October 8, 2015
I was looking through some old files on my computer this morning, and I came across the little capsule review I wrote for Trav S.D.'s delightful and smart book No Applause--Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous:
Real-life New Vaudevillian (and actor-playwright-director-producer) Trav S.D. captures the heart and soul of the first and, he argues, most lasting American contribution to the world of entertainment in this fun and well-researched book. The early chapters trace the evolution of vaudeville from its very earliest roots (Dionysian theatre festivals and beyond); later chapters chart the rise and fall of vaudeville as a business enterprise (fascinating stuff) and as a collection of diverse, remarkable acts. The people that Trav S.D. introduces us to on these pages range from the villainous Keith and Albee to beloved stars like George Burns and Julian Eltinge. It's good history and grand entertainment.
It's brief, but I think it says what it needs; I stand by it! This book celebrates its 10th anniversary this month: wow! time sure does fly. If you've not read this great book by one of modern theater's true Renaissance Men, then I highly suggest you do. You will have an enjoyable time, and you will learn something!