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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Believe it or not... » » A "Well Show"? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

rossmacrae
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Can anyone define what was meant in the 1930s as a "well show"?
Dick Oslund
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That's a trifle before my time. I started in 1941.

When I started, in most ten in ones, the acts worked on platforms. I do remember seeing one in which the acts worked in a canvas enclosure, which was called "the pit" Most "single-Os" were pit shows. Although I don't remember EVER hearing the pit called a well, I imagine the well was an earlier name for what we called the pit.

Joe Lemke's Monkey Circus Side Show, was framed in a 20 x 60 foot top. At one end, was a platform, for the fireater, and alligator skin boy. At the opposite end a curtain made a 15 x 20 foot "room" for the blow off, (a "half and half"). In the middle was a long pit, about 15 feet x 25 feet, in which the monkeys performed.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
rossmacrae
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From BILLBOARD 1949

"Pete’s aunt sang illustrated songs, and his niece did a serpentine dance to piano music. When fair managers started to demand more dough. the boss added a Well Show in which his aunt and niece doubled. In 1914 the Drawhead Sisters’ Cultured Carnival tried to cop our route by raising the payoff. However. they had no Well Show. The boss soon proved that our additional earning power made the date more profitable for the fairs. In other words. it was better biz to take 10 per cent of a big show than it was to take 50 per cent of a small one. Not to be outdone. the five Drawhead sisters built five Well Shows, with each doubling in them. The movie industry was making gal stars famous, which built up a desire among the country gals to make the casting ofllces. Pete Ballth’s female kin in the sticks demanded an opportunity to go on the stage. so with 24 nieces and first. second and third female cousins available, the boss framed four more Well Shows and a ’49 Camp."

Does this help any?
Dick Oslund
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Sorry, Ross!

Try Ward Hall! He's a couple years older than I am.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
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