Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Ethos at IFCC, 5340 North Interstate Avenue, Portland, OR
Admission: $10 ($9.00 for PSU students, Ethos Music Center students and faculty, members of Oregon Historical Society, and members of Oregon Jewish Museum)
This lecture will introduce a downtown Portland bristling with theaters, a world inhabited by Mel Blanc first as a consumer and later as an entertainer. Because Portland was on the Orpheum and Pantages vaudeville circuits, Mel Blanc was exposed to all the big name comedy acts – the same ones which played New York and Los Angeles theaters.
Guest speakers: Local theater historians Steve Stone and Gary Lacher, co-authors of Theaters of Portland, talk about the Portland Mel Blanc grew up in, with downtown streets lined with vaudeville theaters and movie houses, and a mayor, George Baker, who was himself in show business. Stone and Lacher will describe the theaters Mel Blanc attended, and Dennis Nyback will give a quick overview of the intersection between vaudeville and Hollywood.
Films: Dennis Nyback will show films of some of the vaudeville performers (Jack Benny, Groucho Marx, Eddie Cantor) Mel Blanc would have seen perform live during his Portland years. Later Blanc would perform alongside these same stars on national radio and television.
For more information about Mel Blanc, see the Archives of this website.
Another recommended method of deepening your knowledge is to attend the entire lecture series, Mel Blanc: The Portland Years.