New Old Time Chautauqua returns to Palindrome Dec. 10-11

Leader Staff, arts@ptleader.com
Posted 12/6/16

The second annual New Old Time Chautauqua (NOTC) Holiday Benefit Show brings a smorgasbord of holiday cheer, comedy, tales, magic, music and fun to Port Townsend’s Palindrome this weekend.

“If …

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New Old Time Chautauqua returns to Palindrome Dec. 10-11

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The second annual New Old Time Chautauqua (NOTC) Holiday Benefit Show brings a smorgasbord of holiday cheer, comedy, tales, magic, music and fun to Port Townsend’s Palindrome this weekend.

“If you want to have a load of fun before the holidays, this is the show for you,” said Paul Magid, a founder of NOTC and of the Flying Karamazov Brothers, a troupe of vaudevillians and jugglers and one of the show’s many acts.

“Last year was just so fun,” said Magid of the NOTC’s first holiday show in 2015. So the group decided to put on another one to benefit upcoming tours and projects.

The family-friendly, vaudeville-style show is presented on two days: a 7 p.m. show on Saturday, Dec. 10, followed by a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, Dec. 11. Both events take place at The Palindrome, 1893 Jacob Miller Road.

“The Palindrome also has so much meaning for us and Port Townsend in general,” said Magid of the venue the Flying Karamazov Brothers purchased and remodeled in 1986.

“As far as Port Townsend goes, it’s definitely a unique event,” said Magid, one that you “won’t be seeing until you come back next year.”

A TRIBUTE

In addition to being a benefit for the New Old Time Chautauqua, the group’s holiday event this year is also a tribute to Sam Williams, a Flying Karamazov Brothers member who was scheduled to perform at the show, and whose face appears on the promotional poster under the name “Smerdyakov.”

Williams, a King County Metro Transit driver, suffered a fatal heart attack Thursday, Nov. 17 while he was driving a bus in Seattle.

“It was his last scheduled gig,” said Magid, who added that group members plan to revive an old number he wrote at the concert in honor of their friend.

In addition to the Flying Karamazov Brothers, scheduled acts at this weekend’s show include Nanda, Port Townsend’s “acrobaticalists”; Godfrey Daniels, the 8-foot-tall quiet clown; Northwest poet Kevin Murphy, whom Magid called “an astounding poet”; the Royal Famille du Caniveaux, illustrious, funny people; the Unexpected Brass Band; Joey Pipia, magician extraordinaire; musician Val Synder and her group, Violins Is Never the Answer; “world famous whistler” Jason Serinus; the tuba-playing Pipia sisters; sizzling songstress Caela Baily; the Fighting Instruments of Karma Marching Chamber Band/Orchestra; and some surprise guests.

The vaudeville show promises “lot of laughs, a lot of fun,” said Magid, who noted that tickets are selling fast.

ACROSS THE COUNTRY

The Chautauqua movement started in 1874, Magid explained, and was the largest movement ever in the United States, with 10,000 productions a year. “The idea was to have education and entertainment entwined together,” Magid said of the “self-betterment” movement – which, he noted, was a predecessor to TED Talks. The Flying Karamazov Brothers created their own version of a traveling Chautauqua in 1981.

Proceeds from the holiday show benefit the group’s 2017 summer tour and other projects. The summer tour to eastern Oregon is organized by Port Townsend’s Sophia Pipia, and is to include celebratory parades, workshops ranging from juggling and acrobatics to storytelling and history, and vaudeville extravaganzas.

Proceeds also support NOTC’s “Hands Across the Border Project,” which involves working with the Greater Northwest Native Nations, composed of tribes that are divided by the international border between Canada and the U.S, said Magid, who recently returned from the Dakota Access Pipeline protest in Standing Rock, South Dakota, along with other NOTC members and a group of Port Townsend locals.

The New Old Time Chautauqua is the only traveling Chautauqua in the U.S., and celebrates its 36th year in 2017.

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