Archive for January, 2013

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January 31, 2013

Ivor Novello (1893-1951), British actor, composer and theatrical producer,
and Mary Ellis (1897-2003), American star actress and singer
(photo: snapshot, probably by Bobby Andrews, England, 1935)

This photograph was taken at about the time of Novello’s successful musical play, Glamorous Night, which was first produced at Drury Lane, London, on 2 May 1935. Mary Ellis, lately returned to London from filming in Hollywood, created the role of Militza Hájos in which character she sang two of Novello’s most memorable numbers, ‘Glamorous Night’ and (with Trefor Jones) ‘Fold Your Wings.’ Both were recorded for the HMV label in London on 9 April 1935. Glamorous Night with Mary Ellis, Trefor Jones and an all-star cast was produced as a film in 1937.

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January 31, 2013

music sheet cover of ‘The Whip’, march and two-step by Abe Holzmann, inspired by the sporting drama of the same name by Cecil Raleigh and Henry Hamilton, produced at Drury Lane, London, 9 September 1909 and Manhattan Opera House, 22 November 1912, with (kneeling centre) Basil Gill as the Rev. Verner Haslam in the London production
(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, 1909;
music sheet with artwork by Starmer, published by Jerome H. Remick & Co, New York and Detroit, 1913)

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Cléo De Mérode in an ostrich feather hat, Paris, circa 1895

January 31, 2013

a cabinet photograph of the celebrated Parisian danseuse
Cléo De Mérode (1875-1966)
(photo: Reutlinger, Paris, circa 1895)

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Marie Lloyd, 1914

January 30, 2013

Marie Lloyd (1870-1922), English music hall star,
at about time of her marriage to Bernard Dillon
at the British Consulate in Portland, Oregon, on 21 February 1914
(photo: White, New York, 1914)

‘She’s here: that charming, sparking, clever, fascinating person who has made the name of Marie Lloyd famous on both sides of the Atlantic. It does one’s heart good to watch her reception at the Orpheum this week and so see how loyal are her old country admirers, and they don’t have it all their own way either, for those who have never seen her before simply have to capitulate to the breezy Marie’s inimitable way. You don’t know how she does it, but she does. Incidentally, the public is properly grateful for such generosity as Miss Lloyd displays in being willing to sing a long list of songs, for each one of which she makes a complete and attractive costume change.’
(Manitoba Morning Free Press, Winnipeg, Wednesday, 14 January 1914, p.8b)

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January 30, 2013

Ada Reeve (née Adelaide Mary Isaacs, 1874-1966), English actress and singer
(photo: LPSCo, probably London, late 1880s)

‘Portrait of an English Actress Now Amusing Americans.
Ada Reeve, the clever English actress now in this country, was born in London, England, March 3, 1871. She is the eldest of the ten children of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Reeve, well-known professionals, her mother’s stage name being Miss Saunders. Manager Frederick Wright instructed Miss Reeve and placed her upon the stage at a very early age. She made her first appearance as a child actress as Willie Carlisle in East Lynne, at Newcastle-on-Tyne, she being at that time 8 years of age. Starting upon a four-months’ tour with this company, she acquired much experience by reason of being required not only to play child parts, but, in emergency, to don long dresses and do general utility work. Having made rapid advancement in her art, and displaying remarkable capability, she was next placed in pantomime, and made her first appearance in this new fields at the age of 9 years, at the Pavilion theater, London, playing the Old Man of the Sea in a production of Sinbad, in which Bessie Bonehill played the title role. She continued at the Pavilion playing children’s parts, until the date of the first production of George R. Sims’ play, Jack In the Box, in which she created the part of the Italian boy, a role specially written for her by the author. This production occurred at the Theater Royal, Brighton, with Fannie Leslie as the star, and with Ida Heath also in the cast. She continued to tour with Miss Leslie during that season, and returned to the Pavilion theater in time for the Christmas pantomime, Red Riding Hood, in which she played the title role. She then made a second tour with Jack In the Box, and again returned to the Pavilion for the pantomime season, playing on this occasion the Genie of the Bells in Dick Whittington, and being understudy for the title role, which she played for one week with great success. She was at this time 12 years old. At the age of 13 Miss Reeve began her music hall career, playing her first engagement in this like of work at Gatty’s [sic] Music hall, the Hungerford, at Charing Cross, London. Although she had become a favorite in the music-halls, she had no intention of abandoning pantomime, and her new manager therefore accepted for her an engagement whereby she appeared at the Elephant and Castle, London, playing this time the title role in Sinbad. Returning at the end of the Christmas season to the music halls, she appeared in turn at all of the prominent halls in the English metropolis until the return of the next holiday season, when she appeared in the Christmas pantomime at the Britannia theater, Hoxton, London, to which house she returned at the corresponding period a year later. Last year she was engaged at the Prince of Wales’ theater, Birmingham, to play the principal boy role in Aladdin, and at the termination of her present engagement in this country will return to England and at the same house will appear in the principal girl role in Little Bo Peep. She contemplates returned to this country next season, when she will probably be seen in farce comedy.’
(The Daily Review, Decatur, Illinois, Wednesday, 27 December 1893, p.2c)

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January 30, 2013

Ada Reeve (née Adelaide Mary Isaacs, 1874-1966), English actress and singer
(photo: LPSCo, probably London, late 1880s)

‘Portrait of an English Actress Now Amusing Americans.
Ada Reeve, the clever English actress now in this country, was born in London, England, March 3, 1871. She is the eldest of the ten children of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Reeve, well-known professionals, her mother’s stage name being Miss Saunders. Manager Frederick Wright instructed Miss Reeve and placed her upon the stage at a very early age. She made her first appearance as a child actress as Willie Carlisle in East Lynne, at Newcastle-on-Tyne, she being at that time 8 years of age. Starting upon a four-months’ tour with this company, she acquired much experience by reason of being required not only to play child parts, but, in emergency, to don long dresses and do general utility work. Having made rapid advancement in her art, and displaying remarkable capability, she was next placed in pantomime, and made her first appearance in this new fields at the age of 9 years, at the Pavilion theater, London, playing the Old Man of the Sea in a production of Sinbad, in which Bessie Bonehill played the title role. She continued at the Pavilion playing children’s parts, until the date of the first production of George R. Sims’ play, Jack In the Box, in which she created the part of the Italian boy, a role specially written for her by the author. This production occurred at the Theater Royal, Brighton, with Fannie Leslie as the star, and with Ida Heath also in the cast. She continued to tour with Miss Leslie during that season, and returned to the Pavilion theater in time for the Christmas pantomime, Red Riding Hood, in which she played the title role. She then made a second tour with Jack In the Box, and again returned to the Pavilion for the pantomime season, playing on this occasion the Genie of the Bells in Dick Whittington, and being understudy for the title role, which she played for one week with great success. She was at this time 12 years old. At the age of 13 Miss Reeve began her music hall career, playing her first engagement in this like of work at Gatty’s [sic] Music hall, the Hungerford, at Charing Cross, London. Although she had become a favorite in the music-halls, she had no intention of abandoning pantomime, and her new manager therefore accepted for her an engagement whereby she appeared at the Elephant and Castle, London, playing this time the title role in Sinbad. Returning at the end of the Christmas season to the music halls, she appeared in turn at all of the prominent halls in the English metropolis until the return of the next holiday season, when she appeared in the Christmas pantomime at the Britannia theater, Hoxton, London, to which house she returned at the corresponding period a year later. Last year she was engaged at the Prince of Wales’ theater, Birmingham, to play the principal boy role in Aladdin, and at the termination of her present engagement in this country will return to England and at the same house will appear in the principal girl role in Little Bo Peep. She contemplates returned to this country next season, when she will probably be seen in farce comedy.’
(The Daily Review, Decatur, Illinois, Wednesday, 27 December 1893, p.2c)

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January 30, 2013

Ada Reeve (née Adelaide Mary Isaacs, 1874-1966), English actress and singer
(photo: LPSCo, probably London, late 1880s)

‘Portrait of an English Actress Now Amusing Americans.
Ada Reeve, the clever English actress now in this country, was born in London, England, March 3, 1871. She is the eldest of the ten children of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Reeve, well-known professionals, her mother’s stage name being Miss Saunders. Manager Frederick Wright instructed Miss Reeve and placed her upon the stage at a very early age. She made her first appearance as a child actress as Willie Carlisle in East Lynne, at Newcastle-on-Tyne, she being at that time 8 years of age. Starting upon a four-months’ tour with this company, she acquired much experience by reason of being required not only to play child parts, but, in emergency, to don long dresses and do general utility work. Having made rapid advancement in her art, and displaying remarkable capability, she was next placed in pantomime, and made her first appearance in this new fields at the age of 9 years, at the Pavilion theater, London, playing the Old Man of the Sea in a production of Sinbad, in which Bessie Bonehill played the title role. She continued at the Pavilion playing children’s parts, until the date of the first production of George R. Sims’ play, Jack In the Box, in which she created the part of the Italian boy, a role specially written for her by the author. This production occurred at the Theater Royal, Brighton, with Fannie Leslie as the star, and with Ida Heath also in the cast. She continued to tour with Miss Leslie during that season, and returned to the Pavilion theater in time for the Christmas pantomime, Red Riding Hood, in which she played the title role. She then made a second tour with Jack In the Box, and again returned to the Pavilion for the pantomime season, playing on this occasion the Genie of the Bells in Dick Whittington, and being understudy for the title role, which she played for one week with great success. She was at this time 12 years old. At the age of 13 Miss Reeve began her music hall career, playing her first engagement in this like of work at Gatty’s [sic] Music hall, the Hungerford, at Charing Cross, London. Although she had become a favorite in the music-halls, she had no intention of abandoning pantomime, and her new manager therefore accepted for her an engagement whereby she appeared at the Elephant and Castle, London, playing this time the title role in Sinbad. Returning at the end of the Christmas season to the music halls, she appeared in turn at all of the prominent halls in the English metropolis until the return of the next holiday season, when she appeared in the Christmas pantomime at the Britannia theater, Hoxton, London, to which house she returned at the corresponding period a year later. Last year she was engaged at the Prince of Wales’ theater, Birmingham, to play the principal boy role in Aladdin, and at the termination of her present engagement in this country will return to England and at the same house will appear in the principal girl role in Little Bo Peep. She contemplates returned to this country next season, when she will probably be seen in farce comedy.’
(The Daily Review, Decatur, Illinois, Wednesday, 27 December 1893, p.2c)

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January 29, 2013

a cabinet photograph of the four male leads in Henry Hamilton’s play,
The Three Musketeers, produced at the Globe Theatre, London, on 22 October 1898,
left to right, Charles Goodhart as Porthos, Gerald Gurney as Aramis,
Lewis Waller as D’Artagnan and Bassett Roe as Athos
(photo: The London Stereoscopic & Photographic Co Ltd, London, 1898)

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Grace Palotta and Florence Lloyd A Gaiety Girl, Daly’s Theatre, New York, 18 September 1894

January 29, 2013

Grace Palotta and Florence Lloyd as they appeared in the bathing scene
in A Gaiety Girl, Daly’s Theatre, New York, 18 September 1894
(photo: B.J. Falk, New York, 1894)

This real photograph cigarette card was issued in England in the late 1890s by Ogden’s in one of their Guinea Gold series. The photograph shows Florence Lloyd and Grace Palotta respectively as Cissy Verner and Ethel Hawthorne in the London Gaiety Theatre Company’s production of A Gaiety Girl at Daly’s Theatre, New York, 18 September 1894. A United States tour followed the Broadway run.

Florence Lloyd and Grace Palotta

Florence Lloyd and Grace Palotta as they appeared in the bathing scene
In A Gaiety Girl, Daly’s Theatre, New York, 18 September 1894
(composite photo, originals by: B.J. Falk, New York, 1894)

A Gaiety Girl at Daly’s [New York] is realistic in that it has two dozen gaiety girls [sic] on the stage. The burlesque bases its hope to success on the claim that one dozen of these are beauties.’
(The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, New York, Sunday, 23 September 1894, p.8c)

‘George Edwardes’ London company will occupy the Brooklyn Academy of Music during Christmas week [1894]. It will appear in The Gaiety Girl [sic] that had a run of 300 nights in London and three months at Daly’s theater in New York.’
(The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, New York, Sunday, 16 December 1894, p.9a)

The Gaiety Girl [sic], an English burlesque which has attracted a good deal of attention in London and New York, will be brought to the Academy of Music for the whole of this week. The piece is a mixture of pretty girls, English humor, singing, dancing and bathing machines and dresses of the English fashion. The dancing is a special feature of the performance, English burlesques giving much more attention to that feature of their attractiveness than the American entertainments of the same grade do. The present dancers are the successors of Letty Lind and Sylvia Gray [sic], who are still remembered for introducing the blessings of the skirt dance to America, and they are subjects of the same sort of interest.’
(The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, New York, Sunday, 23 December 1894, p.9a)

‘The attendance at the Academy [Brooklyn] to see the new musical comedy – it might better be called a farce – A Gaiety Girl, was not great in point of numbers. It was Christmas eve, and Brooklyn people do not attend theatres on the night before Christmas. Those who did go are wondering yet what they say. No such surprising amount of nothing has appeared on a stage here for some time. It was entertaining beyond a doubt, but this was mainly owing to the efforts of perhaps three capably eccentric actors and three or four dancers. Harry Monkhouse, as Dr. Montague Brierly, was exceedingly clever. He was like a subdued De Wolf Hopper, and the audience waited for him to appear again when he left the stage. His scenes with Miss Maud Hobson, as Lady Virginia Forrest, where comical, and he has a drawl that would make any lines funny. Miss Maud Hobson was excellent as the flirtatious chaperon and woman of the divorce courts. Mr. Leedham Bancock [i.e. Leedham Bantock], as Sir Lewis Grey, judge of the divorce court; Major Barclay, as portrayed by Mr. Frederick Kaye, and the Rose Brierly of Miss Decima Moore were well received. The Gaiety girls [sic] are good dancers, graceful as could be wished for, and Miss Cissy Fitzgerald made a hit in her one dance, but, in spite of continued applause, she refused to reappear. The play went calmly on amid a storm of handclapping which developed into several well defined hisses when no attention was paid to the encore. As Miss Fitzgerald came down pretty hard on the floor at the close of her dance and limped off, it is to be presumed she was unable to continue. Mr. Charles Ryley, as Charles Goldfield, has a pleasant tenor voice and was quite willing to use it. The rest of the cast looked pretty, the songs were quite catching and the lines fairly humorous. Most of the jokes, however, were too broad for this side of the bridge. Mina, as given by Miss Grace Palotta, was a typical American idea of a French girl. Her songs were light but taking and she gave them with decided vivacity and grace. The words of A Gaiety Girl are by Owen Hall, lyrics by Harry Greenback [i.e. Harry Greenbank] and music by Sydney Johnson [i.e. Sidney Jones]. The play is well mounted.’
(The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, New York, Wednesday, 26 December 1894, p.2c)

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J. & P. Coats ‘Best Six Cord Thread’ advertising card with Courtice Pounds as Nanki-Poo

January 29, 2013

a J. & P. Coats ‘Best Six Cord Thread’ advertising card, featuring a portrait
of the character Nanki-Poo from Gilbert & Sullivan’s opera, The Mikado.
Although Nanki-Poo was created by Durward Lely when The Mikado
was first performed at the Savoy Theatre, London, on 14 March 1885, and the part was played by Charles Kenningham in the 1895 revival at the Savoy, the image on this card is almost certainly after a photograph of Courtice Pounds as Nanki-Poo when The Mikado was first produced by
the D’Oyly Carte company in New York, at the Fifth Avenue Theatre, on 19 August 1885
(lithograph, printed by Donaldson Brothers, New York, circa 1885)