Vaudeville and the American Dream
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Vaudeville was an expressive, innovative, and quirky form of popular entertainment in America that spanned the turn of the twentieth century. Yet, vaudeville was more than mere entertainment for the American mass culture—it was a reflection of the rapidly changing waters of American life. In the era of vaudeville, from the early 1980s to the early 1930s, American enjoyed a time of unparalleled growth and urbanization, increasing diversity, and upward social mobility. These changes were both reflected in and shaped by vaudeville itself. As shown in Vaudeville, from the American Masters Series, as America grew, vaudeville became less risqué, showed even greater diversity of performers, and ushered in the age of stardom in entertainment. Vaudeville was a true actualization of the American Dream for the performers, patrons, and society surrounding it.
Artifacts, 6 (2012)