Categories
Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show Clown Comedy Juggling Magic Photography

Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Revue – Jan 7th, 2019

Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Revue

This monthly showcase of variety performers has a lot to be proud of.

The New York based cirkus family Bindlestiff has some great shows lined up all year long and not just in Manhattan. The company also has performances in Hudson NY and other locations. But, the monthly BOSVR as I refer to it as has so many great acts every  month and an audience that sees it one month will see a ‘variety’ of other acts the following month. Keith Nelson hosts the monthly extravaganza and believe me it IS an Extravaganza!

The first performance of the evening is usually is reserved for Keith. Here is the ‘diablo’ or Chinese Yoyo act which he excels at.

Bethany Shao performed an amazing ‘hand balancing’ act.

Host Keith Nelson has a wonderful knack for presenting his skills in between the other acts. He claims it is the only time he gets to rehearse them. Here is his lovely spinning wooden top act.

Next was Tru-Dee (Deborah Lohse) performing her hysterical dancing/signing act.

The eccentric act of Cassandra Nemser was opera singing mixed with magic linking rings. Montana Miller told a true biographical story about her aerial work and meeting a sky-diving man that swept her away.The back stage hands that move the show along by placing and replacing props for the acts also happen to be talented performers themselves. Here is clown/physical comedian Adam Auslander adding to the hilarity of the evening.Brian Klimowski has a great talent for the Yoyo and sang/danced was well.

In every monthly show there is a ‘walk-up’ slot to be filled by anyone that wants to participate ‘last minute’ by walking up to Keith and telling him they want to ‘go on’. This month it was Ambrose Martos and he performed a clown verbal improv that involved audience participation and tickled the audience’s funny bone for sure.

Closing the show was Jared Shanks who performed the aerial ‘straps’ act. It was really wonderful to see his control and skill.

As Keith calls up all the performers for the curtain call he reminds the audience to ‘meet at the bar’ upstairs and buy your favorite act a drink!

# # # # #

Every first MONDAY of the Month at Dixon Place. Come and enjoy the talent!

Categories
Photography

Happy New Year! 2019 is here…

HAPPY NEW YEAR – From Vaudevisuals to YOU!

Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read Vaudevisuals. We posted over 120 photographs/video interviews and Bookshelf recommendations. More to come…

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Categories
Clown Comedy Dixon Place Performing Arts UNDER St. Marks Video

Michael Bongar – In a Class by Himself

Michael Bongar was the featured performer at the November 2009 NY Downtown Clown Revue. Coming from a theatre background but being enticed by the circus, Michael tells us about his move from theatre to clown and what things he thinks are important to the discipline of the clown.

Michael Bongar sheds his three-piece suit for this wild excerpt from his one-man show MAGIC MIKE. A wonderful mockery of mediocre magic and the people that perform it.

And here is a wonderful video Michael used to promote his business BongarBiz.

Many of New York’s finest variety performers are hired by Michael Bongar (BongarBiz) for any number of different kinds of shows/events. He really deserves a lot of credit for featuring many acts in many jobs for quite a few years!

My hat goes off to Michael – Thanks for helping keep the variety-arts and clown community alive!

And here is where you can reach Michael to hire ‘Magic Mike’ or any talent! 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

Categories
Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show Clown Comedy Dixon Place Magic Magic Music Performing Arts Photography Physical Theater Variety Arts Women

Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Revue – Feb. 6th, 2017 @ Dixon Place

THE BINDLESTIFF OPEN STAGE VARIETY REVUE

Hosting the evening’s entertainment was ‘Magic Brian‘.

First up was the ‘Amazing HouDino’ performing a wonderful card trick with his father Magic Brian.

HouDino carefully selected a card as audience volunteer looks on.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Penelope the Clown carried a cinder block on stage. WOW..must have been heavy.

Albert Kirchner does some funny standup material.

Ellia Bisker and Adam Kuchler  perform a lovely duet with uke and bells.

The Flying Luango Brothers performed a musically accompanied escape/magic act.

Christie Cahill and Amy Schulster perform a wonderful aerial act.

Magic Brian places HouDino on the stage with his ‘straight jacket’ sweater ready to escape.

HouDino escapes the ‘straight jacket’ sweater with time to spare and a nice smile.

Magic Brian moves the show along with the classic ‘linking rings’ routine. 

Ambrose gets an audience member to ‘nose up’ and hands him a whip cream pie.

Ambrose gets the pie in the face as both he and the audience member laugh.

Carol Sirugo performs a solo piece about mountain ranger guide.

Greg Dubin performs the lovely classic magic routine ‘cups and balls‘.

Jerline Custa performs 3 ball juggling on the unicycle.

Lucy Shelby performs a ‘political’ piece with an audience member.

Maks and Skyttles perform an enchanting aerial drama.

Curtain call for the cast and MC of the Feb 2017 Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Revue.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Categories
American Circus Circus Clown Comedy Juggling Magic Magic Music Performing Arts Story Teller The Tank Variety Arts Vaudevisuals Interview Video Women

Vaudevisuals interview with Joel Jeske and Nelson Lugo – “Circus Salon”

Circus Salon interview with Joel Jeske and Nelson Lugo

Joel Jeske and Nelson Lugo discuss the upcoming evening “Circus Salon” which is Sept 15th at The Tank!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Categories
Aerial Acts Burlesque Cabaret Comedy Music Performing Arts Photography Sideshow The Slipper Room Variety Arts Ventriliquist Video Women

Glitter Gutter @ The Slipper Room – August 17, 2016

The Slipper Room is a great performance space! Like a ‘speakeasy’ in the Lower East Side.

Beautifully decorated and intimate as well. Most of the shows there are of a ‘burlesque’ nature.

I was there on Wednesday and photographed the ‘variety acts’ since this blog is all about ‘eccentric variety’.

2016.08.17.GlitterGut_015Mel Frye (James Habacker) hosts the show Glitter Gutter every Wednesday evening at 10 pm.

2016.08.17.GlitterGut_012Mel Frye – the host is a rather eccentric character that proclaims to be driven around in a limo with a chauffeur.

2016.08.17.GlitterGut_070Ellie Steingraeber – Hula Hoop mistress of madness performs a wild finale.

2016.08.17.GlitterGut_102Strap aerialist ‘Amadeus’ was wonderful in his ‘audition’ for the show.

2016.08.17.GlitterGut_106Gal Friday started her act off with a nice tame ‘bump and grind’.
2016.08.17.GlitterGut_132Carla Rhodes with Cecil Sinclair were hysterical.

2016.08.17.GlitterGut_139Velvet Crayon prepares his tongue for the upcoming pickle sucking portion of the act.

The Slipper Room has several shows each evening. Be sure to check out their calendar here.

Categories
Amercian Vaudeville Theatre Book Shelf Photography Quick Change Artists Recommended Reading List Variety Arts Video Women

The Illustrated History of Quick Change – A proposed book project

I began working on this book project in the early 1970’s..probably around 1973. I have a letter from famed magician/historian Jay Marshall dated 1978. I had inquired to see if he had any ‘quick change’ material I could use for my research.

Letter from Jay Marshall

I had basically given up on the project in late 1981 and put all my research in a box. Dishearted by the lack of awareness people had about this act. It seemed like I was one of maybe 50 people that knew what the ‘Quick Change‘ act was.

I just found this box of research in my storage unit! Almost 35 year later! It is massive! I worked on the book for quite a few years. Contacting libraries and archives all over the world to obtain photographs/letters/articles/reviews about these artists during their ‘heyday’ in the vaudeville times.

Palace Theater Program

Here is the program from The Palace Theater in May of 1913. The 6th act (F) on the program is quick change artist Owen McGiveney.

Notice the 4th act on the bill is W.C Fields. Quick change artist shared the bill with some outstanding performers in their time.

As you can see from this photograph my research didn’t only include quick change. Here is a photograph of the ‘future site of the Palace Theater‘.

img005“On This Site Will be Erected THE PALACE THEATRE”

One of the many quick-change artists that were performing in vaudeville was ‘The Great La Follette“.

The Great La Follette

I am posting a few items from my research. I am beginning work on a book.

Quick Change in American Vaudeville

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Here is an artist rendering of the great Proctor’s 23rd Street Theatre.

Proctor's 23rd Street Theatre

Proctor’s 23rd Street Theatre (previously located between 6th and 7th Avenue)

Here are a few of my previous Vaudevisual postings on Quick Change.

Michael McGiveney

Mr. Hymack – Quentin McPhearson

The Great Lafayette

Henri DeVries

LaFollette

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Here is a YouTube video made from film transfer of Owen McGiveney in 1928. 

Here is a YouTube video of his son Michael McGiveney doing his father’s act on the TV show “I’ve Got a Secret” in 1950.

(Michael used his father’s name with Jr. in the beginning of his ‘quick change’ career. More about that in my book!)

Here is a recent (Feb 2016) Ted talk in Pompeii by the wonderful Italian Quick Change artist Arturo Brachetti.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Categories
Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show Comedy Dixon Place Juggling Magic Music Photography Video Women

Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Revue – June 2016 – Dixon Place

Hosted by Keith Nelson at Dixon Place. A Variety Show for all kinds of acts! This month’s show was Terrific!

2016.06.06.BindlOpn_178

DSC08625Kenwyn Dapo

2016.06.06.BindlOpn_040The Immaterialists

2016.06.06.BindlOpn_102Adam Auslander

DSC08647Harold Moeller and Rob Lok

2016.06.06.BindlOpn_141Geniia Pakrovskaya

2016.06.06.BindlOpn_204Maks Turner and Skyttle

2016.06.06.BindlOpn_076Kat Alexander

2016.06.06.BindlOpn_176Zero Boy

2016.06.06.BindlOpn_233Magic by Greg Dubin, aka The Great Dubiny

2016.06.06.BindlOpn_281Keith Nelson’s 8 Bowl Finale!

 

Categories
Aerial Acts American Circus Baruch Performing Arts Center Clown Comedy Vaudevisuals Interview Video Women

Vaudevisuals interview with Mark Gindick and Mark Lonergan – ‘Circo de la Luna’

It’s not every day that a new circus comes to town. Especially an exotic, sensual and comedic one. That is Circo de la Luna!

Here is Mark Lonergan (director) and Mark Gindick (clown) talking about the upcoming show.

Produced by Amanda Topaz and starring Sonia Olla.

Featuring the following performers:

Ismael Fernandez

Sarah Sophie Flicker

Mark Gindick

Olga Karmansky

AJ Silver

Amanda Topaz

Anna Venizelos

 

Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 2.18.25 PM

CLICK HERE FOR TICKET INFORMATION

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Categories
Clown Comedy Magic Magic Mime Music Performing Arts Physical Theater Quick Change Artists Variety Arts Ventriliquist Video

The Regard of Flight – Bill Irwin, Doug Skinner and Michael O’Connor

Now that Bill Irwin has joined forces with David Shiner again to present OLD HATS I thought it right to ‘look back’ at Bill’s earlier success. “The Regard of Flight“. The show was performed in many venues before going to Lincoln Center. An earlier version of the show was performed at the Baltimore Theater Festival titled “Murdoch” which I saw.
Bill Irwin was brilliant in choosing Doug Skinner and Michael O’Connor to share the stage with him in this show. They were great!
Doug Skinner provided ‘original music’ and Michael O’Connor was hysterical as ‘the critic’ lurching to the stage with comments and questions throughout the show. Wonderful comic timing together made this show a treat for any audience!
For those of you that did not see Bill Irwin, Doug Skinner and Michael O’Connor in “The Regard of Flight”…A wonderfully brilliant show!

“It should be said that Mr. Irwin is a contemporary American performance artist whose name belongs alongside those of Buster Keaton and Marcel Marceau.”
Mel Gussow NY Times
The New York Times Review

Bill Irwin and David Shiner are currently performing their new show “OLD HATS” at the Signature Theater.
“one of the funniest shows of the past few years” the New York Post,
Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 1.05.36 AM
More information and tickets can be had here.