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Vaudeville

Blogeville

Here is a post from Artistic Director Jack Bourgeois about our upcoming 2 evenings of Vaudeville at Stage 773 as part of their 14@773 festival!
WHY VAUDEVILLE?
Anyone who has spent a decent amount of time around me knows I have a penchant for times long past. I love movies from the 1940s, songs from the 1920s and cardigan sweaters from anytime…ever. (I mean, they’re just spectacular.) Theatre, for me has always been a means of attaching myself to those lost eras, by putting myself in them in the only way possible.
SO WHY NOT JUST DO A PERIOD PIECE?
Well, I’m getting to that…As important as truth in theatre is and as essential it is to hold a mirror up to nature, there is something to be said for classic entertainment. People don’t always want to see reality presented to them, they encounter it everyday and let’s face it…it can really suck sometimes. It becomes the job of an entertainer (not necessarily the actor, but the ENTERTAINER) to present a slightly alternate reality. A world that follows all the same rules, only people are wittier, sharper and more emotionally attached to every word said. This is what makes us entertained and takes us away from our moments of all-too-real reality.
OKAY, SO…
Before film, before television, before musical theatre even was the world’s first form of strict entertainment. Leave the dramas alone, forget the tragedies, let’s focus on something that we can relax while watching. Vaudeville was entertainment. It still is. It is the source of how comedy and theatre has evolved in this country. Abbot and Costello, The Marx Brothers, Charlie Chaplin all started off in Vaudeville and they paved the way for American comedy as we know it. One of my favorite actors, James Cagney once attributed everything he ever learned to spending time backstage on the Vaudeville circuit. It truly is the heart of American entertainment and it’s a shame it’s been lost in time.
SO, TELL ME ABOUT YOUR SHOW
What I set out to do with Brian Posen (CBD Board President and Artistic Director of Stage773) and Danni Parpan (Production Manager) was to create an authentic turn-of-the-century Vaudevillian piece of classic entertainment by using authentic songs, sketches and acts. And looking at our list of performers, I’d say we’ve done a pretty good job. We have a contortionist, a magician, an opera singer, dancers, comedians and what I believe is possibly the funniest thing ever written, “Who’s on First” as made famous by Abbot and Costello. Are all of these acts connected in one way? Not really. Does it matter? Not a lick. It’s an evening during which people will be entertained and leave wondering why Vaudeville ever left.
WELL, YOU’VE SOLD ME…MAKE YOUR PITCH NOW
On June 17 and 24 at 8pm, hide all your stress and worries from yourself and others and enjoy a night of entertainment you’ll never forget.¬†Stage773.¬†1225 W. Belmont, Chicago IL. Ten bucks.
Jack Bourgeois
Artistic Director
Cold Basement Dramatics
For Tickets visit stage773.com or call 773 327 5252
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