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our neighor gramps came over 2 watch he has no cable. said its not ttrue that midwest people didnt get 2 c big vaudville acts N person like guest host hutchison said. anyeone know 

I don't know much about vaudeville, but I suspect many acts did play in smaller towns and cities across the country, but like many bands and musicians we enjoy listening to now, they didn't start out as BIG acts, and became famous later in their careers.  I would bet if you asked any successful vaudevillian if they started at the top...they'd say "no", so they had to get their start somewhere, like a local, small town opera house or a grange meeting hall.

 

If they had the means, ability, and ambition to carry on, they could eventually get to a larger town (like Peoria, Illinois for example).  If they were considered a hit there, they might get a chance to play in a bigger city like Chicago, Milwaukee, or St. Louis.  Not very common today, but back in the day, the phrase, "Yeah, but will it/could it play in Peoria?" meant if an act couldn't succeed there (or any other locale such as that) it probably would not go over well on Broadway or other large-city stops on the vaudeville circuit.

 

So, my short answer is yes, big acts from vaudeville were seen by many people in other cities outside New York, Boston, and Philadelphia, but if they were considered big at the time, they probably only played in the larger cities.  They more than likely played the smaller venues first, then matriculated up the ladder of vaudeville success.

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I don't know much about vaudeville, but I suspect many acts did play in smaller towns and cities across the country, but like many bands and musicians we enjoy listening to now, they didn't start out as BIG acts, and became famous later in their careers.  I would bet if you asked any successful vaudevillian if they started at the top...they'd say "no", so they had to get their start somewhere, like a local, small town opera house or a grange meeting hall.

 

If they had the means, ability, and ambition to carry on, they could eventually get to a larger town (like Peoria, Illinois for example).  If they were considered a hit there, they might get a chance to play in a bigger city like Chicago, Milwaukee, or St. Louis.  Not very common today, but back in the day, the phrase, "Yeah, but will it/could it play in Peoria?" meant if an act couldn't succeed there (or any other locale such as that) it probably would not go over well on Broadway or other large-city stops on the vaudeville circuit.

 

So, my short answer is yes, big acts from vaudeville were seen by many people in other cities outside New York, Boston, and Philadelphia, but if they were considered big at the time, they probably only played in the larger cities.  They more than likely played the smaller venues first, then matriculated up the ladder of vaudeville success.

gramps says hutchison is wrong & he saw geo. jessle & big stars & gramps lived small town. thanz.

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our neighor gramps came over 2 watch he has no cable. said its not ttrue that midwest people didnt get 2 c big vaudville acts N person like guest host hutchison said. anyeone know 

 

Big vaudeville acts definitely played the Midwest. As midwestan mentioned, "Will it play in Peoria" was a common adage of the time, and "Mention My Name In Sheboygan" a popular song. The Marx Brothers played on a bill with Chaplin in Montana (a Western state with no big cities) and were based out of Chicago for several years around WWI.

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our neighor gramps came over 2 watch he has no cable. said its not ttrue that midwest people didnt get 2 c big vaudville acts N person like guest host hutchison said. anyeone know 

Maybe it has to do with where in the midwest you are from? My dad was from a lesser known area of IL, and said the statement is true unless you lived or traveled to a major city.

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Now, what I think we REALLY need here is for TikiSoo to see Rip's thread here, and then whatever SHE says ol' Rip here is SURE to believe!

 

Ain't that right, Rip?!  ;)

 

LOL

 

Okay, now that I've got THAT out of the way...

 

From what I know of the history of Vaudeville, most acts started in "cow towns", and then depending upon how much of a hit they would become, they would eventually play the bigger and more highly thought of venues in the larger cities, and yes, even those out in the mid-west.

 

(...and so gramps is probably right)

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Now, what I think we REALLY need here is for TikiSoo to see Rip's thread here, and then whatever SHE says ol' Rip here is SURE to believe!

 

Ain't that right, Rip?! ;)

 

LOL

 

Okay, now that I've got THAT out of the way...

 

From what I know of the history of Vaudeville, most acts started in "cow towns", and then depending upon how much of a hit they would become, they would eventually play the bigger and more highly thought of venues in the larger cities, and yes, even those out in the mid-west.

 

(...and so gramps is probably right)

In Kansas when I was going to the movies every other Saturday to see the latest Walt Disney, my mother would drop me off and tell me that when she was a little girl, she went to the Vaudeville at that movie theater.

 

She told me she even saw George Burns and Gracie Allen at our old Fox Theater.

 

In those days vaudevillians had to pick up a little time sometimes and the trains came right through, so they got off and picked up a little time.

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Those Vitaphone shorts are so historically important as they are (perhaps along with a few Abbott and Costello routines in the movies) the only records that we have today of some vaudeville acts.

 

The closest that I ever came to seeing remnants of anything of this sort was when I was a kid and saw some old time burlesque queens perform. There was also, on the occasion, a comic or two who introduced their act. One was a drag queen called Brandy (real name Harvey). Another one was named Rummy Bishop. I had heard he was related to Joey but really don't know for a fact that that is true.

 

About 15 years ago or so I saw Rummy Bishop on a Toronto street and made a point of telling him how much I had enjoyed his act. Burlesque comics - not a big demand for that line of work anymore.

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