Maybe you’re wondering what all the cool kids are doing these days. Maybe you’re curious about what’s new in the local music scene. Maybe you’re just tired of the same 10 or 20 songs they play on the radio, your Pandora station has started to sound a little dull and you want something different. Well, have I got some news for you:
Vaudeville is back!
It started as a dream in 2010 while MSU graduate Dylan Rogers was perfecting the art of the one man band. His musical vision expanded and he saw the possibility of updating the old style vaudeville concept into something for 21st century audiences. Roger began recruiting a troop of musicians, artists, and performers from the area who had unique perspective and talents, blending theatrical performance with eclectic and original music.
Throw in some sideshow skits, costumes, and a shadow puppet show and you have the Lansing Unionized Vaudeville Spectacle, or “LUVS.” The troupe combines “an energetic musical live show with a variety of different simultaneous performance aspects,” says LUVS front man and director Rogers.
The band started performing on the street corner at Turner Park in Old Town, and once the act was polished, the group acquired busking rights at the East Lansing Art Festival. LUVs quickly gained support and a healthy fan base, which propelled them to the main stages of several area festivals over the past few years, including Pumpstock 2014. They also launched their first album Extra! Extra! with a tour of both the Upper and Lower Peninsulas.
“Not only does the band provide me with a broad creative outlet, but it’s my chance to spend time with talented friends and community members. The community’s support of our group helped me to realize that Lansing is home,” says front man Dylan Rogers. He and his wife Jeana Dee have built quite a reputation in the area’s creative community, and are currently working on opening The Robin Theatre in REO Town. The venue will be provide a base for the LUVS as well as other creative groups in the area. For more information about that venture, check out the Robin Theatre Sneak Peak.
LUVs continued popularity keeps their schedule busy and their new album, Dream Machine, was just released in October. You can find out where they are performing next on their website 517LUVS.com.
Jennifer Hill is a former member of The Lansing Unionized Vaudeville Spectacle.