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Triple Espresso...A Highly Caffeinated Comedy is a vaudeville style comedy which opened in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1996 and enjoyed popular long-standing runs in Minneapolis and San Diego, California, (where it holds the record of longest continuously running show in San Diego), as well as short engagements elsewhere in six countries (the United States, Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Belgium, and Germany). The production in Belgium was the first foreign-language version of the show, playing in the city of Ghent, in Flemish. A second foreign language production in German has played in Munich and Berlin.
Vaudeville is a theatrical genre of variety entertainment born in France at the end of the 18th century. A vaudeville is a comedy without psychological or moral intentions, based on a comical situation. It was originally a kind of dramatic composition or light poetry, usually a comedy, interspersed with songs or ballets. It became popular in the United States and Canada from the early 1880s until the early 1930s, but the idea of vaudeville's theatre changed radically from its French antecedent.
In a modern sense, comedy refers to any discourse or work generally intended to be humorous or amusing by inducing laughter, especially in theatre, television, film, stand-up comedy, or any other medium of entertainment. The origins of the term are found in Ancient Greece. In the Athenian democracy, the public opinion of voters was influenced by the political satire performed by the comic poets at the theaters. The theatrical genre of Greek comedy can be described as a dramatic performance which pits two groups or societies against each other in an amusing agon or conflict. Northrop Frye depicted these two opposing sides as a "Society of Youth" and a "Society of the Old." A revised view characterizes the essential agon of comedy as a struggle between a relatively powerless youth and the societal conventions that pose obstacles to his hopes. In this struggle, the youth is understood to be constrained by his lack of social authority, and is left with little choice but to take recourse in ruses which engender very dramatic irony which provokes laughter.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Triple Espresso closed its permanent run in Minneapolis in April 2008, but has returned regularly for holiday season engagements since then. It is scheduled to return to Minneapolis November 23, 2016 and run through January 8, 2017 at the New Century Theatre.
The plot revolves around three show-biz has-beens: lounge singer Hugh Butternut, an exuberant musician with a vulnerable soul who has spent the past two and a half decades performing in a coffee bar; the titular Triple Espresso; Bobby Bean, an irrepressible, but not-too-sharp entertainer; and taciturn magician Buzz Maxwell; the group's straight man and the brains behind the unintentional comedy team within the show. The three gather on Hugh’s 25th anniversary at the coffeehouse to retell and memorialize their mediocre show-business careers, including a final disastrous performance on The Mike Douglas Show. The plot is designed to make room for a series of comedic sketches which showcase the talents of the three-man cast, originally the show’s writers: musician Michael Pearce Donley, humorist/physical comedianBob Stromberg and magician/comedian Bill Arnold. (Others are now trained in the roles, and casts rotate based on location and availability of actors.) Their talents include everything from music and magic to choreographed ape imitations and shadow puppets, and the bits occasionally involve the audience as well.
Magic, along with its subgenres of, and sometimes referred to as illusion, stage magic or close up magic is a performing art in which audiences are entertained by staged tricks or illusions of seemingly impossible feats using natural means. It is to be distinguished from paranormal magic which are effects claimed to be created through supernatural means. It is one of the oldest performing arts in the world.
The Mike Douglas Show was an American daytime television talk show that was hosted by Mike Douglas. Initially, it aired only in Cleveland during much of its first two years, followed by expansion to Philadelphia and nationwide. It went into syndication in 1963 and remained on television until 1981. It was distributed by Westinghouse Broadcasting, and for much of its run, originated from studios of two of the company's TV stations in Cleveland and Philadelphia.
Sketch comedy comprises a series of short comedy scenes or vignettes, called "sketches", commonly between one and ten minutes long. Such sketches are performed by a group of comic actors or comedians, either on stage or through an audio or visual medium such as radio and television. Often sketches are first improvised by the actors and written down based on the outcome of these improv sessions; however, such improvisation is not necessarily involved in sketch comedy.
Its run in Minneapolis at the Music Box was originally scheduled to end on April 12, 2008; however, it was extended until April 27, 2008. Original cast members Michael Pearce Donley and Bill Arnold performed the final show, with Brian Kelly playing the part of Bobby Bean.
Orson Bean is an American film, television, and stage actor, as well as a stand-up comedian, writer, and producer. He appeared frequently on televised game shows from the 1960s through the 1980s and was a long-time panelist on the television game show To Tell the Truth.
Michael John Nelson is an American comedian and writer, most known for his work on the cult television series Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K). Nelson was the head writer of the series for most of the show's original eleven-year run, and spent half of that time as the on-air host, also named Mike Nelson. In addition to writing books, Nelson is currently part of the online movie riffing sites RiffTrax and The Film Crew with fellow MST3K alumni, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy. He has written articles for Cracked.com.
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William Joseph Waddington, was an English music hall performer, actor, comedian and co-author who was born in Oldham, Lancashire. In later life he achieved stardom as the pompous ex serviceman Percy Sugden in Granada Television's long-running soap opera, Coronation Street.
Carl Ballantine was an American magician, comedian and actor. Billing himself as "The Great Ballantine", "The Amazing Ballantine" or "Ballantine: The World's Greatest Magician", his vaudeville-style comedy routine involved transparent or incompetent stage magic tricks, which tended to flop and go "hilariously awry" to the wisecracking Ballantine's mock chagrin. He has been credited with creating comedy magic and has influenced both comics and magicians.
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