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Encyclopedia > Vaudeville

Vaudeville was a genre of variety entertainment prevalent in the United States and Canada from the early 1880s until the early 1930s. Developing from many sources, including concert saloons, minstrelsy, freak shows, dime museums, and literary burlesque, vaudeville became one of the most popular types of entertainment in North America. Each evening's bill of performance was made up of a series of separate, unrelated acts. Types of acts included (among others) musicians (both classical and popular), dancers, comedians, trained animals, magicians, female and male impersonators, acrobats, one-act plays or scenes from plays, athletes, lecturing celebrities, minstrels, and short films. Vaudeville may be: A form of theatrical entertainment - Vaudeville A French satirical poem or song - Vaudeville (song) A French musical entertainment - Comédie en vaudeville A French town - Vaudeville, Meurthe-et-Moselle A record label - Vaudeville Records Category: ... Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... Chatham Theatre, New York City For the other theatre known by this name, see Chatham Garden Theatre. ... Detail from cover of The Celebrated Negro Melodies, as Sung by the Virginia Minstrels, 1843 The minstrel show, or minstrelsy, was an American entertainment consisting of comic skits, variety acts, dancing, and music, performed by white people in blackface or, especially after the American Civil War, African Americans in blackface. ... For other uses of this word, see Freakshow (disambiguation). ... Dime Museums were unique entertainment and moral education institutions that were briefly popular at the end of the 19th century in the United States. ... Photograph of Sally Rand, 1934. ... North America North America is a continent [1] in the Earths northern hemisphere and (chiefly) western hemisphere. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Look up Acrobat in Wiktionary, the free dictionary Acrobat may refer to— someone who practices acrobatics. ... Athletics, also known as track and field or track and field athletics, is a collection of sport events. ... For the 1998 movie, see Celebrity (1998 movie). ... A minstrel was a bard who played songs to tell stories about other places or about historical events of the Middle Ages. ... This article is about motion pictures. ...

Contents

Etymology

The origin of the term is obscure, but is often explained as a corruption of the expression "voix de ville", or "voice of the city". Another plausible etymology makes it a corruption of the French Vau de Vire, a valley in Normandy noted for style of songs with topical themes. Though "vaudeville" had been used in the United States as early as the 1830s, most variety theatres adopted the term in the late 1880s and early 1890s for two reasons. First, seeking middle class patrons, they wished to distance themselves from the earlier rowdy, working-class variety halls. Second, the French or pseudo-French term lent an air of sophistication, and perhaps made the institution seem more consistent with the Progressive Era's interests in education and self-betterment. Some, however, preferred the earlier term to what manager Tony Pastor called its "sissy and Frenchified" successor. Thus one often finds records of vaudeville being marketed as "variety" well into the twentieth century. Terminology is the study of terms and their use — of words and compound words that are used in specific contexts. ... Etymologies redirects here. ... The River Vire is a river in Normandy in France whose 118 km course crosses the départements of Calvados and Manche, flowing through the towns of Vire, Saint-Lô and Isigny-sur-Mer, finally flowing out into the English Channel. ... For other uses, see Normandy (disambiguation). ... In the United States, the Progressive Era was a period of reform which lasted from the 1890s through the 1920s. ... For Tony Pastor the saxophonist and bandleader, see Tony Pastor (bandleader). ...


Beginnings

From newspaper promotional for vaudeville character actor Charles Grapewin
From newspaper promotional for vaudeville character actor Charles Grapewin

A descendant of variety, (c. 1860s-1881), vaudeville distinguished itself from the earlier form by its mixed-gender audience, usually alcohol-free halls, and often slavish devotion to inculcating favor among members of the middle class. The form gradually evolved from the concert saloon and variety hall into its mature form throughout the 1870s and 1880s. This more genteel form was known as "Polite Vaudeville." Image File history File links Character_comedian_charles_e. ... From newspaper promotional for vaudeville character actor Charles E. Grapewin Charles E. Grapewin (December 20, 1869, Xenia, Ohio – February 2, 1956, Corona, California) was an American vaudeville performer, and a stage and film actor. ...


The true beginnings of vaudeville in America probably lie in New Orleans and the "medicine shows" that toured small towns throughout the country, giving small town America a glimpse into the Music Hall culture of Paris and Great Britain. New Orleans is the largest city in the state of Louisiana, United States of America. ... Music Hall is a form of British theatrical entertainment which reached its peak of popularity between 1850 and 1960. ...


In the years before the Civil war, entertainment existed on a different scale. Certainly, variety theatre existed before 1860. Europeans enjoyed types of variety performances years before anyone even had conceived of the United States. On American soil, as early as the first decades of the nineteenth century, theatre goers could enjoy a performance of Shakespeare, acrobats, singers, presentations of dance, and comedy all in the same evening. As the years progressed, seekers of diversified amusements found an increasing number to choose from. A handful of circuses regularly toured the country, dime-museums appealed to the curious, amusement parks, riverboats, and town halls often featured "cleaner" presentations of variety entertainment, while saloons, music-halls, and burlesque houses catered to those with a taste for the risqué. In the 1840's, minstrel shows, another type of variety performance, and "the first emanation of a pervasive and purely American mass culture," grew to enormous popularity and formed as Nick Tosches writes, "the heart of nineteenth-century show business." Medicine shows traveled the countryside offering programs of comedy, music, jugglers and other novelties along with their tonics, salves, and miracle elixirs, while Wild West Shows provided romantic vistas of the disappearing frontier complete with trick riding, music, and drama. Vaudeville incorporated these various itinerant amusements into a stable, institutionalized form centered in America's growing urban hubs.


Problematically, the term "vaudeville," itself, referring specifically to North American variety entertainment, came into common usage after 1871 with the formation of "Sargent's Great Vaudeville Company" of Louisville, Kentucky, and had little if anything to do with the "vaudeville" of the French theatre. Variety showman, M.B. Leavitt claimed the word originated from the French "vaux de ville" ("worth of the city, or worthy of the city's patronage"), but in all likelihood, as Albert McLean suggests, the name was merely selected "for its vagueness, its faint, but harmless exoticism, and perhaps its connotation of gentility." Leavitt and Sargent's shows differed little from the coarser material presented in earlier itinerant entertainments, although their use of the term to provide a veneer of respectability points to an early effort to cater variety amusements to the growing middle class.


In the early 1880s, impresario Tony Pastor, a former ringmaster with the circus turned theatre manager, capitalized on middle class sensibilities and spending power when he began to feature "polite" variety programs in several of his New York City theatres. The usual date given for the "birth" of vaudeville is 24 October 1881, when Pastor famously staged the first bill of self-proclaimed "clean" vaudeville in New York City. Hoping to draw a potential audience from female and family-based shopping traffic uptown, Pastor barred the sale of liquor in his theatres, eliminated questionable material from his shows, and offered gifts of coal and hams to attendees. Pastor's experiment proved successful, and other managers soon followed suit. An impresario is a manager or producer in one of the entertainment industries, usually Music or Theatre. ... The middle class (or middle classes) comprises a social group once defined by exception as an intermediate social class between the nobility and the peasantry. ... New York, New York and NYC redirect here. ... is the 297th day of the year (298th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1881 (MDCCCLXXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Upper Manhattan is an area in New York City consisting of the thin, northern neck of the island of Manhattan. ...

Performance bill for Temple Theatre, Detroit, December 1, 1902.

The manager's comments, sent back to the circuit's central office weekly, follow each act's description. The bill illustrates the typical pattern of opening the show with a "dumb" act to allow patrons to find their seats, placing strong acts in second and penultimate positions, and leaving the weakest act for the end, to clear the house

  • 1) Burt Jordan and Rosa Crouch. "Sensational, grotesque and 'buck' dancers. A good act...."
  • 2) The White Tscherkess Trio. "A man and two women who do a singing turn of the operatic order. They carry special scenery which is very artistic and their costumes are original and neat. Their voices are good and blend exceedingly well. The act goes big with the audience."
  • 3) Sarah Midgely and Gertie Carlisle. "Presenting the sketch 'After School.' ... they are a 'knockout.'"
  • 4) Theodor F. Smith and Jenny St. George-Fuller. "Refined instrumentalists.
  • 5) Milly Capell. "European equestrienne. This is her second week. On account of the very pretty picture that she makes she goes as strong as she did last week."
  • 6) R. J. Jose. "Tenor singer. The very best of them all."
  • 7) The Nelson Family of Acrobats. "This act is composed of three men, too young women, three boys and two small girls. The greatest acrobatic act extant."
  • 8) James Thornton. "Monologist and vocalist. He goes like a cyclone. It is a case of continuous laughter from his entrance to his exit."
  • 9) Burk and Andrus and Their Trained Mule. "This act, if it can be so classed, was closed after the evening performance."
Typical provincial venue on the circuit: "The Opera" in Kirksville, Missouri
Typical provincial venue on the circuit: "The Opera" in Kirksville, Missouri

Image File history File linksMetadata Kvopera. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Kvopera. ... Kirksville is a city in Adair County, Missouri, United States. ...

Popularity

B.F. Keith took the next step starting in Boston, where he built an empire of theatres and brought vaudeville to the people of the United States as well as Canada. Later, E.F. Albee, adoptive grandfather of the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Edward Albee, managed the chain to its greatest success. Circuits such as those managed by Keith-Albee provided vaudeville's greatest economic innovation and the principal source of its industrial strength, enabling a chain of allied vaudeville houses that remedied the chaos of the single theatre booking system by contracting acts for regional and national engagement that could grow from a few weeks to two years. Benjamin Franklin Keith (1846-1914) in 1902 Keith Memorial Theatre, Boston Benjamin Franklin Keith (January 26, 1846 – March 26, 1914) was an American impresario who founded a chain of vaudeville theatres. ... Nickname: City on the Hill, Beantown, The Hub (of the Universe)1, Athens of America, The Cradle of Revolution, Puritan City, Americas Walking City Location in Massachusetts, USA Counties Suffolk County Mayor Thomas M. Menino(D) Area    - City 232. ... This article is about the political and historical term. ... The interior of the Comédie-Française, Paris, showing the stage, boxes, galleries and orchestra sections of the house. ... The Pulitzer Prize is an American award regarded as the highest national honor in print journalism, literary achievements, and musical composition. ... Edward Franklin Albee III (born March 12, 1928) is an American playwright known for works including Whos Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Zoo Story, The Sandbox and The American Dream. ...


Albee also gave national prominence to vaudeville's trumpeting of "polite" entertainment, a commitment to entertainment equally inoffensive to men, women, and children. Acts who violated this ethos (e.g., using the word "hell") were admonished and threatened with expulsion from the week's remaining performances or with the canceling of their contracts. In spite of such threats, performers routinely flouted this censorship, often to the delight of the very audience members whose sensibilities were supposedly endangered.


By the late 1890s, vaudeville had large circuits, small and/or large houses in almost every sizable location, standardized booking, broad pools of skilled acts, and a loyal national following. At its height, vaudeville played across multiple strata of economic class and auditorium size. The three most common levels were the “small time” (lower paying contracts for more frequent performances in rougher, often converted theatres), the “medium time” (moderate wages for two performances each day in purpose-built theatres) and the “big time” (possible remuneration of several thousand dollars per week in large, urban theatres largely patronized by the middle and upper-middle classes). As performers rose in renown and established regional and national followings, they worked their way into the less arduous working conditions and better pay of the big time. The capitol of the big time was New York City's Palace Theater (or just “The Palace” in the slang of vaudevillians), built by Martin Beck in 1913 and operated by Keith. Featuring a bill stocked with inventive novelty acts, national celebrities, and acknowledged masters of vaudeville performance (e.g., comedian and trick roper Will Rogers), the Palace provided what many vaudevillians would considered the apotheoses of already remarkable careers. The Palace Theatre, circa 1920. ... Martin Beck is a fictional police detective who is the main character in ten novels by Sjöwall and Wahlöö. The stories are often seen largely from his perspective, and as head of the department he is the logical hero of the series. ...


While the neighborhood character of vaudeville attendance had always promoted a tendency to tailor fare for specific audiences, mature vaudeville grew to feature houses and circuits specifically aimed at certain demographic groups. African American patrons, often segregated into the rear of the second gallery in white-oriented theatres, had their own smaller circuits, as did speakers of Italian and Yiddish. (For a brief discussion of Black vaudeville, see Theater Owners Booking Association.) White-oriented regional circuits, such as New England's "Peanut Circuit," also provided essential training grounds for new artists while allowing established acts to experiment with and polish new material. At its height, vaudeville was rivaled only by churches and public schools among the nation's premiere public gathering places. An African American (also Afro-American, Black American, or simply black) is a member of an ethnic group in the United States whose ancestors, usually in predominant part, were indigenous to Africa. ... Yiddish ( yidish or idish, literally: Jewish) is a non-territorial Germanic language, spoken throughout the world and written with the Hebrew alphabet. ... T.O.B.A., the Theater Owners Booking Association, was the vaudeville circuit for African American performers in the 1920s and 1930s. ...


Decline

There was no abrupt end to vaudeville, though the form was clearly staggering by the late 1920s. The continued growth of the lower-priced cinema in the early 1910s dealt the heaviest blow to vaudeville, just as the advent of free broadcast television was later to diminish the cultural and economic strength of the cinema. (Ironically, cinema was first regularly commercially presented in the United States in vaudeville halls.) Lured by greater salaries and less arduous working conditions, many early film and old time radio performers, such as W. C. Fields, Buster Keaton, the Marx Brothers, Edgar Bergen, and Jack Benny, used the prominence they first gained in live variety performance to vault into new media. (In so doing, such performers often exhausted in a few moments of screen time the novelty of an act that might have kept them on tour for several years.) Other vaudevillians who entered in vaudeville's decline, including The Three Stooges, Abbott and Costello, Kate Smith, Bob Hope, Judy Garland, and Rose Marie used vaudeville as a launching pad for later careers, leaving live performance before they had ever risen to the meteoric height of national celebrity. By the late 1920s, almost no vaudeville bill failed to include a healthy selection of cinema. Earlier in the century, many vaudevillians, cognizant of the threat represented by cinema, held out hope that the silent nature of the "flickering shadow sweethearts" would preclude their usurpation of the paramount place in the public's affection. With the introduction of talking pictures in 1926, however, the burgeoning film studios removed what had remained, for many, the chief point in favor of live theatrical performance: spoken dialogue. Theatre owners discovered that rental costs of films--when held against the price of performers, newly unionized stagehands, booking fees, lighting, orchestra, etc.--vastly increased their profits. Performers tried hanging on for a time in combination shows (often referred to as "vaudefilm") in which, in an inverse of earlier vaudeville, live performances accompanied a cinema-centric performance. Inevitably, managers further trimmed costs by eliminating more of these comparatively costly live performances. Vaudeville also suffered in the rise of broadcast radio following the greater availability of inexpensive receiver sets later in the decade. Even the hardiest within the vaudeville industry realized the form was in decline; the perceptive understood the condition to be terminal. This article is about motion pictures. ... Old-Time Radio (OTR) or The Golden Age of Radio is a term used to refer to radio programs that were broadcast during the 1920s through the late 1950s (with some outlying programs produced earlier and later) in the United States, as well as the United Kingdom and Canada and... W. C. Fields (January 29, 1880 – December 25, 1946) was an American juggler, comedian, and actor. ... Buster Keaton (born Joseph Frank Keaton, October 4, 1895 – February 1, 1966) was an American silent film comic actor and filmmaker. ... This article is about the comedian siblings. ... Sam Bermans caricature of Charlie McCarthy and Edgar Bergen for 1947 NBC promotion book Edgar John Bergen (February 16, 1903 – September 30, 1978) was an American actor and radio performer, best known as a ventriloquist. ... Jack Benny (February 14, 1894 in Chicago, Illinois – December 26, 1974 in Beverly Hills, California), born Benjamin Kubelsky, was an American comedian, vaudeville performer, and radio, television, and film actor. ... The Three Stooges were an American vaudeville and comedy act of the mid 20th century best known for their numerous short subject films. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Kathryn Elizabeth Smith (May 1, 1907 – June 17, 1986) was an American singer (born in Washington, D.C.), best known for her rendition of Irving Berlins God Bless America. She was one of Americas most beloved entertainers, with a radio, TV and recording career that spanned five decades... Bob Hope, KBE (May 29, 1903 – July 27, 2003), born Leslie Townes Hope, was an English-Born American entertainer who appeared in vaudeville, on Broadway, on radio and television, in movies, and in performing tours for U.S. Military personnel, well known for his good natured humor and career longevity. ... Judy Garland (born Frances Ethel Gumm; June 10, 1922 - June 22, 1969) was an Academy Award-nominated American film actress and singer, best known for her role as Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz (1939). ... Rose Marie (born August 15, 1923) is an actress who had a career as a child star under the name Baby Rose Marie but is best known for her adult role as Sally Rogers in the The Dick Van Dyke Show. ...


The 1930s, with standardized film distribution and talking pictures, only confirmed the end of the genre. By 1930, the vast majority of theatres had been wired for sound and none of the major studios was producing silent pictures. For a time, the most luxurious theatres continued to offer live entertainment, but the majority of theatres were forced by the Great Depression to economize. The shift of New York City's Palace Theatre, vaudeville's center, to an exclusively cinema presentation on 16 November 1932 is considered the final death knell of the art of vaudeville. Like the attempts to tie its birth to Pastor's first clean bill, no single event may be accurately considered as anything more than reflective of its gradual withering. Some in the industry blamed cinema's drain of talent from the vaudeville circuits for the medium's demise. Others argued that vaudeville had allowed its performances to become too familiar to its famously loyal, now seemingly fickle audiences. Though talk of its resurrection was heard throughout the 1930s and after, the demise of the supporting apparatus of the circuits and the inescapably higher cost of live performance made any large scale renewal of vaudeville unrealistic. For other uses, see The Great Depression (disambiguation). ... is the 320th day of the year (321st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1932 (MCMXXXII) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link will display full 1932 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Architecture

The most striking examples of Gilded Age theatre architecture invariably rose from the largess of big time vaudeville magnates. Though classic vaudeville reached a zenith of capitalization and sophistication in urban areas dominated by national chains and commodious theatres, small-time vaudeville included countless more intimate and locally-controlled houses. Small-time houses were often converted saloons, rough hewn theatres or multi-purpose halls, together catering to a wide range of clientèle, though many small towns had purpose-built theatres. <math> </math></math> The Breakers, a gilded-age mansion in Newport, Rhode Island. ...


Post-Vaudeville

As the genre declined, most performers left the theatre; here the kid hoofer Ray Wollbrinck, once called "the cleverest buckdancer on the vaudeville stage"
As the genre declined, most performers left the theatre; here the kid hoofer Ray Wollbrinck, once called "the cleverest buckdancer on the vaudeville stage"

Some of the most prominent vaudevillians continued the migration to cinema, though others found that the gifts that had so delighted live audiences did not translate well into different media. Some performers whose eclectic styles did not conform well to the greater intimacy of the screen, like Bert Lahr, fashioned careers out of combining live performance, radio and film roles. Many others later appeared in the Catskill resorts that constituted the "Borscht Belt". And many simply retired from performance and entered the workaday world of the middle class, that group that vaudeville, more than anything else, had helped to articulate and entertain. Image File history File linksMetadata Ray_wollbrinck_vaudeville_sm. ... Bert Lahr as the Cowardly Lion. ... The Catskill Mountains (also known as simply the Catskills), a natural area in New York State northwest of New York City and southwest of Albany are a mature dissected plateau, an uplifted region that was subsequently eroded into sharp relief. ... Borscht Belt is an informal term for the summer resorts of the Catskill Mountains in Sullivan and Ulster Counties in upstate New York which were frequented by Ashkenazi Jews. ...


Yet vaudeville, both in its methods and ruling aesthetic, did not simply perish but rather resounded throughout the succeeding media of film, radio and television. The screwball comedies of the 1930s, those reflections of the brief moment of cinematic equipoise between dialogue and physicality, reflect the more madcap comedic elements of some vaudeville acts (e.g., The Three Keatons). In form, the television variety show owed much to vaudeville, riding the multi-act format to success in shows such as "Your Show of Shows" with Sid Caesar and, of course, The Ed Sullivan Show. Even today, performers such as Bill Irwin, a Macarthur Fellow and Tony Award-winning actor, are frequently lauded as "New Vaudevillians". The screwball comedy is a subgenre of the comedy film genre. ... A variety show is a show with a variety of acts, often including music and comedy skits, especially on television. ... Your Show of Shows was a live sketch comedy television series appearing weekly in the United States, from 1950 until June 5, 1954, featuring Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca. ... Sid Caesar (born September 8, 1922) is an Emmy-winning American comic actor and writer, best known as the leading man on the 1950s television series Your Show of Shows, and to younger generations as Coach Calhoun in Grease and Grease 2. ... The Ed Sullivan Show was an American television variety show that ran from June 20, 1948 to June 6, 1971, and was hosted by former entertainment columnist Ed Sullivan. ... Bill Irwin (born April 11, 1950, Santa Monica, California as William Irwin) is an American actor and clown noted for his contribution to the renaissance of American circus during the 1970s. ... What is popularly called the Tony Award (formally, the Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre) is an annual award celebrating achievements in live American theater, including musical theater, primarily honoring productions on Broadway in New York. ...


References to vaudeville and the use of its distinctive argot continue throughout Western popular culture. Terms as “a flop” (an act that does badly), for example, have entered into accepted usage in the American idiom. Many of the most common performance techniques and "gags" of vaudeville entertainers are still seen on television and on film. Vaudeville, like its dime museum and variety theatre forebearers, also continued and solidified a strong American absorption with foreign entertainers.


Related forms

This reproduction of a 1900 minstrel show poster, originally published by the Strobridge Litho Co. ... Chautauqua (pronounced ) is an adult education movement in the United States, highly popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. ... A revue is a type of theatrical entertainment that combines music, dance and sketches that satirize contemporary figures, news, or literature. ... Cabaret is a form of entertainment featuring comedy, song, dance, and theatre, distinguished mainly by the performance venue — a restaurant or nightclub with a stage for performances and the audience sitting around the tables (often dining or drinking) watching the performance. ... Photograph of Sally Rand, 1934. ... Music Hall is a form of British theatrical entertainment which reached its peak of popularity between 1850 and 1960. ... Borscht Belt is an informal term for the summer resorts of the Catskill Mountains in Sullivan and Ulster Counties in upstate New York which were frequented by Ashkenazi Jews. ... Laser lights illuminate the dance floor at a Gatecrasher dance music event in Sheffield, England A nightclub (or night club or club) is a drinking, dancing, and entertainment venue which does its primary business after dark. ... 1886 poster for Stetsons Uncle Toms Cabin Tom Shows were stage plays and musicals based on the 1852 novel Uncle Toms Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. ...

New Vaudevillians

The Quiddlers are a vaudevillian-styled pantomime group formed in 1985, in Rochester, Michigan. ... Michel Lauzière is a Canadian comedian known for his bizarre visual standup acts. ... Categories: Possible copyright violations ... Paul Oldfield, born in Macclesfield, Cheshire, North West England, is better known by his stage name Mr. ... Esthers Follies is a modern day vaudeville theater located on 6th Street in downtown Austin Texas USA. Acts range from magic, juggling, singing/dancing, to Saturday Night Live type of skits on current events. ...

External links

  • Vaudeville Ventriloquists
  • Legends of Vaudeville
  • American Vaudeville Museum
  • Virtual Vaudeville
  • Glossary of Vaudeville Slang
  • Listen to the Song "Will It Play In Peoria"
  • University of Washington Libraries Digital Collections – J. Willis Sayre Photographs
  • University of Washington Libraries Digital Collections – Prior and Norris Troupe Photographs
  • University of Washington libraries Digital Collections - 19th Century Actors Photogaphs

  Results from FactBites:
 
American Masters . Vaudeville | PBS (673 words)
Vaudeville was made of comedians, singers, plate-spinners, ventriloquists, dancers, musicians, acrobats, animal trainers, and anyone who could keep an audience’s interest for more than three minutes.
Vaudeville was a fusion of centuries-old cultural traditions, including the English Music Hall, minstrel shows of antebellum America, and Yiddish theater.
Though certainly not free from the prejudice of the times, vaudeville was the earliest entertainment form to cross racial and class boundaries.
Vaudeville: Bob Hope and American Variety (Library of Congress) (2376 words)
Vaudeville performers were often from the same working-class and immigrant backgrounds as their audiences.
By the end of vaudeville's heyday, the early 1930s, most ethnic acts had been eliminated from the bill or toned down to be less offensive.
Unlike a vaudeville show, however, a revue runs for a significant period of time and may have a conceptual continuity to its acts.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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