Welcome to the Spondyville Theater District!
Spondyville After Dark ... No need to worry, though. The streets of Spondyville are extremely well-lit and completely safe ... Even on Matinee days. (Do watch out for the little old blue-haired ladies, won't you? They can really put a lump on your shins with their canes ...)
The Spondyville Theater District has a long and vibrant history. The first Theater to be built in the area was the Autumn Garden in 1903. Before that time, most of the theaters in Spondyville were small, cramped spaces located in the area around "Alibi Alley", now better known as Stoop Street. There, the Vaudeville and Burlesque houses were in their element. It's a sign of the times I suppose, but all of those old theaters are gone now.
It took a showman like Florenz "Flo" B. McBobble, the famous theatrical producer, to begin the migration of "legitimate" theaters to the downtown neighborhood where they remain to this day.
In addition to the Autumn Garden, Mr. McBobble built the Vertebrate, the Stenosis and the Kyphosis theaters in 1905, 1906 and 1908 respectively.
Over the years, the theaters have housed hundreds of productions, featuring some of the theater world's biggest stars appearing in plays by some of the greatest playwrights of the century. Today, the theaters continue to flourish, offering that uniquely magical theatrical experience to a whole new generation of theater-goers.
Here are a couple of extremely rare historical pictures of the
Spondyville Theater District through the years:
| The Rocky Road from Spondyville to Broadway.
Down through the years, a number of productions have attempted the bold and daring theatrical leap from the Spondyville theatre district to Broadway.
Sadly, to this point, none have succeeded. Their hopes and dreams dashed by this cruel business we call, "Show."
The first person to make the attempt was the insane grandmother of Lewis and Clark's devoted Indian guide. The natives who lived in the area which eventually became Spondyville, knew her as Whackajawaya. She dreamed of performing her one-woman mocassin dance in the middle of Times Square, which was then just a field in the middle of a big island. Unfortunately, her farmer husband wouldn't let her leave until all the maize was harvested, and by then, the theatre season was over and the Tony award nominations were closed. You may of course, be more familiar with her brother, Snackajawaya, the inventor of Fritos. One of her descendants married an Irish immigrant and became known as Sackapotatoes, but I digress.
It would be some time before the next attempt. It happened in April of 1875, just one short month after the founding of the town. Spondyville resident, Macalow Berkwheeler, received rave reviews in the very first edition of what is now the Spondyville Times-Picyune for his remarkable all-animal minstrel show, in which the role of the interlocator was played by a large yellow Labrador Retriever named Finster. Plans were made to do a few intermediate out-of-town tryouts, and then move the show into the famed Hippodrome in New York.
But alas, the show never made it. A week before they were scheduled to open on Broadway, during a matinee performance in Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey, Finster bit the head off the banjo-playing Chihuahua right in the middle of the first act finale. To the Chihuahua's credit, he managed to finish the number, but Finster, unfortunately, choked to death, because the local non-union stage manager wasn't certified to perform the Heimlich maneuver on quadrupeds.
In the roaring Twenties, the sexually promiscuous actress and playwright, Eudora Mae Belch, attempted to move her controversial show, "Tea and Sexual Degradation" from Spondyville's Kyphosis theatre directly to New York's Hammerstein theatre, but she took a wrong turn at Fort Dix and was never heard from again.
And most recently, there was the case of legendary Producer, Samson Putney Junior III, who, after a steller sold-out engagement in Spondyville in 1971, attempted to move Neill O'Eugene's first attempt at comedy, "Picnic in a Cluttered Canoe" into Broadway's vast Winter Garden theatre. In transferring the play, the Spondyville cast was replaced with a number of non-Spondyvilleans, including Peters Bernadette, and Irish actor Paddy Lupone, as identical transvestite cousins. Things hit a snag, however, when their 'Grandmother', played by the legendary Elaine Stritch (in the Spondyville production, of course, the part was played by the legendary Marie Strumpell), refused to let the lead actors wear her bra in the second act without some sort of monetary re-imbursement. The Producer and the Star remained at loggerheads, and the production never recovered, closing in previews.
Ironically, that bra is now part of the "Icons of Broadway" collection, which is currently on display outside the Disney store in Times Square ... on the body of a hooker of indeterminate sex, who has been wearing it since 1973.
And so it goes ...
| NEWS FROM THE RIALTO!!
Rumors persist that there is a musical being written about Spondyville. (Rumors also persist that the author is taking his sweet time writing the first draft,) Well, both rumors are true!
You can read more about the Spondyville musical, and get a preview of some of the possible songs by clicking here: