The Gumshoe Revue
was: September 22, 2016 // 8pm
530 Columbia St.
New Westminster, BC
and raised over a thousand dollars for
Women Against Violence Against Women (WAVAW)!
Ghost Light Vaudeville Society’s debut production, “The Gumshoe Revue”, was an investigation into paranormal pulp and pulse-raising performances. Our hardboiled hosts led us all through a wide variety of acts - including burlesque, drag, comedy, and music - each one uniquely inspired by the supernatural, extraterrestrial, or paranormal.
Ghost Light Vaudeville Society is proud to honour over a century of Vancouver performing arts history. We choose to represent an artform that built a strong community and brought a diverse group of performers into the limelight.
Vaudeville originally began to seep north into Vancouver from Seattle once a railway was built connecting the two cities in 1905. Vancouver’s version of the “Great White Way” was centered around Hastings Street. Formerly known as “Skid Road” due to its heavy use by Vancouver’s early logging industry, the street quickly transformed into an entertainment center as theatres like The Pantages, The Columbia, and The Rex went up, and began to host acts from the west coast vaudeville circuit. The Pantages in particular was one of the first to bring in people of colour and created a variety of cultural performances onto their stage.
Vancouver’s rainy climate contributed significantly to the popularity of Vaudeville as local workers looked for a place to get out of the rain and spend a little cash on entertainment. Since each act ran no more than eight to ten minutes, the restless crowds were usually kept happy and entertained.
Unlike other major metropolitan cities, who saw the art of vaudeville die out in the mid-1930’s with the Great Depression, Vancouver’s theatres continued to showcase a wide variety of acts until after World War II. When the availability of televisions moved entertainment primarily into the home, vaudeville’s light began to dim.
Today, with the revival of burlesque and live revue theatre, vaudeville may have a chance to shine again on the streets of Vancouver.
- De Trenquayle, Madeline. "Vaudeville Vancouver: An Interview with Tom Carter - Spacing Vancouver." Spacing Vancouver. Spacing Magazine, 2015. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.