The true story of a 1920’s con man (JR Brinkley) who made a fortune selling his impotence cure: surgically implanted goat testicles. He then became a radio star and a successful politician. A Brechtian parable about American Greatness, told with country music.John Blaylock was narrator, Blind Cowboy and Clyde Reed. Great performance!Minnie Brinkley (Jenny Lee Mitchell) and JR Brinkley (Trav SD) broadcasting from his radio station
Julia Hoffman (Fishbein, Laura & others) back to back with Jenny Lee Mitchell.
JR Brinkley (Trav SD) giving one of his heated political speeches.
Julia Hoffmann performing one of the other characters so played so well.
Jimmy (Craig Anderson) telling his story about the successful operation by JR.Brinkley.
JR Brinkley (Trav SD) and Fishbein (Julia Hoffman) go head to head about medical malpractice.
Jimmy (Craig Anderson) preaching on the radio show of Minnie(Jenny Lee Mitchell) and JR Brinkley.(Trav SD.)
Arrangements: Tom Berger
Music Direction: Richard Philbin
Costume Designer: Ramona Ponce
Lighting Designer : Jeff Nash
Scenic Artist: Eric Shanower
Stage Manager: Berit Johnson
Assistant Director: Becca Silbert
Graphic Design (image above): Clinton Corbett
“A fresh, energetic, biting satire that deconstructs the power of the con man and the charming story teller” Show Biz
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
“The atmosphere is more party than performance. The audience — many of whom will perform — bring beer from the local delis. Typical hallway conversation runs like this: “I’ll go on for three minutes, then you break in with this poem . . .” All performers get a care package, which this night included a condom, a lollipop, and a mint.”
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Quotes from the press about Surf Reality!
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“At Surf Reality a form of comedy is being worked on even more alternative than alternative comedy”– The New Yorker
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“Surf Reality is …the brackish undertow of the cultural comedic wave, a radical rejection of standard stand-up”– The Wall Street Journal
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“Surf Reality continues its quest to present the best in alternative comedy” – Daily News
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“Best Performance Art, Very Funny.” – NY Press, Best of Manhattan ’97
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“Surf Reality, the Lower East Side’s infamous bastion of cutting edge, theatrical zaniness…” – Shout Magazine 1999
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Check out the Surf Reality website from back-in-the-day!
Travis and I both really enjoyed making these Vaudephone videos but couldn’t find a ‘sponsor’ to finance the continuation of the productions. Based on the Vitaphone series that is currently being packaged on DVD. So here is the first one and I will be posting more of them in the coming weeks! Enjoy!
Vaudevisuals interviewed Edward Einhorn who conceived and curated the MONEY LAB. Opening at HERE Arts Center at 145 6th Avenue, NYC It is described as 'an economic vaudeville, a multi-disciplinary experiment to discover whether economic ideas can be represented through performance.' In this interview Edward talks about the Money Lab and the many aspects of the project/performances.
MONEY LAB – March 20 – April 11
Tickets $20, plus a required $5 – 10 buy in
PLUS: EVERY NIGHT HAS TWO PREMIUM SET AVAILABLE: $50 EACH
EXTRA BENEFITS! PRIORITY SEATING WITH MORE LEGROOM! FREE SNACKS!
Conceived and curated by Edward Einhorn
Game design: Edward Einhorn and Gyda Arber
Assistant producer: Patrice Miller
Stage manager: Berit Johnson
Set design: Christopher Heilman
Lighting design: Jeff Nash
Video design: Gil Sperling
Costume consultant and design: Natalie Loveland
Sound engineering and design: Travis Wright
Concessions manager: Corinne Woods
Interns: Joshua Espinoza, Allison Hohman, Angelica Sumner