The hunt is on for entertainers who can help revive vaudeville in Langley - at least for one day.
Society is often taught about the invention of movies and the silent film era. But before the advent of television and radio, between 1870 and roughly 1920s, vaudeville was the most popular form of entertainment in North America.
But today, little is known of the vaudevillian art form and Langley Centennial Museum staff plan to rectify that early in the new year, explained museum curator Jane Lemke.
The museum, located on King Street in Fort Langley, will be showcasing an exhibit next month called Voices of the Town: Vaudeville in Canada.
The lesson doesn't end with the exhibition, Lemke explained.
They've decided to also host a "theatre extravaganza" on Saturday, Feb. 23 offering people a real sampling of vaudeville.
While the event is a few months off, the deadline is Thursday, Dec. 20 for artists to apply to be part of the event.
The museum is seeking submissions from musicians, performers, and actors in the form of CD/DVDs from those who wish to participate in this unique show, Lemke said.
Family-oriented, vaudevill featured fast-paced variety sketches, comedy routines, songs, dance, acrobatics, amazing feats and unbelievable stunts, on stages across this country.
Some of Hollywood's greatest early actors began their careers on the vaudeville stage - Charlie Chaplin, the Marx Brothers, and Canadians Marie Dressler and Mary Pickford, to name a few.
"A visit to one of the opulent vaudeville theatres was often as exciting as the performances themselves," Lemke said.
"Not only was vaudeville entertaining but it created a family-friendly environment with clean jokes and happy storylines. Langley has always had an active arts community so providing a historical look at this artistic period of history only seemed like a natural fit!"
She describes the exhibit as a "wonderful opportunity" to introduce Langley to an era of history that is often unknown.
But the event is intended to recapture the spirit of the Roaring '20s when vaudeville was in its heyday.
"A diverse bill of acts will entertain one and all - something for everyone. Attendees are encouraged to dress-up and enter an age when an evening at the theatre was a family experience to celebrate," she said.
Any entertainers interested in participating can find applications online at www.langleymuseum.org.
All submissions must be in by 4: 30 p.m. on Dec. 20.
All submissions will be adjudicated by a selection committee and participants will be informed of the committee's decision before Jan. 8.
The selection committee will choose acts based on the quality of performance, originality, and historical suitability.
Selected acts will be compensated at a small performance fee per set plus a percentage of profits based on ticket sales.
In order to be eligible, performance sets must be between 15-20 minutes, have minimal set up and take down, and be family friendly.
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