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Marie Fenton, ‘The Blonde in Black’

April 11, 2014

Marie Fenton (active, early 20th Century), American musical comedy and vaudeville singer, billed as ‘The Blonde in Black’
(photo: Frank C. Bangs, New York, circa 1910)

‘Miss Marie Fenton, a strikingly beautiful singer, is known as ”The Blonde in Black,” and aside from the attractive picture she presents on the stage, she appeals with her selection of popular songs. Miss Fenton is best known through her connection with several important New York musical comedies, and for her vaudeville tour she has chosen several of the numbers she originally made popular on Broadway.’
(The Morning Standard, Ogden, Utah, Sunday, 25 September 1910, p. 3b)

Palace Theatre, London, week beginning, Monday, 5 June 1911
‘[One of] two special items at the Palace Theatre this week consist[s] of Miss Marie Fenton, an American singer after the style of Miss Clarice Vance, with the added reputation of extreme celerity in the changing of her costumes.’
(The Playgoer, London, Wednesday, 7 June 1911, p. 366b)

Fifth Avenue Theatre, New York, week beginning, Monday, 19 February 1912
‘Marie Fenton, in four different changes of costumes, all of which were beautiful, sang herself into the good graces of her audience. ”To My Home in Dixie,” ”I’m Afraid,” ”Please Leave My Baby Grand” and ”Everybody’s Doing It” were the songs sung by Miss Fenton. Her changes were rapid and she was a solid hit.’
(The New York Clipper, New York, Saturday, 24 February 1912, p. 8a)

‘Marie Fenton, when seen at the Fifth Avenue theater in her new singing act, was cordially received, not only on account of the way she put the act through, showing experience and capability, but because she made a dashing and stylish appearance.
‘The frocks she wore for one matinee performance were: First – an emerald green satin made on slender graceful lines with a narrow pointed train, veiled in black net, draped and held to the front by a large gold and green jeweled ornament, a black satin girdle, and the round corsage a mass of gold and jeweled embroidery; one sleeve is of the black fabric, and the other sleeve and side is of the gold embroidery and jet. A high green aigrette in the hair finishes an effective toilette enhanced, of course, by a slender, graceful figures.
‘Her first change is to a smart black satin costume, also built en train, draped and slashed on the front, the outline bordered by jet banding; short tight sleeves of black net are set-in; there was a chemoisette of the net with jet bands over the shoulders and forming the girdle with tasseled ends down the side. Miss Fenton looked very handsome in all black, being a blonde and having the ability to wear clothes effectively.
‘The last frock was a black and white striped satin, a Princess in general design, the material plaited in at the waist and over the hips, making the stripes narrower and then wider; the short skirt is bordered by deep black fringe and black fringe also forms a bertha and falls over the shoulders, forming the tiny sleeves; black silk tights were worn and black satin slippers. A bandeau of rhinestones gave the tasteful finish to a very striking make-up.’
(The Player, New York, Friday, 1 March 1912, p. 9c)

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