Fresh from a wildly successful European debut, the West’s sexiest, surliest performance troupe hits the road this may for their Cabaret Blitz! tour. Then, catch them in Manchester, Tennessee this June for their Bonnaroo debut!
Consider Yard Dogs Road Show’s “Cabaret Blitz!” a polite challenge to all that is prevailing in American culture. There is poetry everywhere and it must be acknowledged! Collaborating for these shows with regional and local artists, the groups billed along this very special run represent a menagerie of west coast cabaret and circus arts. Many of them have never shared the same stage. They come with open hearts to engage a decorated and poetic civilization. Dress code: A formal rendition of your inner carnival - something stitched and stunning and nearly falling off.
Born from the saloon vaudeville that toured the Wild West in the late 1800's and slammed into the underworld of modern American road culture, Yard Dogs Road Show create a timeless and surreal union of ancient theatrical alchemy and modern pop culture. It’s a true story on stage: sword swallowers, dancing dolls, fire eaters and hobo sunset poetry - all animated by the live sounds of the Yard Dogs cartoon band. Yard Dogs Road Show is pure visual and sonic voodoo. The times have demanded it and here it is: “The new emergence of road show nobility.”
Cabaret Blitz! Show dates include:
Fri May 4 / Showbox /Seattle, WA w/ Circus Contraption
Sat May 5 / Nightlight / Bellingham, WA w/ Dream Science Circus
Sun May 6 / The Commodore / Vancouver, BC w/ Tarran the Tailor and the Ancient Rugged Revival
Mon May 7 / Capitol Theater / Olympia, WA w/ Femme De Fabrique
Tue May 8 / Wonder Ballroom / Portland, OR w/ March Fourth Marching Band
Wed May 9 / McDonald Theater / Eugene, OR w/ Vagabond Opera
Thu May 10 / Ashland Armory / Ashland, OR w/ Vagabond Opera
Sat May 12 / Fillmore Auditorium / San Francisco, CA w/ Rosin Coven and others TBA
June 14-17 / Bonnaroo Music Festival / Manchester TN
There is some speculation as to the origin of the Yard Dogs Road Show. Not for the want of mystery but for the difficulty in translating an experience that was navigated by the overly-romantic and sleep deprived. Shows came and went leaving very little time to fully comprehend what was going on. Some say the carnival-inspired performance art of the Yard Dogs Road Show began as a three piece jug band performing in road houses and dance halls and at informal gatherings, including Oregon’s modern day acid tests with Ken Kesey and The Merry Pranksters. Some say they traveled in a 1967 Ford Galaxy 500 and the evolution of their show revealed itself in the flames of a campfire on Dog Creek Road: dancing dolls with feather fans, an hombre in silver sunglasses eating fire, a dreamy guitar boy with golden locks, a bearded swami capable of conjuring the supernatural . Others say this story is complete hogwash and it was actually the brainchild of a unemployed “cowboy” and his faithful muse – transient artists with an incredible talent for brainstorming impossible ideas while under the influence of poppy tea and wishful thinking. By chance these conversations were overheard by an ambitious young poet who decided to actualize them for the sake of all impossible dreams everywhere.
Either way, that was seven years ago, and the unlikely troupe of gypsies has been performing on stages ever since.
With the publication of his book, Hobo: A Young Man’s Thoughts on Trains and Tramping in America (Random House / 2003), straw boss and founding member Eddy Joe Cotton and the Yard Dogs Road Show surfaced into the mainstream media, including recent recognition in SPIN Magazine. Bringing rock & roll to theatre and theatre to rock & roll, they have collaborated with Teatro Zinzanni, Cirque Du Soleil, and Burning Man and have performed such renowned festivals as Vegoose, Oregon Country Fair and Wakarusa.