Archive for the EXHIBITIONS & LECTURES Category

What’s Up at Coney

Posted in AMERICANA, Coney Island, Contemporary Variety, EXHIBITIONS & LECTURES, Magicians/ Mind Readers/ Quick Change, PLUGS, SOCIAL EVENTS with tags , , , , , , on March 13, 2017 by travsd

We all associate Coney Island with summer (it’s a beach and amusement park after all), but it may be a lesser known fact that there’s stuff happening at Coney Island USA all through the winter season as well. For example, most every Sunday Gary Dreifus presents his kid friendly Magic at Coney show. I was mightily entertained by Mr. Dreifus’s feats in yesterday’s show, as well as those of his special guests Magical Vince and Phil Crosson.  Here’s next week’s line-up:

The magic show takes place in the Coney Island Museum,  open on weekend throughout the winter. The museum has recently been spruced up with some new displays and wall text

 

Koo Koo the Bird Girl and her jolly friend (okay, he’s dressed like a jester, but I don’t know how jolly he is).

 

 

“Slapstick Used By Angelo the Midget at the Steeplechase Blowhole”

And now there is a whole new Hot Dog section of the museum featuring items like:

 

These stained glass windows are from the original Feltman’s Restaurant, birthplace of the hot dog

Thence (the real pull for the day) a special preview event for the new exhibition Five Cents to Dreamland: A Trip to Coney Island, created and curated by the New York Transit Museum. 

A 1998 sideshow banner by the one and only Marie Roberts!

A genuine vintage Strength-Tester mallet.

 

CIUSA Founder Dick Zigun (center): with Concetta Bencivenga, director of the NYTM; and John di Domenico, who serves on the boards of both organizations

 

Coney’s own Patrick Wall, Your Mix-Master

 

CIUSA board members James Fitzsimmons and Dr. Jeff Birnbaum, with Birnbaum’s son

 

Coney Island USA’s annual gala is happening in just two weeks, March 25! An all-star cast celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Mermaid Parade with a Corral Jubilee! Follow this magical portal for tickets and details! 

 

Trav and Fields at Metrograph This Thursday

Posted in Comedians, Comedy, EXHIBITIONS & LECTURES, Hollywood (History), Movies, PLUGS, W.C. Fields with tags , , , on December 26, 2016 by travsd

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Fields Fest continues! Come see me and Dr. Harriet Fields (W.C.’s only granddaughter, a global health advocate) as we present the neglected 1935 WC Fields classic Man on the Flying Trapeze, this Thursday, January 29 at Metrograph. Information and tickets are here

Yesterday’s W.C. Fields Talk in Astoria, Queens

Posted in Comedians, Comedy, EXHIBITIONS & LECTURES, Hollywood (History), ME, Movies, My Shows, Silent Film, W.C. Fields with tags , , , , on December 11, 2016 by travsd
I love this one -- looks like I want to murder an audience member. yet this was one of those rare occasions when I didn't (want to do that)

I love this one — it looks like I want to murder an audience member. Yet this was one of those rare occasions when I didn’t (want to do that). Photo by DeeAnne Gorman.

We had a delightful afternoon yesterday addressing our friends at the Greater Astoria Historical Society on the subject of W.C. Fields silent film features. This was our third or fourth talk at the GAHS I think, and I’ve grown to love the warm, small-town feeling of the place. They have terrific collections and lectures — if you live anywhere nearby it’s well worth a visit. Board Member Bob Singleton showed me their latest major acquisition — a 19th century Steinway piano. (The Steinway factory is nearby, it’s a major part of the history of the area). Here, I am looking just a hair friendlier during the Q & A:

Photo by Bruce Shaffer

Photo by Bruce Shaffer

The talk was part of Fields Fest, our two-month tribute to the great comedian W.C. Fields. We’ll be posting the text of my talk here in a few days. Don’t miss our next entertaining lecture W.C. Fields: From Dime Museums to the Jazz Age, which is tomorrow at the Morbid Anatomy Museum! All the details here. 

This Monday: A Talk at the Morbid Anatomy Museum

Posted in Broadway, Comedians, Comedy, Dime Museum and Side Show, EXHIBITIONS & LECTURES, Jugglers, ME, My Shows, PLUGS, Vaudeville etc., W.C. Fields with tags , , , , , , , , on December 10, 2016 by travsd

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Monday, December 12, 7pm: “W.C. Fields: From Dime Museums to the Jazz Age” an illustrated talk by Trav S.D., sponsored by Zelda Magazine 

A look at screen comedian W.C. Fields’ growth from humble sideshow and dime museum juggler to sketch comedian and one of the biggest stars of sophisticated Broadway revues like the Ziegfeld Follies, George White’ Sandals and Earl Carrol’s Vanities. Along the way meet the glittering stars he shared the limelight with like Louise Brooks, Fanny Brice, Will Rogers and Eddie Cantor. Admission: $8. Location: Morbid Anatomy Museum, 424 Third Avenue, 11215 Brooklyn NY. Tickets and information here. 

Tomorrow: W.C. Fields in Astoria!

Posted in Comedians, Comedy, EXHIBITIONS & LECTURES, Hollywood (History), Movies, My Shows, PLUGS, Silent Film, W.C. Fields with tags , , , on December 9, 2016 by travsd
"Sally of the Sawdust" (1925)

“Sally of the Sawdust” (1925)

Saturday, December 10, 1:30pm: “W.C. Fields in Astoria: The Paramount Silents”

Many people know that W.C. Fields had one of the most distinctive speaking voices of the classic comedy era. What they may not realize is that prior to the advent of talking pictures, Fields was a SILENT comedy star. From 1924 through 1928 he appeared in ten Paramount features filmed at that studio’s Astoria Queens facility. In this illustrated talk author and lecturer Trav S.D. takes you up close to this lesser known stretch of the Great Man’s career, and shows how much of Fields’ silent work presaged his better known talkies.

At Greater Astoria Historical Society, the Quinn Building, 35-20 Broadway, 4th Floor, Queens: www.astorialic.org

Two Exciting Talks This Coming Week — Plus More!

Posted in Christmas, Comedians, Comedy, EXHIBITIONS & LECTURES, HOLIDAYS/ FESTIVALS/ MEMORIALS/ PARADES, Indie Theatre, ME, My Shows, W.C. Fields with tags , on December 8, 2016 by travsd

Here’s what’s coming up the next few days in Fields Fest — and beyond!

 

"Sally of the Sawdust" (1925)

“Sally of the Sawdust” (1925)

Saturday, December 10, 1:30pm: “W.C. Fields in Astoria: The Paramount Silents”

Many people know that W.C. Fields had one of the most distinctive speaking voices of the classic comedy era. What they may not realize is that prior to the advent of talking pictures, Fields was a SILENT comedy star. From 1924 through 1928 he appeared in ten Paramount features filmed at that studio’s Astoria Queens facility. In this illustrated talk author and lecturer Trav S.D. takes you up close to this lesser known stretch of the Great Man’s career, and shows how much of Fields’ silent work presaged his better known talkies. At Greater Astoria Historical Society, Queens: www.astorialic.org

220px-wcfields36682u

Monday, December 12, 7pm: “W.C. Fields: From Dime Museums to the Jazz Age” an illustrated talk by Trav S.D., sponsored by Zelda Magazine 

A look at screen comedian W.C. Fields’ growth from humble sideshow and dime museum juggler to sketch comedian and one of the biggest stars of sophisticated Broadway revues like the Ziegfeld Follies, George White’ Sandals and Earl Carrol’s Vanities. Along the way meet the glittering stars he shared the limelight with like Louise Brooks, Fanny Brice, Will Rogers and Eddie Cantor. Admission: $8. Location: Morbid Anatomy Museum, 424 Third Avenue, 11215 Brooklyn NY

santa-martian

Art by Carolyn Stewart

Wednesday, December 21, 7:00 pm: Santa Claus Conquers the Martians! 

Glen Heroy is Santa Claus by way of W.C. Fields! Noah Diamond and Matt Roper as the funny members of the Marx Brothers who talk! Melody Jane as a beautiful martian princess! Trav S.D. as an evil martian Emperor! Zero Boy on sound effects and narration! And many, many more TBA in this holiday reading of Trav S.D.’s mash-up up of the kitchy Grade Z Christmas classic Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, along with Laurel and Hardy’s Babes in Toyland a.k.a March of the Wooden Soldiers, Rankin-Bass specials, and the socialistic writings of Bertolt Brecht and Jack London! Can Elves and Bogeyman truly band together to thwart the hostile take-over of Earth by an Orange Faced Oligarch from Outer Space? Beats me, you sure won’t find out in this play! Plus music and variety TBD! Please come help us seriously cut loose and exorcise this terrible year. More intoxicating than a cup of cocoa with a shot of Peppermint Schnapps! It’s all happening at the Kraine Theatre, East 4th Street, Tickets $10: Get ’em here.

 

fields-man-on-the-flying-trapeze

Thursday, December 29, 7:00: The Man on the Flying Trapeze

A screening of W.C. Field’s often overlooked 1935 Paramount classic The Man on the Flying Trapeze at Metrograph. Celebrity guest speaker TBA.

 

Pix of Thursday’s Talk at the NYPL

Posted in Comedians, Comedy, EXHIBITIONS & LECTURES, ME, My Shows, W.C. Fields with tags , , , , on December 3, 2016 by travsd

As promised, here’s a little photo record of Thursday’s talk at the NYPL main branch on “W.C. Fields in Vaudeville”. As they say on social media, “Pictures — or it didn’t happen!” This batch was taken by the talented and generous Jonathan Smith (except for the one he appears in below of course). I’ll be converting the talk into an essay and sharing it here later this month. As always, the NYPL staff were impeccable hosts and they brought me a terrific crowd of interested civilians. This event was part of Fields Fest, our celebration of the life and career of W.C. Fields. For info on upcoming Fields Fest events go here.

re-talk

Previous to the talk. They don’t have a green room, you just have to stew in your own juices in full view of the audience. I tried to think of nice thoughts like young fawns and bunnies frolicking in a glen. Oh, wait, no! That’s “Bambi”! [BLAM!]

Hawkin' the merch. Ya know, like you do

Hawkin’ the merch. Ya know, like ya do

 

Dr. Harriet Fields. W.C.'s one and only granddaughter was om hand, to add magic to the proceedings

Dr. Harriet Fields. W.C.’s one and only granddaughter was on hand to add magic to the proceedings

 

I like this close-up because you can see her grand-dad on screen behind her

I like this close-up because you can see her grand-dad on screen behind her

 

The Happy Glow of Aftermath

The Happy Glow of Aftermath

 

Photobombed by Smith! But he's earned a bow for taking these excellent pix. Thanks, Jonathan!

Photobombed by Smith! But he’s earned a bow for taking these excellent pix. Thanks, Jonathan!

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