Jolson: A New Vaudeville
Book by James Racheff and Ted Kociolek
Based upon an idea by John Sannuto
Arrangements and Continuity by Ted Kociolek
JOLSON: A NEW VAUDEVILLE presents the life and times of Al Jolson in vaudeville format, using songs that were made famous by or associated with him. From skits and comic routines to silent movies and minstrel shows, the show illustrates Jolie's connection to his times—his immigrant beginnings and rise to super-stardom, his personal failings and private pain and his ultimate fade into caricature. It gives insight into the life of a man who grew up in vaudeville, lived it, eclipsed it, and was more than partly responsible for its demise. JOLSON: A NEW VAUDEVILLE establishes both a context and a modern relevance for a man who was surprisingly far-sighted and innovative—a man who was once considered "The World's Greatest Entertainer," even by his fiercest show business rivals.
Cast of 4 (1 Woman, 2 Men, 1 Pianist)
"Happily, JOLSON: A NEW VAUDEVILLE doesn't shy away from the most controversial part of Jolson's career — his use of blackface. Rather Racheff and Kociolek have chosen to place Jolson's "coon songs" in their proper historical prospective. Some people may have a problem with this. But whatever your opinion, JOLSON: A NEW VAUDEVILLE will certainly give you something to think about while you're humming one of the many tunes you just can't seem to get out of your head." Paulanne Simmons (Flavorpill NYC, 4/18/03)