For anyone in Bushwick familiar with vaudeville, the extent of your knowledge probably stops at any rando performances thrown in on I Love Lucy. Perhaps this is why Cobra Club felt it could eke by a revival of the art on their stage without incorporating the infamous vaudeville hook, which rips people off the stage at a moment’s notice if their performance gets stale or unbearable.
The monthly vaudeville show, called Isn’t It Vaude?, was getting generally favorable reviews from local press like The Bushwick Bugle, until an older “millennial,” 32-year-old Fran Unnimprest, watched a re-run of a Bugs Bunny cartoon during which Bugs gets yanked from the stage with the hook and then went to catch the show. When a contortionist failed to bend over backwards and didn’t get removed promptly, Unnimprest let everyone in the audience know just what was lacking from the show.
“Everything was going fine until Unnimprest came along. No one even thought about the hook–which we kind of forgot about because they’re pretty hard to come by nowadays,” stated the contortionist, Mandy Tangle. The organizer of the event, Steven Noveece, a 24-year-old from Tennessee, tried to save face by telling The Burning Bush, “The show must go on, even without the more classic elements of a vaudeville act.” In the wake of audiences banding together to point out the glaring absence of this signature emblem, it’s likely Isn’t It Vaude may need to either get on board or miss the boat. Then again, considering the past failures of artistic performance at Cobra Club, one shouldn’t expect much.
Written by Genna Rivieccio