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Bromley Booth, English violin virtuoso

March 29, 2015

Bromley Booth (1869-1944), English violin virtuoso
(photo: unknown; postcard no. 2638A in the Rotary Photographic Series published by the Rotary Photographic Co. Ltd., London, circa 1908)

William Bromley Booth, who was born in Doncaster, was a member of a noted musical family from Yorkshire. His parents were George Booth (1831-1917, one of the sons of Edward Booth, a professor of music of Leeds), an organist and professor of music, and Mary Elizabeth (née Bromley, 1838-1903). His brothers were the pianist and concert promoter, George Edward Booth (1868-1954) and Edward Charles Booth (1872-1954), who played both ‘cello and piano and who later became a novelist.

Bromley Booth made his first public appearances when quite young but it was not until 29 October 1897 that he made his London debut at St. James’s Hall, Piccadilly. He appears to have retired in 1933, before, on 29 June that year, his violin was sold by auction at Puttick & Simpson, London. During the First World War he served with the Royal Army Service Corps. He died on 28 June 1944 at Peniston Cottage, Scalby, Scarborough, North Yorkshire.

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Topsy Sinden and Lily Elsie on tour in See-See, early 1907

March 6, 2015

Topsy Sinden (1877-1950) and Lily Elsie (1886-1962), as they appeared respectively as So-Hie and See-See, with ladies of the chorus, on tour in the United Kingdom during the first few months of 1907 with George Edwardes’s Company‘ in the ‘New Chinese Comic Opera,’ See-See. So-Hie and See-See were originally played by Gabrielle Ray and Denise Orme when See-See was first produced at the Prince of Wales’s Theatre, London, on 20 June 1906.
(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, late 1906/early1907; postcard no 3283F in the Rotary Photographic Co Ltd’s Rotary Photographic Series, published London, early 1907)

”’SEE SEE” AT HAMMERSMITH.
‘Miss Lily Elsie, who played the title rôle in ”The New Aladdin” at the Gaiety, gave a charming performance of ”See See” at the King’s, Hammersmith, last night. Miss Elsie has an engaging presence and a charming voice, and altogether gives promise of a brilliant future. Mr. George Edwardes has staged the popular Chinese comic opera very handsomely, both as regards scenery and company. Mr. Frank Danby and Mr. W.H. Rawlins keep the fun going, and the singing, acting, and dancing of Miss Amy Augarde, Mr. Leonard Mackay, and Miss Topsy Sinden are delightful. The production was enthusiastically received by a full house.’
(The Standard, London, Tuesday, 30 April 1907, p. 4f)

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Lily Elsie as Princess Soo Soo in A Chinese Honeymoon, April 1903

March 5, 2015

Lily Elsie (1886-1962), English musical comedy star, as she appeared as Princess Soo Soo in the musical comedy A Chinese Honeymoon. a part initially played by Violet Dene on tour when the piece was first produced at the Theatre Royal, Hanley, on 16 October 1899, and by Beatrice Edwards when the production opened in London at the Strand Theatre on 5 October 1901. Miss Edwards was succeeded (circa March 1902) by Kate Cutler and then (October 1902) by Mabel Nelson who in turn was succeeded by Lily Elsie when the latter took up the part of Soo Soo on Monday, 20 April 1903.
(photo: R.W. Thomas, Cheapside, London, 1903; colour halftone postcard no. 114 in C. Modena & Co’s ‘Ducal’ series, published London, 1903)

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Lisa Weber’s death and burial, Buffalo, New York, October 1887

March 3, 2015

Lisa Weber (1844?-1887), English burlesque actress, one of Lydia Thompson’s original ‘British Blondes.’ She died in reduced circumstances while on tour in the burlesque Little Jack Sheppard at Buffalo, New York, on 23 October 1887. She was buried at New Forest Lawn Cemetery two days later.

(carte de visite photo: Howell, New York, circa 1868)

‘Lisa Weber Buried.

‘Buffalo, Oct. 25 [1887]. – The curtain has fallen upon the last act of Lisa Weber’s life, and the actress has stepped out upon the boards of an unknown stage. It was an indescribably pathetic little funeral that took place from the Eagle House this morning. Lisa Weber was once a successful and popular actress on the burlesque stage. Reverses came with age, and this year she took out a variety company on the road. Last Monday night she played the rôle of ”Little Jack Sheppard” at the Adelphi Theatre, but on Tuesday she fell sick. Her illness continued during the week and she was ”left behind” by her company. Sunday morning she died. She was in destitute circumstances, and members of the profession playing in Buffalo did what could be done to provide for her temporal wants. To secure a final resting place a lot in Forest Lawn was bought. The Rev. John E. Bold, of St. James’s Episcopal Church, conducted the funeral service. The pall bearers were chosen from members of the dramatic company now in Buffalo. A large number of the dramatic profession was present.’

(The New York Times, New York, Wednesday, 26 October 1887, p. 5c)

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First edition of Footlight Notes, November 1994

March 1, 2015

Footlight Notes, cover proof of the first edition, published November 1994, featuring a photograph of Gabrielle Ray (1883-1973), English musical comedy actress and dancer, as Polly Polino in Peggy, Gaiety Theatre, London, 4 March 1911
(photo: Bassano, London, 1 June 1911, negative no. 40747, 2nd of 15 poses).

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Odette Myrtil, French violinist, actress and singer

February 24, 2015

Odette Myrtil (1898-1978), French violinist, actress and singer, who later became a Beverley Hills dress designer and restaurateur
(postcard photo: unknown, probably Paris or London, circa 1916)

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May Yohé, the future Lady Francis Hope, owner of the Hope Diamond

February 18, 2015

May Yohé (1866-1938), American musical theatre actress and celebrity
(photo: unknown, published as a Duke & Sons’ Honest Long Cut tobacco card, USA, mid 1890s)

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