Posts Tagged ‘Arthur Dunn’


Marie Dainton

April 21, 2013

Marie Dainton (1880?-1938), Russian born English actress, vocalist and mimic, appears at Keith’s Grand Opera House, Indianapolis, November 1909
(photos: Bassano, London, circa 1909)

‘A vaudeville bill full of pleasing features and singularly free from weak points was presented to an enthusiastic matinee audience at the Grand yesterday. While no act on the bill cam be ranked as a sensational headliner, there are three or four whose high average brings it into the list of the banner bills of the season.
‘Marie Dainton, a pretty impersonator of stage celebrities, hailing from the London music halls, has an imitation of Maude Adams in What Every Woman Knows that is a gem. She had caught Miss Adams’s voice exactly, even to the fine twists and turns that have rendered that voice one of the most charming on the stage, and she has also appropriated a number of Miss Adams’s little mannerisms. Glancing away from the stage while Miss Dainton is speaking the closing lines of What Every Woman Knows, it is easy to imagine – it is almost conviction, in fact – that Maude Adams in person is on the stage. In her impersonations Miss Dainton uses no makeup, relying upon voice and manner to create the necessary illusions. This makes her task much harder, of course. Besides Maude Adams, Miss Dainton at the matinee yesterday impersonated Anna Held, Irene Franklin, Bert Williams and Mrs. Leslie Carter, catching the mannerisms of each, without, however, as in the case of Maude Adams, [being] absolutely convincing.
‘Arthur Dunn, the diminutive comedian, and Marie Glasier are back in their sketch, The Messenger Boy. They were given a hearty reception by the matinee audience, and, in spite of Miss Glasier’s overworked laugh, the sketch went with a rush. It has been either brushed up or worked down since it was seen here last season and in consequence is much improved.
‘In addition to Marie Dainton’s act there are three one the bill that are decidedly artistic – Witt’s ”Girls From Melody Lane.” Mr. and Mrs. Erwin Connelly in a sketch entitled Sweethearts, and Miss Winona Winters in songs, impersonations and a ventriloquial offering.
”’The Girls From Melody Lane” are a quartet of High-class singers, whose voices, excellent individuality, blend perfectly. The act throughout is neat and ”classy.” There are no costume changes, no attempts at grotesque comedy, nor anything else of the sort tending to mar an offering of this kind. The feature, if there can be a feature where all are so good, is the fine contralto voice of Miss Nina Barbour. The girls are a little unfortunately in their repertory of songs, there being none that leaves a permanent impression. It is the singing, not the song, that counts.
Sweethearts is a sketch that come close to the ideal vaudeville sketch, dealing simply and effectively with a sing theme. It is decidedly English in both its comedy and its pathos, resembling Dickens somewhat. It is presented in two scenes, forty years elapsing between them. The lapse of time is shown effectively by the growing of a sapling into a great tree. Love remains the same. The playlet is excellently acted.
‘Winona Winters, a pretty and vivacious girl, comically imitates a Swedish servant girl and a negro mammy, besides singing pleasingly some straight songs and giving the ventriloquial act for which she is famous among vaudeville lovers.
‘Elsie Faye, a clever little singer and dancer, Joe Miller and Sam Weston present a good singing and dancing costume act; Martin and Maxmillian open the bill with a magician’s act, where every trick is revealed by the awkwardness of the assistant, and the Walthour Trio of cyclists offer some daring novelties. Both the Kinodrome pictures are comic.’
(The Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis, Indiana, Tuesday, 23 November 1909, p. 6f)


Mlles. Serpolette, Folette, Risette and Clair de Lune

March 31, 2013

‘Quadrille Fin de Siecle,’ a cabinet photograph of Mlles. Serpolette, Folette, Risette and Clair de Lune, the Parisian can can dancers who made their sensational American debut at Koster & Bial’s, New York, in November 1892
(photo: Sarony, New York, 1892)

‘At Koster & Bial’s last night the second half of the programme was made up of imported Parisian ”specialties,” which were loudly applauded by the motley crowd. A novelty announced with a ”quadrille fin de siècle” by four dancers from the neighbourhood of the Batignolles.
‘They were supposed to hail from the Moulin Rouge, the home of high kicking and acrobatic performances, but from their comparatively slight knowledge of the figures of the dance, it is probably that, if they did come from Paris at all, it was from one of the smaller cafés. They have the South Fifth Avenue manner. Mlles. Serpolette, Folette, Risette, and Claire de Lune are four very large and rather vulgar-looking women of mature years. They do not dance ven as well as the four women in The Black Crook, nor do they attempt the same gymnastics, but the ”quadrille” is identical with that dances at the Fourteenth Street house.
‘Their performance seemed to please the crowd at Koster & Bial’s. M. and Mme. Berat, Marie Vanoni, with ”Georgie” and ”La Cantinière”, the grotesque Eduardos, and the Americans, Wood and Shepard, were all more interesting to decent folk. The Rendezvous and Barbe Bleu (condensed) operettas were well given.’
(The New York Times, New York, Wednesday, 22 November 1892, p. 5)

‘New York has a new attraction at one of her music halls. The four French dancers, Mlles. Serpolette, Clair de Lune, Folette and Risette, who made their first appearance in this country last week on Koster & Bial’s concert hall stage gave what may be safely called the most sensational terpsichorean exhibition that has ever been witnesses on the American stage. Their exhibition was anything but artistic, or even fetching. It consisted in a more than liberal display of lingerie, some very high kicking, squatting on the floor with legs stretched out at right angles, making somersaults and other feats of similar nature.’
(Oshkosh Daily Northwestern, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Monday, 28 November 1892, p. 4a)

‘Dancing before the footlights in New York city just now are a number of young women from Paris’ Maulin Range [sic] and Jardin de Paris, who are creating a sensation, the like of which has not been experienced in many a day, says a writer in the World of that city. According to the writer a new dance has been introduced by the French called le grand ecart. The English name for it is not very dignified. Perhaps the feat is less so, but we must accept it as an artistic excellence. Imagine the dignity of a young woman sinking down to the floor her limbs at right angles to the body. The undignified phase is lost in the rapturous applause which comes from all parts of the house, even from the box tiers of the Four Hundred… .’
(Hamilton Daily Democrat, Hamilton, Ohio, 17 December 1892, p. 3d)

Babes in the Wood may be seen for another week at this spacious and handsome theater, before making way for The Isle of Champagne. It is a showy, spectacular piece, with a dash of burlesque, a dash of vaudeville, a bit of pantomime, some singing, incessant music, brilliant effects of costume, scenery and lights, and more than a dash of dancing. The performance of the four French dancers, who wrap their legs around their necks and perform the bone racking feat called ”the split,” makes a genuine sensation. Arthur Dunn and Timothy Cronin in the comic parts are really funny.’
(The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, New York, Sunday, 12 February 1893, p. 5a)