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.
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.
Scott Greer (Performer): Scott is thrilled to be back at 1812 for this reunion of sorts. The Big Time in 2000 was his first show with the company. Scott is a 20 year veteran of Philadelphia theatre and has worked for Arden Theatre Company, Walnut Street Theatre, Wilma Theater, People's Light, and many more. Regionally, he has worked for Actor's Theatre of Louisville, Round House, and the Pearl Theatre in New York. He has won four Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre including the prestigious F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Theatre Artist, and has appeared as a solo vocalist with the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Dave Jadico (Performer): Dave last appeared with 1812 Productions in the silent film for the stage: Dave & Aaron Go To Work with Aaron Cromie. Additional creations include Two Hats Two Heads, a hat juggling one-act also with Mr. Cromie, Dave's Big Day from 1812's The Big Time, and Cafe? Dave from 1812's Another Big Time. He's appeared in the award-winning ensembles of 1812's Batboy and Suburban Love Songs, and Lantern Theater's Comedy of Errors. As an actor, he's appeared at the Arden Theatre, The Walnut Street Theatre, Delaware Theatre Company, InterAct, and Mum Puppettheatre in The Fantasticks (Barrymore Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical). Earlier in his career Dave studied with physical comedian great, Fred Garbo and Commedia dell' Arte Maestro Antonio Fava. He is the Artistic Director and a nineteen-year member of ComedySportz, the longest running show in Philadelphia.
Greg Nix (Performer): Greg has written for the last three iterations of This Is The Week That Is, as well as appeared in 1812's gala Eventa du Schmancy and several readings. Currently based in Los Angeles, his other Philly credits include Jeff Coon and Ben Dibble Must Die (Philly Fringe); Plaid Tidings, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (Walnut Street Theatre); and 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Theatre Horizon, Barrymore Award - Best Ensemble). The sketch comedy pilot he co-created, Los Jarochos, was recently featured in the New York Television Festival and the Independent Television Festival, where it won Best Writing. Visit www.gregnix.com and www.losjarochoscomedy.com.
Tony Braithwaite (Performer): Tony Braithwaite is the Artistic Director of Act II Playhouse in Ambler, where he most recently wrote and appeared in Didn't Your Father Have This Talk With You?, hosted Heeere's Tony! and played Saunders in Lend Me a Tenor. Tony has appeared with 1812 Productions many times since 1999, including many This Is The Weeks, many holiday shows, and Let's Pretend We're Married/Famous. Tony has also appeared with Arden Theatre Company, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Delaware Theatre Company, Hedgerow Theatre, Montgomery Theatre, and both the PA and Philadelphia Shakespeare Festivals, among others. Tony is a 13-time Barrymore Award nominee, a 4- time Barrymore M.C., and a 3-time Barrymore winner, including wins for The Big Bang and The Story of My Life (both at Act II). For 20 years Tony has also served as Director of Dramatics at his beloved alma mater St. Joe's Prep where he is currently producing their Night of Scenes. Next up: Let's Pretend We're Famous at Act II in January. www.tonybraithwaite.com.
Company History: 1812 Productions was founded in 1997 and is the only professional theater company in the country dedicated to comedy. Their education program, 1812 Outreach, has received multiple nominations and been awarded the Barrymore Award for Excellence in Theatre Education and Community Service. 1812 Productions is the recipient of an honorary citation from the City of Philadelphia for outstanding work and commitment to the Philadelphia arts community. In 2010, they were honored as one of only 10 theaters in the country to receive a National Theatre Company grant from the American Theatre Wing, founder of the Tony Awards. 1812 Productions, while continually on the search for a permanent home, continues to perform at various locations in Philadelphia.