Posts Tagged ‘burlesque’

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Alice Atherton, American burlesque actress and entertainer

April 25, 2015

Alice Atherton (1854-1899), American burlesque actress and entertainer, who married Willie Edouin in 1873.
(photo: J. Gurney & Son, New York, early 1870s)

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Lisa Weber’s death and burial, Buffalo, New York, October 1887

March 3, 2015

Lisa Weber (1844?-1887), English burlesque actress, one of Lydia Thompson’s original ‘British Blondes.’ She died in reduced circumstances while on tour in the burlesque Little Jack Sheppard at Buffalo, New York, on 23 October 1887. She was buried at New Forest Lawn Cemetery two days later.

(carte de visite photo: Howell, New York, circa 1868)

‘Lisa Weber Buried.

‘Buffalo, Oct. 25 [1887]. – The curtain has fallen upon the last act of Lisa Weber’s life, and the actress has stepped out upon the boards of an unknown stage. It was an indescribably pathetic little funeral that took place from the Eagle House this morning. Lisa Weber was once a successful and popular actress on the burlesque stage. Reverses came with age, and this year she took out a variety company on the road. Last Monday night she played the rôle of ”Little Jack Sheppard” at the Adelphi Theatre, but on Tuesday she fell sick. Her illness continued during the week and she was ”left behind” by her company. Sunday morning she died. She was in destitute circumstances, and members of the profession playing in Buffalo did what could be done to provide for her temporal wants. To secure a final resting place a lot in Forest Lawn was bought. The Rev. John E. Bold, of St. James’s Episcopal Church, conducted the funeral service. The pall bearers were chosen from members of the dramatic company now in Buffalo. A large number of the dramatic profession was present.’

(The New York Times, New York, Wednesday, 26 October 1887, p. 5c)

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Lydia Thompson, English dancer, burlesque actress and theatrical manageress

January 23, 2014

Lydia Thompson (1838-1908), English dancer, burlesque actress and theatrical manageress, who was well known on both sides of the Atlantic during a career which flourished for much of the second half of the 19th Century.
(photo: unknown, probably 1880s; cigarette card issued by W. Duke Sons & Co with Preferred Stock cigarettes in a series numbering 240, USA, circa 1890)

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Gloria Martinez, ‘the Beautiful Cuban,’ American burlesque actress

January 15, 2014

Gloria Martinez (active 1890-1915), American vaudeville/burlesque actress, ‘professionally known as the Beautiful Cuban’
(photo: J.B. Wilson, Chicago, circa 1902; halftone postcard published by the Philadelphia Post Card Co, no. 66, circa 1902)

Gloria Martinez, whose real name was Julia Boyle, appeared in various United States touring vaudeville/burlesque companies, including The Jersey Lilies Company, the New Century Girls and The Midnight Maidens.

The Jersey Lillies this season is playing the same pieces as last season. Both were written by Leon Erroll. Mr. Erroll was with the show last year. His part is now taken by Charlie Howard, who is featured, although James E. (Bluch) Cooper is the owner and plays a principal comedy role… .
‘Marty Regan is the same good ”rube” [hick or redneck] constable and Miss [Lucia] Cooper the same imposing principal woman, perhaps a little too much so in tights.
‘Glora Martinez, however, made such an attractive figure at the head of the chorus in an Amazon March that Miss Cooper might well leave Miss Martinez in full possession of all the honors she has taken in the ”figger” [i.e. figure] division of the performance… .’
(Variety, New York, Saturday, 10 February 1912, p. 25b/c)

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Ruth Stetson

May 19, 2013

Ruth Stetson (fl. 1880s), American burlesque actress
(photo: Conly, Boston, circa 1888)

‘Memories of old times were revived at the Fourteenth-Street Theatre last evening when Lydia Thompson reappeared before a Metropolitan audience as Prince Fritz in Oxygen. Those who expect to find any traces of time on Miss Thompson’s countenance will be to some extent surprised. She has preserved her appearance wonderfully. As to her voice, there is little of it left. But she has lost nothing in vivacity and grace, nor in that winsomeness of manner that made her a favorite years ago. The old burlesque burnished up with new local allusions and topical songs is just as absurdly funny as ever. It is the sheerest nonsense, so ridiculously bad that it makes people ashamed of themselves to laugh at it; but they do laugh, and that right heartily. The company supporting Miss Thompson is full of industry if not overburdened with skill. A more active and energetic set of buffoons it would be hard to find anywhere. Among them Miss Addie Cora Reed, Lillie Alliston, Ruth Stetson, and Leila Farrel, and Messrs. R.F. Carroll, Alexander Clark, and Louis de Lange especially distinguished themselves last night. The whole company joined in making the old burlesque move with the life of a too much galvanize corpse, and the audience was kept in a state of uproarious laughter from the beginning of the performance to the end.’
(The New York Times, Wednesday, 18 May 1886, p.4)

THE CORSAIR. Spectacular operatic burlesque, in three acts, music by Mr Edward E. Rice and Mr John J. Braham, libretto by Mr J. Cheever Goodwin, produced at the Bijou Opera House [NewYork], Tuesday, Oct. 18th, 1887.
‘In The Corsair all the essentials of the regular Rice burlesque are present, with the exception of clever comedians. Mr Frank David, who made some success as the comedian in The Pyramid, has been put in the principal role here, and falls flat. The other male members of the cast have few opportunities, although Mr [George A.] Schiller was occasionally humorous. Sig. [J.C.] Brocolini is the possessor of a fine voice, and used it to advantage as Seyd Pacha. Miss Annie Summerville was pleasing as Conrad, until she attempted to sing. Miss [Louise] Montague looked pretty and acted well as Medora. The remainder of the ladies [including Ruth Stetson as Fetnab] had nothing whatever to do. Mr Rice has composed a number of bright, catchy airs for the piece, and these were duly appreciated. The scenery calls for special mention, almost all of the sets being marvels of gorgeousness, especially the last one, which represented the Palace of Pearl. In another scene, that of the harem, it is stated in the programme that the curtains, which fill up the stage, alone cost $1,800.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 5 November 1887, p. 15c)

Ruth Stetson also played the small part of Tip-Top, Chief of the Pages in The Crystal Slipper; or, Prince Prettiwitz and Little Cinderella, a burlesque produced by David Henderson which first opened at the Chicago Opera House on 11 June 1888 before heading off on tour. Although there were various changes in cast, others who appeared in the show induced Topsy Venn, May Yohe, Edwin (Eddy) Foy, Marguerite Fish, Ida Mulle and Little Tich. (For further information, see Armond Fields, Eddie Foy: A Biography of the Early Popular State Comedian, Jefferson, North Carolina, 1999, ch. 6)

‘Ruth Stetson, the well-known burlesque actress, is soon to wed Mr. George Brewster, an elderly and wealthy gentleman residing in New York.’
(Duluth Evening Herald, Duluth, Minnesota, Wednesday, 5 June 1889, p. c)

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Fannie Leslie

April 8, 2013

a carte de visite photograph of Fannie Leslie (1857-1935), English singer, burlesque actress and music hall serio-comic, in an unidentified role
(photo: The London Stereoscopic & Photographic Co Ltd, London, late 1880s)

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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)