Tuesday, July 17, 2018

"Only You" from "I'll Say She Is"

"I'll Say She Is," a 1924 Marx Brothers musical, never made it to the screen, except for a tantalizing routine that promoted their 1931 film, "Monkey Business."  Noah Diamond reconstructed the musical for a 2014 revival, and it was no small task - so many of the elements were missing, so much was pulled from previous Marxian vaudeville shows, and of course, there was profuse adlibbing.  His excellent book, Gimme a Thrill , details the show's origins and his subsequent detective work in rebuilding this lost Marx Brothers musical.

One of the songs, "Only You," by Will Johnstone (author of the musical's "book") and his brother Tom, was set to record in the pre-electric studios of the Victor Talking Machine company, and it showed up in my collection as a B-side to a Fred Waring recording of "June Night." 

It isn't a great tune, but it offers a sample of what was used as a buffer between scenes featuring Harpo, Chico, Groucho, and Zeppo Marx in 1924.


The book by Noah Diamond, Gimme a Thrill, however, is much more fun, and Amazon has it.  It's probably the best Marx Brothers book since Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Sometimes Zeppo by Joe Adamson. 

https://www.amazon.com/Gimme-Thrill-Story-Brothers-Musical/dp/1593939337/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1531881616&sr=8-1&keywords=gimme+a+thrill+noah+diamond

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Magic Show for July 13 2018


"Oh Fudge!" with GM and Dr. C

GM comes on stage, with cart.  Cart contains two stands, a wind up portable phonograph, and art supplies – pastel sticks, four cardboard sheets (black on one side, white on the other). 

GM goes off stage to bring in Dr. C.  Dr. C is apprehensive about being on stage.  He helps GM place the stands in front and winds up the phonograph.

GM produces a record from the turntable, which quickly reveals to be broken.  Dr. C plays the turntable, to the surprise of GM and Dr. C.  They take a Ta Daaaa! Credit for the trick. 

Dr. C’s task will be to keep the phonograph running during the presentation.

GM pulls up a cardboard sheet, and then a pastel stick.  He hands Dr. C a sheet as well.  They hand sheets back and forth to each other, with increasing speed, making what seems to be random marks on the sheets.

(The sheets are pre-cut to a template.  The first mark being made is along the pre-cut area.  Dr. C. will draw in the blank portion, GM will draw upon the portion with the faintly sketched lines)

As they complete a color and move to another, they put the used stick into a bag. 

First time, it goes through the bottom to the ground.

Second time, it goes through, but they have a metal bowl to catch it.  Ta-daah!

Third time, they flip the bag upside down, and the stick goes into the bag and stays there. Ta-daaaah!

GM uses the broken record as a knife to mime cutting the drawings along the pre cut template.

The drawings are torn apart at the cut, and are mis-arranged on the posts.

They are re-arranged to show Buster Bronco and the WMU logo at the bottom.

Ta Daahhhh!

After a considerable amount of editing.... it was trimmed to 6 minutes on stage, with this clip being the sole document, apparently!  Whew! 92 degrees of fun!