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Americana Music Hall


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Below are some of the celebrities and characters that were featured in the Fantasy Factory show from 1982 and 1983. You can visit the show producer's site by clicking HERE. The site mentions that there was a John Travolta humanette in the show, but I don't remember him in the line-up.

 

From what I can recall, the following were part of the show:

Betty Davis and Joan Crawford (they opened the show from stage left and right)

John Wayne singing Yankee Doodle

Dolly Parton (with balloons for breasts that were popped!) singing Thank God I'm a Country Girl

Charlie Chaplin (with strobe light movie projector effect)

Carmen Miranda

Can Can Birds

Judy Garland singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Frankenstein (about four times the size of the other puppets) singing Putin' on the Ritz

Liza Minnielli singing New York New York

Libearce playing the piano saying "You like my rings? You should, you bought them for me."

 

This was one of the few shows that would be performed to capacity crowds througout the day. It was very popular.

 

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Liberace.jpg

 

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"The Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats" certainly played to packed, if not capacity audiences during my trips to Great Adventure. It was a show my entire family looked forward to seeing. I could have sworn "Evolution" played 2 seasons, but perhaps my memory is foggy. I also believe "The Red White and Blue Revue" premiered in 1989 with "The Great American Scream Machine". Again my memory may fail me.

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A question for our friends who were early entertainment workers... Do you recall if the addition of the Americana Music Hall in 1978 had a negative effect on the balance of the shows/entertainment department budget? I am wondering if they cut back on the number of street performers because of the new theater.

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I just noticed your question from October. I think that the park was really starting to expand in 78, in addition to the music hall, we had more street characters. I also remember popping into the music hall for a quick rest in the a/c.

Edited by Csogi
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I was thinking while waiting for one of the Ghoulmaster's Ghost show last month....

 

The park had shows in Showcase when noisy rides surrounded the theater (FreeFall and Chiller) which could easily be heard from inside the theater over the stage productions. However, now that all that noise is gone and there aren't any outside audible intrusions to distract audiences, there aren't any shows in Showcase.

 

The funny part is they probably won't use the theater again daily until another ride is installed outside that once again creates noise!

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It is moments like this, when a "new" vintage Great Adventure image is discovered, that gets my GA-nerdiness meter kicked into to overdrive!

 

How cool is this photo of the entrance to the Americana Music Hall (now Showcase Theatre) from 1978 shortly after the venue opened to the public?!

 

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Screen shot from video footage from the collection of Michael Bowman.

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I don't ever remember that entrance. Was this actually located on the side of the AMH rather than the front where it is now located. I remember seeing the Mahoney Brothers perform in the theater in 1978 at the very start of the season and could have sworn that we entered the building on the side near Rotor and exited through the doors on the Garden of Eatin' side.

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