1812 Productions to Present THE BIG TIME: NEW VAUDEVILLE FOR THE HOLIDAYS, 11/29-12/31
Philadelphia's all comedy theatre company is pleased to present its newest original production, The Big Time: New Vaudeville for the Holidays. The Big Time: New Vaudeville for the Holidays continues 1812's tradition of creating new work based in classic comedy styles, celebrating an era or area of comedic history. Past productions include Always a Lady (women in comedy), Double Down (classic double acts), Our Show of Shows (original and classic material celebrating Sid Caesar's Your Show of Shows), and the audience favorite This Is The Week That Is (political satire). Created and directed by Jennifer Childs, The Big Time reunites Ms. Childs with Scott Greer, Dave Jadico and Tony Braithwaite, the creative team that originated 1812 Productions' first such production, also called The Big Time (2000)-a revue of classic vaudeville routines-and welcomes 1812 favorite Greg Nix to the process.
Ms. Childs says, "A lot has happened in the twelve years since we first did The Big Time. We've explored so many different comedic forms that it allowed us to take a more expansive view of vaudeville." The Big Time: New Vaudeville for the Holidays pairs the structure of a classic vaudeville bill with original material and styles that cross genres and time periods, creating a multifaceted and unique theatrical experience. From a bus stop in 1950s America where the foley has a mind of its own, to a pantomimed prom in the 1920s, to Buster Keaton-style mayhem at a modern day Italian bakery-The Big Time sets them up and knocks them down, scene by scene. With nods to Gallagher & Shean, Burns & Allen, The Smothers Brothers, Eva Tanguay and many more, The Big Time gives us loquacious cowboys, tango battles in a Spanish garden, swaggering tennis clowns, and helium-high burlesque.
To capture the scope of this New Vaudeville, The Big Time features an original and devised sound design from Christopher Colucci, costumes by Alisa Sickora Kleckner, sets by Lance Kniskern, and a lighting design by Shelley Hicklin.
Ms. Childs continues, "Twelve years ago we were really trying to recreate a vintage experience and prove that those old sketches, songs and jokes still held up after all these years. We really clung to the original material and wanted everything to be historically accurate. Now we're looking at the form and asking how we use that vocabulary to make our own, more contemporary vaudeville comedy that is still sincere and not ironic. It's a challenge-but a fun one."
The Big Time: New Vaudeville for the Holidays will play from November 29th thru December 31st at Plays & Players Theatre, 1714 Delancey Street. Opening Night will be Wednesday, December 4th at 7pm. Jennifer Childs, Scott Greer, Dave Jadico, and Greg Nix will perform at all shows. Tony Braithwaite will join the ensemble from December 18th thru December 31st. Tickets range from $25 to $40 and are available at 215-592-9560 or at www.1812productions.org.
A part of the Phoebe and Otto Premiere Series, with thanks to the Wyncote Foundation, The Big Time: New Vaudeville for the Holidays welcomes its Honorary Producer, Sharon & Jeff Weiss, and Production Sponsor, Harmelin Media. The Big Time is supported in part by Independence Foundation's New Theatre Works Initiative.
*** Creative Team
Jennifer Childs (Creator/ Director/ Performer): Jennifer Childs is the Artistic Director of 1812 Productions. For 1812 she has written and directed over a dozen original works of theatrical comedy including It's My Party: The Women and Comedy Project which was recently named a finalist for the Brown Martin Award. Her solo show, Why I'm Scared of Dance by Jen Childs, has had productions at the City Theatre in Pittsburgh, Act II Playhouse in Ambler and the Kohler Arts Center in Wisconsin. It will be seen at Delaware Theatre Company in February 2014.