Posts Tagged ‘Charles Frohman’

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Sophie Eyre, Irish born actress, photographed by Sarony, New York, circa 1885

January 18, 2015

Sophie Eyre (1853?-1892), Irish born dramatic Actress
(cabinet photo: Sarony, New York, circa 1885)

‘THE LATE SOPHIE EYRE
‘The death is announced at Naples, Italy, Nov. 5 [1892], of Sophie Eyre, the well known leading lady. She had been sojourning in that city, and succumbed to an attack of heart disease. Six years ago, Sophie Eyre told THE CLIPPER the story of her life. She was born Sophia Lillian Ryan, at Tipperary, Ire., about 1857, and was the daughter of Maj. Ryan. At the age of seventeen she married Maj. Lonsdale, of the Seventh English Hussars, and went with her husband to India, where, at nineteen, she became a widow. Returning to England, she followed an inclination, which, in an amateur way, had manifested itself while she was quite young, and adopted the stage. Her first professional appearance was made at the Theatre Royal, Portsmouth, Eng., in a small part, and she remained at that house six months. Then she went on a provincial tour in ”Diplomacy,” playing Zicka. The following season she made another tour of the English provinces, doing the lead and playing at all the principal theatres of Great Britain outside of London. The Summer of that year she filled in with the stock at the Torquay Theatre. About May, 1882, she went to London and made her debut June 17 at a special matinee at the Adelphi Theatre as Queen Anne in the historical play, ”The Double Rose,” after which Aug. Harris, of the Drury Lane Theatre, engaged her to support Ristori at his house. Then she signed with the management of the Adelphi, and appeared Nov. 18, 1882, in ”Love and Money.” Later she acted in ”Rachel the Reaper,” after which she returned to the Drury Lane. On March 5, 1884, she created the title role in Sydney Hodges’ ”Gabrielle” at the Gaiety Theatre, London. A few weeks later Lester Wallack engaged her for this country, and she made her American debut June 23, 1884, at Utica, N.Y., with the Wallack Co. in the title role of ”Lady Clare.” She traveled through the West, and in California, about January of 1885, she married Chauncey R. Winslow [1860-1909], a resident of Cincinnati, O. Her New York debut was accomplished Oct. 26, 1885, in ”In His Power,” at Wallack’s. The play was a failure, and was immediately withdrawn. Then Miss Eyre went on the road by arrangement with Mr. Wallack, at the head of Charles Frohman’s Co., playing ”La Belle Russe.” Later Miss Eyre had trouble with Mr. Wallack, and withdrew from the theatre. She was in 1888 divorced from Mr. Winslow, and had since married again.’
(The New York Clipper, New York, Saturday, 12 November 1892, p. 573b/c, with engraved portrait)

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‘Kyrle Bellew, Mr. Wallack’s latest imported leading man, is also an ex-Australian… . He has put Mr. Wallack in an unpleasant predicament. Miss Sophie Eyre was engaged for leading parts this season and Mr. Bellew absolutely refuses to play with her on the ground that she is too large and would spoil his appearance on the stage. So much for having a petted actor in a company… .’
(Newark Daily Advocate, Newark, Ohio, 11 December 1885, p. 3c)

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Pauline Chase as The Little Japanese Girl

June 14, 2014

Pauline Chase (1885-1962), American actress, as she appeared in the title role of the 1 Act play, The Little Japanese Girl, adapted from the Japanese by Loie Fuller and first produced at the Duke of York’s Theatre, London, on 26 August 1907.
(photo: Bassano, London, 1907).

Other members of the cast were Edward Sass as the Prince and Jane May as the Princess. The piece ran for 49 performances. Pauline Chase appeared again in The Little Japanese Girl at the London Coliseum in the summer of 1911.

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‘PAULINE CHASE AS A STAR.
‘She Makes a Great Success in London in a Play by Loie Fuller.
‘Special Cable to THE NEW YORK TIMES.
LONDON. Aug. 26 [1907]. – Miss Pauline Chase made a brilliant success this evening in Loie Fuller’s one-act play, ”The Little Japanese Girl,” produced at the Duke of York’s Theatre under the management of Charles Frohman.
‘Among her most enthusiastic admirers were Oscar Lewisohn and his wife, (A HREF=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edna_May>Edna May,) who came to London from the country specially to witness the performance.’
(The New York Times, New York, 27 August 1907, p. 7)

‘Pauline Chase is now appearing in a one-act play by Loie Fuller, entitled ”The Little Japanese Girl.” Miss Chase has become so closely identified with the English stage that the British public has come to regard her as its own.’
(The Washington Times, Third Section, Woman’s Magazine, Washington DC, 8 September 1907, p. 8d)

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London, week beginning Monday, 24 July 1911
‘At the Coliseum this week Miss Pauline Chase will appear with three others in Miss Loie Fuller’s one-act play A Little Japanese Girl, with music by Mr. John Crook.’
(The Times, London, Monday, 24 July 1911, p. 10d)

London, 2 August 1911 ‘Pauline Chase came an awful cropper at the Coliseum, where she is appearing in a Japanese play previously done in pantomime by Hanako. It is called ”A Little Japanese Girl,” and it deals with the vanity of a little laundress who put on a Princess’s kimono and rouged her face. She was mistaken for the princess and killed by an outraged princely lover. When the curtain descended on the act at the opening afternoon, there was none insistent ”hand” and Pauline took a bow where she needn’t have troubled. It seems as though ”Peter Pan” will have to be revived.’ (Variety, New York, Saturday, 12 August 1911, p. 15b)

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Bertie Wright and other members of the English cast of the New York production of The Shop Girl, Palmer’s Theatre, Manhattan, 1895

March 25, 2014

Bertie Wright (1871-after 1958), English actor and singer, as he appeared as Mr Miggles, together with other members of the English cast in the New York production of The Shop Girl, which opened at Palmer’s Theatre, New York, on 28 October 1895.
(cabinet photo: Sarony, New York, 1895)

‘At PALMER’S THEATRE, on Oct. 28, there was produced, for the first time in this country, The Shop Girl, a musical farce, in two acts, by H.J.W. Dam, music by Ivan Caryll, with additional numbers by Lionel Monckton and Adrian Ross. The work was originally produced Nov. 24, 1894, at the Gaiety Theatre, London, Eng., where it met with great success. The company presenting it here is under the local management of Charles Frohman, but was sent from England by George Edwardes, proprietor and manager of the Gaiety Theatre. Of its principal members only two appeared in the original London production. The story concerns a search for an heiress. John Brown, an American millionaire, has advertised through his solicitor, Sir George Appleby, for a female foundling, the child of his late partner, who inherits a large fortune. Colonel Singlton, a retired officer; the Count St. Vaurien, secretary to Mr. Brown, and Mr. Hooley, proprietor of the ”Royal Stores,” are in possession of the secret that a fortune of four millions sterling awaits the missing heiress, whose identity they hope to establish by means of a birth mark known to exist. Many founding girls present themselves, being congenital marks, but all are doomed to disappointment. Mr. Hooley believes he has discovered the missing girl in Ada Smith, a good natured but illiterate and somewhat vulgar apprentice in his employ. He proposes to this girl, and she accepts and marries him, although she is engaged to Mr. Miggles, a floor walker of the establishment. It is eventually discovered that the real heiress is Bessie Brent, the prettiest girl in the stores, who is engaged to marry Charles Appleby, son of the solicitor who is seeking her. The farce has gained success here at a bound. In fact the nature of its reception was almost a foregone conclusion, for the coming of the company was eagerly awaited, and the advance sale of seats showed that nothing less than an absolutely bad performance would rob it of its anticipated triumph. The event proved that the performance was very far from bad, although the book was equally far from good, and the music was not above mediocrity. In spite of all shortcomings, however, there is sufficient exhilaration supplied by the performers to warrant the favorable verdict rendered. The state forces were admirably handled, and from the principals down to the most obscure member of the company every one was in constant motion. The principal comedians, including Seymour Hicks, George Grossmith Jr., W.H. Rawlins, Bertie Wright and George Honey, are undoubtedly clever. They labored assiduously and effectively to promote merriment, and displayed powers that suggested their ability to accomplish even better results had they a work which would afford them greater opportunities.

The Shop Girl (Musical), by H.... Digital ID: th-50908. New York Public Library
Connie Ediss as Ada Smith and W.H. Rawlins as Mr. Hooley in The Shop Girl, Palmer’s Theatre, New York, 1895)
(photo: Sarony, New York, 1895; Collection of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts / Billy Rose Theatre Division )

The female contingent, however, showed less capability than the male, but Ethel Sydney, as Bessie Brent, and Connie Ediss, as Ada Smith, fairly won an excellent report, Miss Ediss being especially deserving of mention for good comedy work. Some very pretty dancing was shown, but the terpsichorean features were less praiseworthy than have been seen in previous Gaiety productions. The staging was quite effective. They first act showed the interior of the ”Royal Stores,” and the action in the second act occurred in a fancy bazaar at Kensington. Some of the costumes were very pretty. There was much color shown, but by reason of strong contrasts there was little harmony I this respect and much gaudiness. The average of beauty among the women was not high, and in figure there was shown more bulk than daintiness. Still the show throughout its length was rather pleasing to the eye, and in spite of its friskiness was restful in so far as it made no demands whatever upon the intellect. It was plainly in evidence that it afforded the greatest delight to that portion of the audience which, for a very obvious reason, brought no brains to bear upon it. The assignment of roles was as follows: Mr. Hooley, W.H. Rawlins; Charles Appleby, Seymour Hicks; Bertie Boyd, George Grossmith Jr.; John Brown, [Michael] Dwyer; Sir George Appleby, Walter McEwen; Singleton, George Honey; Count St. Vaurten, A. Nilson-Fisher; Mr. Tweets, Alfred Asher; Mr. Miggles, Bertie Wright; Bessie Brent, Ethel Sydney; Lady Dodo Singlton, Annie Albu; Miss Robinson, Marie Paucett; Lady Appleby, Leslie Greenwood; Ada Smith, Connie Ediss; Faith, May Beaugarde; Hope, Minnie Sadler; Charity, Minnie Rose; Maud Plantagenet, Adelaide Astor; Eva Tudor, Violet Dene; Lillie Stuart, Ida Wallace; Ada Harrison, Hylda Galton; Mabel Beresford, Nellie Huxley; Florence White, Zara De L’Orme; Birdie Waudesfaude, Nellie Langton; Maggie Jocelyn, Violet Durkin; Violet Deveney, Annie Vivian. A solo dance in Act II was contributed by Dorothy Douglass, who was not included in the assignment. Of the above Seymour Hicks had already been seen here in Cinderella [sic], and Adelaide Astor, now the wife of George Grossmith Jr., had previously appeared here [in September 1893] upon the vaudeville stage under the name of Cissy Lind . With these exceptions all of the members of the company were, upon this occasion, seen her for the first time.’
(The New York Clipper, New York, New York, Saturday, 9 November 1895, p. 567d)

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Julia Sanderson

July 23, 2013

Julia Sanderson (1887-1975), American actress and vocalist at about the time of her appearance in the musical comedy The Hon’ble Phil, Hicks Theatre, London, October to December 1908. G.P. Huntley, Herbert Clayton, Horace Mills, Denise Orme, Eva Kelly and Elsie Spain were the other principals.
(photo: The Dover Street Studios, London, 1908/09)

‘Two English Musical Plays At Rival Theaters This Week.
‘Two of George Edwardes’ London musical comedy successes will be the leading novelties of the week at the theaters, both The Quaker Girl and The Sunshine Girl being seen in Washington for the first time, the former after noteworthy engagements in London, New York, and Boston, and the latter coming to the Capital for its American debut after a continuous run of more than a year in the English metropolis, where it is till on view nightly at the Gaiety.
‘Washington will be particularly interested in the premiere of The Sunshine Girl at the Columbia tomorrow night, for upon this occasion a new Charles Frohman star will be evolved from the will be evolved from the nebulosity of chorus girl, soubrette, and leading lady. The honor is to be bestowed upon the talented and piquant Miss Julia Sanderson, who has been a Washington musical comedy favorite since the days of the ill-fated Dairymaids, whose cast she deserted during an engagement five years ago in the theater where she is now to become start.
‘Miss Sanderson’s career is not marked by many of those hardships which are usually related as warnings to the stage-struck girl. Her father, Albert Sackett, is an actor, and through his influence she secured an engagement with the Forepaugh stock company in her home city, Philadelphia. Here she divided her time between playing maid and pursuing her grammar school studies, for she made her debut in the theatre when she was 15.
‘As a member of the chorus with Paula Edwardes’ company in Winsome Winnie. Miss Sanderson entered the musical comedy field. She had an opportunity to play the title role when Miss Edwardes retired from the cast on account of illness. The understudy was at that time advertised as the youngest prima donna in the world.
‘But the sudden elevation did not result in any permanent advancement for Miss Sanderson. She went back to the ranks in A Chinese Honeymoon and in Fantana, but was given a hit when De Wolf Hopper revived Wang, after which she joined The Tourists.
‘Miss Sanderson has appeared in London in two successes, first with G.P. Huntley in The Honorable Phil and later with Ellaline Terriss in The Dashing Little Duke. ‘While not so recognized in the size of billboard and program type, Miss Sanderson has been a star in popular appreciation for two years, her graceful dancing, harm of manner, and small, but dulcet voice having won generous approbation in both The Arcadians and The Siren.
‘Mr. Frohman has engaged a capable musical comedy cast to support his new satellite. Joseph Cawthorn has for several seasons been a comedy mainstay for Elsie Janis, and Alan Mudie will be recalled as the agile dancer in The Arcadians.’
(The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., Sunday, 26 January 1913, Magazine Section, p.2a)

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The Arcadians, Liberty Theatre, New York, 1910

June 24, 2013

some of the cast in the New York production of The Arcadians, Liberty Theatre, 17 January 1910, including (fourth from left) Julia Sanderson as Eileen Cavanagh, fifth from left) Connie Ediss as Mrs Smith, (centre, left) Frank Moulan as James Smith / Simplicitas and (centre, right), Alan Mudie as Jack Meadows
(photo: unknown, New York, 1910)

The Arcadians, an immensely popular English musical play by Mark Ambient, A.M. Thompson and Arthur Wimperis, with music by Lionel Monckton and Howard Talbot, that ran for 810 performances at the Shaftesbury Theatre, London, between June 1909 and July 1911, reached the United States early in 1910. After playing for three weeks in Philadelphia (Forrest Theatre, 4 January 1910), the Charles Frohman production moved to New York where it opened on 17 January.

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Louise Dresser

June 13, 2013

Louise Dresser (1878-1965), American stage and screen actress and singer

A song sheet featuring a photograph of Louise Dresser for her rendition of Harry Von Tilzer’s ‘I Remember You,’ published in New York in 1908 by the Harry Von Tilzer Music Publishing Co, included in Charles Frohman’s production Broadway production of The Girls of Gottenberg, the successful musical comedy from the Gaiety Theatre, London.

The smaller photograph is of Harry Von Tilzer.

(photo: unknown, probably New York, circa 1908; artwork by Gene Buck)

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Louise Dresser at the Colonial Theatre, New York, June 1908
‘Favorite Comedienne Reappears.
‘Louise Dresser made her reappearance in vaudeville at the Colonial, after two seasons in musical comedy, and was warmly greeted by her large circle of friends and admirers. She made a charming picture in a simple dress of white that showed her blonde beauty to perfection. Her selections included “The Minstrel Man,” “My Gal Sal” (by the late Paul Dresser), “I’m Awfully Strong for You,” George M. Cohan’s song, and that lively lilt, “I Want to Be Loved Like a Leading Lady in a Regular Broadway Play.” All of the songs were given with infinite skill and charm, and Miss Dresser’s success was unequivocal.’
(The New York Dramatic Mirror, New York, Saturday, 4 July 1908, p.14a)

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Les Merveilleuses

May 8, 2013

Les Merveilleuses, the comic opera at Daly’s theatre, first produced on 27 October 1906, with music by Hugo Felix, reopens after various changes, including the title to The Lady Dandies at the same theatre at the end of January 1907; Huntley Wright, Gabrielle Ray and others join the cast. Huntley Wright (1868-1943), English actor and singer, as St. Amour in The Lady Dandies, a part in which he succeeded W.H. Berry at the end of January 1907. (photo: Ellis & Walery, London, 1907)

‘At Daly’s they do things in a grand style which distinguishes Mr. George Edwardes’s productions at this theatre from other plays of the same order if not of the same class, and Mr. Edwardes, in all these years, has given us nothing more beautiful at Daly’s than The Merveilleuses, of which the title has now been changed to The Lady Dandies, a wise reversion to the title, or something very like it, chosen for the play before it was first produced. It is a change for the better, for Merveilleuse happens to be just one of those words which an Englishman may pronounce in such a way that nobody can understand what he means – or what he says, which is not exactly the same thing. The name of the piece is not the only thing that has been changed, and on Wednesday evening Mr. Huntley Wright returned once more to the scene of his great successes, and with the return of Mr. Wright to the fold Daly’s is itself again. With the interpolation of new songs, for which Mr. Lionel Monckton has written the music to the words of Captain Basil Hood, who has done M. Victorien Sardou’s “book” into good English, the dalyfication of this “comedy opera” is complete. Mr. Wright has now the part of St. Amour, the Prefect of Police, which was first played by Mr. W.H. Berry. It is not into the background, however, that Mr. Berry retires. In his part of Tournesol, the “police agent,” he is as funny as ever, while the character of St. Amour has expanded wonderfully at the magic touch of the ready and inventive Huntley Wright. Mr. Wright acted and sang and danced and joked as if he felt glad to be back at Daly’s, and the audience laughed as if they were glad to see him back. His satirical, topical song, “Only a Question of Time,” made a great hit, and although I have no great liking for the growing custom of introducing all sorts of personalities – social, political, and domestic – into musical plays, I must acknowledge that the audience seemed to find immense enjoyment in the verse which says “It is only a question of time (And the prominence given her part), And the charming Camille [Clifford], [Edna] May become Nelly Neil, Which is [Charles] Frohman for Sarah Bernhardt.”
‘Another new-comer to The Lady Dandies is Miss Gabrielle Ray, who has an accent all her own in dancing as she has in singing, and this I will say, a daintier dancer I never wish to see, though Miss Ray must make haste to get rid of her air of self-consciousness if she wishes to make the best of her talents. The student of theatrical astronomy may discover a whole constellation of stars at Daly’s just now, and the beautiful music of Dr. Hugo Felix is admirably rendered. Miss Evie Greene, who has a new song since the first night, is in great form; I have never seen her look better, nor act better, nor sing better than she looks and acts and sings as the “merveilleuse” Ladoiska in The Lady Dandies, and Miss Denise Orme, the purity and sweetness of whose voice would melt a heart of india-rubber, is a sheer ecstasy. Mr. Robert Evett, as the hero, and Mr. Fred Kaye have warmed to their parts, and I should say the same of Mr. Louis Bradfield’s performance of the “Incroyable” if I had not found it already admirable when the piece was first produced. Musical plays have a curious elasticity, and I find it difficult to realise what has been taken out of Les Marveilleuses [sic] to put so much more in. Certainly the new infusion of fun does not diminish the attractiveness of The Lady Dandies, and there is a long life, if I am not mistaken, and a merry one, in store for the piece.’
(‘Carados’, The Referee, London, Sunday, 3 February 1907, p.3b)