Posts Tagged ‘Cissie Loftus’


Cissie Curlette, English music hall singer and mimic

October 22, 2014

Cissie Curlette (active 1905-1917), English music hall vocalist and mimic, in costume for her song, ‘What You Never Had,You Never Miss.’
(postcard photo: Schmidt, Manchester, circa 1909)

Tivoli Theatre, Adelaide, Australia, August 1909
‘Cissie Curlette, who is a clever, dainty, and refined comedienne, scored another success. The little lady is popular with all parts of the house, and she knows how to make very point tell with the audience. Miss Curlette will close her season at the Tivoli on Wednesday evening, as she sails for Europe by the Orsova on Thursday.
(The Register, Adelaide, Australia, Monday, 23 August 1909, p. 5c)

‘Monday at the American, New York, Cissie Curlette, personally selected by William Morris in England, will be present as a feature of the vaudeville program for the week.
‘It will be Miss Curlette’s first American appearance. Mr. Morris is willing to gamble on her success. The outcome of the English woman’s debut will be watched with much interest by the vaudeville people. Mr. Morris saw her at the Holborn, Empire, London, immediately booking her twenty weeks yearly for the next three seasons. She was also among the acts last listed by VARIETY’S London correspondent as suitable for America.
‘Miss Curlette is on the style of Vesta Victoria. Miss Victoria claims to ”have but Cissie Curlette in the business.” Among Cissie’s songs are ”What I Never Had, I Will Never Miss,” ”Yea, Verily, Yea,” and a new ”Chantecler” number.
‘The accompanying photograph of Miss Curlette [similar to the postcard photograph, above] resembles somewhat Cissie Loftus in looks. The costume is worn singing ”What I Never Had”.’
(Variety, New York, Saturday, 7 May 1910, p. 11d)

American Music Hall, week beginning Monday, 23 May 1910
‘Daintiest of All English Comediennes CISSIE CURLETTE Direct from a Remarkably Successful Engagement in New York, where Press and Public Proclaimed Her the Best English Artist Ever Seen in America.’
‘Cissie Curlette, the latest importation from Europe, who has been winning a remarkable success for the past two weeks in New York will be the big feature at the American Music Hall this week. Miss Curlette is so different from the average run of English music hall artists that her success in this country was instantaneous. She has been likened to Vesta Victoria, Lucy Weston and Yvette Guilbert, but just where the similarity lies would be hard to say. She in an incarnation of dainty demureness and is gifted with a personal magnetism which fairly electrifies her audience.’
(The Boston Sunday Post, Boston, Massachusetts, Sunday, 22 May 1910, pp. 39b and 40d)

‘American Music Hall, No. 4. In one; thirteen minutes. Seen matinee, June 7 [1910]
‘What You Never Had You Never Miss, Chantecler and Toodle-I-Oodle-I-Oo was the repertoire which the much-heralded Cissie Curlette offered to the unsuspecting, but the eternal question, Who is Cissie Curlette? had been answered, and that was satisfactory. She acts her numbers cleverly, even to the lusty crow of a male rooster in her Chantecler number, and has a modest bearing, that won a place for her in the hears of the Music Hall patrons on short notice. Miss Curlette will never rival Halley’s comet, however, for sensational honors, her offering being a plain and ordinary singing act, with in its class, if it will be allowed to remain there, it is good with no moment of exception, and that much is enthusiastically shown by warm applause.’
(The Billboard, Cincinnati, New York, Chicago, Saturday, 18 June 1910, p. 11b)

‘Cissie Curlette was tremendously boomed by William Morris ere her American appearance. She scarcely lived up to the advertisement, but was reckoned a fair success.’
(The Newsletter, Sydney, NSW, Australia, Saturday, 23 July 1910, p. 3d)

* * * * *

Cissie Curlette was born, probably in Liverpool, about 1876. She was one of the 11 children of John Leary (1832/35-1910), an undertaker of funerals, formerly a mariner, and his wife, Elizabeth (née Leary, 1844-1935). She was living in the early 1920s in the Hampstead area of London but further details of her life are at present uncertain.


Louise Montague

March 2, 2013

a carte de visit photograph of Louise Montague (1859-1910),
American actress and singer
(photo: Sarony, New York, circa 1883)

‘Miss Louise Montague, a member of the variety-theatre profession born in New York, aged 21, has been selected by Mr. Forepaugh as the winner of his prize of $10,000 for the handsomest woman in the country. In complexion she is a semi-brunette. Her lips are cherry, teeth regular and pearly, and visible at every smile through a large but not disproportionate mouth; has large expressive brown eyes, a symmetrical nose and an intelligent cast of countenance. In conversation – and she is possessed of a fund of sparkling talk – every feature if animated, and her flashing eyes and health-tinted cheeks, coupled with a vivacious manner, lend an additional charm to her demeanor. She is of medium height and figure and has a little foot.’
(The Lancaster Daily Intelligencer, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Monday, 4 April 1881, p. 2b/c)

New York, 29 April 1887.
‘Capt. Alfred Thompson and Joseph Brooks, composing the Imperial Burlesque Company, have been sued for [$]8500 by Miss Louise Montague, whom they had engaged for four weeks, commencing May 29th, and whom they discharged because she would not sing for them, so that they might judge of her vocal powers.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 14 May 1887, p. 15e)

‘Louise Montague, the $10,000 beauty, is making the hit of The Gondoliers in the company that is touring through the West [United States], and she makes it by high kicking. It was reported a year ago that she was studying for opera and it is evident that the report was true.’
(The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Sunday, 20 April 1890, p, 18g)

Don Juan [to be produced on 28 October 1893] at the Gaiety [London], is to have the services of Mr. Arthur Roberts, Mr. Robert Pateman, Mr. Arthur Playfair, Mr. Edmund Payne, Miss Millie Hylton, Miss Sylvia Grey, Miss Katie Seymour, Miss Cissie Loftus, and Miss Louise Montague, a young singer from America.’
(The Birmingham Daily Post, Birmingham, England, Monday, 18 September 1893, p. 6h)

‘Was Famous ”Ten Thousand Dollar Beauty” of Forepaugh’s Circus.
‘Louise M. Montague, once heralded over the country as the ”Ten Thousand Dollar Beauty,” died on Tuesday at her home, 164 Manhattan Avenue. Louise Montague was an actress with Edward E. Rice’s company in The Corsair, and later became a star of David Henderson’s Sinbad the Sailor.
‘Adam Forepaugh, the circus proprietor, determined to make her beauty the feature of his circus, and in 1878 he engaged her to travel with his circus. She was advertise as the ”Ten Thousand Dollar Beauty,” and rode in the parades in a gorgeous chariot especially constructed for her.’
(The New York Times, Thursday, 17 March 1910)

‘Louise Montague, Who Captured the Big Beauty Prize Money, Dies.
‘NEW YORK March 16 [1910]. – ”Montague, Louise M., died on Tuesday at her residence, 184 Manhattan avenue.”
‘This simple death notice appeared in the New York papers today. It was written in the main by Louise Montague herself a week before her death, the day on which death would come being left blank, to be filled in by the undertaker.
‘Few who read this notice know that the Louise Montague, whose death was so simply chronicled, was the woman who was once heralded far and wide over the country as the ”Ten Thousand Dollar Beauty.”
‘After the first rage over her had subsided she sought the quiet of private life, but a few years afterwards went on the stage because it was discovered that she had talents equal to her beauty.
‘Then Forepaugh with a showman’s acumen, offered a $10,000 prize for the most beautiful woman in America and had the judges select Louise Montague. Riding on a gorgeous chariot she was a feature of his circus parades.
‘But just before she died she asked that all the old pictures of herself in the days of her fleeting glory be brought to her, and tonight they stood on the mantel and on chairs in the room where Louise Montague lay in her coffin. Pinned on the wall was a glaring, many-colored poster – ”Forepaugh’s prize beauty” – and over the mantel was a faded photograph, life size of Louise Montague as ”Sindbad the Sailor.”’
(Evening Bulletin, Honolulu, Friday, 1 April 1910, p. 10c/d)