June 26, 2013

Kitty Gordon (née Constance Minnie Blades,1878–1974), English actress and singer, as she appeared in The Enchantress, a musical comedy written for her by Victor Herbert. The production opened at the New York Theatre, New York, 19 October 1911, later transferring to the Grand Opera House, New York, 1 April 1912, before a United States tour
(photo: White, New York, 1911/12)

The Nixon Theatre, Pittsburgh, 28 October 1912
‘Beautiful Kitty Gordon who comes to the Nixton theater next week in ”The Enchantress,” is said to wear some of the most wonderful gowns that have ever been seen on the stage. ”The Enchantress” is rated by musical and dramatic critics as Victor Herbert’s masterpiece.
‘The English prima donna has never appeared to better advantage than in this colorful production and she is supported by a cast of stellar quality, including the charming dancer Nellie McCoy.’
(The Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, Sunday, 20 October 1912, Theatrical Section, p. 4c/d)

Cort Theatre, Los Angeles, October 1913
”’Enchantress” Fails in Los Angeles – Owes Star $6,000
‘LOS ANGELES, Oct. 31 [1912]. – As a result of the collapse of Kitty Gordon, the famous English actress, who has been playing a week’s engagement in ”The Enchantress” here, the company has disbanded and will be returned to New York. Miss Gordon collapsed at the end of the first act.
‘Captain Beresford, her husband, says she has been on the verge of a breakdown for some time, and she insists on her taking a long rest.
”’There are many contradictory reports relative to the unfortunate affair which brought the engagement of ”The Enchantress” to a close in Los Angeles,” said Kitty Gordon. ”Not being able to locate the producer, I am forced to protect myself with the truth.
”’The financial condition of theatricals is not responsible for the closing of ”The Enchantress.” We have been supported well enough to continue, if the funds which have gone to the company had been competently handled in the New York office. The show would have been attached today had we continued our performance, and yet royalty money has been repeatedly sent to New York.
‘The money which was sent to New York for our railroad tickets has not been used for this purpose. I realized these facts nightly, and for the first time in my career as a star three weeks ago I accepted postponement for payment of my salary that the chorus and other members of the company who needed the money more than I might be paid.
””I have always received my money before the matinee started on Saturday, but during the last three weeks it has not been paid.
”’I have sacrificed my salary to help out my chorus, and today Gaieties’ theatrical office in New York owes me $6,000.”
‘From her bed Miss Gordon arranged this afternoon for an additional performance of ”The Enchantress” to get money to transport the company to New York.’
(The San Francisco Call, Los Angeles, Friday, 31 October 1913, p. 1b)

* * * * *

In a recording made in 1911, Lucy Isabelle Marsh sings ‘(To The) Land of My Own Romance,’ one of Victor Herbert’s songs from The Enchantress, originally sung by Kitty Gordon. Another version was made in 1938 by Richard Tauber. In 1912, Victor Herbert’s Orchestra made a recording of a selection of music from The Enchantress.


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