Posts Tagged ‘Albert Chevalier’


Annette Fengler in England, 1900/01

June 21, 2015

Annette Fengler (?1879-?), American vaudeville and music hall singer
(cabinet photo: Hana, London, probably 1900)

‘William E. Hines and Miss Earle Remington, well-known and highly-appreciated artistes from the “other side,” will make their first appearance in England at the Tivoli on Monday. The particular business they affect is the original Bowery boy and girl, Yankee editions of the “Bloke” and “Donah” of Cockaigne. Miss Hines is also responsible for a humorous representation of the new woman “tramp” – a caricature of the unfettered female, and Mr Hines represents a type of the New York politician. On the same evening Miss Annette Fengler, another American lady, will commence an engagement at the same house, where she recently deputised for Countess Russell.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 28 April 1900, p. 18b. Countess Russell, formerly Mary (Mabel) Edith Scott, married as his first wife in 1890 Frank Russell, 2nd Earl Russell (1865-1931). She made her living for a while on the variety stage as a singer during their protracted divorce proceedings.)

The Tivoli music hall, Strand, London, week beginning Monday, 30 April 1900
‘Two new turns from America were last night introduced into the programme. They met with widely different receptions. It may be that [husband and wife duo] Mr. Hines and Miss Remington’s impersonations are true reproduction of some class that exists in America. One must remember that in some part of England Mr. [Albert] Chavalier’s costers were mistaken for Germans. But to the audience of last night the creatures before them were not any known or even conceivable class of human beings, their doing and their dialect wee alike utterly unintelligible. And the audience condemned the turn as one does not recollect any inoffensive music hall turn ever having been condemned before. Fortunately, the Tivoli programme can stand a weak turn or two, and the reception accorded to Miss Annette Fengler showed that the audience was free from all insular prejudice. Miss Fengler is an extremely pretty and elegant young lady, Slender and of more than common height, and most becomingly clad in an elaborate “confection” of pink silk, she had half conquered the audience before she opened her mouth. She sang two songs. Of the first once grasped little but the refrain, which ran “You know I left my little home for you” [i.e. ’I’d Leave ma Happy Home for You’]. The other was a sort of coon song about a little chocolate coloured boy, whose head appeared towards the end through a hole in the white sheet that served for background. These songs Miss Fengler sang very sweetly and daintily, passing the intervals, as American ladies are wont to, in ambling about the stage in rather forced attitudes. But she brought an unusual amount of grace to the business. The peculiar feature of her performance is, however, her singing some passages in an extremely high voice. These she rendered not only with a power for which the rest of her singing had not prepared one, but with exquisite purity and great beauty of execution. They were hailed with delight: the singer was encored, and it was quite evident that the audience would willingly have listened to her for another half hour. Miss Fengler has every reason to be satisfied with her first appearance in England… .’
((The Morning Post, London, Tuesday, 1 May 1900, p. 5g)

‘Miss Annette Fengler, an American variety artiste, is making a very favourable impression at the Tivoli. Her voice is, in quality, above the average heard on the music-hall stage, and the introduction of the little woolly-headed negro, whose head only is visible on the white canvas background when he joins in the song, is a novel feature.’
(The Pall Mall Gazette, London, Saturday, 5 May 1900. p. 7c)


Ina Claire and Sam Bernard in The Belle of Bond Street, Adelphi Theatre, London, 1914

September 30, 2013

Ina Claire (1893-1985), American actress and singer, and Sam Bernard (1863-1927), English-born American actor, as they appeared in the roles of Winnie Harborough and Max Hoggenheimer in The Belle of Bond Street, a musical play (adapted from The Girl from Kay’s), which opened at the Adelphi Theatre, London, on 8 June 1914. The production closed on 17 July 1914 after a run of 41 performances.
(photo: The Daily Mirror Studios, London, 1914)

‘Been Here Before.
‘How many London playgoers will remember Sam Bernard, who is producing and acting in The Belle of Bond Street, the American musical comedy advertised for production at the Adelphi on Saturday night? Mr. Bernard has made a big name in America, but he he was acting over here a quarter of a century ago, and appeared at the old Middlesex Music-hall.
‘The Coster Rage.
‘Those were the days when [Albert] Chevalier was making the coster song the rage of London, and Mr. Bernard was one of the earliest, if not the first, to take the coster song across the Atlantic. He bought a real costermonger’s suit to take back with him to New York, where he appeared on the stage and sang to wondering Americans of the joys and sorrow of our ”pearly” lads and lasses.’
(The Daily Mirror, London, Wednesday, 3 June 1914, p. 5c)

‘Miss Ina Claire and Mr. Sam Bernard triumphed last night at the Adelphi Theatre, and by her charm and cleverness and his broad humour overrode a foolish story, tinkling music, and a tawdry production… . Miss Claire and Mr. Bernard kept the show ”humming” from beginning to end … the night was made hilarious by the two chief performers, and an audience which included [Enrico] Caruso and Signor [Antonio] Scotti, Miss Gertie Millar, Miss Ethel Levey, Miss Gaby Deslys, Miss Vesta Tilley, and scores of Americans, shouted itself hoarse in approval.’
(Daily Express, London, Tuesday, 9 June 1914, p. 5f)


Gertrude Lawrence at Murray’s Night Club, London, 1920

September 26, 2013

Gertrude Lawrence (1898-1952), English actress and singer, as she appeared in 1920 as the lead in London’s first cabaret entertainment at Murray’s Night Club.
(photo: Claude Harris, London, 1920)

‘It was a somewhat daring innovation on the part of Murray’s Club to introduce a Cabaret Entrainment each night during the dinner hour, as although very popular in the States and on the Continent the experiment had not been tried in this country, but owing to the fact that Mr. Jack May persuaded a really brilliant artiste to ”top the bill,” Murray’s Frolics have proved a big success and a great draw.
‘Miss Gertie Lawrence, who appears on our font cover in colours [see above], is without a doubt the coming revue star. She made a name for herself at the Vaudeville in Buzz Buzz, particularly with the song, ”Winnie the Window Cleaner,” and in the forthcoming Hippodrome Christmas pantomime she will take Miss Phyllis Dare‘s part at all the matinees… .
‘Miss Lawrence not only has a good voice but is also a fine actress, particularly when portraying a London type of to-day. She is a trained dancer, and was under Madame Judith Espinosa for some time, and studied elocution with Miss Italia Conti. She has been on the stage since she was ten, and comes of a theatrical family. The late Pony Moore was her godfather, and her father was with the Moore and Burgess Minstrels and afterwards interlocutor at the Palladium. She bids to become as well known as either Marie Lloyd or Albert Chevalier, with whose work hers had much in common.’
(The Dancing Times, Christmas number, London,1920, cover and p. 209)


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)


Harry Fragson, English variety comedian and entertainer at the piano

January 4, 2013

Harry Fragson (1869-1913)
English variety comedian and entertainer at the piano,
in his monologue, ‘Le Grand Flegme Britannique.’
(photo: unknown, Paris, 1904)

‘Mr. Harry Fragson tells me he was very nervous on making his first appearance at the Tivoli (says a writer in the Daily Express), for some of his songs were novel in character. But the Tivoli, with its audience well round the singer, is just the small drawing-room house suited to an entertainer at the piano, and none of Mr. Fragson’s little effects are lost.
”’It is not quite the same thing over here, going from a theatre to a music-hall, than it is in Paris. Over there an artist passes from the theatre to the vaudeville house without any misgiving. Barral went to Olympia direct from the Comédie Française. Gallois passed without a moment’s hesitation from Olympia to the Théà tre des Varietés. Here, of course, you would feel a little shock if you saw Mr. George Alexander go from Pinero to the Palace, but we view things differently in Paris.”
‘The practice, of course, is growing here. Mr. Willie Edouin contemplates the halls. Mr. Chevalier turns with ease from ”Pantaloon” to ”The Fallen Star.” Indeed, he may be said to belong as much to the variety house as to the legitimate theatre. In August, Mr. George Grossmith, jun., hopes to be able to appear at the Palace.
‘Mr. Fragson is evidently a great favourite with the King. His Majesty, when Prince of Wales, head him sing many times at the Paris Figaro office. The conductors of the big French journal give tea parties at the offices, and to several of these parties King Edward went. King Leopold was a constant visitor. On Mr. Fragson’s arrival in London the King sent him a photograph, which I have just seen. It bears a suitable inscription in the King’s handwriting, and, of course, Mr. Fragson is inordinately proud of the gift. The signature Edward VII. shows the ”seven” put down as an ordinary numeral, with a little stroke across it, making it look like a capital ”F.”’
(The Penny Illustrated Paper and Illustrated Times, London, Saturday, 28 July 1906, p. 59d/e)


Albert Chevalier, English actor and music hall character vocalist, as he appeared for the song ‘A Fallen Star,’

December 27, 2012

Albert Chevalier (1861-1923), English actor and music hall character vocalist, as he appeared for the song ‘A Fallen Star,’ which he wrote in 1898 with Alfred H. West (photo: unknown, England, circa 1905)

‘Whenever I have a spare afternoon, I turn to the Queen’s Hall, where Mr. Chevalier appears daily. He is one of the entertainers I never tire of. No matter how often he sings a song, he seems to give it new life every time. His types, from the coster to the vicar, the old yokel (with his country cocksureness ”’E can’t take a rise out of oy”), and the French comedian, are all of them finished portraits quite distinct from one another. My only complaint is that Mr. Chevalier does not appear often enough, but gives us other entertainers, apparently in a terror lest he should bore us. That is impossible, Mr. Chevalier; I could listen to you throughout the whole afternoon.’ (The Sphere, London, Saturday, 27 January 1900, p. 36c)

Albert Chevalier recorded ‘A Fallen Star’ for the HMV label in London on 14 September 1911.