Engelberg Center Live!

Necromancers of the Public Domain: Broadway Racketeers

Episode Summary

This episode is audio from Necromancers of the Public Domain: Broadway Racketeers. It was recorded on February 29, 2024.

Episode Notes

Theater of the Apes, Library Futures, and the Engelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy bring you this very special Public Domain Day presentation of Necromancers of the Public Domain.

Performers skilled in the art of necromancy will transform the book Broadway Racketeers (plucked from the shelves of the New York Society Library's public domain class of 2024) into a one-night-only variety show. The necromancers will be joined by music from Miss Maybell and the Jazz Age Artistes and updates on efforts to establish a National Public Domain Day.

Necromancers include:

Nick Balaban (Hello, Cruel World / Blues Clues)

Ellia Bisker & Heather Cole (Charming Disaster / Funkrust Brass Band)

Bryce Edwards (The Bryce Edwards Frivolity Hour)

Dejen Tesfagiorgis (Deja Deja Comedy)

Hosted by Ayun Halliday (Creative, Not Famous / The East Village Inky)

Episode Transcription

Announcer  0:03  

Welcome to Engelberg Center live a collection of audio from events held by the Engelberg Center on innovation Law and Policy at NYU Law. This episode is the live audio from necromancer is of the public domain. It was recorded on February 29 2024.


Michael Weinberg  0:25  

Good evening, everybody. Thank you for coming out tonight. I am Michael Weinberg. I am the Executive Director of the Engelberg Center on innovation Law and Policy at NYU Law. You may have heard of us, I am thrilled to welcome you all to the show tonight. This is obviously a huge celebration of the public domain. Well, this is gonna be a great night of celebration in the public domain, you do not need to stop celebrating the public domain at the end of the show. And so, in that spirit, I want to mention two other things that you can do to continue to celebrate the public domain. We have we have some posters about over by the merch table. The first one is New York City's own W NYC has a new project that is the public song project. And so Simon may be here somewhere in the audience greats representing if you have plenty of plenty of time to submit a new song built on the public domain as part of that project. So be sure to check that out. And then also the public domain Game Jam is getting ready to announce their winners of new games, both analog games and digital games, built on new projects, new things that came out of the public domain. So please check that out as well. So you can continue to celebrate the public domain after tonight although they may not be as good as everything you see tonight. But it will still be a really good experience. And so with that, I will turn things over to library futures own Jenny rose hello friend.


Jennie Rose Halperin  2:05  

So even though Michael forgot his fabulous tuxedo, at least one of us dressed appropriately for this occasion. My name is Jennie Rose Halperin. I'm the Director of Library futures which is also at the Engelberg Center on innovation Law and Policy at NYU Law. And it is my absolute pleasure to begin our show with some interpretations of songs from 1928 with a tap dancer named yoga Kameda Yuka Kameda is a New York City based tap dancer and educator. She started tap dancing at the age of 10 in Osaka, Japan. UKAS highlights include performing for the Colbert Report, and performing a Jazz at Lincoln Center orchestrated by Wynton Marsalis with choreography by Jared Grimes and Hugo will be accompanied by one of our theater of the Apes performers who will be introduced a little bit later so thank you so much


Bryce Edwards  3:22  

folks we're gonna do a tune called crazy rhythm became public domain this year right


here's the doorway I'll go my way you'll go your way crazy rhythm from now onward through. This is why we have a showdown I'm too I had your two lowdown Grey's era that matters goodbye to you. They say that when a highbrow meets a lowbrow walking along Broadway shows the highbrow he has no shame and blame. What's the use of prohibition? Yo produce the same condition? Praise era Am I have gone crazy


Gray's red thumb is the doorway I'll go my way y'all go y'all like crazy rhythm from now on why throw this is why we have a showdown after I had y'all too loud out crazy. Goodbye, who you may say that when I wrote me it's a low brow walk and allow on Broadway. So in the high brow he has no brow line and a sham was to use the brow have to produce the same definition crazy rhythm I've gone crazy


Jennie Rose Halperin  6:52  

let's hear it for Bryce Edwards and Yuka Kameda.


Before we begin the show, we're going to talk a little bit about advocacy. Library futures is about to launch an advocacy campaign to encourage Congress to establish a national commemorative public domain day. And I'm not going to get into the differences between a national commemorative day and a national holiday. But on the bright side, we're asking for it to be January 1, so you get that day off anyway. You're welcome. So I want to know how many librarians are here. You librarians, okay. Okay. How many lawyers are lawyers in training? Okay, a few. All the lawyers can leave no kidding. We're gonna need you, we're gonna need your help on this. So establishing a National commemorative day means showing that there is a lot of grassroots support for it. And while the public domain includes dressing up in fun period, clothes playing songs from the time, it's also about shared, shared cultural heritage and the past, always built on the present always built on the past. And for that reason, we are encouraging a date that set aside just to celebrate the vast riches of the public domain, and the cultural heritage of the United States. So there are three things that you can do, the first thing you can do is you can write your reps library features, we'll be releasing an advocacy toolkit within the next few months, that includes examples of public domain materials from every state. And that's thanks to Amanda Levandowski, and the Georgetown tech Law Clinic, so thank you to them. The second thing you can do is if you're a student, or if you like starting clubs, is you can start a free culture club or a student for Free Culture Club, to bring together other people and organize about cultural heritage and free and open access to information. The third thing that you can do is if you think this day is awesome, and you don't think it took an enormous amount of work, you can hold your own public domain day. I don't know I didn't know this until very recently, but the largest public domain Film Festival actually happens in Salt Lake City, Utah every year. And it's been going on for quite a few years. And as there's also usually at the beginning of the year, there is a an event from the Internet Archive. So I can think of three off the top of my head. And there could only be more. So I would encourage everybody that you think this is awesome. Have a public domain day, invite people in, you know, and bring people together around the public domain. Open access to culture is a right and I am so glad to be a part of this initiative and to be able to announce that we're kicking it off. So thank you It is now my absolute pleasure to introduce theater of the Apes. Theater of the Apes is an East Harlem based company dedicated to presenting original affordable comic work, better healed producers daring to touch. Founded in the late 1990s, by Greg Curtis and I own holiday, the apes manage just one credit, the original New York International Fringe Festival production of Urinetown the musical before having children. However, they produced many, many necromancers of the public domain, which is a wonderful show and I'm not going to tell you too much about it. But they and we and all of us are here for good cheap oddball theater. And now the balls themselves that theater beeps.


Ayun Halliday  11:10  

On Broadway, the ally of wit, wealth and wisdom, most colorful of all characters is the racket air. He comprises the elite of underworld life in one sense, and the sorry as dregs of crime land in another. Every deal manipulated around a crude or clever evasion of law is categorized a racket and the participants racket here, there's every sharp shooter honestly believes his own racquet tops, everything else in the field. And if Vanetti were music, every rocket tear would constitute a fully equipped Brass Band.


Ladies, gentlemen, distinguished visitors from beyond the binary, we are so glad that you are joining us for our first live necromancers since February of 2020. And I bet we can all imagine what happened on the march 2020 Show. We're glad you're here. Tonight, we're going to be pulling from the vortex, Broadway racketeers BY JOHN O'CONNOR, written in 1928. Now the way this show works, is in advance of tonight, I send a digital copy of this book which I have checked out of the New York society library on 79th. And Madison, if you haven't been there, you should go there and check it out. Particularly if you're looking for a place to write or hear authors or find something new to read or just sit in a very historical place that if you buy a membership, you can go in the creepy stacks where the books are and turn on the timer light. And then the timer will go off about 10 minutes later. It's perfect for this project. But so I send out a copy of the book. And then a bunch of singer songwriters or comedians or tap dancers or really just whoever is around, reads the book and makes a piece inspired by this dusty forgotten book. Okay, that's how it works. We also like to find out a little bit of information about the author, if we can have the next slide. There wasn't much about the author. So I'm going to show you part of the table of contents. In this book, he describes all of the different rackets and cons, some very high and involved like the sting. There's one that is I think he basically invented Paper Moon, that old film like that that's in there, the sting thing is in there. And then there's also things of just like you got weighted dice, you know, or you sell somebody the Brooklyn Bridge. So these are some of the some of the cons that are in described in detail. And if we can have the next slide, I really couldn't find anything about John O'Connor. It's a very common name, except that he wrote for variety. And he wrote about vaudeville, which was kind of on the way out in 1928. But he started at variety in 1920. He also wrote a play about the Broadway racketeers that to the best of my knowledge was never produced. Although he did have an ad a big ad in variety seeking producer for Broadway racketeers that didn't map and and if we could get the final thing, this is his draft registration that a friend of mine sent me she was like I'm gonna find out so I don't know how she found that but if anybody lives at 530 West 130/6 Street, do we have any neighbors from 530 West 136 The building still there. So if you're passing it by you just give JOHN O'CONNOR a little louder you do for us. And without further ado, I am going to call back to the stage necro my necromancer Bryce Edwards, who is going to sing and play and share some of his art with you, Bryce.


Do to assist you.


Bryce Edwards  16:10  

Well, I've got a kazoo over


Ayun Halliday  16:13  

here. I can carry a kazoo like a roadie. If I see it,


Bryce Edwards  16:20  

it's right here. All right. Hi, everybody, how are we doing? So glad to hear it. Now I'm gonna I'm gonna do a little a little rearranging of the mics. I've got a song that I wrote here about the well that's inspired by much of the book and it's kind of written in the style of a novelty tune from the from the period if you are not familiar with my work as very few are my main stock and trade is there we go. that'll that'll, that'll do it is interpreting the music the the actual music from the 1920s and and early 30s And I it's such a thrill to do necromancers because I get to to flex my the old songwriting muscle and I've got some drawings that that illustrate some some some tableaus from the book, many of which have nothing really to do with the song but there'll be up there all right


John is a proper spot. I forgot his name Oscar is a proper spot. That Broadway nightlife saw it but I think the boy should be in better talks just like a finance everybody's made a fine career dragging out the pockets of his better yell maida them at the Metropole think he's the tops just wait until you try and cash a check that it drops. You can find this little jar chatting up a hotel clerk that rifling through some out of towners letters but you try and tell the jury what you saw the favorite sign


but never a cat oh look at those five they pressed silk thread to look at those backyard now bad upstanding oh it's off the route that it smells up the Jazz is clear you don't know him are you love him so because our Oscar would never know?


Now Oscar plays a cheaters game never signs his legal name always slapping backs with great big spenders. Wall Street Journal devotee is Florence Ziegfeld wannabes to his charm each drunk star Sheikh surrenders with Oscar every prospect is just too big to fail. Why he's it dares pal until you roll out the Cal trains his nose just like a shark searching for an easy mark and a time he needs some new suspenders. Budget try and tell a copper or watches such as the statement coming from the Law never why that's not our boy. He'd knocked down endeavor he's our pride and joy would just look at that freshly starched collar white last week he lent me $1 Oh, he loves his mother and Coolidge as well. He treats me wife like a madam was accused him of something so low I tells you Oscar would never no no.


Playing cards and throwing dice what some sacrifice buddy always seems to turn out lucky. Nimble fingered shifty eye and tactics less than bonafide but the boys all seem to think he is ducky. Why even at the races Oscars still on the job, you'd think that average Gigi was a part of the mob, ask him where he gets his wealth. He'll try to explain himself his alibis all seem to turn out maki but if you'd like to see dare Oscar and a south why that would soon be a chilly day in hell.


Ah ha now ask I would never why he is such a dad. He is not an to leather. He doesn't drink beer. Or look at his face. So clean shaven. Don't think that is been misbehave about prohibition, he never complains. He doesn't look soggy except when it rains. Now that all Good Book says that you must reap what you sow. And we know Oscar will never know. No, we know that Oscar will never know.


Unknown Speaker  22:54  



Bryce Edwards  23:00  

thank you very much


Ayun Halliday  23:05  

Bryce Edwards creator.


All right, I'm going to begin to call to the stage dasion test buggy ortagus. But while he is making his way here, I thought I would share with you one of the easiest cons in this book. Because many of them I would read them. And five minutes later, I would forget how they worked because they were so complicated. And by the way, security cameras and the Internet and cell phones have completely killed off everything that's anywhere. Except it's still really, really bad to commit any kind of fraud by the US Mail. Yeah, that's right. So you know, proceed with caution if you decide to do this one. Many years ago before the postal laws were tightened up. One of the big city wise boys advertised throughout the country, that he would forward a steel engraving of George Washington to any one sending him $1 in cash or stamps. The replies flooded the mails and to each one he sent in return a two cent stamp with the picture of the first president engraved on its face. He could hardly be charged with fraudulent advertising for he had not specified the size or nature of the steel engraving in his advertising copy. Although the latter, the ad was framed in such a clever way A that any reader would visualize a beautiful job worthy of a conspicuous space on the wall of the home or business office. So you can do I think there's stuff like that on Facebook going around just be careful. All right enough of the book for now. Here's some more from dasion test buggy Argus


Dejen Tesfagiorgis  25:32  

thanks, I'm doing some regular ass stand up for y'all. Thank you. I feel like severely underdressed compared to the other performers. But hindsight it was a good decision. I didn't want to mess around. I ended up in the colored section. This is like it's alright. We're having a good time and I'm still trying to find my people out here. Or somewhere or somewhere feeling good and feeling good though. I'm a stay at home dad feels good to be at the house. stay at home dad and stay at home parents they're so I love exploiting feminism is great. I feel like every day my wife goes to work. She leaves the house. And I enjoy our job at home. I only have to deal with one unreasonable person, right? It's a beautiful thing, man. stay at home dad. I like to make my wife jealous. I take selfies of me and my son playing Xbox. Go to the park. Eat my wife's food. Just to make her jealous. The worst part about it is I don't have a kid. We have no children. So it's just pictures of me playing Xbox. Beaten middle schoolers at the park and basketball and eaten my wife's food. Feminism for the wind. It's great. It's one of the themes in the book too. One of the powerful quotes from the book is a say in a man's world. A woman's wants are mere whispers in the wind. Right? But in a woman's world. A man's wants are the four F's finances feed me for an occasion and fellatio. That's my life. Very simple. I try to bring some income to the house. But I write for a kid show on PBS All right, that's short for pay a brother shit. All right. That is it. I want to have kids sure. I just need him on a discount. I need a discount just like this book was a fun it was a fun read. Has anyone read this book? Besides the performance tonight? Is there a hand is there anybody have it a little bit. We got one little you read like half a lot more time in the 20s to figure to think about hustles instead of rent going up 500 ollars a month every every year. I made me think like what were the what was going on? Like how do you get the language is so smooth like guys, like in the 20s they just talked with this smooth like she was you're pushing Horsefeathers we're gonna we're gonna be pushing up daisies See, this is like a smoothness to them right I would love to see one of those guys have to break up with somebody. It would be the smoothest ship ever right. Become like sweetheart. You'll get not able to the last thing you do. Prep like us no good with a Palooka like me, so shuffle off. I'm staying in this house on account of well. I'm a fuck boy. I'm a floozy with a bad reputation for any Raggamuffin on Main. I'm a real mooch, hoochie coochie to talk to the bricks and mortar straight Poston, Tin Pan ally play and polyamorous peekaboo within the marriage in a Suzy with ankles past the barrel house. Which you and me doll face, which is bootleggers moonshine. No Labels


just Triple X. Oh, why do you think I only telegram at two in the morning? We're not even going steady. We're just Switzerland and Nazi Germany baby. It's




Sorry that you drew the long end of the short deck. But hey, here's looking at you to make better decisions. Now get out of here. Well, we'll we'll we'll we'll just like kick it in. The meat is still running. All right. That's my 1920s Talk, boy, guy. Thanks. This book also highlights a lot of like swindles, right swindles. hustlers listen early shit, right. I would love to see the side hustles that some of my favorite comedians have in the world right like Tracy Morgan. Tracy Morgan, he got $90 million from Walmart's settlement like bless his SNL career, bless his world of entertaining, but also bless getting hit by an 18 ton truck and never having to do anything ever again. I would love to see him and his side hustle, come out to get your money. He come on like I'm already


making a merkos me, Tracy Morgan. I'm an investor now with my new company, Tracy Morgan Stanley. You see, Judge furcation got the project looking wider than the back of a strippers kneecap after a double shift in the Wisconsin winter. So we easily get with me and my celebrity advisors. JB Smoove. That's


the motherfucking fit I was talking about right there. That's I talked about motherfucking Larry David, he broke down like this. Ah, you fed your assets. That's your way and your liabilities. That is your motherfucking labia. So I'm gonna do Larry, I'm gonna get that airs. Keep that as the motherfucking bread ah, fucking DraftKings white claw vodka selfless. Any motherfucker. You can get paid and say you get paid to fate.


Ah, look, first thing you go need


some insurance. I wish I had coverage for the Will Smith's let


you go need coverage worse than a grieving black Mama needs the police body cam footage. Because if anything's going on paralyze your pocketbook. It's a gecko in 15 minutes or less. We even


go to artificial intelligence with Richard Pryor just saved motherfucker. That is the motherfucking check. You got to stay away from track. If you want to keep their money. Stay away from other fucking white women Jack. That drying your deck and drying your bank account. Because it's not just money. It's the safety you work on to have a comfortable life and that's a hard thing to admit. And the safest place for your money is in crypto and crypto.com.


That killed the motherfucking jingle. Here.


Here hope I got a nest egg for IV and a prenup for Bay. I built the blueprint for new whipped Bronx to Canarsie. From flipping bricks in bed started flipping hope or Rose. It's a cash flow with


hope for you feeling Dumbo Heights, you boy ha.


As Tracy Morgan Stanley. Call today and get your wallet pregnant. All right. I'm David and


y'all been a lot of fun. Enjoy the rest of the show. Thank you


Ayun Halliday  32:49  

I was like he had a baby. All right.


That goes maybe they didn't do it. Can you hear me? Okay, good. Oh, it goes like that. There we go. Okay, the next necromancer I'm going to call to the stage is Nick Bala band. But before he comes out, or as he's coming out, I'm gonna read you a portion of the book that inspired his song. It's a little, it's a little complicated, but it's also one of the easiest ones to understand. And John O'Connor really had an amazing way with language so you can close your eyes if you want to. And then when you leave, you will be able to pretend that you have read the book because it's pretty much all like this. So listen up. And if anybody wants to do this scam, it's very particular. But anyway, it's called the glam dropper. A few years after the World War had faded into history, there appeared on the corners of Broadway, a young man whose aged appearance belied his years tall and rather good looking. With the carriage of a military officer. On his upper lip there rested one of those puny mustaches that could have been easily eradicated with one stroke of adult safety razor. The ends of this facial ornament, were always carefully waxed and drawn to a fine point and for very good reason. At first glance, one's attention what's automatically called to this portion of his face, just as He planned for where his left eyeball should be. There was a glass substitute. Few noticed this however, unless it was called to their attention for the ringer was an exact duplicate of the missing member, a marvelous tribute to the skill of the manufacturer. His periodical appearance around the haunts of the racketeers fire to their curiosity to the burning point. And to those bold enough to ask he gave his name as Ted Curtis, but retreated back into a shell of evasiveness. If his question are persisted in digging deeper into his personal history, to Broadway, and name means nothing. Eventually, he was referred to as the bird with the trick glamour. And finally, this was abbreviated to the gloom. Okay, and now here, I just need to tell you one little bit of context so you can get how the scams gonna work. He had an assistant who he worked with, and the assistant is referred to in the scam as the Finder. And he also had a suitcase full of cheap glass eyeballs that he ordered in bulk at the price of 10 cents per eyeball. Okay, everybody clear on that? We got lots of hands and eyeballs and we've got a guy who has a very fancy glass eye and he has an assistant called the Finder. Okay, here's how it works. Everybody take notes. The gloom would appear on the scene when the field was prepared for harvesting, dressed in the height of fashion, carrying a cane or a swagger stick and chirping away and an English dialect as thick as a London fog. Entering a shop, he would bargain over some small purchase. Before the goods were accepted, he would suddenly emit a sharp cry and declare, dammit, I've dropped me off high. down on his knees, he would make a hurried search of the floor, meanwhile, explaining that his artificial eye had dropped from its socket showing the empty hole to the astonished audience who of course, proceeded to aid in the search. And then the glim would advise the store owner that this particular I had cost him 2000 pounds and couldn't be duplicated anywhere in America. consulting his wristwatch, he suddenly remembered an appointment with his barristers and without completing the original purchase prepared to hasten away, but before leaving, he would extract a personal card from his wallet, one a trifle larger than the average business card on which the name he employed in his racket was engraved, accompanied by the initials of a few phony titles, handing this to the sympathetic shopkeeper. He would then promise him $500 In cash if he found and returned the last I giving as his address the name of the best hotel in town. A few hours after his departure, the accomplice would saunter in, select some article in stock, and as the clerk prepared to wrap it up for delivery, his eyes would Dart floor word and with a cry of what's this, he would stoop and come up with one of the artificial 10 cent eyes clutched between his thumb and forefinger. In a moment, everyone in the shop was aware of this discovery and the shop owner would promptly claim it as the property of one of his customers. But the Finder would not give it up, he would turn it over and over, estimating its value at the least to be $500 and declare that he would probably watch the Lost and Found columns of the daily newspaper to locate the owner and collect his earn to reward the shopkeeper seeing $500 fading into the distance would as a rule, immediately inject some business into the conversation time being valuable. The Finder would then agree to part with the prize, or $100 in cash, making it unmistakably clear that he wouldn't take a penny less. Following the perfect impression scored by the glim. On his visit, few businessman would pass up an opportunity to realize a profit of 400% on a gamble of $100. And the Finder generally left with exactly that amount of the suckers cash, and he lost little time and leaving that particular neighborhood behind him for his route was necessarily a large one and the size of the day is score dependent on the speed of his activities. Okay, so now you know that's how it's done. Nick Fowler bad Will you come out? Oh, look at this handsome devil here to sing about the gloom


Nick Balaban  40:39  

anyways, you have the background is this this is being I'm being heard out there right? I can't I can't hear here but that's okay. I don't need to. Okay here we go


you didn't hear it from me pal. I'm working an angle that's Jeepers Creepers. Looks like you got all your marbles, pal. I need them fixed to look like people give you a sawbuck 15 At most that's what my boss will pay for a group who's my boss? Well, he's no fake he's just gonna lie me with an eye on the May God bless him he's no Yap a perfect Englishman


he's short one lamp but that don't bother him eye for an eye for an eye for an eye are


you really asking me you really asking me? Sorry. really asking me what's my racket? You don't want to know. I doubt you good hacking. Suffice to say you ain't have blind now make me those marbles get the restaurant job


these know Yeah, but proper English man so BAM he's short one lamp but that don't bother limb An eye for an eye for an eye for an eye there is now


vonda's Keeper keepers WHERE'S MY PEOPLE


plenty of can made me out the five seasons I'll give you 500 reasons to dip into my drive and stay


there's a bunch of our first of all, how about a hand for days young tesfa God yo there's a bunch of shopkeepers.


Uh huh hotel reception. A bunch of to add suckers with no depth perception the blame he's no Yeah, but proper English man. He showed one lamp but that don't bother him. For an eye for an eye for an eye for an eye for an eye for an eye for an eye.


Ayun Halliday  45:00  

Oh that's an arrow or wonderful. All right. Well, as dasion mentioned, this book has an incredible glossary that I found myself flipping through many times. And is anybody else here like vintage slang? Yeah. Great. And who here hates audience participation? Oh, everybody. Cool. Well, what if I tell you that we're about to play a very easy to win game? Sure. And there's prizes. Can I have two brave audience members? Join me on stage. There's I see somebody with a pinky up. Do you have a pinky up? Come on up. Yeah.


Lady, what other vocal mic should I provide these trends with? Oh, yeah. What are your names? Tell us your names? Everyone,


Ellia Bisker  46:05  

I'm Albert, Albert.


Ayun Halliday  46:08  

Hi, I'm John. Okay. Albert and John are now pitted against each other in a vicious battle of knowledge. And let me give them some noisemakers because they're going to need them. Yeah, that's okay. Now, Albert and John are going to share this mic. Albert's gonna have that little bell. John's gonna have this shaker. Here's how we're gonna play. I'm gonna go over here. We have some vocabulary words. If you think you know what it is. Ring your thing or shake your thing before your competitor does. And I'll ask you. If you're right, great. You got a point if you're wrong. Also great. Who cares? You know? It's like a variety show based on some old book nobody's ever heard of. If you if you're both stumped. I've written some sentences. A sentence for each word. So if we could get the first word projected up here. Okay. Oh, brace. Okay, I heard John John. What is bracelets, handcuffs? Oh, he's so right. The cops put me in bracelets. That's one for John. Okay, next slide, please. Cannon mob what's a cannon mob fellas? Any guesses? That's a toughy. All right. Sounds like maybe a sentence would come in handy. You want one? Okay. Jack Wilde, the star of HR Puffin stuff is also known for playing the leader of the child cannon mob in the film version of the musical Oliver Yes. Big pockets. pickpockets. We will except that a group of three or more pickpockets. Okay. Albert and John are tied neck and neck. All right. Next one drop joint. What's a drop joint gents? What do you think? Thinking I could just watch them think all day long, but I'm gonna read a sentence that might help I entered to the drop joint discrete Lee removed my beautifully made glass eye and pretended that it had fallen on the floor. Yes.


Ellia Bisker  48:42  

A business you're trying to set up for a lost item.


Ayun Halliday  48:46  

Very good Albert. It is a place selected for conveniently losing and objects such as inside walk rackets or the scam described in the gloom. Good. Okay. All right. Next one. flattie what's a flattie? Oh, okay, John, what's a flattie a cop? I will accept it. It's a detective. I'm gonna say that that's close enough. Those flatties online order sure managed to solve a lot of cases right. Okay, next one. fireproof or what's a fireproof for? Anybody in the audience when it's throw him a lifeline? Yeah. Good gas but not right. Arson is also good gas. Not right. All right. I'm gonna read a sentence and you all can. Everybody shout it out together. Who knows we'll all be tied. Okay. Reverend Jim Baker and the righteous gemstones are arguably examples of fireproof from Wow, that went I think you're tied. Both of you spin it out together.


Ellia Bisker  49:55  

preachers who are scamming their Congress they give you pretty extract from any actual backlash. Oh,


Ayun Halliday  50:02  

wow. Okay. Well, I think they're protecting you from this. They're protecting you from hell. You know what, I think you collaborated on that one well enough that we're gonna give you both a point for a racketeer who preys on religious people. You know, so like, you can go sell them a Bible, sell them a prayer cards, something like that. And then you go across the hall and knock on their neighbor's door and say, Hey, Mrs. Sullivan just bought a prayer card for $20. Isn't she pious? Are you that pious? Okay? Oh, I heard this one. Come up in a song. Next slide, please. Kale, aka sugar. Yes. Together money. I was like, okay. Oh, I'm afraid we have to give that one to John. Yeah, okay. Okay. Yes. Also known as bread or lettuce, but I don't know whether that's right. Okay. Now, this one. This is sort of an anatomically based one. That's a hint. Let's have that next slide, please. Notch joint. What's a notch joint? I heard somebody say elbow. Oh, just one little dinger. What do you dig for?


Ellia Bisker  51:16  

I just plagiarize and go with elbow.


Ayun Halliday  51:20  

Elbow. No, it's not an elbow. But that is because your elbow sort of notched. John, you want to make a guess? Or you wanna hear a sentence? Not the sternum. You pure mind. Here's your sentence. I know you hear now, but I'm gonna read my sentence because I spent at least 45 seconds writing it. The 1982 film The best little notch joint in Texas stars Dolly Parton, Jim Nabors and Burt Reynolds all together. What is it? Right. Although, you know, John O'Connor was of a different age. So he called it a house of prostitution. You worked a little less blue. Okay, here's our final slide. A turkey road show. Yes.


Ellia Bisker  52:11  

Is that a lineup a


Ayun Halliday  52:13  

lineup? No, but it should be that would be a good thing. You know, that's I'm gonna call a lineup a turkey road show from now on, John. This is it's a traveling theatrical organization composed of Second Class players playing wherever playing wherever dates can be procured. I gotta get them some price


self promotional thing I've ever done in my life. I wrote this book creative, not famous. And then I wrote an activity book to go away. And it talks about this. So John is the high score. You get it? And Albert is the second


Okay, thank you to this table. noisemakers on Okay. Well, we've got some more necromancers coming. And it's Elia beskar. And Heather Cole. But yes, you know them you love them. They they did the first necromancers we ever did and have done a ton more. And they always have fabulous act to the conservatory, New York society library. Oh shit. I just lost my place. No, I'm gonna find it. Got it. Okay. Yes. All right. I'm just gonna read you a little. We're gonna get these mics set up. In this parade of racketeers, rubbing shoulders with the lower brows a stronger armed stick up artist who by brutality takes what he can and where and when one sees the college bread confidence man who looks exclusively to the upper strata of society for a handsome living, paradoxically claimed as an inherited debt against the world. There you find the suave tone. tongued swindler, halftime swindler, whose chief stock in trade is his sleek appearance and convincing speech breaking bread across the table in a buffet lunch room with the coke filled lush worker who plies his thieving business on helpless drunks. One brushes by the for robed gun mall leading on the arm of her boyfriend, the key man in a payoff mob. Others there are two The well groomed shoot passer and the note layer both indeed our expert in the light labor brigade, though necessarily blessed with an abundance of gall and poise, their chief requisites of success in their respective lives. The beer and Alki runners, the junk pusher, that cannon mob and the booster the hoop dropper, the fire proofer and the stock steerer also the TAT man and a hijacker like all seemingly Oh, I'll compose the great army of Broadway Thank you, I can't read anymore and that means it's time for Elia and Heather to join us on stage.


Ellia Bisker  56:11  

Thank you, Anne. It's It's so nice to be back here on the Necromancer stage although there's something missing and it's actually to audience volunteers. Can we have a couple of tallest people don't be shy if there's pointing at you it probably means you've volunteered Alright, that's good. Um, bear with us One moment while we finish dressing the set


Speaker 1  56:53  

long skirts a good looking frail could crush the chorus line there's the old spot where though and used to blow the skirts Hi Can we add a racket it was a peach wherever there's a law there's 100 Things vacation up the river take my medicine but you know do my 20 all over again


Unknown Speaker  57:32  

feel free to sing along with that part


Speaker 1  57:45  

it's a new town but I get a kick out of looking at the changing circle still squander their savings playing games with stranger


Speaker 1  58:08  

to hustle it's about trust without the place that couldn't pin a thing on us. Even if it's just a six are stuck in the pen and humanity sixes are bad for the hell


Speaker 1  58:41  

droppers John pushers dog steers less workers hijackers the sugar is living in is right up till you say the fall.


Speaker 1  59:30  

By taking the time to wised up Diaz get the full experience in schools and expensive plays. Well do the college have taken take? We'll be making history in 100 years. The famous Broadway army of rackets here


Speaker 1  1:00:50  

Call on the violin thank you to our prison think we can let you guys


Ayun Halliday  1:01:16  

if nothing else it's a red sheet of poster board that you can use the other side but all right well I'm glad you all sang along with Elia and Heather because now your throats are warm and it's a big production number up here on the stage so nobody has to come up and be a wall Who here knows the tune of makin whoopee also entered the public domain on January 1. Okay, that's okay. Even if you don't know it, you're gonna catch on at a certain time. Let me get all the necromancers out here. Yes, yes and Jenny from library futures. We're gonna get a lot a lot a lot of mics I think this one needs to go over here. So you guys you're gonna see yours this right? Look I'm a tech person now. You all will have your lyrics projected up here. Some of us will have cheat sheets on actual paper which is what they used in 1928 you want send your good price can see all right, when you guys have i overprinted Okay. All right. So everybody good. Good ish. Okay, can we get that first slider for the Sing along? Well I can just vamp is okay yeah nice and slow nice and slow fellas.


95 years so dear to me so much good stuff. And now it's free GA in at grades 192 way public domain day. We're gonna give time to get the slides catching up. Now they are ready. They're advanced that brands and there we go. Got Bertolt Brecht and Mickey Mouse and Radcliffe Hall up in the West Bruns quiet as pan flies by public domain J.


Speaker 1  1:04:01  

Picture off off Broadway


Bryce Edwards  1:04:12  



Nick Balaban  1:04:15  

domain is to


Ayun Halliday  1:04:19  

st and whoa. Dubois and WA now fall outside copyright law.


Unknown Speaker  1:04:27  

Chatterley's Lover


Ayun Halliday  1:04:29  

how sad public domain almost forgot Broadway rocketing at so much it's not irrational.


Unknown Speaker  1:05:00  



Ayun Halliday  1:05:05  

thank you. I'm gonna ask all the necromancers to just stay up here really quick because this is the moment of the show. We we pay a pittance for the seat Jack gets a pittance. This time they got double the pittance thanks to and why use Engelberg Center and library futures. But it's still you know, as station mentioned, it's expensive to live in this city. So we also invite them to plug with one sentence a project that they have coming up got coming up. And Yuka our tap dancer who I just met tonight said, Oh, no, I don't need to. It's not until April, my thing that I'm doing. I'm like, I'm gonna plug something in May. But so if you want to hear about UKAS April project, you can find her after. Okay, Nick, what you got going? Got a


Nick Balaban  1:05:57  

couple of things. One is on Sunday at Pete's candy store in Williamsburg at 930. I'm playing with my new band, The lucky otters. So Nick Taliban and the lucky otters at Pete's candy store on Sunday at 930.


Dejen Tesfagiorgis  1:06:24  

Okay, Jason, what you got going? Sure. All right. Thank you. I think now's a safe time to use phones. We got Instagrams and all that. Yeah, so you save time to use phones. Go ahead, pull them out. You're writing doing your diligent homework in the front with the pendant pad. I love it. So my I have a YouTube channel and I post sketches, like twice a week. Good ones once a month, though. So stick. The good ones stick around for those good ones. I'm trying to try to trick the algorithm into liking me. But I've been doing it posted for a couple years and got about 5000 followers and regularly tune into my stuff. So it's pretty dope to get some progress there. And doing shows like this really helps build audiences see what I'm about and then see what the digital versions of all of us are. So would love if you can connect with me there. My YouTube channel name is deja deja comedy, deja deja calm and 96


Ayun Halliday  1:07:20  

more followers for each one tonight. Thank you, Jake. Rows of library futures got anything to tell us?


Jennie Rose Halperin  1:07:28  

Well, as Michael said, not a lot of events that are this fun event on patents, for example, but


please check out our website at library features.net. We do webinars, we do advocacy campaigns. We have a very recent campaign on the cost of ebooks for libraries called ebooks for us. That is very cool and very graphic with beautiful comics, and more comics and more fun and more very serious advocacy campaigns as well like a national public domain day. Thank you.


Bryce Edwards  1:08:07  

Hello. Hi, everybody. So I've got a show that I do have all music like from circa 1910 to 1935 called the Bryce Edwards frivolity hour. The next one that we have in the calendar is at Birdland in September on September the ninth. But that's it. That's it. So So you all have to be there because you have no, I, I'm a freelance illustrator and graphic designer, if you like the drawings projected behind me, people after necromancers have literally bought the drawings that I've projected. So if you want to do that, I would really love that I have something that that you guys are part of too. So on March the 13th, I'm playing with buck and a quarter quartet tonight was the first time that I ever played that I ever played with Miss Yuka. And you can see the second time and she's she's a special guest with the great band that does great skiffle and early jazz of the 1920s and 30s called bucket a quarter at Frances Kite Club on March the 13th. So that's about all thank you so much.


Speaker 1  1:09:15  

I have a gothic folk duo called charming disaster. If you enjoy music about myth, magic crime, carbon monoxide poisoning all kinds of poisons actually seances Houdini weird historical shit. Good news. We're doing a show right here at caveat on March 22. And you can get a flyer on actual paper flyer right over there at the merch table where I also have some music and T shirts for sweets and bread which is the project that Heather and I have together. That's right.


Speaker 2  1:09:49  

On son on Sundays, I'm at Miss Pavillon. Williamsburg playing resilient for home. Please come out and dance. It's from four to 7pm every Sunday.


Ayun Halliday  1:09:57  



thank you You and now I'm going to ask all my friends to leave the stage because I have a very sad chore and I don't want to share that sadness with them. I just want my, I just want you to put them like back in with piano. Thanks, Nick. Yeah, time. So we've had a lot of fun with John O'Connor tonight. Whoever he was Banville, JOHN O'CONNOR variety writer, long dead, still has a book in the New York society library. Possibly I'm the only person who's touched it in a very long time. But the conservator is going to have to touch it next, I'm afraid, but you can join that you can order it. People were selling this online for like 600 bucks, don't do that. You can read it for free, cuz it's public domain. But anyway, it is with a tear in my eye that I announced that it's time to send Broadway racketeers from 1928. And it's author John O'Connor back into the vortex from which it came. But before we do, we have a closing refrain that we can all say together. So I hope you'll join me in this recitation. All together. Now. The squawk of a plucked sucker is made to the racketeers ears. But the whale of a cheater who has been tagged with a double cross by a mob of hustlers makes the former sound like the chirp of a tubercular Ren, from that boring path of righteousness in through the back door of racket land to where the sugar comes soft


thank you so much for coming out. Hit that merch table if you want Nick Elia and I have stuff there. Oh, it felt so good to do this with you tonight. Thank you. So


Jennie Rose Halperin  1:12:37  

I want to make I want to make sure that we say thank you to Anne and all the racketeers for their incredible work on this show. And for coming out and for all of you for coming out please please please buy merch hang out for a minute say hi to people hear about everybody's project. Thank you again for this incredible I'm


Ayun Halliday  1:12:54  

so rude. I forgot to read my thank you so they come really fast. Michael Weinberg and Katrina Sutherland of the Engelberg Center on innovation Law and Policy at NYU Law. Jenny rose Halpern of library futures here at caveat we have an Houston Lynnie Ratliff Jack and John and Mara boza and your bartenders, Hector and Lauren and the New York society library for providing the books.


Announcer  1:13:34  

The Engelberg Center live podcast is a production of the Engelberg Center on innovation Law and Policy at NYU Law is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. Our theme music is by Jessica Batke and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license