SALT LAKE CITY — Over the past year or so, it feels like I’ve seen a million online performances. Scixxy’s Greater Shows’ Gonzo Rising: All-Weirdo Revue at the Alliance Theater is the first online performance that I truly wished I could have been in the live audience for—not because the livestream was bad, but because the live audience looked like so so so much fun. The show, available both in person and streaming on Twitch, is a series of variety acts performed by fantastic weirdo artists.
Sam Rust, Utah Theatre Bloggers
I am inclined to agree with every word of this glowing appraisal. It was (and is) an amazing performance by all involved, including the venue itself, Alliance Theater in Salt Lake City. The livestream turned out professional and fun, the show itself was one of our strongest to date, and the audience are all now fast fans.
Well done, Gonzo Rising family. Well done.
As I mentioned at the beginning, I really wish I could have seen this performance live, not only because it looked like such a great environment, but also because they mentioned that there were otter pops in the lobby afterwards.
In short, it’s a return to vaudeville, a type of stage show that was popular 100 years ago. Modern talent struts and frets on the stage. Vaudeville Revival is distinct from New Vaudeville, which was a movement that sort of petered out in the 90s.
Vaudeville Revival includes a lot of burlesque, comedy, music, and a particular appreciation for “weirdo” acts, acts in the style of The Great Gonzo. Weird stuff, leaving the audience whether or not to laugh. Past weirdo acts from the Gonzo Rising series of shows include some dissipated clowns, gender-bending poetry, ballet-dancing dinosaurs, alien opera. You know, the good stuff.
And Vaudeville Revival also stands as a force against the homogenization of stage variety shows. Newcomers, LGBT performers, performers of all races, cultures and body types are welcome!
And vaudeville, of course, always has this benefit for theater-goers: if you don’t like the current act, wait 10 minutes and something totally different will appear!
Here in Salt Lake City (and virtually), look forward to some Vaudeville Revival out of the Alliance Theater, with some old Gonzo stars, puppets, edgy burlesquers, improv comics, clowns, and possibly a real, old-school revivalist.