"Vaudeville Times" was published quarterly from 1998 until 2008. Each issue ran twenty to twenty-eight pages and included four to ten profiles with photos of vaudevillians, old and new, plus reviews and other showbiz histories. AVM is reissuing all forty as a ten volume set.
AVM principals Frank Cullen & Donald McNeilly, recipients of The Theatre Museum of NYC's 2011 Award for Excellence in the Preservation of Theatre History, also present adventures-and recipes-from the Porridge Sisters.
Florrie and Lavinia Portridge are well-known among vaudevillians and actors as "The Porridge Sisters" for the vegetarian cuisine they serve at Portridge Arms, a 'boardinghouse for theatricals' that offers comfort, cleanliness and bohemian camaraderie. The projected series of seven Porridge Sisters Mysteries takes place in Boston between 1908 and 1932. The "Porridge Sisters Cookbook of Hearty Vegan Fare" was published in 2012. All AVM publications are available at vaudeville.org and on Amazon.
The American Museum of Vaudeville (aka American Vaudeville Museum and AVM) was established in 1982 as a nonprofit corporation dedicated to the preservation, collection, presentation and publication of all vaudeville materials, records and effects as may advance and preserve the knowledge of vaudeville, its performers and its place in the cultural and social history of the United States. AVM received its tax exempt 501 (c) (3) designation in 1984.
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About the Author
Frank Cullen and Donald McNeilly have partnered in many theatrical ventures over the decades, most notably in the 1982 founding of the American Vaudeville Museum, vaudeville.org, the research; writing, design and publishing of forty issues of Vaudeville Times (1998-2008); and their landmark, two-volume, sixteen-hundred page, Vaudeville, Old & New: An Encyclopedia of Variety Performers in America published by Routledge Press in 2007 to laudatory reviews.In 2006 they moved to the mountains of New Mexico with their equally elderly feline companion, Lulu (aka Velcro). They were joined in 2013 by Jake and Jessie who had somehow heard there was upholstery in those mountains.They are currently writing the fifth Porridge Sisters Adventure; a series of historical novels set in Boston from 1908 until 1932, by which time big-time vaudeville was dead but network radio shows were delivered into one's parlor free of charge and motion pictures not only talked but sang and danced on screens across the world.Central to each book is Portridge Arms, "a boardinghouse for theatricals" on the now bulldozed Castle Street in the South End. Its proprietors are Florrie and Lavinia, whose strict vegetarian cookery prompted one vaudeville wag to re-christen them the Porridge Sisters.They continue the process of shipping AVM's extensive collections of showbiz and vaudeville memorabilia, books and recordings to the University of Arizona where they become part of one of the largest collections in the country and available to students and researchers for the future.The Theatre Museum of New York honored their work in 2011 with the Excellence in Preservation of Theatre History Award.