Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Bit on Vaudeville

In "Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters," Buddy mentions that his parents were Vaudevillians on the Pantages Circuit.

Sidebar: Interesting tidbit, the Wikipedia Vaudeville article mentions Edward Albee's adoptive grandfather's role in Vaudeville and the emerging Motion Picture Industry:

Albee, adoptive grandfather of the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Edward Albee, managed the chain to its greatest success. Circuits such as those managed by Keith-Albee provided vaudeville's greatest economic innovation and the principal source of its industrial strength, enabling a chain of allied vaudeville houses that remedied the chaos of the single-theatre booking system by contracting acts for regional and national tours that could grow from a few weeks to two years.

In 1919, the Orpheum Circuit was incorporated, which brought together 45 vaudeville theatere in 36 cities throughout the United States and Canada and a large interest in two vaudeville circuits. In 1928, the company merged with Keith's and Albee's chain of theaters to form Keith-Albee-Orpheum. The company soon became the major motion picture studio Radio-Keith-Orpheum (RKO).

Ok enough with my fascination with Edward Albee.

I find it very interesting that Bessie would have encouraged her children to use stage names and except for the fact that her concerns echo some of those echoed by the Matron of Honor later in the story, I am not sure why Salinger chose to include this item. be continued...

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