Black vaudeville acts are featured in this Vitaphone Pepper Pot short. In addition to those listed in the credits, acts include The 3 Whippets, a group of acrobats; and The Five Racketeers,...
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Black vaudeville acts are featured in this Vitaphone Pepper Pot short. In addition to those listed in the credits, acts include The 3 Whippets, a group of acrobats; and The Five Racketeers, a band that initially backs up Eunice Wilson and then sings "Tiger Rag".Written by
David Glagovsky <email@example.com>
It's worth seeing just to see the Three Whippets!!
This is a short from Vitaphone from 1935. Although the country had a hard time acknowledging the full humanity of its black citizens at that time, somehow Warner Brothers was willing to make quite a few shorts in which they featured famous black acts of the day. Apart from having a group play their music in front of a giant watermelon backdrop(!), the film was a very positive portrayal.
Of all the acts in the film, THE act to see are the Three Whippets and they perform at the beginning. Although the famed Nicholas Brothers appear later and there is some nice singing, clearly the Whippets are the ones to watch. This is because they are insanely athletic and are among the best dancers you'll ever see anywhere! Seriously...they were amazing. Now the Nicholas Brothers were also very enjoyable--so I am not at all saying that they were disappointing in any way. But, oddly, they never appeared in another film--whereas the Nicholas lads were quite popular. Why would one super-talented group make it and the other wouldn't? Also included are some musical acts which are pleasant but undistinguished. Clearly the dancing is the reason not to miss this film.
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