Arts & Culture » Stage

VaVaVaVaVaudeville Hits the Visual Arts Collective

Friday, Jan. 20


Before television killed the theater star, those hungry for entertainment used to pack into theaters for programs featuring a wide variety of acts--everything from juggling to comedy to musical cow-milking. It was called vaudeville, and it ruled the gilded age of theater from the mid-1800s until the proliferation of television. Vaudeville's rolling, anarchic format launched more talent than Helen of Troy's face launched ships—everyone from Buster Keaton and The Marx Brothers to Judy Garland and Sammy Davis Jr. got their start there before moving onto the silver screen.

If The Gong Show traced back its genealogy, it would find vaudeville clinging to a branch of its family tree.

Though in many ways, vaudeville was an attempt to class-up the variety show and move it away from the bawdy hedonism of burlesque that had dominated variety shows for decades, local burlesque troupe The Red Light Variety Show is undeterred. It's coming for your musical cow-milking acts, and it's coming on strong with its new show: VaVaVaVaudeville.

In addition to the hula-hooping, belly-dancing, acrobatics and sexy-dancing audiences normally get, there will be a live accompaniment from Pengilly's regulars The Frim 4 Four and dance performances from Off Center Dance, all of it evoking the old-timey atmosphere of vaudeville.

The show will be hosted by comic talents Joe Golden and Tom Willmorth--better known as The Fool Squad—who have been entertaining Boise audiences since 1993 with their fare share of bawdy hedonism.