Madame Vivesectovitch, the world's greatest knife thrower, asks a volunteer to hold a cigarette in his mouth, claiming she will cut the cigarette in half with her knife.
Can she do it? And why is her full-time assistant, Sylvester, no longer with her? And then there's the winning horse called "I Don’t Know," in a "Day at the Races" that sets the laughter in motion.
And there's always "The Doctor's Sketch" and a skit about money — or lack thereof — when it comes to Vaudeville routines.
All will be revealed in the award-winning East Lynne Theater Company's "Vaudeville Variety," created and directed by ELTC's artistic director Gayle Stahlhuth, assisted by James Rana. After producing five virtual events since the year began, this fun-filled evening of skits and songs, is produced live, outdoors, on Saturdays throughout the summer.
Mae Savell Croy, portrayed by Susan Tischler, is traveling the country in 1916, promoting her book, "Putnam's Household Handbook," giving such advise as "kerosine can clean anything, and it's good for the scalp, too!" She also discusses how to make gasoline soap, what to do with a baby when it cries, and why efficient housekeeping can give more time to attend suffrage rallies.
Joining Mrs. Croy are two vaudevillians, portrayed by Holly and Will Knapp, who perform the Vaudeville skits and sing such songs as "She Wore a Yellow Tulip," "Some of these Days," and "Under the Yum Yum Tree."
All three performers have worked for ELTC before, most recently in the company's virtual production of "Yuletide Tales" in 2020. Holly, a graduate of University of the Arts, has performed at a variety of South Jersey theaters in musicals including "Ragtime," "The Addams Family," and "Pippin." Will, who began playing professionally with the "Off Duty Super Heroes" in Philadelphia, currently plays and sings at various locations in Cape May, Wildwood and Avalon. Susan is ELTC's storyteller for "The Ghosts of Christmas Past Trolley Rides," produced by ELTC with Cape May MAC, and has performed in South Jersey for both ELTC and SPQR Theatre.
"Vaudeville Variety" is performed outside at West Cape May Borough Hall's "Back Yard," 732 Broadway. This is the same location where the Farmer's Market is held every Tuesday during the summer and there is plenty of parking.
Performances are on the following Saturdays at 7 p.m., with no intermission: June 12 and 26, July 10, 24, and 31, and Aug. 21 and 28. Sundays are the rain dates, but for those who can't make it on Sunday, tickets will be honored for another Saturday.
If a performance is rained out and there is no other day a patron can attend, tickets will be exchanged for another 2021 production, or refunded. Tickets are $25; $20 for students and military (active/retired/veteran), and ages 12 and under are free. ELTC strongly suggests that tickets be purchased in advance. If purchasing night of the performance, tickets must be paid for in cash. Season tickets from 2020 will also be honored.
Season tickets for 2021 are available for $90 for 4 tickets and must be purchased by June 30. They are flexible, allowing the purchaser to see 4 different shows, or use all 4 for one show, or any combination in between. Season tickets may be purchased online at EastLynneTheaterCompany.ticketleap.com or by calling ELTC at 609-884-5898.
"Tales in the Backyard" are every Thursdays at 4 p.m. from June 17 – Aug. 26, at a location that is revealed when making a reservation by calling 609-884-5898 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Performers use microphones and every week is a different story, speech, or one-act. The cost is $5 cash-at-the-door.
The first "Tales" was selected to honor Juneteenth, with Stephanie Garret reading selections from Alice Childress's "Just One of the Family." These wry, incisive stories about Black working women in Harlem in the 1950's, were so well received at last year's "Tales," that Stephanie is compiling new selections from the book for 2021.
ELTC adheres to all regulations set forth by the State of New Jersey to ensure a safe and enjoyable theater going experience for our patrons, staff, volunteers, and artists.
For the rest of the season, ELTC returns to its usual performance space, The Cape May Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes Street, for productions running September through December. To learn more about the shows, both outside and inside, visit EasLynneTheater.org.