American plays. According to the author Ann Corio "The Beggar's Opera, John Brougham, Adah Isaacs Menken and The Black Crook were just a prelude."(Corio, 14) Burlesque at that time was small time show business. One historian asserted "The girl whom everyone credits with the establishment of burlesque as an American institution was about to arrive."(Corio, 14)
Richard Pryor, arguably one of the greatest stand-up comedians of all time, credits his comedic abilities to many comedians, one being Charlie Chaplin. You may be thinking, “how does Charlie Chaplin, the guy who played The Tramp in silent black and white movies, influence a stand up comedian like Richard Pryor?” Well, you may be surprised to know that all American stand-up comedians are heavily impacted by the performances in the late nineteenth century. During the late 1800’s, vaudeville and burlesque dominated performance venues across the country and developed a new art form that had never been seen before. Although stand-up is one of the only true American art forms, we cannot forget to credit vaudeville and burlesque performers who paved the way for the rise of stand-up comedy. Believe it or not, nineteenth century burlesque and vaudeville play a major role in the evolution of what stand-up comedy is today. After all, how can we respect the art form of stand-up comedy today without fully understanding how it all began?
American culture has been referred to as a “melting pot.” Different cultures have added their own distinct aspects to society, making America a diverse country. Despite the plethora of cultures, certain norms, mores, and folkways are evident in American society. These ideas are vital to the function and stability of America. They provide guidelines for what is acceptable and not. In virtually every society, there are people who engage in deviant behavior and do not abide by the values that the rest of society follows. Theorists have debated if people are socialized into acting this way and if it is a social or personal problem. The sociological study of culture focuses on norms, mores, and folkways.
Vaudeville, the forgotten type of theatre. During the mid-1800’s, people from across the world were starting to settle in the United States. The newly found ‘spike’ of the diversity of cultures and population, vaudeville quickly became the central point for the American cultural life.
In Edward L. Hudgins article, What is an American?, Hudgins defines an American in ways I had not thought of before. Hudgins stated all these ideas about Americans being driven to do their best and meeting challenges head-on. I would like to think that being an American means everything Hudgins stated, however I think Hudgins is giving the optimistic answer of what being an American means. What Hudgins explains as being an American is what I believe most Americans were like when the country was first founded. The idea of taking risks and working until the risks paid off is one that most Americans do not believe because the possibility of actually achieve one’s dream is extremely less likely today than it was when the country was first established.
Leigh Anne Touhy is the fictional representation of the real life Leigh Anne, famed adoptive mother of Michael Oher from the 2009 film The Blind Side. Leigh Anne is a white interior designer, living in the south with her husband and two children. The family is considered to be part of the upper class, and made their money from owning a string of fast food chains. Leigh Anne and her family take in a black homeless boy, Michael, and throughout the film experience a growing love and bond. They eventually adopt Michael and the Leigh Anne becomes a fiercely protective mother. Very little is revealed about her upbringing
By 1900, there were currently thirty-three legitimate Broadway theatres, and many more would be built over the next couple of decades to meet the demand of the growing audiences. The productions included those of drama, comedy and musicals, but legitimate theatre was not the only theatrical entertainment of this time. During this time a large group of entertainers travels from one small theater to the next, entertaining thousands with their simple song and dance, mini-comical skits, and different acts of entertainment. These people were known as Vaudevillians and their theatre circuit was known as Vaudeville.
During this period, musicals (which were labeled “musical comedies” at the time) were in the form of acceptable of guilty pleasures - the appeal of women and their sexuality, silly characters that made fools of themselves, or the goofy country girl dancing through the chores of the day. Ziegfeld’s Follies, Marx brother shows, and Al Jolson playing his character in blackface are great examples of these shows that focused on showing off the stars and gave little care to the
The stage performance of Chicago offered a spectacle that I expected before attending the show. I knew there was going to be scantly clad girls with dark makeup and saucy attitudes. The performers brought to life all that was raunchy in the entertainment business during the roaring twenties. The lifestyle in Chicago featured jazz, booze, sex and crime. More importantly, Chicago had beautiful, young women with the dream of having their own Vaudeville act. The two main female characters, Velma and Roxy were two such women hoping to capture the public's attention. The composition of the show is a metaphoric integration of Vaudeville type acts amongst the book scenes and diegetic musical numbers.
“America was born as a nation of immigrants who have always contributed to its greatness”-Charles Rangel. In the essays written by Kennedy and Quindlen, American culture is being discussed. In Kennedy’s essay, he shares how immigrants have shaped our country in ways through industrialization and inventions. He also stated that each ethnic minority has helped strengthen the fabric of liberty in American life. In the other essay written by Quindlen, she states how we are a pluralistic country, meaning our country is made up of many different aspects. Her essay also expresses that diversity has kept our country interwoven, even through its greatest hostilities. As you can see, both essays clearly show that the differences are both the key and
Fosse was very thrilled to be working on a project that allowed him to be as cynical and as theatrical as possible (“Maslon, Laurence, and Michael Kantor”). Kander and Ebb were also very excited to work on the project, because they got to create something out of the material, when the material didn’t have the makings of a typical book musical (“Maslon, Laurence, and Michael Kantor”). The characters were interesting enough for the team, but one thing that made the team stand out was that the team decided to make the musical a “musical vaudeville” (“Maslon, Laurence, and Michael
Nevertheless, during the 1860’s and before, “variety” shows were strictly for-men-only and were performed in boats, concert saloons (also known as honky-tonks and dive bars), tents, churches, and just about anywhere a troupe could set up a stage and proscenium (Gilbert 10-15). The Second Great Awakening, a time in America when fundamentalism was being played out on a political scale that would shape America’s future, made its mark on theatre (D. 46). An early theatre owner, actor, and promoter Tony Pastor is considered to have transitioned variety shows in the 1860’s from what were considered to be “dirty” shows to “clean” ones. Moreover, this also brought in both male and female patrons which essentially doubled the income (Stein 3). Whether
The presence of a passive audience facilitates the better performance of any show and encourages the performers to do well. In most cases, the success of any show, such as a comedy show, a dancing show, or a singing show depends on the audience. Vaudeville acts were not very famous until Keith and Albee, two entrepreneurs and the main characters in the second chapter, Vaudeville INC., of Robert Snyder’s book the Voice of the city, teamed up and reshaped the style of Vaudeville. In addition to their motivation to increase the popularity of vaudeville theater performances, “the middle class audiences” made a huge impact on vaudeville acts by attending them in great numbers. The development of vaudeville marked the beginning of popular entertainment as big business and demonstrated the changing tastes of an urban middle class audience. Keith and Albee made the tickets for vaudeville acts very inexpensive, ten cents a seat, and attracted the middle class. Shirley Staples, the author of Male-female comedy teams in American vaudeville,
At the end of World War I, an excited America was poised for a cultural renaissance; patriotism was on the rise, the strong concept of Manifest Destiny had passed its peak of influence, and, most importantly, there had not been a clear shift in culture for decades. The Jazz Age of the 1920s was about to dawn, bringing with it youthful, risqué morals and a carefree look on life. From these ideals, a new, strongly American form of entertainment would emerge: musical theatre. Most commonly found in New York City on Broadway even to this day, musical theatre became an escape from reality and an entry into the imagination. The grand and splashy components that make up what is considered a classic Broadway musical can ultimately be traced back to Cole Porter. Porter’s writing, albeit at times controversial or raunchy, was able to harness the frantically beating heart of the Jazz Age and turn it into treasured shows. Using his unique melodies, romantic or idealistic lyrics, and his pioneering of writing about the human experience, Cole Porter shaped American music and theatre from the 1920s through the 1940s.