The Marx Brothers began their careers in vaudeville, the predominant form of popular entertainment during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Before the Brothers went on to become comedy starts of Broadway, movies, radio, and television, they spent nearly 20 years performing in vaudeville theaters around the country.
The story of vaudeville’s influences on the Marx Brothers, the Marx Brothers’ own experiences in vaudeville, and vaudeville history in western New York will be presented by writer and performer Trav S.D.
Trav S.D. is the author of No Applause – Just Thrown Money: The Book that Made Vaudeville Famous and Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to YouTube. He was an organizer of Marxfest, the 2014 month-long celebration of the Marx Brothers held in New York City. He was a producer of the recent revival of the Marx Brothers’ 1924 musical I’ll Say She Is, and directed its initial reading and 2014 staging at the New York Fringe Festival, before it went on to an Off-Broadway run in 2016.
Trav has written for The New York Times, The Village Voice, and American Theatre. He created and maintains the blog Travalanche, a rich source of information about entertainers, including the Marx Brothers. He wrote the liner notes for the upcoming Archeophone Records CD containing sketches of the pioneering vaudeville comedy team, Weber and Fields.
The 1891 Fredonia Opera House was Fredonia’s venue for vaudeville. Come to see this presentation and learn about the history of vaudeville, the Marx Brothers, and how citizens of the area sought entertainment generations ago.
Trav S.D’s appearance in Fredonia is supported through the Fredonia College Foundation’s Carnahan-Jackson Humanities Fund and the Hahn Family Freedonia Marxonia Fund. The Hahn Family funds Freedonia Marxonia, the annual festival that celebrates the Marx Brothers and their 1933 movie Duck Soup, set in “Freedonia.”
Admission is FREE; tickets available at the door.