Vaudeville revisited

Langley Centennial Museum is presenting A Vaudeville Variety Show on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 8 p.m,. and local volunteers got into character to promote the evening of old-fashioned entertainment for all ages. - Miranda GATHERCOLE/Langley Times
Langley Centennial Museum is presenting A Vaudeville Variety Show on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 8 p.m,. and local volunteers got into character to promote the evening of old-fashioned entertainment for all ages.
— image credit: Miranda GATHERCOLE/Langley Times

Entertainment from an era when actors enthralled live audiences with dance, music, magic, slapstick comedy, and other audacious acts is making an appearance in Langley.

A group of Vaudevillians will take the stage at the Fort Langley Community Hall on Saturday, Feb. 23, at 8 p.m., as Langley Centennial Museum presents: A Vaudeville Variety Show.

The event is being held in conjunction with the Museum’s exhibition Voices of the Town – History of Vaudeville in Canada. On loan from the Peterborough Museum and Archives, the display features images from the Basille Collection of Roy Studio photographs.

“We are lucky in Langley to be entertained by all kinds of talented artists and performers, but the wide range of acts taking the stage at the Community Hall will make this a truly unique experience,” said Township of Langley Cultural Services Manager Peter Tulumello. “If you are looking for fun, authentic, old-style entertainment, this is a night not to miss.”

A Vaudeville Variety Show is being produced by local resident Professor Douglas Fraser.  A musicologist and entertainer with a background in vaudevillian music and performances, Fraser is an impresario of musical comedy and variety-style presentations.

Not only has he produced many shows, Fraser is a speaker, singer, comedian, and banjo and tenor guitar player who has toured with Bryan Adams, Boz Scaggs, the Knack, George Carlin, and Blood, Sweat and Tears. Earlier in life he opened for greats such as Buddy Rich, Earl Hines, Les Brown and his band of Renown, Stan Getz, and Eubie Blake.

Fraser will be the MC for the evening and will also perform as a solo act and with the Genuine Jug Band.

“We are thrilled to have a performer of such a caliber bringing his expertise to this show,” Tulumello said. He added that Fraser will be joined on stage by a number of acts that will provide entertainment for a variety of age groups and interests, including:

• Suzie Francis and the Versatiles – a song and dance troupe whose members range in age from 55 to 95

Jammin Jamaican Juggler Matt Levy – a “Cirque” style entertainer, comedian, and award winning juggler who performs feats of movement and balance

• Rickey Mann – an accordionist extraordinaire, Mann is a composer and a regular on Vancouver’s supper club scene who has performed with Dal Richards, Lorraine McAllister, Bobby Hales, and David Foster

• Mixed Company – a local barbershop quartet that presents familiar songs in three part harmony

• Don Alder – winner of the 2011 UK Guitar Idol competition in London, England, Alder creates a wall of sound with acoustic finger-style guitar

• Reg Donnelly – A magician with comedic twist, Donnelly won the Cecil Ackery Comedy Trophy in 2003 and is most known for his Multiplying Bottles trick and its surprise ending

• The Genuine Jug Band – Canadian traditional jazz artists, the Band presents historically significant music with the sound and feel of the first jug bands from the turn of the century, which contributed to the evolution of jazz and blues

• Neale Bacon and his Crazy Critters Ventriloquist – an international performer, Bacon has entertained children and their families since 1977 with his entourage of puppets
“In addition to this outstanding line-up of confirmed entertainers, rumour has it that a very good mind-reader will be making an guest appearance” Tulumello stated “so I am advising everyone to bring their nicest thoughts and be open to some family rated fun and entertainment”

For tickets to A Vaudeville Variety Show, call 604-532-3536 or visit recexpress.ca and quote barcode 425371.  Tickets are $15 when purchased in advance.

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