A Very Vintage Christmas – Retro Mid Century Xmas Ornaments

As much as we may be in denial about winter being here, it’s hard to deny Christmas is around the corner when you’re bombarded by Christmas music in all the malls and decorations starting to pop up in stores and street corners. Instead of grumbling about how it all starts “too early”, we’ve decided to embrace it and take this time to help you prep for your own holiday celebrations, vintage style. Here’s our list of where to source the best decorations for those of you who like a “classic” feel.

Cheerful Reproduction Ornaments

Nothing says retro Christmas like the classic Shiny Brite ornaments. The most popular ornaments of the 1940s & 50s, they faded out of fashion in the later half of the 20th century, but in 2001 Christopher Radko began reproducing them, complete with vintage style box! You can find them a lot of places online, including Amazon.

 

 

Kurt Adler is another company that has really nailed the vintage aesthetic. You can find his stuff on Amazon as well, and he’s got everything from sparkly glass ornaments to small novelty characters, bubble lights, and classic clip-on birds, as seen below.

Garlands, Tinsel & Icicles – Oh My!

No vintage tree is complete without some classic garlands and tinsel. Retro Festive has a super fun popcorn garland (if you want the look without the salty temptation) The Holiday Barn has a  candy garland if you prefer something sweeter, and of course there’s the classic Shiny Brite garland, again from Amazon.

For tinsel, you can try a garland like this kitchy pink one from The Holiday Barn, get some beautiful handmade tin icicles from Pietersma Tinworks, or go with a real classic like Brite Star tinsel strands. While all of these are available from Amazon, I have lucked out before and come across some Brite Star type stuff at Dollarama. They get their share of decent stuff and it’s dirt cheap!

Retro Keepsake Ornaments

Maybe you’re not looking to replicate a classic tree, and just want something to show off your retro-loving personality. If that’s the case, there are a tone of cute and kitschy “keepsake” ornaments out there, like these fun little guys from Old World Christmas or Winterworm (bonus – they’re in our colours!).

 

You can get both of those on Amazon. Or you can check out specialty stores like The Holiday Barn and find ones like these retro cars and trailers, which are always fun.

Of course you can also take your chances scouring vintage shops, Etsy or Ebay for some authentic vintage pieces, though the prices can be steep, and if you’re worried about little hands or paws knocking things over, you might want to steer clear of the real thing.

What’s your favourite spot to score a vintage style ornament? Let us know in the comments below.

-E.

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Cast Spotlight: Kevin Forster

Kevin Forster Bygone Theatre Loot

Kevin Forster plays Hal in our upcoming production of Loot; this is Kevin’s first production with Bygone Theatre.

Bio: Kevin is a graduate of the Ryerson Theatre School and is thrilled to be working with such an amazing team on this wacky and wonderful show! 

Selected Theatre: Leaf Coneybear in The 25th Annual Putnam county Spelling Bee and Marshall/Al in Seven Stories (Hart House Theatre), Peter in The Diary of Anne Frank (FSWC), Joe in Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, Bjorn in Always Abba, and Flotsam in The Little Mermaid (The Lower Ossington Theatre), Jay in New Order (NovelSidwalk), Goneril in Cinderella, and Dopey in Balm In Gilead (Ryerson Theatre School), Clown in Bust-ed (Toronto Festival of Clowns).
Television/Film: Well Spent, Fear Thy Neighbor, God Hates A Coward, A Midsummer Nights Dream

What made you want to be a part of Loot?

Loot is a really funny script with so much potential when it is put on stage. I am a big fan of physical comedy, and this script is filled with opportunity to explore that.

How do you feel about your character? Do you relate to them at all? Share any of the same traits?

I really enjoy playing Hal. It is an interesting balance finding the humor in the scenario while keeping the truth and integrity of who he is. Also, we both love to frequent brothels, so that helps.

What’s been your favourite part of the rehearsal process so far?

My favourite part of rehearsal is playing with the other actors. Every time we run through a scene, new things are discovered. Everyone is willing to allow things to evolve and explore. It may not be right, but we won’t know until we go there.

What’s your favourite thing to have come out of the 1960s?

Non dairy creamer

Are you working on any other projects at the moment/ What might we have seen you in recently?

Recently was in a production of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” I am also in a folk rock band called “People Walking By” We play all the time so check us out! @people.walking.by

Why should people come out and see the show?

It’s a show with British accents, money, and death. What could be better? Certainly beats sitting at home swiping through dating profiles. Unless those profiles include British accents, money, and death. Then you’ve got a hard decision to make.

Anything else you want us to know?

The dot on top of the letter ‘i’ and ‘j’ is known as a tittle.

You can see Kevin onstage March 8-17, 2018 at the Alumnae Theatre.
Get your tickets today!

‘Twas the Cab(aret) Before Christmas

We’re excited to announce we’ve added another event to our 2017/18 season!

Silverberg & Finn, in Association with Bygone Theatre present…

‘TWAS THE CAB BEFORE CHRISTMAS

Friday December 1st, 2017
Doors Open: 7:00PM
Show Begins: 7:30PM
Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St., Toronto
TIX: $17 online/ $20 @ door
($15 at door for performing arts workers)

A night of holiday themed music, comedy, dancing and new Christmas music with performances by…
Thomas James Finn
The Jingle Belles: Moulan Bourke, Amy Holden & Clea McCaffrey
Heather Motut
Jada Rifkin
Chris Benjamin
Kevin Finn
Sam Burns
Julia Carrer
Ashlyn Cowie

with Choreography by Kelsey Willmott and Music Direction by Michael Zahorak

***PLUS*** a HILARIOUS reimagining of “Its A Wonderful Life” performed by last years original cast of: Emma Ferrante, Hannah Gallant and Vince Deiulis

“Twas the Cab before Christmas, when all through Bad Times
All the people had gathered to enjoy festive rhymes.
The glasses were filled by the bar staff with care,
In hopes that Finn ‘n’ Friends soon would be there.

When up on the stage, will arise such a clatter
Of singing and dancing and humorous chatter.
Comics and crooners, all with a part
Thrice increasing the size even the Grinchiest heart.

So spring from your work, to a cab give a whistle,
Get over to Buddies like an eggnog-fuelled missile.
December 1st will be a festival of light
Merry Christmas to all, come join us that night!”
– Dillon Goldsmith

Stay tuned for Cast Spotlights!

Bygone Theatre Rentals – Office Furniture

We recently did a production of His Girl Friday, which meant acquiring a LARGE volume of vintage office furniture and supplies; here’s some of the furniture pieces we now have available to rent.

 

  1. Vintage Wood Office Chairs: see individual pictures for details
    Rental Price: $20.00 each/wk
  2. Burgundy Faux Leather Executive Chair: see individual picture for details
    Rental Price: $30.00/wk
  3. Small Telephone Desk: see individual picture for details
    Rental Price: $15.00/wk
  4. Wood Arts & Crafts and Mid Century Modern Desks: see individual pictures for details
    Rental Price: $40.00 each/wk
  5. Metal Cabinet: see individual picture for details
    Rental Price: $15.00/wk

The styles we have available would be suitable for someone looking for something from the 1920s-60s, or something modern day with a vintage twist. Discounts available when renting multiple pieces at once, prices listed are for a single item, before HST.

Stay tuned to see some of the smaller set dressing items we have as well.

His Girl Friday Costume Designs: Finding Vintage Fabric

As any of you who have seen one of our past shows knows, I care a lot about having costumes that are as authentic looking as possible. I’ve done past posts on how to fake a vintage style with more recent clothes or patterns, and on what types of fabric were common to a certain era – but where do you go to find that fabric? As I’ve been scouring the web looking for answers to that very question, I thought I’d share my best finds here.

Reproduction Fabrics

Don’t be dissuaded by their dated looking website, reproductionfabrics.com is an amazing resource if you’re looking for vintage or antique styled patterned fabric. From the late 1700s through to the 1950s, they have a selection of fabric that covers nearly every style and colour, and for very reasonable prices. Some are actual reproductions of old patterns and some appear to be “in the style of”, either way, this should be one of your first stops if you need vintage, patterned, fabric.

American Folk and Fabric

Another good source for reproduction designs in americanfolkandfabric.com. I found they had “frillier” fabrics than Reproduction Fabrics – lots of florals in pink, that sort of thing – so depending on what you’re looking for this could be perfect, or may miss the boat.

Antique Fabric

Depending on the project, you may prefer actual vintage or antique fabric to a reproduction. In this case, you’re likely going to find smaller amounts and a higher price, and remember, the condition won’t compare to what you get from a reproduction. While for costumes I’d always opt for a modern-made fabric, I certainly see the appeal of the real thing. If you’re looking for variety, check out antiquefabric.com. Well indexed and with a wide-variety of fabrics from periods ranging from the 1800 through to the 1960s, you’re very likely to find something you’ll want. Sadly, most of the pieces I found drool-worthy were not big enough to make what I’d like. But if you want some authentic pillows or accessories, even a blouse that takes only a yard or two, this is your spot.

Spoonflower

If you still haven’t found what you’re looking for, you can try creating your own design and printing it through spoonflower.com. This site allows you to upload designs that you can print for yourself on a number of types of fabric (plus wallpaper and wrapping paper), and has the additional option of allowing you to sell your designs to others through the site (you get a commission). Try searching through what others have made, or upload your own!

Most quilting sites also offer a selection of vintage & antique styles, though I’ve found it isn’t necessarily as accurate as some of these other sites. But if you know what you’re looking for and have a particular style in mind, Equilter and Hancocks-Paducah can be great resources.

Happy searching!

-E.

Performer Spotlight: Mentalist/Magician Leigh Beadon

Another classic staple of the Vaudeville stage was the illusionist or magician. Harry Houdini, one of the greatest illusionists of all time, first gained attention as “Harry Handcuff Houdini” performing in the circuit. He became famous for his daring escape routines. Howard Thurston was another star of the stage, becoming the most famous magician of his time and travelling with an act so large it needed 8 train cars to transport it all. Alexander, also known as the Crystal Seer, was a renowned mentalist  who claimed to possess telepathy, and would read the mind’s of the audience members on stage. For our revue, we are lucky to have the talented Leigh Beadon, who, like Alexander, focuses primarily on mind reading and prediction.

Leigh Beadon is a mentalist and magician who performs live experiments in mindreading, prediction, suggestion and other impossibilities. Some people (wrongly) call him a psychic, and audiences at the Storefront Theatre where he performs monthly have branded him a witch. 

Want to see Leigh Beadon’s act? Get your tickets to Vaudeville Revue now, online.

Performer Spotlight – The Vintage Taps

You can’t really have a Vaudeville show without some kind of tap routine. Hoofers have been a big part of Vaudeville since the early days, with notable performers like Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, The Nicholas Brothers and Eleanor Powell.
nicholas-brothers-jumpin-jive-stormy-weather-1943-1
Our revue features a jazzy trio of ladies; Trina Josdal, Amy Lintunen & Geneviève Fullerton. Check out their facebook page to see some of their past performances.
BIO: The sensational Vintage Taps will whisk you back to an era where chorus girls and swinging jazz beats were the trends on the streets.  Inspired by both Broadway and rhythm tap dancing, their fast feet and delightful personalities have been dazzling audiences worldwide.  These dynamic ladies have enjoyed tapping their way across numerous European countries, China, the United States and their beloved Canada.  Collectively, the Vintage Taps boast an impressive resume including productions of 42nd Street (producer – Mark Bramble), Hair, Cabaret, and Dancing Damsels with appearances at the Montreal Tap Festival, Pan Am Games, CP24 Breakfast Television, MTV Canada, PRIDE Toronto, and the Toronto Fringe Festival.  Vintage Taps will make you smile and leave you with a toe-tapping rhythm in your heart.

Mid Century Luggage Tags

One of the necessary set pieces for Wait Until Dark is a suitcase with travel stickers, and so I’ve been scouring the internet for some of my favourite mid-century designs.

It’s really unfortunate that these are no longer used by hotels and airways, because some of them were really beautifully designed, and who wouldn’t love a bag covered in them? Personally, I might print off a second set for myself and add them to my own luggage.

-E.

Retro Radio Hour – Nifty 50s

It’s almost that time again! Retro Radio Hour is back, this time celebrating all things 1950s! Join us and the cast of our next show, Wait Until Dark, on Friday March 25th at the Imperial Pub for an evening of vintage radio plays, oldies music, magic, classic cinema trivia and more! Doors open at 8pm, tickets are only $5 at the door (cash please!). All proceeds go to support Wait Until Dark, running April 14-16th in the rehearsal hall at Tarragon Theatre.

Hope to see you there!

Retro Radio Hour Nifty 50s