The Encyclopedia Of Vaudeville

Author: Anthony Slide
Publisher: Univ. Press of Mississippi
ISBN: 1617032506
Size: 68.47 MB
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The Encyclopedia of Vaudeville provides a unique record of what was once America’s preeminent form of popular entertainment from the late 1800s through the early 1930s. It includes entries not only on the entertainers themselves, but also on those who worked behind the scenes, the theatres, genres, and historical terms. Entries on individual vaudevillians include biographical information, samplings of routines and, often, commentary by the performers. Many former vaudevillians were interviewed for the book, including Milton Berle, Block and Sully, Kitty Doner, Fifi D’Orsay, Nick Lucas, Ken Murray, Fayard Nicholas, Olga Petrova, Rose Marie, Arthur Tracy, and Rudy Vallee. Where appropriate, entries also include bibliographies. The volume concludes with a guide to vaudeville resources and a general bibliography. Aside from its reference value, with its more than five hundred entries, The Encyclopedia of Vaudeville discusses the careers of the famous and the forgotten. Many of the vaudevillians here, including Jack Benny, George Burns and Gracie Allen, Jimmy Durante, W. C. Fields, Bert Lahr, and Mae West, are familiar names today, thanks to their continuing careers on screen. At the same time, and given equal coverage, are forgotten acts: legendary female impersonators Bert Savoy and Jay Brennan, the vulgar Eva Tanguay with her billing as “The I Don’t Care Girl,” male impersonator Kitty Doner, and a host of “freak” acts.

New York City Vaudeville

Author: Anthony Slide
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
ISBN: 1439633916
Size: 50.71 MB
Format: PDF
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New York City Vaudeville provides a unique pictorial record of America’s preeminent entertainment medium in the late 1800s through the early 1930s. New York’s Palace Theatre served as the flagship for vaudeville, on which stage every vaudevillian aspired to perform. New York City Vaudeville features photographs of some of the greatest names from the Palace Theatre, including Jack Benny, George Burns and Gracie Allen, Anna Held, the Marx Brothers, and Eva Tanguay, as well as legendary African American performers such as Bill Robinson, Ethel Waters, and Bert Williams. Through the photographs and the capsule biographies, the reader is transported back to a time when vaudeville was the people’s entertainment, with a new bill of fare each week and an ever-changing number of performers with ever-changing styles of presentation.

No Applause Just Throw Money

Author: Trav S.D.
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 1429930411
Size: 35.29 MB
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A seriously funny look at the roots of American Entertainment When Groucho Marx and Charlie Chaplin were born, variety entertainment had been going on for decades in America, and like Harry Houdini, Milton Berle, Mae West, and countless others, these performers got their start on the vaudeville stage. From 1881 to 1932, vaudeville was at the heart of show business in the States. Its stars were America's first stars in the modern sense, and it utterly dominated American popular culture. Writer and modern-day vaudevillian Trav S.D. chronicles vaudeville's far-reaching impact in No Applause--Just Throw Money. He explores the many ways in which vaudeville's story is the story of show business in America and documents the rich history and cultural legacy of our country's only purely indigenous theatrical form, including its influence on everything from USO shows to Ed Sullivan to The Muppet Show and The Gong Show. More than a quaint historical curiosity, vaudeville is thriving today, and Trav S.D. pulls back the curtain on the vibrant subculture that exists across the United States--a vast grassroots network of fire-eaters, human blockheads, burlesque performers, and bad comics intent on taking vaudeville into its second century.

Vaudeville Humor

Author: Paul M. Levitt
Publisher: SIU Press
ISBN: 0809327201
Size: 38.84 MB
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Vaudeville Humor: The Collected Jokes, Routines, and Skits of Ed Lowry contains vaudeville jokes, skits, and routines from the first three decades of the twentieth century originally compiled by comedian Ed Lowry (1896–1983). Although occasionally found in bits and pieces in anthologies and in some period dramatic comedies, vaudeville humor has never before been available in one collection—performers rarely if ever kept a record of their jokes and routines. Fortunately, Ed Lowry was an inveterate collector. He kept copious notebooks of jokes and routines that he not only commissioned but also stole from other comics, clipped from newspapers, and copied from now defunct popular magazines of the day. Editor Paul M. Levitt has reorganized the material into categories that preserve some of the flavor of Lowry’s scrapbooks yet provide for finer distinctions. Part one, “Jokes,” is organized by subject matter and cataloged by genre, dialects, and wordplay. From “Accidents” to “Work,” this exhaustive catalog of humor features over one thousand jokes with topics that range from city slickers and country hicks through midgets and old maids to Swedes and tattoos. Part two, “MC Material: Biz, Jokes, Routines, and Skits” is germane to the job of master of ceremonies, routines, and skits. It features topics from fractured fairy tales to stuttering. Part three, an appendix, “Ed Lowry Laffter,” reproduces a privately published collection that is now a rare collector’s item. “Although some of the jokes can undoubtedly be found in other places,” explains Levitt in his introduction, “I know of no source as rich as this one for the twenties and thirties, a period so abundant in humor that for years afterward it fueled radio, cinema, and television.”

Grown Up All Wrong

Author: Robert Christgau
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674443181
Size: 66.95 MB
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A collection of writings exploring the trends in rock, pop, and rap music from the 1950s to the present, discussing such topics as the origins of rock and the relationship of racial politics and rap

Rank Ladies

Author: M. Alison Kibler
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 0807876054
Size: 21.15 MB
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A disrobing acrobat, a female Hamlet, and a tuba-playing labor activist--all these women come to life in Rank Ladies. In this comprehensive study of women in vaudeville, Alison Kibler reveals how female performers, patrons, and workers shaped the rise and fall of the most popular live entertainment at the turn of the century. Kibler focuses on the role of gender in struggles over whether high or low culture would reign in vaudeville, examining women's performances and careers in vaudeville, their status in the expanding vaudeville audience, and their activity in the vaudevillians' labor union. Respectable women were a key to vaudeville's success, she says, as entrepreneurs drew women into audiences that had previously been dominated by working-class men and recruited female artists as performers. But although theater managers publicly celebrated the cultural uplift of vaudeville and its popularity among women, in reality their houses were often hostile both to female performers and to female patrons and home to women who challenged conventional understandings of respectable behavior. Once a sign of vaudeville's refinement, Kibler says, women became associated with the decay of vaudeville and were implicated in broader attacks on mass culture as well.