Carla Rhodes presented “Ventriloquism: From Ancient to Modern” in A704 (M) Friday at 8:30PM where she discussed history of ventriloquism, famous faces, and innovators while showing video clips on the big screen. Carla also had her partner, Cecil, assist her. He is rather older (crafted in the 1920s) and a little psycho, but all in all funny.
Carla fell in love with ventriloquism at eight when she watched Shari Lewis and Lambchop on TV. From that moment forward, she knew she had found her life’s calling. Carla’s home for the last ten years is New York, where she performs her solo act and participates in small roles on film with Cecil.
The various clips she showed were early clips of Shari and Lambchop, Edgar Bergman and Charlie McCarthy, Senor Wences and his puppets, as well as some equally talented but lesser known British performers.
Mallory Lewis, the daughter of Shari Lewis, had a special video for the attendees. Of course Lambchop was present, too. Mallory has continued on with her mother’s traditions, utilizing most of the original puppets Shari did. After Shari’s passing 15 years ago, Mallory wasn’t sure if she would be able to do it. After her first time on stage with Lambchop, which lasted about 2 minutes, the applause she received made her realize this is what she should do. Mallory does several stage performances a year; you can watch her in action on YouTube.
Carla was delightful and funny. There was a brief Q & A and time after to have pictures with Carla and Cecil.