Archive for the American Vaudeville Theatre Category

2013: The Year in Review

Posted in American Vaudeville Theatre, Contemporary Variety, ME, My Shows with tags , , , on January 2, 2014 by travsd

Happy New Year!

Now that we’re done tooting horns  in celebration of the arrival of 2014, today we toot our own horn about the year just past. It’s been an eventful twelvemonth on many fronts, highlighted by the release of a new book, some of my most ambitious vaudeville and burlesque shows to date, speaking engagements and other public appearances, several video and web tv projects, and several exciting trips. And more!

Here’s our retrospective re-cap (just click on the links below for more info about the events):

January:

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* Hosted Just Noise: A Concert Recording Session for Beck’s Song Reader at the Brick Theater. While the event sported dozens of amazing acts like Pendulum Swings and Killy Dwyer, I am afraid this is the clip I have to share with you:

* Also in January 2013, I was privileged to speak to an SRO crowd at the Greater Astoria Historical Society on the impact of 19th century German immigration on American show biz. The event was hosted by the NY 19th Century Society. More info in that sexy, sexy event is here.

February

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Sat down with Martin Denton of Indie Theater Now for a nice podcast chat about my early years, and the posting of many of my plays on his terrific website. Your gateway to all that happiness is right here.

March

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* March saw the publication of my second book  Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, by Bear Manor Media, available from amazon.com etc etc etc. Just follow that link for more info!

* My first Chain of Fools book event was held in the Westerly Public Library in the town of my birth, Westerly, Rhode Island. The talk was about Douglas Fairbanks and his film American Aristocracy, which had been shot locally.   More info about that event is here. 

April

with Ben Model of the Silent Clowns film series

with Ben Model of the Silent Clowns film series

Our New York Chain of Fools launch event was held at Dixon Place. A good time was had by all! The full account is here. 

May 

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Hilary Chaplain, who collaborated with me on the silent film “A Change in Brunch Plans”

* Our second NY Chain of Fools launch event was held at the Brick Theater, this one featuring original contemporary silent films by clown film makers. More about my own short film A Change in Brunch Plans (including the film), can be found here. 

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* I was featured in a Washington Post piece about New Burlesque this month. More details and a link are here. 

* I also met Liza Minelli and Michael Feinstein at Vince Giordano’s show in May. Mr. Feinstein turned out to be a fan of my book No Applause! The full account of the historic event is here. 

June

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* We presented our grandest vaudeville show ever this month at the Players Club, in celebration of the Palace Theatre’s 100th birthday. The All-Star cast included Ed Sullivan impersonator Will Jordan, tv pioneer Joe Franklin, sideshow king Todd Robbins, members of the Flying Karamazov Bros, et al. For the full report go here. 

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* In June we held our second Rhode Island Chain of Fools event at What Cheer Antiques in Providence. This trip was a joy in that I got to re-connect with a town where I used to live but haven’t gotten to visit in a quarter century, to see lots of family and old friends, and to meet some new ones. Read all about it here.

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* To Ithaca, New York for my son Cashel’s high school graduation!

July

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* Revived our collaboration with Angie Pontani’s Burlesque-a-pades in Horse Trade’s Burlesque Blitz Festival. More info in that show here. 

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* I was thrilled to play the host in Kevin Maher’s hilarious 4th of July comedy video; check it out here:

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* Was ecstatic to return to Rhode Island for the third time in a year for the first family reunion in many years. I was especially glad to reunite with my three brothers (above) at this time, because Chain of Fools is dedicated to them.

August

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* In August we presented our Burlesque Tribute to the Bathing Beauties show at Coney Island USA. The full photo record of this event is here. 

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* Also that month we had a more intimate musical event at Dixon Place, featuring our own self, plus mockstar Killy Dwyer and Carla Rhodes & Cecil Sinclair.

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* Made my third appearance on the popular Halli-Casser Jane Show, talking about silent film and Charlie Chaplin. More info on the episode and a link to it are here. 

September

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* Spoke to a full house at the Brooklyn Public Library on the topic of Vitagraph Studios. Full description here. 

* Spoke at the Mint Theatre on the subject of playwright George Kelly. More on that here.

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* Launched the first of several web tv interviews I did for NY Community Media. This one was with Angie Pontani and Shelly Watson of the NY Burlesque Festival. Go to the full clip right here.

October

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* Shot Too Much Nutcracker, a new original silent comedy, with Jim Moore behind the lens, and my co-stars Audrey Crabtree, Glenn Heroy, Jen Harder and Jason Nunes. It’s in post-production now; we hope to have it completed this month.

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* Our second Community Media web tv interview was with  Hanna Cheek and Clay McCleod Chapman as they talked about their latest installment of The Pumpkin Pie Show. That interview and my October column are here. 

* In October I also took a trip up to Burlington, VT to visit my son at the University of Vermont. Dig my full travelogue of that junket here. 

* This month Cybele Tamulonis published her book of short fiction The Pen Prostitute, featuring an introduction by moi. The book can be purchased here. 

November

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* I interviewed the legendary Mink Stole and Penny Arcade for Community Media. That interview and my review of their show The Mutilated is here. 

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* General Jinjur and I went to Ireland for a week to see my son Charlie and much else; a minute record of our awesome adventures is to be found here.

* This month Travalanche (this blog) reached a half million hits! Other landmarks on this front: in 2013 (as if you didn’t notice) we vastly increased the amount of content on the site, producing almost as many new posts (1,900) as we had published during the previous five years (over 2,000). This strategy began to pay off in increased traffic towards fall, when I hit on some effective new methods for promoting the posts. Our goal is to reach a million by the end of next year!

December

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* Our article on the great humorists of the Jazz Age came out in the new issue of Zelda magazine. Get it here. 

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* We so enjoyed getting to spend a good bit of Q.T. with our friends from the Brick Theatre in Northampton, Massachusetts for the wedding of the Brick’s Gyda’s Arber and her beau Steve Sabaugh.  A magical capstone to an eventful year.

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Thanks to all who helped to make this such a terrific and exciting time. We have a bunch of downright earth-shaking plans to announce for 2014; details to follow very soon. Best wishes to all as we enter this exciting new period together!

 

Tanya Solomon and Shane Baker: Night of a Thousand Rubber Chickens

Posted in American Vaudeville Theatre, Comedy, Coney Island, Contemporary Variety, Jews/ Show Biz, Magicians/ Mind Readers/ Quick Change, Vaudephones, Vaudeville etc. with tags , , , , , on August 28, 2013 by travsd

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Mirth! Mystery! Mishegas!
A double shot of schtick at Coney Island.

Tanya Solomon, New York’s first lady of funny magic, plays with sharp knives, creamed corn, and your dearest beliefs.

Shane Baker tells of his rise from Missouri altar boy to crown prince of Yiddish vaudeville, with songs, tales, and chicken hypnosis.

In honor of their teaming tonight, we thought it apropos to share the Vaudephone shorts we taped with each of them a few months back…

 

 

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

For tonight’s show tickets are $10 in advance, or at the door.

Advance tickets at: http://shop.coneyisland.com/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=5415

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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And check out my new book: Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Mediaalso available from amazon.com etc etc etc

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Vaudephone #3: Carla Rhodes (and Cecil Sinclair)

Posted in American Vaudeville Theatre, Comediennes, Comedy, Contemporary Variety, PLUGS, Ventriloquism & Puppetry with tags , , , on August 22, 2013 by travsd

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Originally posed in 2011. 

Ventriloquist  Carla Rhodes and her wooden partner Cecil Sinclair have a big show coming up this Friday! The show is at Cloud City in Williamsburg Brooklyn, all the dope is here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/551755908226541/

In the meantime, to whet your appetite here is our  Vaudephone, which we taped with the loving couple a few months back…

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

Last Night’s Theatre Museum Benefit

Posted in American Vaudeville Theatre, Broadway, Contemporary Variety, Indie Theatre, ME, My Shows, SOCIAL EVENTS, Vaudeville etc. with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 4, 2013 by travsd
Stewart F. Lane & Bonnie Comley of the Theatre Museum Board, and the Palace Theatre

Stewart F. Lane & Bonnie Comley

Last night’s benefit for the Theatre Museum at the Players Club was a humdinger, and no mistake. Hats off to Mr. Broadway Stewart F. Lane (of the Palace Theatre, and Chair of the Theatre Museum), and producer/ actress (and Theatre Museum board member) Bonnie Comley, for making it a huge success.

The place was hopping! Check it out, look who’s on Joe Franklin’s arm but Marilyn Sokol, from Foul Play, The Front, The Goodbye Girl and Can’t Stop the Music, which, coincidentally, the Duchess and I had watched only a few weeks ago.

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The event began with a moving tribute to Helen Guditis, the late founder and head of the Theatre Museum, and the source of my involvement with the organization in the first place. Her presence of course was the one element missing last night, but it was nice to see so many of her family there.

This tribute was followed by a special award to Emerson College, and then it was on to the 100th anniversary tribute to the Palace Theatre, produced and organized by me, which came off better than my fondest hopes thanks to the excellence of the performers.

I palaver about the Palace

I palaver about the Palace

Then I turned the mic over to Master of Ceremonies Todd Robbins, who was at his polished and sure-footed best:

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And then on to the acts:

Rodeo Roper Chris McDaniel, whose act recollected the great Will Rogers (coincidentally the Will Rogers Follies had been ensconced at the Palace back in the 90s)

Chris McDaniel photo by Rob Rich © 2013 robwayne1@aol.com 516-676-3939

Adorable young Ariella Pizza sang Frances White’s “Mississippi Song” and tap danced:

Ariela Pizza photo by Rob Rich © 2013 robwayne1@aol.com 516-676-3939

Then Joe Franklin came out and gave some hilarious reminiscences of Eddie Cantor (whom he wrote for as a teenager) and other memories of the Palace.

This was followed by a surprise visit by Will Jordan, the popular impressionist from the 1950s and 60s, most famous for his uncanny and highly influential Ed Sullivan, which he has done in countless movies. He, too, shared his show biz memories.

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That”s how he looks now; here’s archival clip of his act from his heyday:

Following these gentlemen, our favorite waif in the world Poor Baby Bree came out to sing, accompnaied as always by Franklin Bruno:

Poor Baby Bree photo by Rob Rich © 2013 robwayne1@aol.com 516-676-3939

Then juggling clowns/ musicians Rod Kimball and Andy Sapora of the Flying Karamazov Brothers came out and cut up:

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The incomparable Rebecca Joy Fletcher performed her Yiddish cabaret songs:

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Lastly Ron Hutchinson of the Vitaphone Project showed a montage of clips of some of the great Palace stars, as well as the 1929 Burns and Allen Vitaphone short Lamb Chops. It was nice to hear their ghosts mingling with those of the Booth Brothers and the other thespians spirits in the old townhouse.

Poster - Vitaphone frame

At any rate this was a killer bill, and these people all donated their services. I thank them all from the bottom of my heart.

For more photo coverage of last night’s event, see:

http://www.newyorksocialdiary.com/node/1909503

http://broadwayworld.com/article/Photo-Flash-Marilyn-Sokol-the-Pizzas-the-Lanes-and-More-at-2013-Theatre-Museum-Awards-for-Excellence-20130607#

http://www.womanaroundtown.com/sections/playing-around/congratulations-award-recipients-happy-birthday-palace-theater-yea-vaudeville

http://vaudevisuals.com/2013/06/100th-anniversary-of-the-palace-theatre-the-theatre-museum-excellence-awards-the-players-club/

http://www.bfanyc.com/home/event/6358

http://www.societyallure.com/Theater/The-2013-Theatre-Muesum-Awards/29802597_8Jqnzc

http://tinyurl.com/kneo96x

http://www.famegame.com/events/The_2013_Theatre_Museum_Awards_for_Excellence/2013-06-03

All-Star Palace Centennial Tribute June 3

Posted in American Vaudeville Theatre, Broadway, Contemporary Variety, PLUGS, SOCIAL EVENTS, Vaudeville etc. with tags , , , on May 24, 2013 by travsd
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On March 24 of this year the Palace Theatre turned one hundred years old. In celebration of the event, me and my American Vaudeville Theatre are presenting a Special One-Time Only Tribute Show as part of the Theatre Museum’s Annual Gala at the Players Club on June 3.
Joining us on stage will be:
 
* Ubiquitous Show Biz Renaissance Man Todd Robbins as Emcee!
* Broadcast Legend Joe Franklin!
Rod Kimball & Company (from The Flying Karamazov Brothers)
* Vintage Films from the Vitaphone Project!
* Beloved Bowery Chanteuse Poor Baby Bree!
* (Direct from Texas) Rodeo Roper Chris McDaniel!
* Child star Ariella Pizza!
And More! More More!
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Including the 2013 Theatre Museum Awards honoring:
Helen Marie Guditis
Presented by Stewart F. Lane
Distinguished Service to the Theatre Award
Emerson College 
Presented by Bonnie Comley
Theatre Arts Education Award
It all takes place…
 
Monday, June 3rd, 2013
The Players Club
16 Gramercy Park South, NYC
 
6pm Cocktail Reception
7pm Awards Presentation
 
Cocktail Attire
 
$250 for Individual Tickets
 
Please send all payments to:
The Theatre Museum
 40 Worth Street, Suite 824
New York, NY 10013
Phone: 212-315-0502

100th Anniversary Salute to the Palace

Posted in American Vaudeville Theatre, Contemporary Variety, My Shows, PLUGS, SOCIAL EVENTS, Vaudeville etc. with tags , , , , , , on May 13, 2013 by travsd

palace-theatre-new-york111

On March 24 of this year the Palace Theatre turned one hundred years old. In celebration of the event, me and my American Vaudeville Theatre are presenting a Special One-Time Only Tribute Show as part of the Theatre Museum’s Annual Gala at the Players Club on June 3.

Joining us on stage will be:

* Ubiquitous Show Biz Renaissance Man Todd Robbins as Emcee!

* Broadcast Legend Joe Franklin!

* Rod Kimball & Company (from The Flying Karamazov Brothers)

* Vintage Films from the Vitaphone Project!

* Beloved Bowery Chanteuse Poor Baby Bree!

* (Direct from Texas) Rodeo Roper Chris McDaniel!

* Child star Ariella Pizza!

And More! More More!

ttm-logo

Including the 2013 Theatre Museum Awards honoring:

Helen Marie Guditis

Presented by Stewart F. Lane

Distinguished Service to the Theatre Award

Emerson College

Presented by Bonnie Comley

Theatre Arts Education Award

It all takes place…

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

The Players Club

16 Gramercy Park South, NYC

6pm Cocktail Reception

7pm Awards Presentation

Cocktail Attire

$250 for Individual Tickets

 

Please send all payments to:

The Theatre Museum

40 Worth Street, Suite 824

New York, NY 10013

Phone: 212-315-0502

Vaudephone #25: Trav S.D.

Posted in American Vaudeville Theatre, Comedy, Contemporary Variety, Music, Vaudephones, Vaudeville etc. with tags , , , , on April 10, 2013 by travsd

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Hello and welcome again to Vaudephone, your one stop shopping for all the best contemporary variety acts!

Today we feature — me! With a very special message for  — you!

(Watch me muff the penultimate verse, but then, that’s only what you’d get in live performance! Rough ‘n’ ready, down ‘n’ dirty…)

And 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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And then there’s my new book to buy: Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Mediaalso available from amazon.com etc etc etc

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