Four Freaks From Iowa
By Stuart Mitchell-Smith presented by The Roan Theatre Company (Am Dram)
In 1893, four sisters from a farm in Iowa embarked on a journey that would lead to them becoming the highest paid act in Vaudeville history.
They were The Cherry Sisters and their show, “Something Good, Something Sad”, toured across the United States. The New York Times described the sisters as, “Four freaks from Iowa”. Their managers and theatre owners would sell the act as “The Worst Act In the world” and encourage audiences to throw vegetables, overshoes, and all manners of objects at the sisters as they performed. It was not unusual for audiences to be so incensed that they would riot!
Was the act so awful that rational men were compelled to riot? Was there another reason that audiences and press were so brutal to the sisters? And more importantly has much changed in the last 140 years?
This tragic fourth wall breaking comedy, spans a 50 year period is laden with vaudeville jokes and songs of the time period.