Posts Tagged ‘Alfred Butt’

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Lily Elsie about the time of her return to the stage in the title role of Pamela, Palace Theatre, London, 1917

November 19, 2014

Lily Elsie (1886-1962), English star of musical comedy, upon her return to the stage in the title role of Pamela, comedy with music by Arthur Wimperis and Frederic Norton, Palace Theatre, London, 10 December 1917
(photo: unknown, probably London, 1916/1917)

‘MISS LILY ELSIE.
‘I hear them talking. For once they all agreed. Not time or love or circumstance could change her – she must succeed. She was Lily Elsie. I did not marvel. She is such a sweet woman. Men and women love her equally. Could anyone wish for greater blessing? What is her fascination? Perhaps it is charm. That elusive quality. Few women and fewer men possess it. She alone of all our stage women possesses it to the full. She is herself – Lily Elsie. Queen of Hearts – back on the stage once more. If Alfred Butt never did anything else he has earned in that achievement the gratitude of playgoers everywhere.’
(The Pelican, London, Friday, 1 February 1918, p. 3)

Note the similarity between this photograph and Sir James Jebusa Shannon’s portrait of Miss Elsie, which has been dated to circa 1916.

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Régine Flory, French singer and dancer, a Parisian and London favourite

April 18, 2014

Régine Flory (née Marie Antoinette Artaz, 1894-1926), French singer and dancer, as she appeared in a revue at the Cigale, Paris, during 1919.
(photo: Felix, Paris, 1919)

‘Mlle. Régine Flory is another young artist of great promise. Hitherto she had always seemed an excellent revue star, but in a recent revue at the Cigale she revealed an astonishing tenderness and dramatic intensity. Next she will be see in The Bird of Paradise. I should dearly love to see her as – Juliette.’
(Tor de Arozarena, ‘The Paris Stage,’ ‘The Stage’ Year Book 1920, London, 1920, p. 61)

Mlle. Flory as she appeared in the revue, Vanity Fair, which was produced at the Palace Theatre, London, under the management of Alfred Butt on 6 November 1916. This recording of her singing ‘The Tanko,’ a ditty so disapproved of by Siegfried Sassoon, written by Arthur Wimperis, with music by Max Darewski, was recorded for the HMV label (2-3222) in the studios of The Gramophone Co Ltd at Hayes, Middlesex, near London, on 16 January 1917.

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Regine Flory’s untimely death, which occurred at Drury Lane Theatre on 17 June 1926, during a performance of Rose Marie, was reported across the globe. For the full, distressing details, see The Times, London, Wednesday, 23 June 1926, p. 5.

‘While the performance of Rose Marie was being played to a packed house at Drury Lane, Mlle. Regine Flory, a French revue actress and dancer, shot and killed herself in the manager’s office at the theatre. It is said the tragedy occurred in the presence of Sir Alfred Butt and another man, a friend of the actress, while Mlle. Flory was having an interview with Sir Alfred over some business connected with theatrical employment. The dead woman was only 32 years of age and had appeared in various West-End shows at the Palace, Gaiety, etc. her last engagement in London was in 1917 and, it appeared, she was very desirous of again starring in a musical show. Two years ago she attempted to drown herself in the seine, and had been in ill health for some time.’
(The Vaudeville New and New York Star, New York, Friday, 9 July 1926, p. 6b)

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April 18, 2014

Régine Flory (née Marie Antoinette Artaz, 1894-1926), French singer and dancer, as she appeared in a revue at the Cigale, Paris, during 1919.
(photo: Felix, Paris, 1919)

‘Mlle. Régine Flory is another young artist of great promise. Hitherto she had always seemed an excellent revue star, but in a recent revue at the Cigale she revealed an astonishing tenderness and dramatic intensity. Next she will be see in The Bird of Paradise. I should dearly love to see her as – Juliette.’
(Tor de Arozarena, ‘The Paris Stage,’ ‘The Stage’ Year Book 1920, London, 1920, p. 61)

Mlle. Flory as she appeared in the revue, Vanity Fair, which was produced at the Palace Theatre, London, under the management of Alfred Butt on 6 November 1916. This recording of her singing ‘The Tanko,’ a ditty so disapproved of by Siegfried Sassoon, written by Arthur Wimperis, with music by Max Darewski, was recorded for the HMV label (2-3222) in the studios of The Gramophone Co Ltd at Hayes, Middlesex, near London, on 16 January 1917.

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Regine Flory’s untimely death, which occurred at Drury Lane Theatre on 17 June 1926, during a performance of Rose Marie, was reported across the globe. For the full, distressing details, see The Times, London, Wednesday, 23 June 1926, p. 5.

‘While the performance of Rose Marie was being played to a packed house at Drury Lane, Mlle. Regine Flory, a French revue actress and dancer, shot and killed herself in the manager’s office at the theatre. It is said the tragedy occurred in the presence of Sir Alfred Butt and another man, a friend of the actress, while Mlle. Flory was having an interview with Sir Alfred over some business connected with theatrical employment. The dead woman was only 32 years of age and had appeared in various West-End shows at the Palace, Gaiety, etc. her last engagement in London was in 1917 and, it appeared, she was very desirous of again starring in a musical show. Two years ago she attempted to drown herself in the seine, and had been in ill health for some time.’
(The Vaudeville New and New York Star, New York, Friday, 9 July 1926, p. 6b)

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Elsie Janis and Basil Hallam in The Passing Show, Palace Theatre, London, 1914

January 13, 2013

song sheet cover for ‘You’re Here and I’m Here’
words by Harry B. Smith, music by Jerome D. Kern
sung by Elsie Janis and Basil Hallam
in Alfred Butt’s production of the revue
The Passing Show, Palace Theatre, London, 20 April 1914
(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, 1914;
published by Francis, Day & Hunter, London, and
T.B. Harms & Francis, Day & Hunter, New York, 1914)

The first revue entitled The Passing Show was staged at the Casino Theatre, New York, in May 1894. The name was revived on Broadway for a similar production, The Passing Show of 1912 (Winter Garden, 22 July 1912). Thereafter there was a Passing Show every year until 1919, and the last of the series was The Passing Show of 1921 (Winter Garden, 29 December 1920). Meanwhile in London the format was reproduced by Alfred Butt at the Palace Theatre, Cambridge Circus, where The Passing Show was produced on 20 April 1914 with Elsie Janis, a young Broadway star making her first appearance in London, Basil Hallam, Clara Beck, Gwendoline Brogden, Winifred Delavanti, Marjorie Cassidy, Jack Christy, Mildred Stokes, Florence Sweetman, Nelson Keys and Arthur Playfair.

Elsie Janis and her partner Basil Hallam were an immediate hit. They recorded their two duets from the show, ‘You’re Here and I’m Here’ (HMV 4-2401; 1.20mb Mp3 file) and ‘I’ve Got Everything I Want But You’ (HMV 04116) in London on 4 June 1914.

The Passing Show proved so popular that Butt repeated his success the following year with The Passing Show of 1915 (Palace, 9 March 1915, with a second edition on 12 July), again starring Elsie Janis and Basil Hallam.

‘Elsie Janis Manager
‘Makes Alfred Butt of the Palace Talk Terms for New Act.
‘London, April 4 [1914]. – Elsie Janis has become a “manager,” according to Alfred Butt, proprietor of the Palace theater, where Miss Janis is to open in the new Revue in a fortnight.
‘“When Miss Janis was in London last summer,” Mr. Butt explained today, “I signed her to appear at the Palace. When she arrived back here a few weeks ago she informed me she had brought two other artists and I must find places for them on the bill.
‘“I saw them to-day for the first time and asked them both to sign contracts. To my amazement they said they couldn’t sign, that they already were under contract to Miss Janis. I asked her what it all meant and she told me she had both these music hall artists tied up tight for twelve months. If I wanted their services I must negotiate with their manager – and I did.”’
(The Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, New York, Sunday, 5 April 1914, Section 1, p.1b)<br><br>

Listen to a cover version of ‘You’re Here and I’m Here’ sung by Olive Kline and Harry Macdonough, recorded for Victor, Camden, NJ, 17 February 1914.