Duck Soup Cinema featuring
The Three Ages starring Buster Keaton
Clyde Bruckman, Joseph Mitchell & Jean Havez
Edward F. Cline & Buster Keaton
Buster Keaton Margaret Leahy Wallace Beery Joe Roberts Lillian Lawrence Blanche Payson Kewpie Morgan Horace Morgan
The Boy The Girl The Villain The Girl’s Father The Girl’s Mother The Amazon The Emperor, Cave Man Roman Thug (AKA Kewpie Morgan)
GRAND BARTON ORGAN
Ace Willie and Doc the Rube in the lobby Alan “Mr. Tricks” Love Jacob Mills Wayne the Wizard SAT, FEB 26, 2011 | Capitol Theater
Bottled water and beverages in Overture Refillable Souvenir Cups are allowed in the theater during select performances. Purchase a souvenir cup for $3 plus the cost of your drink at any of the concession locations in the lobby, and bring it back next time for a refill.
Additional funding provided by Madison Stagehands and Projectionists Union, I.A.T.S.E Local 251, contributions to the Ovation Fund, and by members of the Duck Soup Club. Learn how you can support Duck Soup by becoming a member at overturecenter.com/contribute. Duck Soup Cinema | Overture Center 1
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PROGRAM Vaudeville Acts INTERMISSION Door Prizes The Three Ages
BUSTER KEATON The great Buster Keaton remains today one of the best comedic actors of all time. His influence on physical comedy is often compared to Charlie Chaplin. Like many silent film greats, much of his work was nearly forgotten for many years. But at the time of his death in 1966, a renewed interest in the comic genius of the vaudeville and silent film eras had brought the name Buster Keaton back into the public consciousness. His work as a performer and director is thought to be some of the most innovative and important work in the history of cinema. Born Joseph Francis Keaton in 1895 in Piqua, Kansas, he earned the nickname “Buster” after falling down a flight of stairs at the age of six months. At the bottom of the stairs, family friend Harry Houdini picked up the relatively unscathed infant and said Keaton could really take a “buster,” or fall. From that point on, he was known as Buster Keaton. His parents, who had a vaudeville act, incorporated him into their show when Buster was just three years old! As part of The Three Keatons, Buster was routinely thrown through windows and dropped down stairs. This rough-and-tumble vaudeville training was great preparation for the lightning fast slapstick comedy for which he later became famous during the silent film era. Buster’s trademark physical comedy, marked by his classic deadpan expression, earned him the nickname “The
Great Stone Face.” In 1917, Keaton moved to Hollywood where he met Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, one of the most famous comedy actors of that time. Arbuckle took Keaton under his wing, and helped him get a foothold in the movie community. Keaton regarded Arbuckle as not only a close friend, but as one of the greatest influences on his career. The deadpan humor and awesome acrobatics of the tall, thin Keaton were the perfect foil for the rotund Arbuckle’s clumsy antics, and the pair delighted silent filmgoers everywhere. It didn’t take long for Buster Keaton to make a name for himself. Most notably, audiences loved him for his stoic countenance, which he never failed to maintain despite compromising circumstances. The New York Times said of him, “In a film world that exaggerated everything, and in which every emotion was dramatized and elaborated, he remained impassive and solemn, his poker-face inscrutability suppressing all emotion.” It was not just Keaton’s acting, however, but his writing and directing that gained him the notoriety he enjoyed during the 1920s. And though his acrobatic talent thrilled audiences, the subtlety of his work left him trailing the more popular Chaplin and Harold Lloyd at the box office. In the 1930s, the studio took control of Buster Keaton’s films. At the time, the depth of his genius was not fully understood, and roles that highlighted only his Duck Soup Cinema | Overture Center 3
LOVE OF SILENT
Are you a silent film aficionado? Does the sound of the Capitol Theater’s Barton Organ signal the beginning of a fabulous evening of Duck Soup Cinema for you? Then join Overture’s Duck Soup Cinema Club, and help keep this community program healthy and affordable for all! Learn about the benefits of membership and make your donation online at overturecenter.com/contribute. You’ll have even more fun with Duck Soup and can take pride knowing that your generosity is part of how it all happens.
2010/11 Duck Soup Club Member List Current as of January 27, 2011
Cindy Ballard Daniel Becker R. Hannes Beinert Edwin Burington Julie D’Angelo Fern Delaney Robert N. Doornek Theodore Finn Kathy Gomes Terry Haller John & Nancy Hilliard
Bill & Marcia Holman Elaine Holub-Staupfli Dan & Debbie Jackson Larry Kneeland Rudy Lienau Tom & Joni Lownik Therese Maring Mike & June McCowan Irene Meyer Stanford & Bev Ninedorf Lisa Pfaff
Evan & Jane Pizer Diane Pollock Fred Pollock Don & Barb Sanford Joe & Jeanne Silverberg Jerry Spaude Tanner Spaude Robert & Marsha Steffen Katherine Vanderheiden Nicholas Wootton Eileen Zeiger
BUSTER KEATON con’t most basic talents were written for him. Like so many of the silent film greats, his career was almost completely derailed by the arrival of the talkies. Buster went on to write for the Marx Brothers as well as Red Skelton, making only a fraction of his former earnings. Sadly, he turned to alcohol, and during the ‘40s, did very little work that attracted notice. A revival of his
work started in the early ‘50s, when he did frequent television appearances. Buster Keaton died in 1966 at the age of 69 of lung cancer. Fortunately, the seemingly selfless composure he maintained throughout his six decades of performing has kept him regarded as among the greatest comedic talents ever. Keaton’s films are still among the funniest and most touching of all time.
THE THREE AGES trivia & fun facts n
The Three Ages was Keaton’s first feature film. He chose to construct it as a series of separate episodes so the film could be cut into individual shorts to be re-released on their own in case the feature was a failure. A widely-circulated error credits Oliver Hardy for this film. He was not in it. It was the similar-looking rotund comic Kewpie Morgan. Towards the end of the movie, the names Havez, Mitchell and Bruckman appear on the football roster; they were the co-writers of this film. The most famous stunt in the movie was actually built around a stunt that failed. Keaton intended to leap from a board projecting from one building onto the roof of another building, but he fell short, smashing into the brick wall and falling into a net off-screen. He was injured and laid up for three days. When he saw the film (his camera crew were instructed to always keep filming), he not only kept the mishap, he built on it, adding the fall through three awnings, the loose downspout that propelled him into the firehouse and the slide down the fire pole.
THE THREE AGES watch for these goofs n
In the medium shot of the Stone Age soothsayer scene, Buster’s hands are resting together near the side of the turtle. But in the cut to a close-up, we see only a hand double’s right hand, and it’s directly in front of the turtle’s mouth. (It’s clearly a hand double, since Keaton was missing his right index finger tip.) As Buster is driving to Margaret’s house, his porkpie hat is battered. But when he arrives, it’s fresh and undamaged, and looks brand-new. The water level in Buster’s carafe fluctuates. He nearly drains it, then in the next shot, it’s half full. In the modern section, the newspaper announcement of the wedding varies. The first time it is seen it has five lines of text, but the next time it only has four. Duck Soup Cinema | Overture Center 5
GRAND BARTON ORGAN con’t Like all grand movie theaters built during the Silent Film Era, the Capitol Theater had a pipe organ that allowed a single musician to fill the theater with music while movies were being shown. Overture Center’s organ is a Barton, manufactured by the Bartola Musical Instrument Company in Oshkosh. It is believed to be the oldest Barton in Wisconsin, and the only one in the state remaining in its original location and condition. The instrument is such a rare gem that in 1990 it was honored by the Organ Historical Society as “an instrument of exceptional merit,” the first time a theater organ had been so recognized by the society, which typically reserves such honors for the grand pipe organs found in churches. Hollywood had premiered the first “talkie,” the year before the Capitol Theater opened, but it took a while for sound films to catch on, and the Barton got a lot of use in the early years of the Capitol Theater. As sound films became popular, the organ was used for sing-alongs and pre-feature entertainment, but as film showings lost their pageantry, this role diminished. The gold and red horseshoe-shaped console is the most visible part of the instrument, but the organ’s sound comes from 1,034 pipes hidden in chambers on either side of the stage. The large illuminated console and its 141 stop keys and three manuals is usually located at house right. At one
time, it was on its own elevator in the orchestra pit. It was moved to make space for the many large-scale productions staged in the theater. A seven and one half horsepower blower in the basement of the theater powers the organ and the massive electrical switching system is sealed in a special room high in the building. This electrical relay is so large that it was put in place before the theater was finished in 1928 and could only be removed with considerable demolition of the building. The smallest pipes, which produce the high notes, are the size of a soda straw, and the largest are 16 feet tall and 18 inches in diameter. The pipes that produce the deepest notes are eight feet high and about 24 inches square, made of thick, knotless pine slabs. Like any wind instrument, the sound comes from air passing through the pipes, but the wind is supplied by a seven-horsepower air pump, rather than a musician’s breath. The pipes are divided into fourteen ranks, or sets, that mimic the instruments of an orchestra. In addition, a “toy counter” offers special sounds like a chirping bird, auto horn, sleigh bells and percussive effects. An important part of keeping the organ in top condition is regular use. Overture Center continues to use the organ as part of the center’s Duck Soup Cinema series.
DeWitt, Ross & Stevens
OveRtuRe GalleRieS 6 Overture Center | Duck Soup Cinema
CLARK WILSON Clark Wilson is one of the most prominent and recognized scorers of silent photoplays in America today. He works exclusively with the organ in developing accurate and historic musical accompaniments as they were performed in major picture palaces during the heyday of the silent film. Clark was personally influenced by, and subsequently became close friends with Chicago organist John Muri, who was an original master of picture accompaniment and practiced his art well into the 1980s. His (and Wilson’s) historic style was that of utilizing fine music as a basis for developing a score of musical value. If the original score is no longer extant, a new one is prepared from the organist’s library and is normally transferred to a cue sheet — somewhat of a “road map” of suggested themes and notated screen actions which keep the organist fully on course. The development of themes in serious pictures is obtained exclusively in this way, and it must be considered the truest way to properly underscore screen action. Nothing is left to chance and wholesale improvisation is not relied upon. Further, the musical style of the time remains intact; no attempt is made to distract from the picture by using themes or styles that entered the musical scene years later. Most important of all, the film remains the focus and star of the performance. Wilson began his scoring career in 1980 and has successfully toured North America with hundreds of film presentations at schools and universities, performing arts centers, theatres, film festivals and conventions. His work has led to performances for the Chautauqua Institution, Cinequest and San Francisco film festivals, the Los Angeles Conservancy, the Packard Foundation’s Stanford Theatre film series, the Atlanta premier of the restored “Metropolis”,
and annual presentations for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Society at the Walt Disney Concert Hall organ. He is the organist of choice for many of the American Theatre Organ Society’s international convention silent film presentations, and he has scored pictures for Kino International for public DVD release. His performances have received the highest marks from colleagues and professionals, one commenting that his was “the finest use of a theatre pipe organ that I have ever heard.” Clark has been organ conservator and Resident Organist at the Ohio Theatre for the Columbus Associate for the Performing Arts since 1992 and is responsible for all music during the annual classic movie series, which also features one or more major silent films each season. In addition, he has led courses in theatre organ styling and silent film accompaniment at the Indiana University School of Music, and he is heavily involved in the development of a similar degreed program at the University of Oklahoma, the first such program to exist since 1929. Wilson has been named in numerous Who’s Who and Men of Achievement editions and was presented with the ATOS Organist of the Year award in 1998. An acclaimed organ technician and consultant, he has also been professionally involved with over 200 pipe organ installations to date and has earned the ATOS Technician of Merit award, the only person to receive both ATOS distinctions.
Duck Soup Cinema | Overture Center 7
JOE THOMPSON Joe Thompson has appeared on Madison stages countless times (plus one if you count tonight). He made his theatrical debut at the age of 9 with the Racine Theater Guild and thanks his mom and dad for always remembering to take him home after rehearsal. His current activities include oregoni (the art of folding paper into the shapes
resembling Oregon), making jello salads, and strenuous daily oral hygiene. He is a member of Madison’s sketch comedy troupe “The Prom Committee” and co-author of Fatherhood, The Musical with Phil Martin. He is the proud father of two and the lucky husband of one.
VAUDEVILLE Ace Willie Ace Willie, a.k.a., William Litzler has been performing in the Midwest for 40 years in venues ranging from Cub Scout banquets to corporate events. Ace was bitten by the magic bug after attending a magic show sponsored by The Houdini Club of Wisconsin in 1969. (He subsequently has shared the stage with every performer on that program.) In the 1980s, Ace Willie further developed his comedy style as a regular performer at The Comedy Cellar, Madison’s first comedy club. Once, at the Comedy Cellar, Ace alerted management of an underage performer and had that teenager removed from the club. The teenager was Chris Farley! Ace Willie is also a dealer in rare and vintage magic. He as been a leading seller in eBay’s Magic Community since 1999. Currently Ace Willie and his wife Debbie are popular performers for family events sponsored by corporations, country clubs and area communities. Visit www.acewillie.com.
His secular clowning has involved doing walk around entertainment and clown stage shows with his clown partners. He performed at the Clown Hall of Fame, the Kids Expo and in the Great Circus Parade in Milwaukee sponsored by the Circus World Museum. Doc has taught clown classes at several regional workshops and at a national Clown Impact Conference.
Jacob Mills Jacob Mills is a professional actor, physical comedian and educator. He studied theater at Cabrillo College in California, the Goodman School of Drama at the Art Institute in Chicago, and is a graduate of the Hayes-Marshall School of Theatre in Portland, Oregon. In Santa Cruz, California in the mid 70s, he founded ‘THE’ ,Theatre Harmony Ensemble, with actor Michael Pappalardo. In the late 70s he co-founded the Chicagobased ‘Last Chance Circuz’ Mask Clown and Commedia theater. Mills has been featured in venues Doc the Rube in the US and Europe. He can be seen Jim “Doc the Rube” Carter has a and heard on local and regional TV Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine and and radio spots. Locally he has pera PhD in Veterinary Pathology from the formed with Cycropia Aerial Dance, Veterinary College at Kansas State Cherry Pop Burlesque and Chicago’s University. He began clowning around Zyngara New World Circus. with the Aldersgate Clowns in Olathe, Since 1981 he has performed with Kansas in 1980. When he moved to Nina Cheney as Cheney and Mills. In Wisconsin he started the Asbury Clowns 2001, he teamed up with dancer, aeriat Asbury United Methodist Church. alist and stilt walker Marcia Miquelon 8 Overture Center | Duck Soup Cinema
An American Girl’s Fund for Children Family Series Event
Perô, or the
Mysteries of the Night
SUN, MAY 1, 3 PM
$18 | Capitol Theater This tender tale has only gotten richer since its beginnings centuries ago in the storied tradition of Italian Commedia dell’arte. She does laundry by day; he bakes by night. Will they ever find true love? Find out in this charming musical adaptation from the Netherlands that blends artistry, creativity and a European sensibility to create what ParentMap calls “sparkling, tour-de-force theater.”
A ProVIDEO Comedy & Theater Series Event
SAT, APR 30, 7 pm
$26 – $34 | Capitol Theater
This tender, loving, life-affirming Tonynominated one man show celebrates the life and career of George Burns, played by Alan Safier, as he finds himself caught between this world and the next, unable to join his beloved Gracie until he summons one last command performance. “You’ll be in heaven yourself, at least for an hour and a half.” — New York Times
VAUDEVILLE to create the Wild Rumpus Circus day camps in Mazomanie. Hundreds of kids have clowned, stilt walked, trapezed, juggled and tumbled their way through their program. In 2009, they began touring in the Middle East and Germany. Alan “Mr. Tricks” Tilove A comedian at heart, Mr. Tricks has more than 25 years of experience as a juggler! He’s performed at the Taste of Madison, Kids in the Rotunda, company picnics, Firstar Eve, restaurants, grand opening celebrations and much more! He juggles everything from hats and balls to rings and clubs. Mr. Tricks is a perennial favorite at Duck Soup Cinema, Overture’s popular silent film series.
Wayne the Wizard Wayne the Wizard has amazed audiences of all ages throughout Wisconsin for over 25 years. This astonishing magician performs his dazzling array of illusions for a wide variety of events. Wayne is also an accomplished ventriloquist and has a number of different characters to fit any occasion. Putting a lot of comedy into every routine, Wayne performs every style of magic and related arts. He has larger illusions, stage and close-up magic. Serious about his craft, he belongs to a number of professional magic organizations, including: The International Brotherhood of Magicians, The Society of American Magicians, The North American Association of Ventriloquists and The Houdini Club of Wisconsin.
contribute to the Rae Atira-Soncea Accessibility Fund
Call 608.258.4442 or visit overturecenter.com/ contribute/annual-giving/direct-support.
overturecenter.com Duck Soup Cinema | Overture Center 11
PATRON SERVICES AND INFORMATION
Welcome to Overture Center for the Arts
Your enjoyment is important to us. Please contact an usher or the ticket office if you have any concerns about your experience here. ORDERING & INFORMATION Order online! overturecenter.com Phone orders: Call 608.258.4141 Mail or fax: online order form at overturecenter.com or in our magazine. Buy in person: Visit the ticket office located on the main floor just off the Rotunda Lobby. Ticket office hours: Mon–Fri, 11 am–5:30 pm; Sat, 11 am–2 pm; open additional hours evenings and Sundays on days of ticketed performances. Group orders: Groups of 15 or more receive a discount on most performances. Call 608.258.4159 to make reservations. Visit overturecenter.com: For a calendar of events, links to artists’ websites, video, audio, directions, parking and much more. PATRON SERVICES & POLICIES Accessibility: Request accommodations when ordering your tickets. Call 608.258.4144 for information, questions, or to request the following: n
wheelchair-accessible seating house wheelchair for transport n sign language interpretation n Braille playbill n other accommodations n
Etiquette Please turn off all paging devices, cell phones and watch alarms. Smoking is prohibited in Overture. The use of cameras or tape recorders in the theaters is prohibited without written permission from Overture Center and the performing company’s management. Food, large bags and other large items are not permitted in the theaters. Bottled water and beverages in Overture Refillable Souvenir Cups are allowed in the theaters at select shows. In consideration of audience members with scent sensitivities and allergies, please use perfumes, aftershaves and other fragrances in moderation. Event Staff Stagehand services in Overture are provided by members of Local 251 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. Volunteer usher and other services for Overture are provided by Overture Friends. For information, visit overturecenter.com/ contribute/volunteer or call 608.258.4177. RESIDENT ORGANIZATIONS Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society bachdancinganddynamite.org | 608.255.9866
Information is also available at overturecenter.com/tickets/accessibility
Children’s Theater of Madison ctmtheater.org | 608.255.2080
Children and lap seating: Every person, regardless of age, must have a ticket to enter the theaters for performances. Children under the age of 6 are not permitted at certain performances. See our season brochure, visit our website or call the Help Line at 608.258.4143 for information.
Li Chiao-Ping Dance lichiaopingdance.org | 608.835.6590
Kanopy Dance Company kanopydance.org | 608.255.2211
Madison Ballet madisonballet.org | 608.278.7990
Contacting a patron during a performance: Call 608.258.4179 with the performance the patron is attending and his/ her row and seat number.
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art mmoca.org | 608.257.0158
Lost and Found: Visit the information desk in the Rotunda Lobby or call 608.258.4973.
Madison Symphony Orchestra madisonsymphony.org | 608.257.3734
Rentals: For information on renting spaces in Overture Center for weddings, performances, meetings or other events, call 608.258.4163 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wisconsin Academy’s James Watrous Gallery wisconsinacademy.org | 608.265.2500
12 Overture Center | Duck Soup Cinema
Madison Opera madisonopera.org |608.238.8085
Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra wcoconcerts.org | 608.257.0638