermission Andy and John make an ‘offering’ to the audience of some really delicious cookies.

2014.09.21_NYCTF_071Three audience members accept the offering and are ‘drafted’ to make a short film during intermission.

2014.09.21_NYCTF_078After intermission and before screening the films Andy sets his arm on fire for a more ‘ooohs and aaahs’.

2014.09.21_NYCTF_079More ‘insane’ antics followed this but due to ‘R’ rated website I am not able to post the photos.

Here are links to the films that were screened.

Hilary Chaplain – “Happy Hour

Noah Diamond – A Vaudephone Presentation – “United Nations Song”

Trav S.D. – “Too Much Nutcracker

The Maestrosities – ‘Topeka Tomorrow

Wayne Wilson/Franco Dragone – “Willie Jones: Trouble with Love

Yang Miller – “Humor Seminar with Phillip Dunman”

Jeff Seal – “Lazer Katzenberg

Emily James -“Flag Crew

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