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The Abbott Sisters (fl. late 19th Century), American duettists

January 11, 2013

Abbott Sisters (fl. late 19th Century), American duettists
(photo: J. Schloss, New York, 1894)

The Abbott Sisters with Albert Chevalier’s Company at the Columbia Theatre, Brooklyn, week beginning 2 November 1896
Chevalier will get his introduction to Brooklyn at the Columbia next week and will sing his best known coster songs. In his company are the Abbott sisters, the American singers who made a hit [at the Palace Theatre of Varieties, Cambridge Circus] in London last season.’
(The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, New York, Friday, 30 October 1896, p.7a)

‘Albert Chevalier, the London coster singer, will make his first appearance in Brooklyn this week at the Columbia theater. Chevalier is notable among music hall entertainers for the really artistic character of his impersonation. He has humor, of course, or he could never had succeeded on the stages on which he first made his fame. But his humor is restrained by a fine sense of art and his personations show an acting ability of a high order. Had he been an American he would, no doubt, have been a character comedian like [James A. ] Herne or [William H.] Thompson or Frank Mayo. But the London music halls offer a much wider scope than do our variety houses and furnish audiences which our variety theaters, outside of two or three in New York which have developed very recently, never see. In that city his coster sketches were as highly appreciated in a twenty minute turn as they would have been here in a three act play, and with them he made a success which is likely to keep him permanently on the music hall boards. He has been in American about a year now, during which time his vogue has been steadily growing and his songs have run all over the country. A Chevalier song, though, in the hands of another singer, is like inferior photographs of a pretty woman. No one knows the charm until he has seen the original. During his week at the Columbia Mr. Chevalier will sing the songs which are most widely known, “My Old Dutch,” “Tick Tock,” “The Future Mrs. ‘Awkins,” “The Coster’s Song,” “The Little Nipper,” and others. He will be supported by a company of English entertainers whom he brought to this country because they were drawingroom sings at home and were somewhat different in style from the variety stage performers with whom we are familiar. The only Americans in the party art the Abbott sisters, two girls whose home is in Brooklyn and who made a hit in London last summer with their songs to mandolin accompaniment. They were popular on this side before they went abroad but now that the novelty and freshness of their work have impressed London they will be better liked at home. It is always pleasant to have one’s judgment confirmed by people of wide experience. Other members of the Chevalier company are Mr. Charles Bertram, Mr. Harry Atkinson, Mr. Cyrus Dare, Mr. Harry Brett and Miss Nora Girton.’
(The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, New York, Sunday, 1 November 1896, p.24a/b)

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