I just learned that my local grocery store used to be a vaudeville house! From the Sept. 18, 2008 New York Sun:
“The white terra-cotta-clad C-Town supermarket on the north side of 9th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues was, from 1914 to 1967, the RKO Prospect Theatre, which at first presented both vaudeville and films, then later only films. In 1922 comedian Ted Healy invited two fledgling Brooklyn-born performers, Moe and Shemp Howard, to join him onstage for some ad-libbed humor. The act continued at the Prospect under the name Ted Healy and His Stooges.”
Ah, that may be why I knocked over that large stack of cantaloupes. My steps were guided by spirits…
To find out more about the history of vaudeville, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold. And don’t miss Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, to be released in September, 2012.