NEWPORT — “It’s Vaudeville,” a turn of the century (18th to 19th century, that is) variety entertainment, will be performed under the direction of Wally D. Borgen at the Newport Opera House on Main Street in Newport on Saturday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. The Vaudeville Troupe, which has been together since 2007 performing throughout New Hampshire, donates its time and talents to support nonprofit organizations. This performance will be supporting “Road To Independence” (RTI) a 501©3 nonprofit organization founded in 2011. Operated largely on a volunteer basis, RTI focuses on establishing and strengthening life skills for individuals who face daily physical and cognitive challenges. The programs offer new opportunities for these individuals to gain self-esteem, confidence and independence in their everyday lives within their communities.
The pre-vocational programs include non-riding equine learning, horticulture, agriculture, baking, retail and community interactions. Participants in these programs, learn better communication skills, teamwork, increased fine and gross motor skills resulting in improved behavior, respect for other individuals, increase in self-confidence, self-esteem, and the potential for increased involvement within their communities. RTI measures the program’s success by the way participants demonstrate their skills and knowledge in the program as well as with their peers, families and community. We have seen timid individuals proudly demonstrate their donkey handling skills to the public. When we travel to area Care Centers, we witness the joy participants experience as he or she shifts to be the Handler and teaches a resident how to brush the donkey and discusses the individual animal. At the bakery, a participant greets a customer with a tray full of cookies stating, “I just made these and they are great!”
Vaudeville features “family friendly” entertainment. From the late 1800s to the Roaring 20s, Vaudeville was performed in Grange Halls, Town Halls, and small theaters throughout the country. Vaudeville was a purely American variety performance growing to enormous popularity and traveling the countryside offering programs of comedy, music, juggling and other novelties and opened theaters in the growing urban hubs.
The founders of Vaudeville established a “fixed policy of cleanliness and order.” The use of vulgarity or coarse material was not acceptable “so that the house and the entertainment would directly appeal to the support of women and children….” Our Vaudeville Show might not quite meet those strict standards, but kids of all ages will enjoy the show.
Sutton, Georges Mills, and Sunapee, were well known as summer retreats for Vaudevillians. The performers created new acts and tried them out on those lucky folks who were summering at the boarding houses and hotels on the lake. Our Vaudeville Troupe brings back people who got started in Vaudeville like Groucho Marx, George Burns and Gracie Allen. Singers, magicians, dancers, comedians, animal acts and more provide will provide an evening of laughter and smiles.
For more information go to RTI website at www.rti-aurora.org.
Tickets can be purchased at the Newport Opera House, Aurora Bakery (next to Harrington’s Jewelry Store in Newport, and RTI Farmers Market Booth in Newport on Friday afternoons.
Submitted by the Laudeville Troupe