Posts Tagged ‘Clara Palmer’


Nellie Braggins, American actress and singer in comic opera

April 16, 2014

Nellie Braggins (1872-1924), American actress and singer in comic opera
(photo: unknown, United States, circa 1898; Ogden’s Guinea Gold Cigarettes cigarette card issued in England, circa 1900)

‘Washington has a genuine musical treat in store for it. On April 18, The Highwayman will be presented at the Lafayette Square Opera House by the Broadway Theater Opera House by the Broadway Theater Opera Company. It is rarely that a piece comes so well recommended. The company to present The Highwayman is extraordinary in its number of clever and famous principals. Among them are Joseph O’Mara, Camille D’Arville, Jerome Sykes, Nellie Braggins, Harry Macdonough, Maud Williams, Van Rensselaer Wheeler, and Reginald Roberts.’
(The Times, Washington, DC, Sunday, 10 April 1898, part 2, p. 15c)

Three Little Lambs, by the author of 1492 and Jack and the Beanstalk, which comes direct from an engagement of fifty nights at the Fifth Avenue Theatre, New York, will be presented for the first time here at the Academy of Music to-night.
‘The story of Three Little Lambs is full of characteristic humor. The banking house, with its head a confidence man and its minor officers flirtatious young woman, is eminently an original idea. The introduction to this remarkable financial institution of the banker’s former pal in a humble station and his frisky bride is the source of no end of amusing complications, and the transfer of the whole party to Porto Rico is a bold expedient that might daunt an audacious dramatist.
‘With all its extravagances and absurdities, its jollity and audacity, there is nothing to offend the most delicate sensibilities. Three Little Lambs is as clean as it is bright. The skill shown by members of the Fifth Avenue Theatre Musical Company, the brilliancy of the stage setting and costuming make the production noteworthy of its kind, and the large audiences that have witnessed it have given every evidence of enjoying all its many features. In the company are found the names of Miss Marie Cahill, Miss Nellie Braggins, Miss Clara Palmer, Raymond Hitchcock and Edmund Lawrence, and the fine appearance, good training and vocal strength of the big chorus makes it a musical success.’
(Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk, VA, Wednesday, 25 April 1900, p. 5d)

* * * * *

St. Louis, 25 June 1900
‘The wedding of Nellie Braggins and John W. Gantz last Thursday was strictly private owing to the serious illness of Emory Braggins, an uncle of the bride. Miss Braggins’ last appearance on the stage was in The Beggar Student at Uhrig’s Cave two weeks ago. She is under a provisional contract with the Uhrig’s Cave company for the remainder of the season, but will not sing again except in case of emergency. At the close of the season she says she will retire from the stage for good.’
(The New York Dramatic News, New York, Saturday, 30 June 1900, p. 10c)


The Rogers Brothers in Harvard, produced at the Knickerbocker Theatre, New York City, on 1 September 1902

February 1, 2013

a scene from the musical farce, The Rogers Brothers in Harvard,
produced at the Knickerbocker Theatre, New York City, on 1 September 1902,
with, left to right, Gus Rogers, Clara Palmer, Hattie Williams and Max Rogers
(photo: unknown, New York, 1902)

The Rogers Brothers in Harvard at the Knickerbocker …
‘The career of the Rogers Brothers in Harvard, as represented at the Knickerbocker Theatres, takes place with the dignified Colonial proportions of Harvard Hall on the left of the stage, and on the right the ivy-covered walls of Massachusetts Hall, memorable as having been converted into a hospital during the Revolution. Between these is the neo-Colonial gate, over which broods no less a spirit than that of Charles Eliot Norton.
‘Upon the quiet walks between, and in the shade of the academic elms above, two old rakes of guardians and two young dogs of wards, two French milliners and two young women to whom virtue is too easy, are entangled in a plot resembling a double quadrille, in which the dry is always, “Change partners!”
The Rogers Brothers meanwhile appear now and again with song, dance, and jocularity, sometimes in the character of professors, sometimes in that of members of the ‘Varsity eleven, thus effacing with one masterful stroke a long standing difference between the faculty and athletics. The most superficial observer must note that Mr. James J. McNally and his fellow-artists in the service of the Rogers Brothers have caught the very breath of Harvard reality.
‘The first of the scenes of the play is in the garden at Claremont, with Grant’s tomb looming on the back-drop; and the third is in the entertainment hall of the Eden Musee. All three, and especially the Harvard yard, are done with admirable scenic effect, and all the trappings of the show are in luxurious good taste. Especially to be noted is the ballet.
‘Its gowns are of excellent variety and richness; it is at once well trained and spirited, and the young women who compose it are far above what one is accustomed to in seemliness and good looks. Take it all in all it is as much above the average of this sort of thing as it is above the other features of the performance.
‘Of the book of the play, and of the many principals in the cast, the best that can be said is that they are repeatedly applauded and seemed to give genuine pleasure. To a critical mind the jokes were mainly old and the songs mainly flat.
‘A topical song of William Gould’s had two amusing stanzas, and Hattie Williams’s “I’m a Lady,” by Ed Gardiner, has the true touch of satire; but for the rest it was vaudeville merely, and not more than passable at that.
‘As for the Rogers Brothers it is to be recorded that they – or is it Messrs Klaw & Erlanger? – have spared no expense, at least as regards scenery and costume, to make a pleasant evening.
‘They worked hard, moreover, and refused many recalls in order that the rest of the cast might have a fair chance; and even if, on a rigid judgment, they lacked genuine merriment, they were beyond question the cause of merriment in an indulgent audience.
‘Their performances, as they would be the first to admit, are the result of an inspiration from Weber & Fields. One great service they render, and that is to show beyond peradventure of a doubt that the originators of this sort of thing are, in their excellent line of nonsense, indisputably men of genius, and that Mr. Edgar L. Smith, or whoever gets up the business for the house down Broadway, has the touchstone of true burlesque and satire.
‘In such matters the great public is, happily for itself perhaps, not very knowing, and in consequence having once learned to laugh at this particular kind of broken English, it laughs on any and all occasions. Yet those who have a palate for the real vintage will do well to pass by the doctored dilution proffered by the Rogers brothers.’
(The New York Times, Tuesday, 2 September 1902, p.9e)