Monday, November 1, 2010

Levi & Cohen, the Irish Comedians [1903]

Opens on a vaudeville or variety stage with a flat painted curtain of a stone fence and garden. On the right side of the stage sits a sign that reads "Zuzu Daffy, Singing Soubret." A boy in an usher's uniform crosses the stage and replaces the sign with one that reads "Levi and Cohen, Irish Comedians." The boy exits, and the curtain rises to reveal a painted backdrop of a pharmacy storefront. Two men strut onto the stage; one in a black beard, black coat with tails, light-colored pants, and a black top hat, and the other with a bald pate and large nose, dressed in a dark coat and vest, plaid pants, and a bowler, and carrying a cane. The pair go into their act, which seems to consist of the bearded man repeatedly knocking the bowler off the head of his partner while enthusiastically telling a joke or story. The unfortunate man finally has enough, and jumps his bearded friend. The "audience" of this act are apparently displeased with the performance, and two men sitting between the camera and the stage stand up and begin pelting the comedians with eggs or vegetables. While Levi and Cohen try to shield themselves from the barrage, both of them--as well as the set--are soon splattered with stains.

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