The Return of Vaudeville

There are, it turns out, some very potent reasons why several long-time honored forms of entertainment and theatre  are making a solid comeback. It has everything to do with our time here in the 21st century.


Though  storytelling has been around since the dawn of man, it is experiencing a boom right now. As for vaudeville, this form fits perfectly into our times, with its short bursts of entertainment. Even the “variety show” type offering is fun again. What’s going on? The Affable Gentlemen, made up loosely of Jason Potter, Hamilton Barrett, and Brianna Barrett in this go-round, offer up some thoughtful insight.


From L-R: Jason, Brianna, Hamilton

Brianna says storytelling is about making connections, that everyone wants to be known. As for vaudeville, when you follow it historically, it was invented as a refreshment for a population scattered around the countryside. Then, with the advent of film, theatre houses emptied and were replaced by screens. And now, of course, we are living in the digital age of those short attention spans. Our attention, Youtube’d for those short bursts. Who knows what the next shift will be.

I have happily discovered that performers like Miz Kitty’s Parlour and Vagabond Opera have been at it for many years with the sort of entertainment that seeks to “tickle and entertain”. Perfect for our present-day culture with its inability to sit still and focus for very long before moving on to the next thing that might grab our attention. This is “charm-seeking” entertainment and fun!




And now it’s  time to enjoy the revival of whimsy, refreshment and pure enjoyment of The New Vaudeville with The Affable Gentlemen during Portland’s Fertile Ground Festival. Link up after the podcast, below.




Elaborate Alibi presents

The New Vaudeville

A collaboration between Elaborate Alibi & The Affable Gentlemen

Festival Dates: Jan 30, 31 @ 8pm


Clinton Street Theater

2522 SE Clinton St.

Tickets: $12

Purchase tickets:

Join the Affable Gentlemen for a sidesplitting and heartwarming night of music, stories and good ol’ fashioned fun. Each show will feature five storytellers, as well as several performances from the Pacific Northwest’s most talented, distinguished and the bizarre. After a successful year as one of Portland’s favorite underground storytelling outfits, the Affable Gentlemen are going public with this thrilling two-night extravaganza. Produced by Elaborate Alibi (Fertile Ground 2015’s 36 Perfectly Appropriate Mealtime Conversations#BadDecisions), this show combines the rising young company’s commitment to boundary pushing content with classic vaudevillian flavor.


Special guests include The Famous Haydell Sisters, Vagabond Opera, Trashcan Joe, and Renee Muzquiz.

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About Inessa

A skipping stone from Portland, to Michigan, New York City, and back to Portland. It was theatre and dance worlds in Manhattan. And here in Portland, total immersion into the radio broadcasting world, more dance, theatre, art and endless music.

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