Master of Ceremonies

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Master of Ceremonies

 

an artist of the variety stage who announces the concert numbers and performs in the intervals between them.

The art of the master of ceremonies requires wit, talent for improvising, and a facility for talking to the audience. The first masters of ceremonies appeared in the 1860’s in the Paris café chantants and cabarets. In the late 19th and early 20th century, they performed in variety and miniature theaters. In Russia the first professional master of ceremonies (from 1910 to 1920) were N. F. Baliev (the miniature theater Letuchaia Mysh’), K. E. Gibshman, and A. G. Alekseev (the miniature theaters of Odessa, Kiev, and other cities). The art of the master of ceremonies advanced greatly on the Soviet variety stage. Among the most famous Soviet masters of ceremonies are A. A. GriP, G. A. Amurskii, A. A. Mendelevich, I. I. Glinskii, M. N. Garkavi, P. L. Muravskii, B. S. Brunov, and O. A. Miliavskii. Two per-sons resembling the comic and the philosophizer act as a double master of ceremonies (L. B. Mirov and M. V. Novitskii; lu. G. Timoshenko and E. I. Berezin [stage names Tarapun’ka and Shtepsel’]).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.