Vaudeville comes to life in Eureka Springs Nov. 25-27

Vaudeville comes to life in Eureka Springs Nov. 25-27

A group of friends has found a creative way to help boost a creative place.

When Eureka Springs locals Phyllis Moraga and Lorna Trigg were looking for a place to practice yoga and belly dancing — all while having the space for social distancing during covid — a black box theater housed in a former grocery store turned out to be the perfect place.

Known as Main Stage Creative Community, “they just wrapped their arms around us. They just love the fact that we wanted to be in there and wanted to use their space,” Moraga says of the staff. After using the space for a while, Moraga says that they wanted to find a way to help get more people to visit and fund purchases of equipment, so they decided to put on a show.

“We’re just doing this fundraiser as a benefit for them to get people in their doors to see what kind of a great space it is, and get other people to offer classes in there,” Moraga explains, adding that with a full sound and light system, the space was perfect for a play.

Along with Trigg acting as producer and Lisa Tricomi as director and a cast full of local actors and musicians, Moraga’s idea for a vaudeville show came to life.

“Our story basically is that we are a traveling vaudeville [troupe], who was told that this was the most direct route from our last show in Little Rock to our next show in Joplin. Our bus breaks down just outside of town, and to pay for the repairs to the bus … we were offered the use of this defunct theater for 72 hours to try to make money … so we can move on to the next town,” Moraga says of the story. She adds that they had great auditions, too.

“Everybody that showed up and auditioned is in the show — not because we were hard up but because they were good!” Through pure chance a couple was walking their dog past the theater while the performers were in costume outside during the audition. The couple mentioned that their dog was good at tricks and… “kaboom! He’s in the show, Moraga says.

“We’ve got a trick dog act, we’ve got a magician that’s just out of this world. We have dance acts, we’ve got a burlesque gag, we’ve got musical acts, we’ve got a melodrama, we’re acting out two live commercials for businesses here in town.”

There will also be a fortune teller, a “cigar and cigarettes” girl (with souvenir candy cigarettes and bubble gum cigars), local music and a fire twirler. The fortune teller and cigarette girl will be in the foyer and will take tickets instead of cash.

Also on display in the foyer will be an art show by Julie Kahn Valentine, who designed the show’s promotional poster.

“She’s a fabulous artist, and she’s prolific, and everyone knows her,” Moraga adds. “She’s donating half of her proceeds to the Main Stage.

Main Stage will open at 5 p.m. for the Nov. 25 black-tie gala starting with wine and hors d’oeuvres served ahead of the show at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30 for Friday. On Nov. 26, the show starts at 7 p.m., and Grand Central Hotel will have a special menu that night for patrons. The final performance is at 2 p.m. Nov. 27. Tickets are $20 ($12 for students) for Nov. 26-27. Moraga warns that the theater seats might sell fast since the Main Stage only seats 125.

“The reason we picked the dates is because it is Thanksgiving weekend,” Moraga says. A lot of people come in, and they do their whole thing on Thursday. And then it’s like, ‘Well, what do we do now?’ Well, this is what you can go do.”



Vaudeville At The Main Stage

WHAT — An evening of vaudeville that includes a play, a fortune teller, fire twirler, music and so much more. Proceeds benefit Main Stage in Eureka Springs.

WHEN — 5 p.m. for the Nov. 25 gala opening with wine and hors d’oeuvres; 7 p.m. Nov. 26; and 2 p.m. Nov. 27. Doors open an hour prior to the show.

WHERE — Main Stage, 67 N. Main St. in Eureka Springs

COST — $30 for Friday night, $20 ($12 for students) for Saturday and Sunday

INFO — and search “vaudeville”

Categories: Cover Story