Date:   3/31/2004

Thrasher brings back Vaudeville

Thrasher brings back the days of Vaudeville


Vaudeville reigned as the most popular form of entertainment in America between 1875 and 1932.  Before the invention of radio, movies and television, most theatres around the country presented vaudeville shows. Every big city or small town – including Green Lake - had its own vaudeville house. Vaudevillians were skilled in comedy, juggling, magic, acrobatics, singing, mime music dancing, driving, etc. 


LAZER VAUDEVILLE combines high-tech laser magic with the traditional arts of vaudeville to create an original theatrical production.  This exciting event will be held at the Thrasher Opera House, in beautiful downtown Green Lake, on Wednesday, March 31, 2004. 


Complete with superlative juggling, black light illusion, acrobatics, zany comedy and audience participation, LAZER VAUDEVILLE offers clean, classy fun for the entire family.  A cast of fantastical characters leads the audience on a journey through the imagination as a wizard creates magical illusions with laser beams, a neon cowboy kicks up a luminescent rope-spinning display, and an audience member escapes from a straitjacket.  The master of ceremonies is a seven-foot tall, fluorescent, fire-breathing dragon named Alfonso.


Founded in 1987, the touring company fulfills Carter Brown’s dream of bringing a contemporary vaudeville show back to the American stage.  Internationally acclaimed as a master of his craft, Brown demonstrates the endangered art of hoop rolling.  In an astonishing visual display, up to ten hoops roll around the juggler’s body and circle the stage as if taking on a life of their own.  Some are century-old antique wooden bicycle rims.  Brown and fellow performers Cindy Marvell and Nicholas Flair also juggle more familiar items such as plungers, machetes, and running chainsaws.


“The kind of juggling we do blows away everybody’s concept of what juggling is about,” Brown comments.  Together the troupe creates pinwheel illusions and percussive sounds with South American bolas, bounces balls off airborne drums in a mesmerizing ensemble piece, and defies the laws of probability by passing up to ten clubs in an engaging display of buffoonery and expertise.  LAZER VAUDEVILLE has performed at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., and was featured in two P.B.S. specials: Juggling Work and Family with Hedrick Smith (2001) and Center Stage at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, TX.  International tours have included theatre festivals in England, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Bermuda and Saudi Arabia.  The company has also toured Alaska.


 “Most students can’t imagine popular entertainment before the invention of T.V. and movies,” Brown says.  The first 15 minutes of the show are in black light, so attendees are asked to be seated before the show begins at 7:00 p.m. (doors open at 6:15 p.m.). Tickets for this family evening, sponsored by Heidel House, are $17 Adults and $14 Students and Seniors and available at Thrasher office, Knowledge Emporium, Green Lake State Bank, and Ripon Drug or by calling 920-294-4279.  Online tickets available at   




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