On this Day


1997 Smokers must prove they are over 18 to purchase cigarettes in US

1994 Brady Law, imposing a wait-period to buy a hand-gun, went into effect

1970 Bicycles permitted to cross Golden Gate Bridge

1935 Nylon discovered by Dr. Wallace H. Carothers

1883 1st U.S. vaudeville theater opens in Boston

1882 1st U.S. college cooperative store opens, at Harvard University





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Positive Thoughts..

The more you reason the less you create.

Raymond Chandler



Vaudeville basics

-snappy one-liners and musical numbers climaxed by a cakewalk

- a series of variety acts

- a brief comedy play




Claque — A group of audience members paid to respond enthusiastically to an act, and sometimes to boo a performer's competitors.

Dumb Act (or Sight Act) — An act that did not involve speech, usually performed to music, such as an acrobatic act or a juggler. A dumb act was often first and/or last on the bill because the audience was still entering (or leaving) noisily.



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Ever wonder............

How did vaudeville come about?

As stated in A History of The Musical Vaudeville by John Kenrick, "by the 1880’s, the Industrial Revolution had changed the once rural face of America. Half of the population was now concentrated in towns and cities, working at regulated jobs that left most of them with two things they never had back on the farm – a little spare cash and weekly leisure time. These people wanted affordable entertainment on a regular basis. Most variety shows were too coarse for women or children to attend, and minstrel shows were already declining in popularity. In a world where phonographs, film, radio and television did not yet exist, something new was needed to fill the gap."

The origin of the term is obscure, options include a derivation of the expression voix de ville, or "voice of the city" or French Vau de Vire, a valley in Normandy noted for its style of satirical songs with topical themes.The term vaudeville, referring specifically to North American variety entertainment.

Tony Pastor was the first manager to present commercially successful "clean" variety.

B.F. Keith took the next step, starting in Boston, where he built an empire of theatres and brought vaudeville to the United States and Canada. Later, E.F. Albee managed the chain to its greatest success.

The continued growth of the lower-priced cinema in the early 1910s dealt the heaviest blow to vaudeville, vaudeville goers tastes began to change. Albee hammered another nail into vaudeville's coffin when he partnered with Joseph P. Kennedy's Hollywood film company in 1928 to form Radio Keith Orpheum (RKO) Studios.

The shift of New York City's Palace Theatre, vaudeville's epicenter, to an exclusively cinema presentation on 16 November 1932 is often considered to have been the death knell of vaudeville.Yet no single event is more than reflective of its gradual withering. The line is blurred further by the number of vaudeville entrepreneurs who made more or less successful forays into the movie business.


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