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No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous

“My favorite guilty pleasure is show biz books. This one is the best.”
----- Bette Midler, People Magazine

“A book that sharpens the mind and stirs the heart…The writing is as snappy as these troupers and headliners deserve. And the scholarship is high-class.
--Margo Jefferson, New York Times

“Describes with infectious relish such acts as a banjo-playing Shakespeare reciter, a one-legged tap dancer, a man who wrote backward, a comic lecturer on human anatomy, a drag trapeze artist, and The Vagges—World Famous Bag Punchers.”
--Briefly Noted, The New Yorker

“Exuberant…Trav S.D. makes grand claims for vaudeville…His well-researched excursions into vaudeville’s prehistory, and his arguments for its influential role in American culture, make his book something more than a fast-moving tour of popular entertainment and long-forgotten stars…By turns shrewd and amusing.”
--William Grimes, New York Times

“Full of droll anecdotes, old-time showmanship and an intense love for a 100-year-old movement that the author claims never completely died…[Trav S.D.’s] admiration for these performers is infectious, and he follows through with compelling analyses of how vaudeville continues to influence contemporary pop culture.”
--Raven Snook, Time Out New York

“Almost a vaudeville show unto itself…Open a single chapter of No Applause and you’ll get a great snapshot of the industry at that time…An ode to the tenacity, the freaks, the slapstick, and yes, the art form that was responsible for entertainment today as we know it.”
--Rachel Shindelman, Time Out Chicago

“Never dull, Trav S.D. includes enlightening tidbits that put vaudeville’s history into context for a 21st century audience…an entertaining read.”
--Vickey Kalambakal, Variety

“Traces vaudeville’s roots back to Dionysian rites, dropping fascinating bits along the way…[A] spirited tribute.”
--Tim Purtell, Entertainment Weekly

“Much has been written about the American institution of vaudeville, but readers would be hard-pressed to find an account as humorous and sharp as writer and performer
Trav S.D.’s tasty chronicle…A well-researched, riotous book.”
--Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)

“Thorough and thoroughly entertaining…One of the year’s best historical performing arts texts; a wonderful story wonderfully told.”
--Barry X. Miller, Library Journal (starred review)

“Both performer and theatre historian, [Trav S.D.] knows of what he speaks. His rich, well-researched history of American vaudeville from its roots in the 1880s onward is a rare enough feat made all the more startling by the wit, zest and fresh eyes [he] brings to the subject.”
--Jack Helbig, Booklist (starred review)

“An astonishing work of vaudeville itself”
--Kirkus Reviews

“Trav S.D. is a man of many talents”
--Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post

No Applause, like many an old headliner, is a bit over the top. But its spirit is admirably defensive and quite possibly accurate: ‘Vaudeville is the life spirit itself, our very humanity. The day vaudeville flatlines is the day you can also write the epitaph of the human race.”
--Stefan Kanfer, Wall Street Journal

“Worthy of both the applause and the money,”
--Stuart Miller, New York Theatre News

“An affectionate, clear-eyed and comprehensive history of vaudeville…Brings style, sass and scholarship to bear on the boisterous world of variety.
--Kevin Riordan, Courier-Post


American Vaudeville Theatre

"Travis is a scholar of burlesque. His act is an erudite evocation of the sonorus, ornate monologues of W.C. Fields or Fred Allen."
--Adam Gopnick, the New Yorker

"What could be more fun than a trip to the American Vaudeville Theatre?"
--Laurel Graeber, New York Times

"Infectious low-rent fun"
--Alex Soloski, Village Voice

"...vaudeville is alive and I witnessed its resurrection at the American Vaudeville Theatre."
--Justin Roman, Newsday  

"Remember the good ol' days when comedians, musicians, circus artists, actors and exhibitionist weirdos shared the same bill? Well, thanks to AVT, those days are back with a vengeance."
-- Time Out New York

"For about the price of a movie, it's one of the best entertainment deals in town."
--Marc Miller, New York Today , ( New York Times ' Web Site)

"Vaudeville's back -- in a wacky, seat-of-the-pants version created by Trav S.D. and Mountebanks"
-- Where Magazine

"Variety at its finest ... excellent for those suffering from attention deficit disorder."
--Elizabeth Goodman, Time Out New York

"...marvelously marginal and uncannily contemporary ..."
--Simi Horowitz, Backstage

"Trav S.D. is a one-man arcade with one of downtown's most eclectic variety shows."
--John Devore, Theatermania


Willy Nilly: A Musical Exploitation of the Most Far-Out Cult Murders of the Psychedelic Era

“A taste-challenged parody of Helter Skelter from the cracked brain of neo-vaudevillian Trav S.D….a brazen hodgepodge of the Living Theatre, Alice in Wonderland and Rowan and Martin’s  Laugh-In”
-- Rob Weinert-Kendt, American Theatre

“A tastily eccentric psychedelicatessen”!
-- Michael Musto, Village Voice

“Wonderfully bizarre. Cartoonish camp, high- and low-brow collisions, and anarchic flights of fancy…takes a potentially tasteless premise and makes it sing and dance”!
-- Raven Snook, Time Out New York

“…[the creators] transposed the reality with real cleverness and I loved the Willy Nilly anthem. Kind of brilliant.”
--David Rakoff, NPR’s This American Life                              

“Enough gyrating skin to satisfy any theatrical voyeur.”
-- Jason Zinoman, New York Times ArtsBeat Bloig

“I had a blast! Helluva way to stumble home at the end of a 13 hour theatre binge; exhausted, sweaty and very, very happy. The laughs and inventiveness were very much appreciated.”
--Mike Cohen, Office of the Music Theatre Initiative, The Public Theater   

“Taking a chance on one of the five million new shows performed during the Fringe Festival is like Russian Roulette with five bullets. And yet, when that chamber’s empty, the experience can be immensely rewarding. What to do? We’re going to go with Piper Mckenzie’s Willy Nilly.”
--The Gothamist         

“Merry Prankster-ish fun. With its enthusiastic castsporting over-the-top hippie-wear,colorful set that makes the most of minimalism, rockin’ musical numbers [and] exuberantly executed chorography, Willy Nilly moves as fast as itspscho guru lead does in assembling his Manson-like Tribe”
--TheaterOnline      

“We suspect it’ll be this year’s breakout hit.”
--Metromix

“Trav S.D.’s hilarious musical send-up of Charles Manson and the events leading up to the gruesome murders that shocked 1960’s America is given an outstanding production, directed by Jeff Lewonczyk.”
--Off-Off Blogway         

“The manic rants, stoned slapstick, prehistoric hipsterism and period-pastiche score make this the most hilarious show about brainwashing and ritual slaughter you may see all month.”
--ComicCritique Blog        

“I think this show has hit potential in the cult/late night Off Broadway scene and I hope it gets the chance. It is wild, free wheeling and a little “off” in a good way.”
--Fusion on the Fly


House of Trash

"Burlesque, pure and simple, in the grand comic tradition of Plautus, Goldoni, and Weber & Fields: a rowdy, raucous, profane cartoon of a show--with the blessed ring of truth simmering just beneath the surface.
--Martin Denton, NYTheatre.com

"More fun than a Jerry Springer marathon, variety-show host and downtown institution Trav S.D.'s first full-length production is a grab bag of sharp socio-political musings and chicken-fried melodies, with Coors Lite references to boot."
--John Devore, Theatermania

"Trav S.D. is undeniably an artist of intellect, talent and -- believe it or not -- taste ... in the best tradition of theatre the most explosive material on stage [in House of Trash ] is language; Trav S.D.'s gift for really extravagant imagery is prodigious. As an actor and a writer, he's the genuine article -- a true man of the theatre."
--Martin Denton, NYTheatre.com

"As a writer, Trav S.D.has a gift for dialogue and creative twists. His comic sense and the sheer weirdness of the script combine to produce hilarity ... House of Trash 's characters are delightfully over the top."
--James Thompson, Columbia Daily Spectator


The Dorothy Building


“A fascinating blend of Ionescian absurdism with hardcore sci-fi...funny and spooky and always off-kilter” – Martin Denton, NYTheatre.com
“a campy, sci-fi rhapsody…” – Gwen Orel, Backstage


Nihils: The Negation of Everything


“Trav S.D. is hilarious…he makes every moment interesting, funny, and dismantling. Don’t miss this show.” – Richard Hinojosa, NYTheatre.com



Misshapen Jack, The Nebraska Hunchback


"Hilarious, deranged, poetic"
--Laurie Stone, Village Voice

"Trav S.D. can turn a phrase like a freak show Raymond Chandler"
--John Devore, Propaganda

 

 

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