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This term had its origins in Paris in the early eighteenth century and referred to the songs performed at the Théâtre de la Foire (Fair Theatre) and the Opéra comique that put new lyrics (with timely subjects) to well-known melodies. As Opéra comique became it's own musical genre using original music in the nineteenth century, vaudeville then referred to comedies with songs thrown in. This form of entertainment was popular into the early twentieth century. Today, vaudeville is generally thought of as a variety show with unrelated acts consisting of stand-up comedy, virtuoso instrumental and vocal performance, and song and dance acts.


Last Updated: 2016-05-04 13:36:16