Archive for January, 2012

Vaudephone #13: Juliet Jeske

Posted in Burlesk, Comediennes, Comedy, Contemporary Variety, Singers, Singing Comediennes, Vaudephones, Vaudeville etc., Women with tags , , on January 31, 2012 by travsd

And now, here’s the dynamite Princess Sunshine (Juliet Jeske) , the next installment in our Vaudephone series. Sunshine rocks the accordion and sings her signature number  “Backup Plan”.  Juliet’s also a popular (possibly notorious) columnist for the Huffington Post (for my full profile on her go here).

ALSO: please note the swell theme music, by Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks. Don’t miss Vince and his swingin’ band for dinner and dancing every Monday and Tuesday at the Edison Hotel! (Details are here).

Vaudephone is a co-production of Travalanche/ the American Vaudeville Theatre, and Vaudevisuals.com.

To find out about  the history of vaudevilleconsult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.

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Yes, Yes, Eddie Cantor!

Posted in Comedy, Eddie Cantor, Hollywood (History), Vaudeville etc. with tags , , on January 31, 2012 by travsd

Today is the birthday of the great Eddie Cantor. (For my full biographical article go here). In honor of the day I attach what may well be my favorite musical number in the world, from the film Palmy Days. For absolute energy and craziness this song cannot be beat — the tempo and energy are downright punk. And the zany arrangements and choreography never fail to put a chill up my spine through THE ENTIRE SONG. When the girls with their pretty harmonies and thumping tap shoes come in, it goes into overdrive. This is some fortunate Jazz Age spillover, even though we’re now into the Depression (1931). You get a real sense of what Cantor must have been like onstage during his heyday, and why he was so popular back then.On further contemplation, I don’t know why I don’t watch this clip every single day:

To find out more about these variety artists and the history of vaudevilleconsult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.

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Stars of Vaudeville #430: Kara

Posted in German, Jugglers, Vaudeville etc. with tags , , on January 31, 2012 by travsd

Kara (born Michael Steiner on this day in 1867) was one of the first and most prominent of the “gentleman jugglers”. A native of Nuremburg, Germany he began by juggling stones as a child and became famous for his ability to juggle several diverse household objects or radically different shapes and weights: a cigar, a chair and a cane, for example. He became professional at around age 20 and normally worked the European circuits, although there were several tours of America, in 1892, 1900, 1906, and 1921. He was forced to wait out World War One in a French Prisoner of War camp but reemerged to rebuld his career after a four year internment. He retired in 1927, passed way in 1939.

 

To find out more about  the history of vaudevilleconsult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.

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Trav S.D.’s Gallery of Grotesques #24

Posted in ME, My Shows with tags on January 30, 2012 by travsd

Will Marion Cook

Posted in African American Interest, Broadway, Dance, Music, Ragtime, Vaudeville etc. with tags , , , , , on January 27, 2012 by travsd

Today is the birthday of Will Marion Cook (1869-1944).  He was emphatically not a vaudevillian, although there’s nothing about a serious musical training (he studied with Dvorak among others) that would have prevented that.  He rates a shout-out here for composing several seminal African American musical theatre shows, many starring important artists like Walker and Williams. Among them: Clorindy, or the Origin of the Cakewalk (1898) and In Dahomey (1902), the first all African-American show on Broadway.

What’s the “cakewalk”, you say? Why, this is the cakewalk:

Your ancestors would be astounded to learn you didn’t know! At any rate, as it happens, February is Black History Month. Please check in here starting next Wednesday and throughout the month for daily posts on African Americans in vaudeville!

To find out more about these variety artists and the history of vaudevilleconsult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.

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Princess Raja Dances with a Chair in her Teeth

Posted in Asian, Dance, Silent Film, Vaudeville etc., Women with tags , , , on January 25, 2012 by travsd

This 1904 Biograph film records the “Oriental” dance of one Princess Raja, whose wow finish has her swinging furniture around in her jaws. Good thing no one’s sitting on it!

To find out about  the history of vaudevilleconsult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.

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Murder at the Old Howard

Posted in BOOKS & AUTHORS, PLUGS, Vaudeville etc. with tags , , on January 25, 2012 by travsd

Frank Cullen and Donald McNeilly are the co-authors of the indispensable Vaudeville Old and New  and the previous Porridge Sisters mystery Murder at the Tremont Theatre. Here’s the scoop on their latest:

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