Burlesque & Vaudeville

January 5, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Arts & Humanities, Performing Arts, Theatre
Share Embed Donate

Short Description

Download Burlesque & Vaudeville...


Burlesque • A satirical treatment of usually revered subject matter which is made ridiculous through use of caricature [lampoon, spoof, mock, parody] • In theatrical usage, it originally referred to a play that parodied some contemporary dramatic fashion or event • Later applied to a bawdy genre of variety entertainment that eventually came to feature striptease as its main attraction (late 19th cent)

Victorian Burlesque • British theatrical form popular from 1830s-1890s • A burlesque in the original sense, to parody a well-known opera, play, or ballet in a risqué style • Light entertainment with music, the plots of which were frivolously modeled on those of history, literature, or classical mythology • 1840s – Lydia Thompson and the British Blondes tours the U.S. to great acclaim • American performers adapt it and meld it with the minstrel show format


Borrowed the structure of the Minstrel show Three Parts: • Part One – a series of songs and comic sketches & monologues • Part Two, the “olio” – assorted variety acts such as acrobats, jugglers, magicians, and instrumental & vocal soloists • Part Three – chorus numbers or sometimes a burlesque of a current play or politics

Characteristics • • • • •

Designed exclusively for an adult male audience Slapstick sketches Comedians Chorus numbers All jokes and humor were (pick one): coarse, rude, vulgar, crass, bawdy, ribald, crude. • “Daring” or “Sensational” solo dances – Daring in their titillating nature and boundary pushing costumes…or lack thereof.

Metamorphosis • Over time, strip tease dancers became the main featured attractions in Burlesque shows • Minsky’s National Winter Garden became the most famous of NYC Burlesque Theatres – 1st in U.S. to add a runway into the audience – “Burlesque As You Like It – Not a Family Show”

• Prohibition hurt business immensely • Essentially out of business by the 1940s (NYC)

Famous Performers • • • • • • • • •

W.C. Fields Al Jolson Fanny Brice Mae West Bert Lahr Jackie Gleason Phil Silvers Gypsy Rose Lee Margie Hart

Vaudeville • Another iteration of variety entertainment • Consisted of a series of unrelated acts, such as: Singers Dancers Comedians Magicians Acrobats Trained animals Jugglers

Where’d That Name Come From? • The term “vaudeville” is believed to be a corruption of the 15th century vaux-de-vire, which were satirical songs sung to popular tunes • Originated in the Val-de-Vire, or Vau-de-Vire, in Normandy, France

• Eventually developed into a form of light musical drama, with spoken dialogue interspersed with songs known as comédies de vaudeville • Became popular throughout Europe

Metamorphosis (redux) • The term vaudeville is appropriated by American producers of variety shows in order to lend an air of sophistication to their productions…after all, it’s a French word, so anything its applied to must be classy, right? • Develops as a cleaned up version of burlesque

Tony Pastor 1837–1908 • Considered the Father of Vaudeville • A professional performer since the age of 6 • P.T. Barnum’s American Museum • minstrel shows • the circus • First performed in a variety show in 1861 • Opened his own variety theatre in 1865 • Advertised his show as “the first specialty and vaudeville theatre of America, catering to polite tastes, aiming to amuse, and fully up to current times and topics.”

Keith and Albee • • • • • • •

B.F. Keith (1846-1914) and E.F. Albee (1857-1930) Individual careers as impresarios before teaming up Built Boston’s extravagant Bijou Theatre (1885) Created the “continuous performance” model Like Pastor, emphasized “clean” entertainment Won support and funding from the Catholic church Established the most powerful circuit of theatres throughout the NE and midwest

Revue • Another variation, or sub-genre, of variety • Derived from French medieval street fairs at which events of the year were passed in comic review • Consider obvious connection to modern satiric presentations of “The Year in Review” • Very popular at Paris’ Folies-Bergère • The Passing Show (1894) is considered the first successful American "review“ • The French spelling was adopted by Ziegfeld to lend an air of European chic to his productions

Florenz Ziegfeld (1869-1932) • Impresario who created The Ziegfeld Follies • The Follies were a series of spectacular revues • über-sophisticated, visually ambitious variety show

• “Editions” of the Follies ran from 1907-1931 • The Follies were characterized by: • Lavish spectacle in both scenery and costumes • An emphasis on “Glorifying the American Girl” • Costumes occasionally revealing, but always stunning

• A-List talent of starring singers, dancers, actors, comics • Also produced the landmark musical Showboat in 1927

View more...


Copyright � 2017 NANOPDF Inc.