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Vaudeville

Vaudeville is a genre of live entertainment that was popular in the United States and Canada from the 1890s through the 1920s. Vaudeville consisted of many independent acts that involved skits, drama, dancing, singing, music, trained animals and any number of interesting talents such as juggling and plate-spinning. Generally, these acts traveled from town to town, independently. Many legendary American entertainers had their starts in vaudeville, including Fred Astaire, Abbot and Costello and Charlie Chaplin. Someone who performs in vaudeville is called a vaudevillian. The word vaudeville is believed to be derived from the French term vau de ville or vau de vire, which refers to fifteenth-century songs written by Olivier Basselin which were amusing and bawdy. Vaudeville died with the dawn of the movie theater.


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Examples

“I love vaudeville because it leads to the cross pollination of comic forms and in turn creates new ones that become delightful new styles of comedy,” Skitch said. (The Herald-Sun)

When Sunshine Boys was written, the heady days of vaudeville sketch comedy were still within living memory, so it seemed entirely plausible that network television might want to record a landmark act from four or five decades previous. (The Syracuse New Times)

His father sold millinery products in the garment district in Manhattan, after his wife urged him to give up his vaudeville singing career and “get a real job.” (The News-Press)

Since one of the city’s two historic vaudeville theaters was put on the market about a month ago, it’s garnered a lot of interest, according to real estate agent Kenneth Leva, vice president of the Carucci Group, which specializes in high-end residential and commercial property with Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty in Boston. (The Salem News)

 

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