Posts Tagged ‘Bijou Theatre (New York)’

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Paula Edwardes in Winsome Winnie at the Casino Theatre, New York, 1903

February 6, 2014

Paula Edwardes (1870?-after 1926), American musical comedy actress as she appeared in the title role of Winsome Winnie, a musical comedy produced at the Casino Theatre, New York, on 1 December 1903.
(photo: unknown, probably New York, 1903; halftone postcard published by Carter & Out, New York, 1903)

‘CHANGES AT THE THEATRES… .
‘Two new plays will be produced to-night and two to-morrow night. First-nighters will have to hustle to keep up with the procession. Paula Edwardes will be presented as a star to-night at the Casino in Winsome Winnie. The other new attraction will be at the Bijou, where Alice Fischer opens in What’s the Matter With Susan?‘ This is Miss Fischer’s second starring season and Miss Edwardes’s first.’
(The Sun, New York, New York, Tuesday, 1 December 1903, p. 6d)

WINSOME WINNIE.
‘CASINO THEATRE.
‘The production on a New-York stage of such a musical comedy as Winsome Winnie shown last night at the Casino with Miss Paul Edwardes in the title part, illustrates how far musical comedy standards have been lowered in this country, or, at any rate, how well nigh impossible it is to find American musical comedy makers who can level up to these standards. Winsome Winnie is credited to the author of Erminie, Jakobowski and Paulton, but there remains only six musical numbers for which they are responsible; the rest have been supplied by Gustav Kerker with Frederick Ranken’s lyrics. And Mr. Ranken has made an ”American version” of the book. Was the original version so bad, then, that it has to be doctored out of all semblance of itself? By Erminie, it is hard to believe! Yet, if doctored, it must be, why not have done the job thoroughly? Why not have made a new comedy of it altogether, and announced it as a musical play by Ranken and Kerker, with a few interpolated songs by Jakobowski? Why weave, in short, upon the fabric of an old fashioned opera bouffe, such as Winsome Winnie must have once been, the violent, incoherent designs of an American machine made musical comedy, things of ”gags” and ”local allusions” and Dutch dialect and tripping ”show girls,” and then try to palm off the patchwork as art upon the public?
Winsome Winnie in its present form falls between two stools; it is neither a Broadway ”show” nor an opera bouffe, or old-fashioned musical comedy. Remarks about Chicago and the subway fall on the ears of Offenbachish brigands, show girls trip under trees such as Turner painted in his foregrounds, and the skeleton of a plot, poor Paulton’s dim, far off idea, appears and disappears fitfully, like the smile of the Chessie cat [sic].
‘Mr. Kerker, to be sure, has contributed some pleasing numbers, and the management a vast array of pleasing costumes on still more pleasing girls. And two, at least, of the few numbers by Jakobowki that are retained, one in each act, have the rhythmic swing and melodious and merry orchestration which helped to make Erminie popular. Miss Paula Edwardes, also, announced as a star, makes good the assertion, and is easily the most successful – the one successful, perhaps – mirth creator in the cast. She looks very charming, and plays with considerable feeling for the opera bouffe spirit that was evidently meant to animate the piece. As a whole, however, Winsome Winnie is not likely to set the town on fire.’
(New York Daily Tribune, New York, New York, Wednesday, 2 December 1903, p. 9a)

* * * * *

‘FORMER STAR ACT VERY PECULIARLY
‘Paula Edwardes Says She Was Told to Go to Broadway and 23rd Street Corner and Pray.
‘New York, Aug. 17 [1926] – nearly a quarter of a century ago, a new an scintillating star twinkled in the firmament of tuneful musical comedy and opera bouffe.
‘some habitues of the theater and patrons of entertainment served up in musical form will remember The Princess and the Beggar [sic], a melodious classic produced by Charles Dillingham, the ”hit” tues of which are even yet played sometimes, somewhere.
‘Paula Edwardes was the star of that particular musical melange. She twinkled in all the brightness of the old-time production of that sort, with its princes and retinues, beggars and maids. She danced and pranced across the stage, sang lilting love songs to a manly prince and took her many curtain calls with all the fairy-like grace she possessed.
‘Early yesterday when the downpour of rain was at its height, policeman Belton saw a dim figure kneeling at the coner of Broadway and Twenty-third street. It was a woman praying, her face uplifted to the pelting rain.
‘The woman was Paula Edwardes.
‘She said she was fifty-six years of age and had been an actress for thirty years. She had been ordered to go to that corner and pray in a dream, she told police.
‘Paula Edwardes was taken to the Bellevue hospital for observation.’
(The Norwalk Hour, Norwalk, Connecticut, Tuesday, 17 August 1926, p. 3b)

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Eliza Weathersby

June 30, 2013

a cabinet photograph of Eliza Weathersby (1849?-1887), English burlesque actress and one of the original ‘British Blondes’ introduced to American audiences by Lydia Thompson
(photo: Mora, New York, circa 1880)

‘Eliza Weathersby Dead.
‘THE WIFE OF NAT C. GOODWIN EXPIRES AFTER A PAINFUL ILLNESS.
‘Eliza Weathersby (Mrs. Nat Goodwin) died in New York last night [24 March 1887], after long suffering, from a tumor in the womb. She was 38 years of age. There was no performance last evening at the Bijou Theatre, where Nat Goodwin is now engaged.
‘Miss Weathersby was born in London in 1849, and she made her first appearance in 1865, at the Alexandria Theater [sic, i.e. the Royal Alexandra Theatre], Bradford. Her American debut was made at the Chestnut Street Theater, Philadelphia, on April 12, 1869, in the burlesque of Lucrezia Borgia. She afterwards became the original Gabriel in Edward E. Rice’s Evangeline, a burlesque which was successful all over the country, and thus Eliza Weathersby, originally one of the ”English blondes” brought over by Lydia Thompson, gained a national popularity. When she was singing the chief boy’s part, ”Gabriel,” in Evangeline, the Boston school boy, destined to become famous as Nat Goodwin, was playing ”Captain Dietrick” in the same caste, and Henry E. Dixey, the ”Adonis” of to-day, was acting as the hind legs of the heifer, who executes a solemn dance in one act of Evangeline. On June 24, 1877, Miss Weathersby was married to Nat C. Goodman [sic], and she afterward shared all his successes on the stage. Her last appearance was made in Hobbies.’
(The Evening Star, Washington, D.C., Friday, 25 March 1887, p. 4c)

‘PHYSICIAN VS. ACTOR.
‘A Sensational Episode Growing Out of Eliza Weathersby’s Death.
‘NEW YORK, April 24 [1887]. – [Special Telegram to the BEE.] – The death of Eliza Weathersby-Goodwin, the actress, promises to have a sequel. Dr. Merion Sims has presented his bill for professional services to her husband, Nat C. Goodwin, and Mr. Goodwin has refused to pay, on the ground that it is exorbitant. But this difference of opinion does not make the sensational episode. There are other things back of the matter that, if brought out, as it seems likely they will be in the courts, will prove extraordinary. Mrs. Goodwin had been ill for a considerable period. The trouble was a disorder that resisted all attempts to check it. Eventually the family physician, Dr. T.S. Robertson, deemed it advisable to have experts summoned to consult on the case. Dr. Sims was not among those who came at first. The doctors were in grave doubt as to the precise nature of the malady, but some were inclined to the opinion that it was a tumor in the fallopian tubes. If such were the case the only possible remedy would like in an operation for the removal of the tumor – a very dangerous matter at the best, and one that would be liable to cause death, even if successfully performed. When Mrs. Goodwin was informed of the possible nature of her trouble she expressed a desire that an operation be made, but Dr. Robertson promptly refused to perform it. He was not confident that a tumor existed, and was wholly unwilling to assumer the terrible responsibility for the result if none should be found. The other experts agreed with the family physician. Mrs. Goodwin, however, was anxious that whatever might be done for her should be resorted to, and Dr. Sims was called. He made an examination, and his opinion agreed in its general features with that of his colleagues. The truth of the matter simply was that Mrs. Goodwin must die if the disorder were to be left alone; that a surgical operation might possibly save her, but the chances were so strongly against her that it would hasten the end. This was made clear to the patient, and she unhesitatingly asked Dr. Sims to make the operation. He consented, and Dr. Robertson and one other were present when it was performed. The result showed that no tumor existed. The disorder was inflammation of the fallopian tubes, and soon after the conclusion of the operation Mrs. Goodwin died. Dr. Sims is a physician of the highest professional standing, has an extended practice and comes high. The actor, who disputes the bill, purposes to show, when the doctor sues him for the amount, that the death of his wife was nothing less than scientific murder. He will endeavor to produce the experts to swear that the operation was uncalled for, dangerous and inexcusable. On the other hand it is said that Dr. Sims can easily justify his course. It is pretty sure to be a disagreeably interesting case, unless the actor yields and pays the bills, for the physician is determined to collect, even if it should prove necessary to invoke the aid of the law.’
(The Omaha Daily Bee, Omaha, Monday, 25 April 1887, p. 1c)

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Rose Wilson

April 19, 2013

Rose Wilson (fl. late 19th/early 20th Century), American actress
(photo: Gilbert & Bacon, Philadelphia, circa 1885)

An early reference to Rose Wilson is in connection with her appearance in a production of La Vie Parisienne at the Bijou Theatre, New York, on 17 March 1884.

‘The most shapely woman on the American stage to-day is, beyond doubt, Rose Wilson, who played in Kiralfy Brothers’ spectacular pieces of last season. She is as near perfect as it is possible for any one to be. Her hands, it is true, are possibly a little too heavy, but there was postiviely not another blemish about her.’
(Salt Lake Evening Democrat, Salt Lake City, Utah, Thursday, 10 September 1885, p. 3c)

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April 19, 2013

Rose Wilson (fl. late 19th/early 20th Century), American actress
(photo: Gilbert & Bacon, Philadelphia, circa 1885)

An early reference to Rose Wilson is in connection with her appearance in a production of La Vie Parisienne at the Bijou Theatre, New York, on 17 March 1884.

‘The most shapely woman on the American stage to-day is, beyond doubt, Rose Wilson, who played in Kiralfy Brothers’ spectacular pieces of last season. She is as near perfect as it is possible for any one to be. Her hands, it is true, are possibly a little too heavy, but there was postiviely not another blemish about her.’
(Salt Lake Evening Democrat, Salt Lake City, Utah, Thursday, 10 September 1885, p. 3c)

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Emma Carson

March 31, 2013

an extra large cabinet photograph, 12 ¾ x 7 inches, of Emma Carson (fl. 1880s), American actress and singer, as she appeared in a revival of H.B. Farnie’s burlesque version of Offenbach’s Bluebeard, produced at the Bijou Opera House, New York, Tuesday, 6 May 1884
(photo: Moreno, New York, 1884)

‘BIJOU OPERA-HOUSE.
‘A crude burlesque of that bright, spirited trifle, Barbe-Bleue, was given last night at the Bijou Opera-house. The French piece, done here several years ago by Irma, Aujac, and a clever company, is perhaps almost forgotten now. Lydia Thompson, without doubt the only woman who could charm away the stupidity of broad and vulgar burlesque, originally presented Farnie’s version of the Offenbach farce in this city. This version was used last night, though hardly in its right form. The performance, like most things of its kind, was composed chiefly of extravaganza, absurdity, and womanhood with a small amount of clothes. A ”variety ball” dance, at the end of the first act, seemed to enliven the audience. Much of Offenbach’s music written for Barbe-Bleue was not sung. That part of it which was sung fared badly. Mr. Jacques Kruger as Bluebeard, and Mr. Arthur W. Tams as Corporal Zong Zong were the most efficient members of the company. Miss Emma Carson and Miss Irene Perry were not especially entertaining, and Miss Pauline Hall appeared to be a rather lame Venus. There was little talent shown by these mediocre exponents of the ancient leg drama. Luckily, Mr. Kruger was amusing.’
(The New York Times, New York, Wednesday, 7 May 1884, p. 4f)

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March 31, 2013

an extra large cabinet photograph, 12 ¾ x 7 inches, of Emma Carson (fl. 1880s), American actress and singer, as she appeared in a revival of H.B. Farnie’s burlesque version of Offenbach’s Bluebeard, produced at the Bijou Opera House, New York, Tuesday, 6 May 1884
(photo: Moreno, New York, 1884)

‘BIJOU OPERA-HOUSE.
‘A crude burlesque of that bright, spirited trifle, Barbe-Bleue, was given last night at the Bijou Opera-house. The French piece, done here several years ago by Irma, Aujac, and a clever company, is perhaps almost forgotten now. Lydia Thompson, without doubt the only woman who could charm away the stupidity of broad and vulgar burlesque, originally presented Farnie’s version of the Offenbach farce in this city. This version was used last night, though hardly in its right form. The performance, like most things of its kind, was composed chiefly of extravaganza, absurdity, and womanhood with a small amount of clothes. A “variety ball” dance, at the end of the first act, seemed to enliven the audience. Much of Offenbach’s music written for Barbe-Bleue was not sung. That part of it which was sung fared badly. Mr. Jacques Kruger as Bluebeard, and Mr. Arthur W. Tams as Corporal Zong Zong were the most efficient members of the company. Miss Emma Carson and Miss Irene Perry were not especially entertaining, and Miss Pauline Hall appeared to be a rather lame Venus. There was little talent shown by these mediocre exponents of the ancient leg drama. Luckily, Mr. Kruger was amusing.’
(The New York Times, New York, Wednesday, 7 May 1884, p. 4f)

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Clara Wieland

March 22, 2013

a cabinet photograph of Clara Wieland (fl. 1890s), English music hall comedienne, actress and dancer, autographed for the celebrated London perruquier and costumier Willie Clarkson (1865-1934)
(photo: Warwick Brookes, 350 Oxford Road, Manchester, England, circa 1896)

‘Clara Wieland, the celebrated serpentine dancer, has been associated with the stage from the time she began to think. She has traveled with her father [W.H. Wieland, 1852?-1922], and his invention, the celebrated ”Zeo” [i.e. Adelaide Wieland, the trapeze artist known as Zaeo] all over the continent of Europe and into Egypt, and wherever a length stay was made Clara was placed under the best procurable master of music, singing, acting, mime and dancing. She is an excellent linguist and remarkably well informed. Her varied training has been invaluable in her career, for French, Italian, and even Arabic, came to her with the facility of her mother tongue, which explains the perfect accent she gives to the foreign songs that form so piquant an attraction in her vocal selection. At the time she was born her father had just left the Crystal and Alexandra Palaces, London, where he has managed the amusements for years, and had gone to the continent with his circus, and the circus life came as almost part of herself. Entering into its excitement, she became an efficient haute ecole equestrienne. Her love for singing, however, prevailed, and her father indulged her fancies and carefully instructed her. When she was capable she made her first appearance before the public at the Empire [Leicester Square], London, in June, 1893, by creating a new prismatic serpentine dance. For five years she exhibited at the Aquarium [Westminster, London], where she produced her mirror dance. After this she was engaged as a vocalist at the Empire, where she remained sixty-nine weeks. A short engagement in the variety halls followed, ending with the Palace theater [Cambridge Circus, London], where she remained until the night before she sailed for America.’
(The Gazette, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, Wednesday, 25 December 1895, p. 4c/d)

‘CLARA WIELAND.
‘A Beautiful Young Actress Who Has Come Into Prominence Recently.
‘In the cast of the ill fated imported London monstrosity Gentleman Joe, which was recently seen in New York [at Henry Miner’s Firth Avenue Theatre, 6 January 1896, for ten performances, with M.B. Curtis in the title role, a part created in London by Arthur Roberts; and with a different cast at the Bijou Theatre, 29 February 1896, for 48 performances, with James T. Powers in the title role, and Clara Wieland as Emma, a part created in London by Kitty Loftus] and a few – a very few – of the larger cities, there was a young woman who at once attracted the attention of the dramatic critics. Columns were devoted to descriptions of her beautiful face and figure and her refreshingly original and thoroughly refined methods. She appeared to be a natural born comedienne and was hailed as one of the rapidly rising lights of comic opera and travesty. The name of the young woman was Clara Wieland, and she was by no means a newcomer or a discovery of the New York critics, for her ability had long been recognized in almost every other large city in the United States.
‘Miss Wieland is an English girl. Her father was for many years the proprietor of a large circus which spent the greater portion of each year in London. His daughter early displayed a marked inclination for the stage and no obstacle was put in her way. While she was still a little girl her father went on an extended tour of foreign countries with his circus, spending a long time in Egypt. Miss Wieland had by this time shown that she was possessed of an exceptionally good voice of rather light caliber, and at each place visited she was put under the care of the best vocal instructors to be had. Her dancing lessons were also faithfully kept up.
‘Later on came a course of instruction in the musical centers of France and Italy, and then Miss Wieland was ready to make her debut. This occurred less than four years ago at a prominent London music hall, where she scored a tremendous hit and was at once engaged for a certain number of weeks each year for three years. Her popularity with the habitues continued to increase, however, and her original engagement, which was intended to last only a month or so, was prolonged until she had been at the music hall for 68 weeks uninterruptedly. She was then the rage and her services were constantly in demand.
‘A firm of American managers brought her over to this country, where she duplicated her success in the vaudevilles. Latterly she has appeared in burlesques of the class of Gentleman Joe, and it is rumored that she will probably be one of the leading members of the cast of a prominent comic opera organization next season. Miss Wieland sings as well as she dancers and acts as well as she does either. The fact that she is bewitchingly pretty and intensely ”chic” is naturally not a drawback to her future success, which is as certain as anything can be which has not actually occurred.’
(Waterloo Daily Courier, Waterloo, Iowa, Thursday, 4 June 1896, p. 6b)

Tivoli music hall, London
‘Since our last visit Miss Clara Wieland has considerably improved her impersonations of prominent musical composers, a form of entertainment that Biondi made popular at the same house. The spectacle of a charming young lady in short skirts and decolletée bodice conducting an orchestra is a somewhat curious one, but there can be no doubt of the artist’s cleverness, whatever we may think as to the reasonableness of its display. We prefer the fair Clara in her chic and animated rendering of a chanson from La Femme Narcisse, entitled ”Ca fait toujour plaisir,” or her mimicry of a plantation Negro in the song ”That high-born gal of mine,” which has been stamped in this country with the hallmark of popularity by Mr Eugene Stratton.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 18 September 1897, p. 18a)