Archive for the Contemporary Variety Category

Burlesque Tribute to Edward Gorey

Posted in Burlesk, Contemporary Variety, PLUGS with tags , , on April 21, 2014 by travsd

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Vaudephone #29: Keith Nelson 2

Posted in Contemporary Variety, Indie Theatre, Jugglers, PLUGS, Vaudeville etc. with tags , , , on April 2, 2014 by travsd

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Hello and welcome again to Vaudephone, your one stop shopping for all the best contemporary variety acts, viewed through our patented retroscope.

Today we feature the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus’s Keith Nelson as rocks as his classic bowl spinning feat. Look for the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus at the Bindlestiff Open Stage at Dixon Place next Monday, April 7.

And please note as always 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 Iguana.

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

For more on 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 don’t miss my new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc

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The Cut Throat Freak Show Tonight!

Posted in BROOKLYN, Contemporary Variety, Dime Museum and Side Show, Freaks, PLUGS with tags , , on March 27, 2014 by travsd

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The Campaign for Marxfest Has Begun (Details Inside)

Posted in Burlesk, Comedy, Comedy Teams, Contemporary Variety, EXHIBITIONS & LECTURES, PLUGS, SOCIAL EVENTS, Vaudeville etc. with tags , , on March 18, 2014 by travsd
How do you like THEM apples? I have so much to report about what’s planned for the coming twelvemonth that I’m breathless – -and there’s time enough to tell the rest of it anyway. What’s of immediate moment is that thing on the logo! I’ve been honored to be included on the committee that’s planning this citywide festival in celebration of the centennial anniversary of the Marx Brothers becoming Groucho, Chico, Harpo and Gummo (Zeppo was a Johnny-come-lately. Actually a Herbert-come-lately). Taking place over the entire month of May, Marxfest will feature performances, talks, film screenings, weird-ass flash mob like publicity stunts, a dog walk and possibly some appearances by actual people named Marx. And already we got Radio Marx up and running!
As anyone whose known me a long time will tell you, I’ve been obsessed with this comedy team since I was about 14 years old (by way of a certain girl I was dating). So much have they affected me that I’ve worn a greaspaint mustache in honor of Groucho for going on 20 years now. Well, ya know what? Some of these people I’m involved with make me look a piker! Early stirrings of Marx Mania are afoot, and I don’t think I’m hallucinating.
We’re still adding stuff to the calendar all the time, but here’s some stuff I can tell you about right now that I’m deeply involved with:
* I’m directing the first ever (literally EVER) revival of the Marx Brothers’ first Broadway show  I’ll Say She Is, which premiered in 1924 and put the Marx Brothers on the map, thanks to a glowing review by Alexander Woolcott. If you had told my teenage self that this would one day be the case I would have thought I’d died and gone to heaven. Crafty cohort Noah Diamond (who plays Groucho) is the instigator of this historical re-creation of Will B. Johnstone’s show. We’re having two readings in Marxfest at thePlayer’s Theatre on May 23 and May 25, with a full production later this year. This show is just as funny as any Marx Brothers movie (actually much funnier than at least half of them) and it has never been filmed! Now’s your chance to see it! More details to follow, I assure you. Meantime, here’s more on the show: http://www.marxfest.com/illsaysheis/
* I’m also directing “Burlesque Mayor of NYC” Jonny Porkpie’s hilarous Marx Brothers tribute show The Pinch Brothers in “The Bawdy House”, featuring an all-star burlesque and sideshow cast that makes my teeth chatter at all the amassed talent: Mr. Porkpie, Bastard Keith, Angie Pontani, Jo “Boobs” Weldon, Tigger!, Albert Cadabra, Peekaboo Pointe, Donny Vomit, Anita Cookie, Tansy, and many more! This is an all-adults show of course — Jonny’s Marx-worthy dialogue is punctuated by peelings, or perhaps its the other way around. Consider this the burlesque show the Marx Brothers show the Marx Brothers would have done if the Marx Brothers had ever been in burlesque! This too will be at the Players Theater on May 8, 15, 18 and 22. Here’s more dope on dat: http://www.marxfest.com/pinchbros.html
* on May 2, I’ll be giving a talk (with some performance components) at Coney Island USA called “From Angels to Anarchists: The Evolution of the Marx Brothers”. Coney Island is where Harpo first joined the act, apparently with deleterious results to his underwear. Rest assured I’ll be talking about THAT! This is a co-presentation with Coney island USA’s Congress of Curious People. Here’s more inflamation [sic] on that: http://www.marxfest.com/coneyisland.html
* On May 29, I’ll be giving a talk at the main branch of the New York Public Library entitled “We’re All Mad Here: The Marx Brothers in Context”. The Marx Brothers were a force of nature; their madcap style of comedy has been sweeping audiences off their feet for a century. While it’s tempting to think so, the world’s most popular comedy team didn’t emerge in a vacuum, and while they were the best in the business, they weren’t one of a kind. In this talk I’ll discuss the vaudeville origins of the Marx Brothers, introducing listeners to the many performers who inspired the team and paved the way for their unique style of performance, including Weber & Fields, the Avon Comedy Four, Smith  & Dale, and Gallagher & Shean. The talk will also feature many similar comedians and teams who were contemporaries of the Marx Brothers including Clarke and McCullough, Wheeler and Woolsey, Ed Wynn Eddie Cantor, and others, and the legacy of these comedians on later generations.Read on, McDuff: http://www.marxfest.com/nypl.html
* on May 22 a screening of Duck Soup at the Museum of Modern Art! http://www.marxfest.com/ducksoup.html
***********
And a lot more! Get the full overview of the festival (to date) including many other exciting programs at http://www.marxfest.com/
And remember — there are still another half a dozen events just as cool as the ones we already have on the calendar that we’ll be adding as soon as the details have firmed up.
Sound exciting?
This is just the early warning radar. But would you like to be involved? Would you like to be among the pajama-clad elephants that hold up the world??? There are WAYS.
Yes, please attend these events (many of which are free, by the way). Yes, please tell your friends. Yes, please help us spread the excitement. And, YES, this is a Kickstarter campaign!
Don’t worry, it’s small one. But we could some help in very real, measured ways to help get the word out and get the various presentations on their feet. Furthermore, the giveaway swag we’re offering in gratitude for your help is among the coolest giveaway swag I’ve encountered in such campaigns. The details are here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/k72ndst/marx-brothers-festival-new-york
Thanks in adance, even if you ignore us, because my mother raised me to be polite!
I remain,
yours for the taking
Trav S.D.

Vaudephone #28: Adam Kuchler

Posted in Circus, Contemporary Variety, Jugglers, PLUGS, Vaudephones, Vaudeville etc. with tags , , , on March 12, 2014 by travsd

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Hello and welcome again to Vaudephone, your one stop shopping for all the best contemporary variety acts, viewed through our patented retroscope.

Today we feature the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus’s Adam Kuchler as he rocks as his classic cigar box juggling routine. Look for the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus March 13-16 in their 20th Anniversary Show at Brooklyn Lyceum.

And please note as always 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 Iguana.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJ4Pm3t3uRY

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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The Charming Disaster Gin Party!

Posted in Contemporary Variety, Jazz (miscellaneous), Music, PLUGS with tags , , on March 12, 2014 by travsd

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Vaudephone #27: Keith Nelson

Posted in Circus, Contemporary Variety, Jugglers, Vaudephones, Vaudeville etc. with tags , , , on March 10, 2014 by travsd

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Hello and welcome again to Vaudephone, your one stop shopping for all the best contemporary variety acts, viewed through our patented retroscope.

Today we feature the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus’s Keith Nelson as rocks as his classic glassware balancing feat. Don’t sneeze, Keith! Look for the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus March 13-16 in their 20th Anniversary Show at Brooklyn Lyceum.

And please note as always 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 Iguana.

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.

safe_image

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

chain%20of%20fools%20cvr%20front%20only-500x500

Bindlestiff 20th Anniversary Show This Week!

Posted in BROOKLYN, Circus, Contemporary Variety, PLUGS, Vaudeville etc. with tags , , , on March 10, 2014 by travsd

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Tonight: The Murray Hill Show

Posted in Burlesk, Contemporary Variety, Drag and/or LGBT with tags , , on March 8, 2014 by travsd

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Apply for the Bindlestiff First of May Award!

Posted in Circus, Contemporary Variety, PLUGS with tags , , , , on March 5, 2014 by travsd

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This just in!  You’re crazy if you’re in the variety arts and don’t apply!

 First of May Award 2014

Bindlestiff Family Cirkus welcomes variety and circus artist to submit proposals for First of May Award – $500 development grant for full-length variety arts production.

For 20 years, Bindlestiff Family Variety Arts, Inc. has been enriching New York City’s variety arts culture by producing and presenting unparalleled circus, sideshow and variety arts performances.

Bindlestiff is pleased to announce the third annual First of May Award, which will grant $500 to a variety artist or group of variety artists to support their development of an original full-length production. Previous recipients include Unmasked, created and directed by Lady Aye and Mistress B and Solomon the Perplexer, created and written by Tanya Solomon and directed by Corn Mo.

Submissions are now open to solo artists or troupes wishing to apply for this year’s award.

Submission guidelines:

1. Proposals must include:
•       a 1-page project description
•       links to videos of past work (up to 3)
•       resumé and/or bios of participating artists
2. Proposed productions must be at least 40 minutes in length.
3. Productions may be either solo or troupe-based projects. If submitting as a solo artist, applicant must be a NYC resident. If submitting as a troupe, at least 50% of troupe members must be NYC residents.

By submitting a proposal, applicants acknowledge that if the award is granted, 1) development of the proposed production must begin prior to June 30, 2014, and 2) at least one public performance of the production must be presented in New York City before December 31, 2014 (a work in progress performance is acceptable).

Deadline: Submissions must be received before midnight on April 1, 2014.

Proposals should be submitted via email to firstofmay@bindlestiff.org.

Submissions will be evaluated based on artistic merit, unique perspective, and variety arts relevance.

The selected grantee will be announced on May 1, 2014.
Bindlestiff Family Cirkus
PO Box 1917
New York, NY 10009

1-877-BINDLES info
http://www.bindlestiff.org

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