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Entertainment At Its Peak: Vaudeville - Essay Example

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Vaudeville is a distinctly American entertainment form. Vaudeville had roots in the ancient tradition of the traveling minstrel show enjoyed by audiences for centuries. Medicine shows, Wild West shows, and circuses all traveled the U.S. before vaudeville took root. …
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Entertainment At Its Peak: Vaudeville
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Entertainment At Its Peak: Vaudeville

Download file to see previous pages... Vaudeville was uniquely personal. The actors were right there, live people on stage in front of a live audience who interacted with performers. “Whoopee cushion humor” (Martin) had its appeal. Vaudeville exploited the American sense of humor in every aspect of the variety show. In its earliest days, vaudeville audiences consisted of immigrants who were looking to escape their dreary days in factories and tenements. The end of the Victorian era was fast approaching, so Americans could lighten up and laugh. Vaudeville introduced America to popular entertainment as big business, and within a few years, the up-and-coming middle class had time and money to spend on such entertainments (Martin). Child acts and family acts appealed to audiences because they could relate to the entertainment under the lights. Traveling acts had to adjust their shows to each night’s venue. Theater managers, of course, had a lot to say about how a performer should do his act, but they adjusted on the fly in response to audience response. Vaudeville performers had to be flexible and have a broad range of styles, jokes, and songs available to them in order to satisfy sometimes fickle audiences. Vaudevillians had to be ready to adjust at a moment’s notice. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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