Burlesque

Its last impresario tells why it is the most American of all entertainments. (It’s not because of the strippers.)

My father said, “Don’t go To a burlesque show; You’ll see things you shouldn’t see.” And he was right, For the very next night I saw Father in the row in front of me.

 

— OLD SONG BASED ON A BURLESQUE JOKE

 

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Ms. America

WHY JANE FONDA IS A MIRROR OF THE NATION’S PAST FORTY YEARS

On the cusp of turning 60 in 1997, Jane Fonda decided to compile a video of highlights in her notably eventful life to present to guests at her forthcoming birthday party. In search of a guiding concept, she turned to her daughter Vanessa and asked for her input. She wasn’t prepared, however, for her daughter’s reply. “She said to me, ‘Why don’t you just get a chameleon and let it crawl across the screen?’,” Fonda recounts. “Ouch. And so I thought to myself, Is that true.

 
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The, Actors’ Revolt

HISTORY’S MOST PHOTOGENIC LABOR dispute lasted thirty days, spread to eight cities, closed thirty-seven plays, and finally won performers some respect

 

1919. The first full year of peace after the World War was a restless one. It saw the advent of Prohibition and the Black Sox scandal. The Communist Labor party of America was founded, while the Socialist party leader Eugene Debs went to jail. The U.S. Senate refused to ratify the Treaty of Versailles. Read more »

Sex Death And Ronald Mcdonald

ON THE ROAD DURING THE ERA OF GREATEST PERIL FOR THE ONE INDISPENSABLE AMERICAN SHOW

Last summer, while I was driving my daughter and son from Williamstown, Massachusetts, to Chatham, New York, we passed a billboard with an ad, Crayola red, blue, and yellow, announcing the arrival of a circus. My daughter, who is eighteen, has seen the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at Madison Square Garden, and both kids have been to the Big Apple Circus. In the early 1950s I went to Ringling Bros., when it still set up tents in fairgrounds. Read more »

Oklahoma!

It opened fifty years ago and changed Broadway forever

Only in retrospect does it seem surprising that there were empty seats in the St. James Theatre the night Oklahoma! opened, on March 31, 1943. Read more »