Featured Event: Cyclonic: Readings from ‘Queen of Vaudeville: The Story of Eva Tanguay’



Join us on April 18 at 7:30 p.m. for an unforgettable evening of a unique musical experience titled “Cyclonic.”

Cyclonic is a dramatized stage rendering of four scenes from the book The Queen of Vaudeville, told with music and pictures. Holyoke’s own Eva Tanguay (1878-1947) was the biggest star of the vaudeville stage, a variety-format entertainment that was hugely popular in the years 1880-1920. Of French-Canadian heritage, her family moved to Holyoke, Massachusetts. Here, amid thousands of immigrants, Eva became a child performer. By 1900 she gained notice for her quick timing and boisterous energy, and she entered vaudeville as a featured star, partly on the success of her hit song “I Don’t Care.” Eva took vaudeville by storm and was soon the highest-paid performer in vaudeville. Eva continued to break box office records and draw legions of adoring fans, even though her hair-trigger temper, iconoclasm, and perfectionism often earned her the rancor of managers, censors, and peers.

Author Andrew Erdman came up with the idea of turning an ordinary book signing into a something livelier – a musical show. Acclaimed songwriter and musician, Mary Lorson has a family connection to Eva Tanguay’s entourage, and has written songs inspired by Eva as well as interpreted a number of the tunes that helped Tanguay to become the “cyclonic comedienne” of the vaudeville stage. Cyclonic not only gives a taste of the book Queen of Vaudeville and a sample of Mary Lorson’s performing talents, but also revives the spirit of Eva Tanguay, the mighty queen of vaudeville—if only for an evening.

Reservations required. Tickets can be purchased online by clicking here or by calling the Museum at 413-322-5660.

This event is sponsored by MIFA, Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts.