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Amercian Vaudeville Theatre Cinema Clown Comedy Film Marx Brothers Performing Arts Silent Film Television Vaudeville Vaudevisuals Bookshelf

Vaudevisuals Bookshelf – “Chain of Fools”

CHAIN OF FOOLS by Trav S.D.

Chain of Fools traces the art of slapstick comedy from its pre-cinema origins in the ancient pantomime through its silent movie heyday in the teens and twenties, then on to talkies, television, and the Internet. As in his first book, the critically acclaimed No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, author Trav S.D. mixes a wicked wit, a scholar’s curiosity, and a keen critical appreciation for laugh-makers through the ages, from classical clowns like Joseph Grimaldi to comedy kings like Mack Sennett, Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton . . . to more recent figures, from Red Skelton, Sid Caesar and Ernie Kovacs to Adam Sandler, Jim Carrey and Steve Carell . . . all the way down to the teenagers on YouTube whose backyard antics bring us full circle to slapstick’s beginnings. This valentine to the great clowns contains enough insights and surprises to open the eyes of even life-long comedy fans.

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Silent Film Music Composer Ben Model has this to say about the book!

“I have read a lot of books on silent comedy in film. A lot of them. “Chain of Fools” is not like any of these books, and in a refreshing way. Trav S.D. manages to combine a personal journey through the work of the various luminaries of wordless comedy with the act of also laying them chronologically end-to-end, and manages to do so in an entertaining and humorous way. As he did in his book on Vaudeville, “No Applause, Just Throw Money: the Book that Made Vaudeville Famous”, Trav traces the arc of silent comedy back further than most film historians do in their books, and follows it further into the present as well. “Chain of Fools” is not just about silent comedy itself but its place in our culture and how it’s been a consistent part of it. It’s a fun read, and accessible to both novice and seasoned historian. I thoroughly enjoyed it. (And if you’re not aware of it already, do pick up Trav S.D.’s No Applause–Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous)”

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“When I first saw the cover of the book I smiled. This was not Chaplin and Eric Campbell from “Easy Street” or something, it was Author Trav S.D.’s little joke. The principles of the cover were Billy West and Oliver Hardy, THAT introduced me properly to this wonderful book of other film comedians, some famous, some obscure. This is not a reference book, it can be read for pure joy and the author adds his opinions to these characters making them come to life again. You may consider me a fan of Trav from his first book “No Applause Just Throw Money,” for this author brings the same amount of joy and authority to enrich reader’s knowledge of the legacies of the unknown or forgotten. This is pure prose from cover to cover and it could pass for a course study…only this tome is too entertaining for dry lecture. The author has contributed something special in “Chain of Fools,” (Bearmanor Media). This is a five-star rating.” – William Cassara

Categories
Circus Clown Comedy Juggling Magic Magic Music Performing Arts Photography Pranks Puppetry Quick Change Artists The New Victory Theatre Women

“BelloMania” at The New Victory Theatre – April 2016

BELLOMANIA

For his 3rd year in a row success, Bello Noch presents his new production BelloMania.

Featuring  Michael Karas, Dinny McGuire, Annaliese Nock, Shawn Roth

2016.04.30.BelloShow_013Show Host Dinny McGuire kept the show moving along with charm and finesse.

2016.04.30.BelloShow_022Bello starts the show off with a ‘big head’ balloon stunt.

2016.04.30.BelloShow_042He followed that will a lovely ‘chair production’ routine followed by this skillfully accomplished hand balancing act.

2016.04.30.BelloShow_051His daughterAnnaliese Nock did a beautiful split on the tightwire.

2016.04.30.BelloShow_056Bello proceeded to walk on the tightwire and not only sit but STAND (not pictured here)on the chair on the wire.

2016.04.30.BelloShow_064Michael Karas performed a skillful and creative juggling act with rings. balls and a puppet!

2016.04.30.BelloShow_081Annaliese performed many stunning aerial feats and with this beautiful projection, it looked heavenly.

2016.04.30.BelloShow_089The show had many wonderful moments. Bello talked to the audience about the pride he has for his circus family.

2016.04.30.BelloShow_102The audience had to look up when Bello began to climb ‘the sway pole’. 

2016.04.30.BelloShow_126High above the audience on the sway pole with his hair touching the New Victory Theatre’s ceiling.

2016.04.30.BelloShow_120A real ‘comic daredevil’ for sure. Time Magazine calls him “America’s Best Clown”.

2016.04.30.BelloShow_141Curtain call for the cast of BelloMania at The New Victory Theatre. Great fun!

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OPPORTUNITY NOCKS, INC – Producer

JENNIFER NOCKS – Writer and Director

DAVID MILLER – Set Design

GUIDO NAUS – Musical Director

KAY TORRALVA AND WRIIC’S COSTUME ARTS – Costume Design

STEVE CURTIS – Safety Officer & Technical Director

KARIM MUASHER – Audio Visual

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For more information on Bello Nock and his work go here.

Categories
American Circus Circus Clown Comedy Dance Exhibit Juggling Magic Performing Arts Photography Sideshow Tent Show Variety Arts

SHOWHISTORY.COM – A Unique Image Archive

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This is the mast head for SHOWHISTORY.COM website. A very unique place for those interested in odd, unique and offbeat memorabilia.

Here is a comment by the website manager:

“Membership is $25 a year and allows you access to all of the materials, photos, letterheads, etc.– including multi-page items, such as the largest collection of sideshow pitchbooks ever gathered together– currently 65 scanned and online, and more than 60 more to be added.  Currently we have about 1200 images online and plan on adding about 2000 more items per year until the growing collection has been fully digitized.”
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“The origin of this undertaking emerged in casual conversation outside The Sarasota Showman’s Club one February evening sometime in 2001. The Showhistory.com website first debuted on February 11, 2002.  The plan then, as now, was to engage in the enormous task of listing every novelty, variety, sideshow and freakshow performer who ever crossed the lot, creaked the boards of dime museum or bally, saw sun glint in the eyes of an audience in some small town, waiting for the sound of nickels and dimes clacking into a metal box.”
 
“Finally expanding to more than a thousand pages of material and hundreds of images, the site was unfortunately mainly inactive after 2006.”
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“In October 2014 the site was redesigned and relaunched in a slightly different form– as an online image archive available on a subscription basis.  While now you must pay to access the full contents of the site, including our expanding archive of online images (over 1000 at launch), we plan on preserving and re-introducing all of the earlier material, and presenting a large quantity of free-access material.”
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ShowHistory.com plans on eventually making available online for members all of the 11,000-plus item archive of photos, pitchcards, handbills and ephemera in the area of sideshow, novelty and variety, vaudeville, burlesque, dime museums, carnivals, and outdoor show business in general.  The earliest item in the collection dates from 1609, and the archive continues to expand to include items from present-day performers and exhibits.”
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Showhistory.com wishes to chronicle the lost, fading and future scene on the fringes of the American amusement business– in biography, history, photographs, and whatever else we can find.  Collect the stories before they disappear, push and pull together the conflicting sources in books and memoribilia so that they can coexist in one place.”
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In the next post I have ready to go up I have ‘borrowed’ some text from Showhistory.com to help illustrate the life of Clarence Dale.
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Hope you have the inclination to JOIN…it is certainly worth the fee and it helps support the work they are doing on the site.
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