At CSN’s Nicholas J Horn Theater, Sept 16, 2011
What images does the word “vaudeville” flash in your mind? Scenes from “Singin’ in the Rain” of comedic violin duets? Or maybe Bob Hope slap-stick skits? Soft-shoe dancing? Eclectic magicians? If so, you would have felt in your element at the recent “Vegas Vaudeville”, which the Lion King cast presented at the Horn Theater.
Reviving the classic vaudeville structure – the original variety show – this production presented actors, singers, dancers, magicians and specialty acts in an atmosphere of rollicking humor and punnery (a new word, invented by me about 7 seconds ago. Now, if I can just get it on the Colbert Report, it might make it into Merriam-Webster by next year…). The production was kept to a PG-rating, allowing audience members of all ages to enjoy the entertainment.
In the spirit of the original vaudeville shows from the time of the Depression, a genuine ham was given to one lucky audience member. Yes, a ham.
In a further nod to customs of the time, the show ended on a heart-felt, rousing patriotic note.
An exceptionally-fake, large hairy primate made a guest appearance, attempting to sweep a sweet dancer away from her human crush; a sign-changing chorine morphed into a teasing coquette with one last surprise up her, ahem, sleeve; singers of tremendous talent belted and serenaded all manner of songs; comedic magicians, glass-eating stilt-walkers, an escape artist and a pearl-draped tap dancer shared their unique obsessions — all linked and segued by the limitless talent of a ukulele-playing, rhythm-footed crooner and all-around jokester MC.
“Vegas Vaudeville” was consummate, innocent, silly fun – for the cast, as well as for the audience. “Vegas Vaudeville” may be presented again in Las Vegas in the near future, so make sure you don’t miss it.
Disclosure: This blogger may have been the chorine sign-changer in “Vegas Vaudeville”, choreographed a dance number and served as the publicist. OK, she actually was. But she wrote about it in a pretty unbiased way, eh?