Posts Tagged ‘Casino de Paris (Paris)’

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Blondinette d’Alaza, early 20th Century French soubrette

October 20, 2013

Blondinette d’Alaza (active early 20th Century), French soubrette, at the time of her appearance in July 1906 at the Jardin de Paris, Paris, singing ‘L’Anguille,’ a ‘Chansonnette de vieux temps’ with words by Émile André and music by Théodore Bruet.
(photo: unknown, Paris, circa 1906)

‘BLONDINETTE D’ALAZA, Du Nouveau-Cirque
‘Imaginez la femme la plus gracieuse du monde, Parisienne à la perdition de nous tous, élancée comme un lys et blanche et fine comme lui, des yeux, pleins de rêve et de caresses, une bouche adorable laissant transparaître d’adorables dents, une chevelure de souveraine, délicieusement blonde, et vous aurez une idée … Eh bien non, vous n’aurez encore pas une idée de la beauté de son visage, ni surtout du charme de son sourire.
‘Artiste jusqu’au bout de ses jolis ongles roses, Blondinette d’Alaza débuta, il y a quatre ans, au Casino de Paris, et ce, par le plus grand des hasards après avoir été mêlée à un procès très parisien.
‘Ses débuts furent excellents. Nous la retrouvons au théâtre Marigny, aux Folies-Bergère, et cette année, même commère de revue au Noveau-Cirque. Entre temps parcourt l’Amérique du Sud, l’Italie et la Russie, oú son nom est synonyme de succès.
‘Que de grâce exquise ne déploie-t-elle pas dans ses chansons de gommeuse et de diseuse, retroussant crânement sa jupe, et laissant entrevoir une jambe fine faite au tour? Que de frissons ne fait-elle pas courir sur l’échine du spectateur qui reste enextase et comme cloué dans son fauteuil! Rien n’est plus charmant que d’entendre chanter Blondinette d’Alaza de sa voix si mélodieuse, si douce, que couvrent infailliblement, sur les dernières notes, d’irrésistibles bravos.
‘Vous dirai-je que Blondinette d’Alaza, ce bienfait des Dieux, ce double enchantement des yeux et des oreilles, cet adorable visage qui sourit, ce joli corps qui se cambre, froufroute, cette voix fraîche et souple qui nous enveloppe, nous séduit, a eu l’honneur d’être demandée par toutes les grandes capitales de l’Europe, et que, partout, ce furent des succès éclatants?
‘C’est ainsi qu’au Théâtre Argentin de Buenos-Ayres, les bijoux pleuvaient à ses pieds sur la scène en guise de fleurs tenues pour trop modeste hommage à tant de grâce, de charme, de beauté, de talent et … d’esprit. Oui, d’esprit! Elle de fit voir – – en d’autres occasions – – lors qu’au Marigny elle imita si plaisamment Mlle Sylviac, alors victime récalcitrante de ”Administration des Téléphones.
‘Moscou, St. Pétersbourg, Rome, Naples, se sont tour à tour disputé et ont chaleureusement fêté cette délicieuse incarnation de tous les charmes qui font de la Parisienne la femme par excellence dans tous les pays du monde.
‘Aussi nul ne pourrait-il se douter que cette Parisienne exquise, parfaite, a eu la malicieuse originalité de naître à … Lille!
‘Paris ne s’en est pas encore consolé.’
(La Rampe, Paris, Sunday, 3 May 1908, p. 9)

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Barbette

March 31, 2013

Barbette (né Van der Clyde Broodway, 1898-1973), American born international wire walker, aerialist and female impersonator
(photo: unknown, probably Paris, circa 1924)

Van de Clyde Broodway, known to the world in the 1920s and 1930s as Barbette, was born in Round Rock, Texas, on 19 December 1899. He began his career as a wire-walker with the Ringling Brothers’ circus but drifted into female impersonation after he replaced at short notice an ailing member of the Alfaretta Sisters trapeze act. In 1923 he was engaged for vaudeville by Thomas Barrasford at the Alhambra Music Hall, Paris, before moving on later that year to feature in the Casino de Paris revue, Y a qu’a Paris. Billed in this as ‘Barbette the Enigma,’ he caused a sensation at what proved to be the beginning of a highly successful international career. Broodway returned to the United States at the outbreak of the Second World War, but in 1942 he fell during a performance and sustained a serious injury. He subsequently became a circus producer and died on 5 August 1972.

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‘On stage, against black velvet curtains appeared a young woman in a silvery-gold wig topped with plumes and feathers, with a train of rich lamé and silver lace, undressing on a couch of rich oriental carpets. The woman then rose, naked except for the gems on her breast and belly, and began walking a [low] steel tight-rope. Her eyes shaded green, like some mysterious Asiatic jewel, she walked backwards and forwards along the tight-rope, dispensed with her balancing-pole, and contorted her thin, nervous body as the entire audience held its breath… Then Barbette leapt down on to the stage, gave a bow, tore off her wig and revealed a bony Anglo-Saxon acrobat’s head: gasps from the astonished audience, shattered by the sudden brutality of the action.
‘The Music-Hall has always had its female impersonators. But no one went further in the cult of sexual mystification than this young man who transformed himself into a jazz-age Botticelli…’ (Jacques Damase, Les Folies du Music-Hall; A History of the Paris Music-Hall from 1914 to the Present Day, English translation of the original 1960 French edition, Anthony Blond Ltd, London, 1962, p.30)

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March 31, 2013

Barbette (né Van der Clyde Broodway, 1898-1973), American born international wire walker, aerialist and female impersonator
(photo: unknown, probably Paris, circa 1924)

Van de Clyde Broodway, known to the world in the 1920s and 1930s as Barbette, was born in Round Rock, Texas, on 19 December 1899. He began his career as a wire-walker with the Ringling Brothers’ circus but drifted into female impersonation after he replaced at short notice an ailing member of the Alfaretta Sisters trapeze act. In 1923 he was engaged for vaudeville by Thomas Barrasford at the Alhambra Music Hall, Paris, before moving on later that year to feature in the Casino de Paris revue, Y a qu’a Paris. Billed in this as ‘Barbette the Enigma,’ he caused a sensation at what proved to be the beginning of a highly successful international career. Broodway returned to the United States at the outbreak of the Second World War, but in 1942 he fell during a performance and sustained a serious injury. He subsequently became a circus producer and died on 5 August 1972.

* * * * * * * *

‘On stage, against black velvet curtains appeared a young woman in a silvery-gold wig topped with plumes and feathers, with a train of rich lamé and silver lace, undressing on a couch of rich oriental carpets. The woman then rose, naked except for the gems on her breast and belly, and began walking a [low] steel tight-rope. Her eyes shaded green, like some mysterious Asiatic jewel, she walked backwards and forwards along the tight-rope, dispensed with her balancing-pole, and contorted her thin, nervous body as the entire audience held its breath… Then Barbette leapt down on to the stage, gave a bow, tore off her wig and revealed a bony Anglo-Saxon acrobat’s head: gasps from the astonished audience, shattered by the sudden brutality of the action.
‘The Music-Hall has always had its female impersonators. But no one went further in the cult of sexual mystification than this young man who transformed himself into a jazz-age Botticelli…’ (Jacques Damase, Les Folies du Music-Hall; A History of the Paris Music-Hall from 1914 to the Present Day, English translation of the original 1960 French edition, Anthony Blond Ltd, London, 1962, p.30)

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March 31, 2013

Barbette (né Van der Clyde Broodway, 1898-1973), American born international wire walker, aerialist and female impersonator
(photo: unknown, probably Paris, circa 1924)

Van de Clyde Broodway, known to the world in the 1920s and 1930s as Barbette, was born in Round Rock, Texas, on 19 December 1899. He began his career as a wire-walker with the Ringling Brothers’ circus but drifted into female impersonation after he replaced at short notice an ailing member of the Alfaretta Sisters trapeze act. In 1923 he was engaged for vaudeville by Thomas Barrasford at the Alhambra Music Hall, Paris, before moving on later that year to feature in the Casino de Paris revue, Y a qu’a Paris. Billed in this as ‘Barbette the Enigma,’ he caused a sensation at what proved to be the beginning of a highly successful international career. Broodway returned to the United States at the outbreak of the Second World War, but in 1942 he fell during a performance and sustained a serious injury. He subsequently became a circus producer and died on 5 August 1972.

* * * * * * * *

‘On stage, against black velvet curtains appeared a young woman in a silvery-gold wig topped with plumes and feathers, with a train of rich lamé and silver lace, undressing on a couch of rich oriental carpets. The woman then rose, naked except for the gems on her breast and belly, and began walking a [low] steel tight-rope. Her eyes shaded green, like some mysterious Asiatic jewel, she walked backwards and forwards along the tight-rope, dispensed with her balancing-pole, and contorted her thin, nervous body as the entire audience held its breath… Then Barbette leapt down on to the stage, gave a bow, tore off her wig and revealed a bony Anglo-Saxon acrobat’s head: gasps from the astonished audience, shattered by the sudden brutality of the action.
‘The Music-Hall has always had its female impersonators. But no one went further in the cult of sexual mystification than this young man who transformed himself into a jazz-age Botticelli…’ (Jacques Damase, Les Folies du Music-Hall; A History of the Paris Music-Hall from 1914 to the Present Day, English translation of the original 1960 French edition, Anthony Blond Ltd, London, 1962, p.30)