Posts Tagged ‘A Waltz Dream (operetta)’

h1

Gertrude Glyn as she appeared as Sonia during the run of The Merry Widow, Daly’s Theatre, London, 1907-1909

January 23, 2015

Gertrude Glyn (1886-1965), English musical comedy actress, as she appeared as understudy to Lily Elsie in the role of Sonia during the first London run of The Merry Widow, produced at Daly’s Theatre, Leicester Square, on 8 June 1907 and closed on 31 July 1909.
(photo: Bassano, London, probably 1908 or 1909; postcard no. 1792M in the Rotary Photographic Series, published by the Rotary Photographic Co Ltd, London, 1908 or 1909)

Gertrude Glyn began her career in 1901 at the age of 15 with Seymour Hicks when he cast her in one of the minor roles in the ‘musical dream,’ Bluebell in Fairyland (Vaudeville Theatre, London, 18 December 1901), of which he and his wife, Ellaline Terriss were the stars. Miss Glyn was subsequently under contract to George Edwardes, appearing in supporting roles at the Gaiety and Daly’s theatres in London and where she was also one of several understudies to both Gabrielle Ray and Lily Elsie. She also seen from time to time in other United Kingdom cities. Her appearances at Daly’s in The Merry Widow, The Dollar Princess (1909-10), A Waltz Dream (1911), and The Count of Luxembourg (1911-12) were followed during 1912 or 1913 by her taking the role of Lady Babby in Gipsy Love (also played during the run by Avice Kelham and Constance Drever), in succession to Gertie Millar.

On 10 April 1914, Gertrude Glyn and Elsie Spain sailed from London aboard the SS Otway bound for Sydney, Australia. Their first appearances there were at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Sydney, on 6 June that year in Gipsy Love in which they took the parts respectively of Lady Babby and Ilona, the latter first played in London by Sari Petrass.

Gipsy Love, Her Majesty’s Theatre, Sydney, 6 June 1914
‘A thoroughly artistic performance is that offered by Miss Gertrude Glyn, another newcomer, in the role of Lady Babby. Although her singing voice is not a strong point in her equipment of talent, this actress artistically makes one forget this fact in admiration for the skilful interpretation of her lines and lyrics, and also the gracefulness of her dancing and movements. Another point of excellence about Miss Glyn’s work is that she acts easily and naturally, always keeping well within the pictures and confines of the character she impersonates.’
(The Referee, Sydney, NSW, Wednesday, 17 June 1914, p. 15c)

Gertrude Glyn’s last appearances were as Lady Playne in succession to Madeline Seymour and Mary Ridley in Paul Rubens’s musical play, Betty, which began its long run at Daly’s Theatre, London, on 24 April 1915 and ended on 8 April 1916.

* * * * *

Gertrude Glyn’s real name was Gertrude Mary Rider. She was the youngest daughter of James Gray (or Grey) Rider (1847/49-1900), a civil servant, and his wife, Elizabeth. She was baptised on 24 October 1886 at St. Mark’s, Hanwell, Middlesex. She married in 1918.
‘CAPTAIN BULTEEL and MISS GERTRUDE GLYN (RIDER).
‘The marriage arranged between Captain Walter Beresford Bulteel, Scottish Horse, youngest son of the late John Bulteel, of Pamflete, Devon, and Gertrude Mary Glyn (Rider), youngest daughter of the late James Grey Rider, and of Mrs. Rider, 6, Windsor Court, Bayswater, will take place at St. Paul’s Church, Knightsbridge, on Thursday, May 9, at 2.30.’
(The Times, London, 7 May 1918, p. 9c)
Bulteel, one of whose maternal great grandfathers was Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey (1764-1845), was born in 1873 and died in 1952; his wife (Gertrude Glyn) died on 16 October 1965.

h1

February 2, 2013

May Leslie Stuart (fl. early 20th Century)
English actress and singer,
as she appeared in A Waltz Dream,
Daly’s Theatre, London, 7 January 1911
(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, 1911)

‘In the course of an interesting chat with an Era representative recently Miss May Leslie Stuart, the charming daughter of Mr. Leslie Stuart, said: –
‘“Following some chorus work at Daly’s in The Count of Luxembourg [20 May 1911] and A Country Girl [probably on tour], Mr. Arthur Collins offered me the part of an Italian girl in The Hope at the [Theatre Royal, Drury] Lane [14 September 1911]. My next engagement was with Mr. Hale Hamilton in Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford at the Queen’s [14 January 1913] – when, you may remember, I played the part of the ingénue, Dorothy. I recall that this was a somewhat strenuous rôle, in that much kissing was a rather prominent feature. The run ended, I paid a most pleasant visit with my husband, Mr. Cecil Cameron, to the United States. Mr. Cameron is, by the way, playing Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Granville Barker in New York.
‘“I appeared with my husband at the Alhambra in a sketch entitled The Girl Next Door. I am afraid I am guilty of writing the ‘book.’ Edward Royce produced the sketch, and it was so successful that it ran for six weeks at the Alhambra, and then for a good while in the provinces.
‘“As I think you will be aware, it was originally arranged that clever and charming Ada Reeve should take up her old part of Lady Holyrood in Florodora [revival, Lyric, London, 20 February 1915], but for reasons of health this was eventually found to be impossible. And so – here I am! I am quite delighted to have the opportunity of playing the part, also to sing the rather “catchy,” in more senses than one, number ‘Jack and Jill,’ which my father has written for me.’
(The Era, London, Wednesday, 24 March 1915, p.7d)

Florodora revived, Lyric Theatre, London, 20 February 1915
‘Miss Evie Greene, the original Dolores, got a most enthusiastic reception on her first appearance, and her beautiful singing and fine acting enraptured her audience. The years that have elapsed since Miss Greene first played this part seem merely to have strengthened the magnetism of her personality. She has never sung “Queen of the Philippine Islands” better than she did on Saturday night; indeed, her performance has lost none of the sprit and charm of the original impersonation… As Lady Holyrood, Miss Ada Reeve’s original part, Miss May Leslie Stuart displays a fresh sense of humour and gives a very natural performance, clever and full of piquancy. She sings “Tact” excellently, and also a song, “Jack and Jill,” of which the words and music have been specially written by [her father] Leslie Stuart for this revival, and which wins hearty applause … In response to great enthusiasm Miss Evie Greene made a little speech at the end of the evening, acknowledging herself to be an old friend, but trusting that she did not “look the part.”’
(The Era, London, Wednesday, 24 February 1915, p.11b)

May Leslie Stuart, accompanied by her father Leslie Stuart on the piano, made four gramophone recordings in London during 1915 for the HMV label. These were ‘Jack and Jill’ from the 1915 revival of Florodora (03430) and ‘Don’t Blame Eve’ (03431), both re-issued on C590; and ‘Is That You, Mr. O’Reilly?’ and ‘Heligoland’ from the revue, 5064 Gerrard (Alhambra, Leicester Square, London, 19 March 1915. In 1916, Miss Stuart appeared as Lady Orreyd in Sir George Alexander’s film production of The Second Mrs Tanqueray

h1

January 25, 2013

Gertie Millar (1879-1952),
English musical comedy star,
interviewed by New York drama critic,
Alan Dale (1861-1928), London, 1911
(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, circa 1908)

”’GERTIE MILLAR SIGHS FOR SOMETHING NEW” – Says Alan Dale.
”’It is possible for a Gaiety girl to own all the Gaiety requirements and yet be able to throw plates and break glasses in moments of festive indignation.”
‘By Alan Dale.
‘The George Edwardes Girl is not necessarily a beautiful, pleasurable mollusc. Don’t believe it for a solitary moment. Perhaps the most memorable and pictorially interesting of the Gaiety sirens have been the placidly lovely damsels who have ”married into the peerage.” But – there are others. It is possible, though not at all unusual, to be a George Edwardes Girl with a ”temperament.” By that I mean that it is possible for a girl to own all the Gaiety requirements and yet be able to throw plates and break glasses in moments of festive indignation.
‘I always thought that Miss Gertie Millar had a certain ”temperament” of her own. Slim, willowy, with flashing eyes, and very red lips (I didn’t say very ”reddened” lips), Miss Millar appealed to me as a personality rather than a beauty. In New York she had very little chance. She was one of the Girls of Gottenberg, and they were not at all skittish. In London, of course, she can do what she likes, and I fancy that she does it.
‘It was after witnessing a very curious incident at the Adelphi Theatre, where I went to see Miss Millar in The Quaker Girl, that I asked her to ”chat” with me.
‘This was the incident: It was the night of the Derby and London was conventionally demoralized. Mr Joseph Coyne, who plays ”lead” in The Quaker Girl, did not appear at all in the cast. His place was taken by an understudy. Miss Millar came on in due-est course, and sang her opening song, prettily enough. As far as I could make out from the front, Coyne’s understudy seemed to ”get on her nerves.” At any rate, after having sung her first song, she never appeared again that night. An understudy finished the performance for her. Nothing was explained. I could imagine her ”throwing things.” It pleased me to believe that here at last was a London favorite with ”nerves,” and so overjoyed was I at the discover that I begged Miss Millar to ”receive” me.
‘And so I went to the Adelphi Theatre to meet her at home, in her dressing-room. I’ve come to the slow conclusion that the dressing-room is the very best place in the world in which to meet actor-ladies. It beats the suburban flat, the stereotyped hotel or the lonely diggings in which the stage lady attempts to pretend that she is not. Real? Who wants reality? If she were real I should not want to be chatting with her. It is because she isn’t real that she is interesting. Therefore, I say, ‘Rah for the dressing-room!

Gertie Millar

Gertie Millar as Prudence in The Quaker Girl,
Adelphi Theatre, London, 5 November 1910
(photo: Rita Martin, London, 1910;
postcard published by Rotary Photographic Co, London,
Rotary Photographic Series, no. 11749 B)

‘Miss Gertie Millar’s star-chamber was most comfortable and alluring. I’ll say one thing for London theatres, and it is that they don’t ”stye” their artists, as is often the case in New York. The London star dressing-room is commodious, even ”elegant,” and it has repose – like everything in London. It is restful, not suggestive of hustle, and it is, furthermore, picturesque. Miss Millar had just pirouetted from the stage when I was ushered in. The act was over. She had quite a long wait, and as she greeted me she allowed a gracious smile to illumine her thin features.
‘Very thin is Gertie Millar. Her movements are quick, electric and vivacious. Her dark eyes fix you and scintillate as she talks. She isn’t a bit like the usual London favorite. It dawned upon me that it would be seemly and pious to appear deferential. After all, I have to do a bit of acting myself on these hectic occasions, and by dint of long practice I have become a tolerably successful actor.
”’I used to read you every day when I was in New York,” she said, ”so I know all about you, and you can consider yourself introduced.”
‘Of course, that was very graceful. If I had been ten years younger I should have been flattered. Most scribbling fledglings like to be told by pretty girls that they have been ”read.” I fancy I used to like it myself, once upon a time. Now, alas! it cuts no ice. When an actress tells me that she ”reads” me, it sounds like a platitude – a mere substitute for ”We’re having fine weather,” or ”We’re not having fine weather.”
”’You recall New York to me,” she continued with a plaintive sigh. ”And I loved it. Oh, I had a lovely time in New York, and I want to go back.”
‘I was sorry for this conventionality and felt it my duty to nip it in the bud. The day was long since passed when ”I love dear America” had the slightest interest for anybody. And as for dear America, it got tired of being loved at least a quarter of a century ago.
”’You are so much on the alert,” she continued, piling on the agony, ”and you have such delightful ingenues and soubrettes. Here in London nothing new happens and no new favorite occurs. It is really dreadful. Personally, I should welcome the advent of new blood. It inspires competition, and it is healthy. But year in and year out we have the same people. I look around everywhere for some new personality. This is nobody.”
‘This sounded awfully good. Miss Millar’s eyes flashed. I wondered what she was ”getting at.” For a star to complain that there was nobody to vie with her seemed ominous. I was puzzled.
”’You wouldn’t like” – I began.
”’But I should,” she said most energetically. ”Indeed, I should. Why, the other night, when that little girl played my part, I was really delighted. I had given her a chance, and I fancy that she made good.”
‘Miss Millar looked at me steadily. My face, I believe, was immobile. I’ve never yet met a stage lady who liked a successful understudy. In fact, I’ve known many stage ladies who have recovered from the acutest forms of nervous prostration as soon as they head of their understudies’ pleasing success. Of course, I didn’t say this.
”’You were very angry that night when you didn’t go on,” I suggested.
‘Miss Millar looked pained – not angry, but grieved. ”Not at all,” she said. ”I was feeling very ill indeed. I simply couldn’t face the situation. I felt I should collapse, so I withdrew. It was annoying, but I couldn’t help it.”
‘I was hoping for something more sensational. I should have known better. Yet I could still see ”temperament” in the dark pool of her eyes, and I liked her. I liked her very much better than the soft, pretty, clamlike little ladies, who cling and look helpless.
”’You mustn’t imagine,” said Miss Millar, ”that because my husband, Lionel Monckton, writes all the music for me that I can’t sing anybody else’s. That would be quite wrong. I appeared in The Waltz Dream [sic], and honestly enjoyed it immensely. It was quite a relief singing somebody else’s music. And that lovely music!”
‘but Mr. Monckton’s music is delicious,” I suggested.
”’Oh, he is very clever,” said Mrs Gertie Millar-Monckton, ”and, of course, he understands me. He ought to do so, don’t you think?” (She laughed rather amusingly.) ”He knows the sort of thing that I ought to song, and he tried to fit me, and if he doesn’t fit I shall tell him so. I do not stand upon any ceremony with him.”
‘I could believe it. I could almost hear Monckton curtain-lectures on the subject of songs, seemly and otherwise.
”’It would be very foolish of me if I sang songs that I didn’t like, just because my husband, Mr. Monckton, wrote them. Wouldn’t it? Why, only the other day he gave me a new ditty to introduce into The Quaker Girl, and I wouldn’t introduce it. I didn’t like it, and I told him so.”
‘Miss Millar said this very emphatically and made a charming little grimace into the bargain. In that grimace I saw more ”temperament.” I could even hear clair-audiently such phrases as ”I won’t sing that, you pie-face!” I believe in clair-audience.
”’Mr. Monckton studies me, of course,” said said, ”and he can usually gauge my qualities. I never took singing lessons in my life, and I never studies dancing. I can’t understand why I am considered a dancer, because I really do nothing. I just jig to the rhythm of the music. I don’t consider that there is any art in it. I love dancing, and I adore watching it, but I don’t admire my own at all.”
”’Suppose somebody possibly new did occur in London,” I queried, reverting to her own theme, ”wouldn’t you feel just a little tiny bit vexed?”
”’Not at all,” she said. ”I am tired of it all, anyway. I’ve been at work now for a very long time without any holiday worth speaking of. I am tired and I’d like to settle down.”

Gertie Millar

Gertie Millar as Lallie in The New Aladdin,
the part originally played by Lily Elsie when that production opened
at the Gaiety Theatre, London, on 29 September 1906
(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, 1907)

”’Settle down!” I was aghast.
”’Yes, settle down,” she declared. ”Don’t look so surprised. Is it so extraordinary?”
”’You’d like to be a domesticated married woman and sit by the fire and tat?”
‘There was horror in my voice – very well managed horror, I flatter myself.
”’Oh, I didn’t say that,” quoth Gertie Millar, amused. ”I made no such statement. I merely said that I wast ired and that I’d like to settle down, and I mean it. One can get enough and I have no more illusions. I’ve been with Mr. Edwardes for a long time. I’ve played many parts. I’ve seen my understudies blossom forth. Miss Gabrielle Ray was my understudy, and she is doing very nicely. Miss Lily Elsie, though not exactly my understudy, was engaged to play my part [Lally in The New Aladdin] for a certain time. What is there left for me? As I said, there is nobody new. Nothing happens. I don’t know what will become of me later on. It is quite serious.”
‘I looked at her and liked her some more. She wasn’t a bit satisfied, and yet she has every reason to be. With the most musical husband in London and the most discerning manager in the world, Miss Gertie Millar’s lot in life would seem enviable. Still, musical comedy must grate. It is, in good sooth, gritty. I didn’t want to butt in and suggest to Miss Millar that with her temperament (that’s about the s’teenth time I’ve used that revolting word) she might aim higher. What’s the use of sowing the seeds of discontent? Moreover, Miss Millar, who is anything but a fool, has probably thought that matter out for herself, very carefully, and perhaps much more logically that I can think it out. But she is the first established musical comedy girl who has ever repined or seemed to repine, at her eminently successful career. So I think she is distinctly worth emphasizing, don’t you?
”’But I must do America again,” she continued. ”I didn’t have enough of it. I only played New York. I was anxious to go to Philadelphia, but Mr. [Charles] Frohman wouldn’t let me. I’ve heard a lot about your one-night stands.”,br> ”’Philadelphia is not a one-night stand,” said I, though I hold no brief for Philadelphia.
”’No?” she ventured, gently interrogative. ”Oh, I know that, of course. But I wanted to travel in America and see the country, for New York inspired me. I don’t find much difference between a New York and London audience. It seems to me that they are very much akin. When they like anybody in New York they are just as enthusiastic as they are in London. But I wouldn’t like to appear in New York in The Quaker Girl. I don’t think it is my best part by any means. It is to be done in New York, but not with me. When I return I want something better for the Americans. I have heaps of friends in American. Will you give my love to them?”
‘Wasn’t that cute? Of course, I promised I would, and I will. All friends of Miss Gertie Millar, in U.S.A., please accept her love. I shan’t bring it back with me because I might have to pay duty on it (love, being a sort of present, is not admitted free of duty at the Customs House), so I enclose it herewith, and those who receive it will kindly acknowledge it to Miss Gertie Millar, Adelphi Theatre, Strand, London, England.
”’You won’t settle down before you go to America?” I asked anxiously.
‘She laughed. ”You take me so seriously,” she said. ”I’m just tired, that’s all, and I feel I’d like to settle down. I don’t say that I shall, but that I’d like to.”
‘Which seems like a distinction without a difference, for what lovely woman likes she generally does. Just the same, between you, me and the bedpost. I don’t think for a moment that Miss Gertie Millar wants to retire. Therefore, she won’t.’
(San Antonio Light, San Antonio, Texas, Sunday, 9 July 1911, supplement)