A history lesson hit the Alex Theatre on Sept. 20, encompassing chapters from the late 1800s to the early 20th century in the form of the “Vaudeville Extravaganza!”, presented by the Alex Film Society.
Starting at 8 p.m., the festivities of the night were a reflection of American vaudeville theatrics and early cinematic films that went along with it. Vaudeville is a combination of variety acts in an entertainment show (often songs, movies, and actors). Keeping up with the Art Deco theme of the Alex Theatre, stylishly dressed attendees of all ages flocked to the nearly packed house.
“Vaudeville Extravaganza!” aimed to entertain the audience with a wide variety of acts; from jugglers to magicians and all sorts of amusements in between.
Films were also screened, including “Down Among the Sugar Cane” (1932),”The Cure” (1917, featuring Charlie Chaplin) and “The Royal Rodeo” (1939).
The night started off with Ian Whitcomb and His Bungalow Boys, who mused and sang about the nostalgia of times past. Whitcomb provided some wry British humor, pointing out strikingly similar parallels to life in our current and past eras (most songs centered on the Depression era).
Next came Davis & Faversham, who performed a comedic skit known as “Frankfurter Sandwiches.” They ended their act with a delightful short bit about the various types of sneezes.
Peter Nathan Foltz followed with a song, aptly performed, as he is known as the “Golden Voiced Tenor.”
Jack & Jeri Kaivan wooed the crowd with their amazing juggling tricks.
The duo managed to acquire the attention of the entire audience with their awing operation that consisted of one bit amounting tobeing drawn whilst juggling went on.
Mallory Lewis & Lamb Chop proceeded to have a humorous dialogue covering Lamb Chop’s status as a mere puppet (while managing to tie in with current politics).
The closing act was Christopher Hart, master magician and operator of the “Thing” – Addams Family fans take note! Blink twice and it is possible to miss Hart’s card tricks that will have your head in a tizzy from trying to figure them out.
Mary Mallory, Will Ryan and Nancy Niparko led the crowd during Ian Whitcomb’s song about movie critics, signaling when to clap along. This was not the first time they had participated in Vaudeville Extravaganza – all three are seasoned veterans.
Mallory said, “Just [the] performing and saying it….were some of the favorite parts.”
The night wrapped up with the screening of the films, and theaudience left looking satiated for their annual fix of vaudeville.
Upcoming events presented by the Alex Film Society will feature substantial discounts for GCC students with ID. They include “King Kong” on October 25 at 2 and 8 p.m. as well as the 11th Annual “Three Stooges” event, lovingly known as “Stooge-Fest” on November 25 at 2 and 8 p.m..