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No Applause Just Throw Money The Book That Made Vaudeville

A seriously funny look at the roots of American EntertainmentWhen 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 SD 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 SD 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


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    Have you ever read a book that was just so damn good you hugged it with joy when you were done ? Well that was this one for me What a wonderful well researched witty informative look at the great unique fascinating entertainment medium of Vaudeville which had been America's first major popular entertainment form during the late 19th and early 20th century This book traces Vaudeville's history from the entertainment forms that preceded and eventually influenced it such as Concert Saloons Dime Museums Medicine Shows and Circuses to it's beginnings glorious heyday demise and the ways in which the medium lives on today from it's influence on television to modern day forms of variety entertainment Along the way there are rich detailed descriptions stories and anecdotes on the great legends of Vaudeville who went on to conquer films TV and are still remembered today Mae West The Marx Brothers Fred Astaire Milton Berle WC Fields Sophie Tucker Houdini Fanny Brice and many many others You also meet performers who were top stars at their time but are not as well remembered such as Eva Tanguay Fields Weber Harry Lauder Bert Williams There's also fun stories on bizarre oddities such as the tiny music hall dancer Little Tich the cacophonically untalented Cherry Sisters the conjoined entertainers the Hilton Sisters This book inspired me to look many of the performers I didn't know up and YouTube which has many fine uploads of old Phonograph cylinders and early silent films featuring these great entertainers Author Travis SD is himself involved in current variety theatre and writes with wit intelligence and a true passion for his subject I couldn't put this down and am sad it's finished Truly truly great