Archive for December, 2012

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December 31, 2012

John & Emma Ray (fl. late 19th/early 20th Century), American entertainers, ‘eccentric comedy team’ (photo: unknown, USA, circa 1900)

John and Emma Ray and Company in the farce, A Hot Old Time, Bastable Theatre, Syracuse, April 1901

‘Few stars circling in the farcical orbit are more warming in their effect upon an audience than are the Rays, Johnny and Emma, in A Hot Old Time. Their appearance in this now familiar compound of hilarity provoking nonsense at the Bastable last evening was welcomed by an audience whose large size indicated that extravagantly boisterous amusement of this sort is well liked by many local theater goers.

‘There is little rhyme or reason in A Hot Old Time, but the absence of everything that would compel the exercise of one’s intelligence in considering its contents contributes rather than detracts from popular enjoyment of it. Absurdly comical situations are strung together in a sufficiently clever way to enable the Rays and their dozen or more assistants to disport themselves with an energy and vociferousness that are unceasing from the rise until the fall of the curtain and that evoke a rapid fire accompaniment of laughter from the spectators.

‘The Rays are like unto no other farcical comedians on the stage. Johnny Ray is unique in personality, comic resources and humorous method of expression, and he has his audience with him all the time. In her own way Mrs. Ray is equally as exuberant, and their capable company, including J. Bernard Dyllyn, the De Forrests, Hayes and Healey, the Lynn Sisters and the Bright Brothers, ably abets them in the fun-making.

‘The performance will be repeated this and to-morrow evenings and Wednesday afternoon.’ (The Post-Standard, Syracuse, New York, Tuesday, 2 April 1901, p.5a)

‘The popularity of A Hot Old Time in which John and Emma Ray are starring, is enriching those farcical comedians, who only a short time ago were earning comparatively small salaries in vaudeville. Their recent purchase of a handsome and costly residence in Cleveland is one evidence of their prosperity.’ (The Post-Standard, Syracuse, New York, Sunday, 5 May 1901, p.2g)

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John and Emma Ray

December 31, 2012

John & Emma Ray (fl. late 19th/early 20th Century), American entertainers, ‘eccentric comedy team’ (photo: unknown, USA, circa 1900)

John and Emma Ray and Company in the farce, A Hot Old Time, Bastable Theatre, Syracuse, April 1901

‘Few stars circling in the farcical orbit are more warming in their effect upon an audience than are the Rays, Johnny and Emma, in A Hot Old Time. Their appearance in this now familiar compound of hilarity provoking nonsense at the Bastable last evening was welcomed by an audience whose large size indicated that extravagantly boisterous amusement of this sort is well liked by many local theater goers.

‘There is little rhyme or reason in A Hot Old Time, but the absence of everything that would compel the exercise of one’s intelligence in considering its contents contributes rather than detracts from popular enjoyment of it. Absurdly comical situations are strung together in a sufficiently clever way to enable the Rays and their dozen or more assistants to disport themselves with an energy and vociferousness that are unceasing from the rise until the fall of the curtain and that evoke a rapid fire accompaniment of laughter from the spectators.

‘The Rays are like unto no other farcical comedians on the stage. Johnny Ray is unique in personality, comic resources and humorous method of expression, and he has his audience with him all the time. In her own way Mrs. Ray is equally as exuberant, and their capable company, including J. Bernard Dyllyn, the De Forrests, Hayes and Healey, the Lynn Sisters and the Bright Brothers, ably abets them in the fun-making.

‘The performance will be repeated this and to-morrow evenings and Wednesday afternoon.’ (The Post-Standard, Syracuse, New York, Tuesday, 2 April 1901, p.5a)

‘The popularity of A Hot Old Time in which John and Emma Ray are starring, is enriching those farcical comedians, who only a short time ago were earning comparatively small salaries in vaudeville. Their recent purchase of a handsome and costly residence in Cleveland is one evidence of their prosperity.’ (The Post-Standard, Syracuse, New York, Sunday, 5 May 1901, p.2g)

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Charles Kean

December 31, 2012

Charles Kean’s reappearance as Hamlet at the Princess’s Theatre, London, Wednesday, 3 January 1855 (photo: published by T.H. Lacy, London, late 1850s)

‘Mr. C. Kean appeared on Wednesday night, for the first time this season, in Hamlet – a character which he has long since made his own – and in which he stands unrivalled amongst living artists. The house, as might have been expected on such an occasion, was crowded in every quarter soon after the doors opened. There is much to occupy the public mind at present of a more grave character than mere amusement; the performance that commands such powerful attraction at such a moment proclaims its own strength, and speaks a volume of criticism on its own inherent merit. Mr. C. Kean, by time and study, has improved on his original vigour and elegance in this great part, and was applauded with as much enthusiasm in all the most striking passages as during his first successful career at Drury-lane, in 1839 [sic]. The tragedy was well played throughout, Miss [Caroline] Heath was a highly-interesting Ophelia, while Mr. [John] Ryder and Mrs. [Alfred] Phillips imported the importance so often wanted when inferior actors are placed in the characters of the King and Queen. Mr. [Walter] Lacy made a most impressive and majestic Ghost.’ (The Illustrated London News, London, Saturday, 6 January 1855, p.11a)

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Mariette Sully

December 31, 2012

Mariette Sully (1874-?1940), Belgian born French actress and singer, as Pervenche in The Merveilleues, Daly’s Theatre, London, 27 October 1906 (photo: probably Foulsham & Banfield, London, 1906)

‘”GYM-CO-VAU-DE-PA-O.”
‘The dramatic profession across the water possesses no such thing as a distinctive club. It has, that is to say, no professional club-house. Paris can show nothing in the nature of the London Garrick, and provides nothing in the shape of the Beefsteak, or a Green Room, or a Savage. The clubability of ”the’ profession has never extended to anything of this kind. Its individual members appear to find quite sufficient everyday accommodation in the café of their predilection. Still, there are actors’ clubs of sorts in Paris, and the hieroglyphic seeming rubric above is, or rather was, the name of one of them.
‘This particular society meets in the good old Johnsonian fashion, at a tavern, and there, once a month, it dines. The tavern lies outside the ruck of restaurants, in a quiet and sequestered quarter, whither the feet of the roysterer never stray. But the dinners to be had there are none the worse for that, and the liquors all the better.
‘When the ”Gym-Co-Vau-Dé-Pa-O” was started a decade or so ago its members numbered thirty. The method of election was eclectic, and the original name of the club implies as much. Writ long it means, ”Gymnasc, Comédie Française, Vaudeville, Déjazet, Palais Royal, Odéon.” Not, however, that members of the companies of these theatres only are eligible.
‘The original designation of the Club, however, has been changed, and more than once. It became first the ”Petites Vedettes,” then the ”Mentons-Bleus,” or Blue Chins. To-day it is known fondly as the ”Guignot,” and the monthly symposium is thus a monthly Punch Dinner. But once a year, in this present month of January, the Punch dinner takes the form of supper; and, on these occasions, the Punchmen have a pretty custom of asking a lady – of course, a member of the profession – to preside. The first lady president was Mdme. Blanche Pierson, of the Gymnase. One of her successors was Mdme. Alice Lavigne, the désopilante soubrette of the Palais Royal. Last year Mdlle. Cheirel took the chair and the other night the revels were ruled by Mlle. Mariette Sully, the bewtiching heroine of Audran’s Poupée, who found under her serviette a counterfeit presentment of herself as she appears upon the stage of the Gaieté – a Doll of Dolls, which a floral tribute in her wooden hands, the offering of the gallant Guignol.
‘After reflection, and with the cigarettes, comes the literary portion of the entertainment. This habitually takes the peculiarly Parisian form of a ”revue,” or rhymed skit upon things in general, as wicked and as witty as the club pens can make it. Sarah in excelsis [i.e. Sarah Bernhardt], Sarcey in his critic’s seat, and M. Antoine in the shades, formed its features on this occasion.
‘The whole concluded with a tombola, conducted on professional lines, and lasting till the traditional baked apples had all given out.’ (The Pall Mall Gazette, London, Tuesday, 12 January 1897, p. 3c)

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December 30, 2012

Rita Barrington (fl. late 19th/early 20th Century), English dancer, a pupil of John D’Auban, as she appeared as The Blue Bird in the pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk, Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London, 26 December 1899 (photo: Hana, London, 1899/1900)

AMUSEMENTS IN BIRMINGHAM … GRAND THEATRE. Proprietor and Manager, Mr J. W. Turner. – Mr Dan Leno is attracting huge houses here, where he is the life and soul of the new musical farce, In Gay Piccadilly, which is being played for the first time in Birmingham by Mr Milton Bode’s company. The many disguises he assumes in his rôle of a comic detective, his patter, and his extraordinary antics are excruciatingly funny. Mr Dan Leno is well supported by Mr Johnnie Danvers as Ebenezer Tinketop, Mr. George Sinclair, and Mr Tim Riley. Miss Florence Darley, Miss Emily Stevens, and Miss Lillie Young all played well. Miss Beatrice Willey sang very sweetly as Lady Molly, and Miss Adie Boyne, a clever little comedienne, created much fun as Gladys Ada; and mention must be made of the exceedingly pretty dance which was beautifully executed by Miss Rita Barrington.’ (The Era, London, Saturday, 11 November 1899, p. 23a)

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Rita Barrington as The Blue Bird in Jack and the Beanstalk, Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, 1899

December 30, 2012

Rita Barrington (fl. late 19th/early 20th Century), English dancer, a pupil of John D’Auban, as she appeared as The Blue Bird in the pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk, Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London, 26 December 1899 (photo: Hana, London, 1899/1900)

AMUSEMENTS IN BIRMINGHAM … GRAND THEATRE. Proprietor and Manager, Mr J. W. Turner. – Mr Dan Leno is attracting huge houses here, where he is the life and soul of the new musical farce, In Gay Piccadilly, which is being played for the first time in Birmingham by Mr Milton Bode’s company. The many disguises he assumes in his rôle of a comic detective, his patter, and his extraordinary antics are excruciatingly funny. Mr Dan Leno is well supported by Mr Johnnie Danvers as Ebenezer Tinketop, Mr. George Sinclair, and Mr Tim Riley. Miss Florence Darley, Miss Emily Stevens, and Miss Lillie Young all played well. Miss Beatrice Willey sang very sweetly as Lady Molly, and Miss Adie Boyne, a clever little comedienne, created much fun as Gladys Ada; and mention must be made of the exceedingly pretty dance which was beautifully executed by Miss Rita Barrington.’ (The Era, London, Saturday, 11 November 1899, p. 23a)

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December 30, 2012

Arthur Bourchier (1863-1927), English actor manager, in the title role of Henry VIII, His Majesty’s Theatre, London, 1 September 1910 (photo: F.W. Burford, London, 1910)

This real photograph postcard of Arthur Bourchier in the title role of Henry VIII was published in London in 1910 in the Rotary Photographic Series (no. 147 M) of the Rotary Photographic Co Ltd. This production of Shakespeare’s play, in which Herbert Beerbohm Tree appeared as Wolsey and Violet Vanbrugh as the Queen, was revived at His Majesty’s on 12 June 1911 and again on 27 May 1912.