Posts Tagged ‘Daly’s Theatre (New York)’

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Johann Strauss the younger’s operetta, A Night in Venice, Daly’s Theatre, New York, 1884

December 4, 2014

six chorines from the first American production of Johann Strauss the younger‘s operetta, A Night in Venice (Eine Nacht in Venedig), which was staged by J.C. Duff’s Comic Opera Company at Daly’s Theatre, New York, on 26 April 1884 for the summer season before embarking on a tour. A ‘Grand Pigeon Ballet’ was introduced into the third act, lead by the premier ballerina, Eugenia Cappalini. A Night in Venice was revived at the American Theatre, New York, in 1888 by the Castle Square Opera Company.
(cabinet photo: Sarony, New York, probably 1884)

‘Johann Stausss’ new operetta, ”Night in Venice,” was produced and warmly applauded in Vienna last Tuesday night [9 October 1883], the Viennese adopting this method of making some reparation to the composer for the abuse with which the composition was received on the occasion of its original presentation in Berlin [Neues Friedrich Wilhelmstadisches Theater, 3 October 1883]. The Germans hissed the operetta all through its performance, and the critics severely condemned it as unequal to any of Strauss’ previous efforts, describing the libretto as utter nonsense, and the music poor, thin and utterly unworthy of the composer.’
(The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, New York, Sunday, 14 October 1883, p. 1b)

‘… The piece is put upon the stage with the usual liberality of this house in scenery and costumes. A special feature was made in the bill of a pigeon ballet executed by twenty dancers. The result gave an insufficiently-rehearsed dance and occasioned some ridicule for the pigeon dresses, which would have been pretty and effective but for a feather-brush tail adorning each of the ballet exciting the sarcastic mirth of the audience at each peculiar movement of the dancers… .’
(The New York Clipper, New York, Saturday, 3 May 1884, p. 106b)

‘One of Strauss’ recent operas, ”A Night in Venice,” was produced at Daly’s Theater the other night by Manager Duff. Mr. Duff is distinguished from other managers by his profound contempt for the libretto of any opera with which he may be concerned. The result of this contempt is a rather severe pecuniary loss for the past two years. His method of bringing out comic opera is to buy the music for any reasonable sum and turn it over to the leader of his orchestra. Then he hires a man for any sum, from $10 upward, to translate the score from German or French into English. ”A Night in Venice” contains some charming melodies and several concerted pieces that are extremely pretty. It is as melodious as ”The Merry War’‘ and ”Prince Methusalem.” which were by the same composer, and with a good libretto it might become as successful as either of these very successful operas. Now it is a failure. As time advances, Mr. Duff’s contempt for good librettos is apt to prove expensive.’
(The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, New York, Sunday, 4 May 1884, p. 3c)

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Jennie Opie as the Duchess of Della Volta, Australia, 1905

September 14, 2014

Jennie Opie (1871-1943), Australian contralto in comic opera and musical comedy as she appeared as the Duchess of Della Volta in a revival of La Fille du Tambour Major at the New Theatre Royal, Melbourne, 8 April 1905
(photo/postcard: Talma, Melbourne and Sydney, Australia, circa 1905)

Jennie Opie, whose real name was Jane Opie, was born in Wallaroo, South Australia on 24 March 1871. On 26 October 1895 she was married in Rugby, South Australia to Isaac Killicoat (1861-?) but their union did not last; they separated in 1898 and finally divorced in 1929. By that time Jennie Opie had been semi retired from the stage since about 1914, the year in which she advertised herself as the new proprietress of the Scotch Thistle Hotel, North Adelaide (The Mail, Adelaide, Saturday, 31 October 1914, p. 2s); she later became the licensee of the Botanic Hotel, Adelaide.

Jennie Opie, who began singing at the age of 13, spent much of her career on tour throughout Australia with the J.C. Williamson’s company, with whom she also made two trips to India. From the summer of 1905 she spent five years in America and was in San Francisco at the time of the earthquake in 1906. She appeared in New York at Daly’s Theatre from 3 December 1906 to 30 March 1907 in The Belle of Mayfairas Lady Chaldicott, the part originated in London by Maud Boyd. Other leading parts were played by Christie MacDonald, Bessie Clayton and Valeska Suratt, the latter playing the Duchess of Dunmow, the part originated in London by Camille Clifford.

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La Fille du Tambour Major revived at the New Theatre Royal, Melbourne, 8 April 1905.
‘The revival of La Fille du Tambour Major at the Theatre Royal was brought to a close on Saturday night [22 April 1905], after a successful run of a fortnight. The opera is so well known, or perhaps I should say, has been, as it is seldom heard nowadays, that is is unnecessary to describe the plot, and indeed there is very little plot to describe – it is of the simplest and most transparent kind, and it is certainly not n it that the opera relies for its popularity; but on its bright, rhythmical music, and the scope which it gives for picturesque dressing and effective ensembles. The production was notable for its excellent chorus, some numbers of which had to be repeated each night, and the beautiful minuet introduced in the second act. In the latter the dancers look as if they had stepped straight off a beautiful Dresden china plate. The colouring was most lovely – a pale pink and pale blue: the gallants in knee-breeches, old-fashioned coats and waistcoats, and the ladies in full short skirts and low-necked lace bodices, and carrying which ostrich feather fans. All wore white curled wigs. The minuet also received nightly a well-deserved encore. Miss Jessie Ramsay, as La Fille du Tambour Major, looked very pretty, and acted her part well; her voice is pleasant, but was hardly big enough for the theatre. Miss Jennie Opie made a very handsome Duchess Della Volta, gowned first in a beautiful white satin ball dress, trimmed with deep yellow roses, and afterwards in a most becoming russet brown velvet riding habit, and large brown velvet hat, with which ostrich plume. Miss Maud Thornton as Griolet, the little drummer boy, acted with great vivacity and abandon. She looked very taking in her drummer-boy costume, and her drum solo was much appreciated. She has a good voice, but had very few opportunities in which to display it. Mr. Con Burrow made a rollicking Tambour Major, his sallies being greeted with much laughter. Mr. George Majeroni, as the Duc Della Volta, and Mr. John Wallace, as the Marquis Bambini, were also very amusing. The staging was excellent, the scenery having been specially painted by Mr. Rege Robins; the costumes were designed by Mr. T.J. Jackson. A full orchestra was conducted by Mr. Edward Hanstein; the whole production being under the direction of Mr. A. M’Nicol Turner.’
(Rowena, ‘Melbourne Lady’s Letter,’ The Town and Country Journal, Sydney, NSW, Australia, Wednesday, 26 April 1905, p. 40b)

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Blanche Astley and James T. Powers in The Circus Girl

July 12, 2013

Blanche Astley and James T. Powers as they appeared in the Fancy Dress Ball scene in The Circus Girl, which opened at Daly’s Theatre, New York, on 23 April 1897
(photo: unknown, New York, 1897)

The Circus Girl, a musical comedy with music by Ivan Caryll, first opened at the Gaiety Theatre, London, on 5 December 1896. The original cast included Edmund Payne as Biggs and Katie Seymour as Lucille (a slack wire walker); these parts were played respectively by James T. Powers and Blanche Astley when the American production opened at Daly’s, New York, on 23 April 1897.

Daly’s Theatre, New York
‘Rehearsals are held daily of ”The Circus Girl,” which is to be produced April 26 [sic]. Virginia Earle will appear as the Circus girl, and Blanche Astley, who was specially brought over from England by Mr. Daly, will act the role of the bareback rider and dancer. Miss Astley is said to be one of the most graceful dancers on the English stage. James T. Powers, the comedian, has been engaged as a member of Mr. Daly’s stock company, and will act wht role of the American bartender in the new piece.’
(Boston Evening Transcript, Boston, Saturday,17 April 1897, [p. 19a])

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Blanche Astley and James T. Powers in The Circus Girl

June 18, 2013

Blanche Astley and James T. Powers in The Circus Girl, which opened at Daly’s Theatre, New York, on 23 April 1897
(photo: unknown, New York, 1897)

The Circus Girl, a musical comedy with music by Ivan Caryll, first opened at the Gaiety Theatre, London, on 5 December 1896. The original cast included Edmund Payne as Biggs and Katie Seymour as Lucille (a slack wire walker); these parts were played respectively by James T. Powers and Blanche Astley when the American production opened at Daly’s, New York, on 23 April 1897.

Daly’s Theatre, New York
‘Rehearsals are held daily of ”The Circus Girl,” which is to be produced April 26 [sic]. Virginia Earle will appear as the Circus girl, and Blanche Astley, who was specially brought over from England by Mr. Daly, will act the role of the bareback rider and dancer. Miss Astley is said to be one of the most graceful dancers on the English stage. James T. Powers, the comedian, has been engaged as a member of Mr. Daly’s stock company, and will act wht role of the American bartender in the new piece.’
(Boston Evening Transcript, Boston, Saturday,17 April 1897, [p. 19a])

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Maudi Darrell and George Graves in The Belle of Britanny

May 29, 2013

Maudi Darrell (1882-1920) as Toinette and George Graves (1876-1949) as the Marquis de St. Gautier in The Belle of Britanny, Queen’s Theatre, London, 24 October 1908
(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, 1908)

This real photograph postcard, no. 7444B in the Rotary Photographic Series published in 19087 by the Rotary Photographic Co Ltd of London, shows Maudi Darrell as Toinette and George Graves as the Marquis de St. Gautier in the comic opera The Belle of Britanny, which was produced at the Queen’s Theatre, London, on 24 October 1908. The piece was written by Leedham Bantock and P.J. Barrow, with lyrics by Percy Greenbank and music by Howard Talbot and Marie Horne. Other members of the cast included Lawrence Rea, Davy Burnaby, E.W. Royce senior, Walter Passmore, Lily Iris (replaced during the run successively by May Hackney and Millie Legarde), Maud Boyd, Blanche Stocker, Minnie Baker, Gladys Saqui and Ruth Vincent. The production ran for 147 performances.

An American production of The Belle of Britanny opened at Daly’s Theatre, New York, on 8 November 1909, in which Toinette was played by Elsa Ryan and de St. Gautier by Frank Daniels.

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Olga Nethersole

February 16, 2013

Olga Nethersole (1870?-1951), English actress
(photo: Reutlinger, Paris, circa 1905)

Olga Nethersole at Daly’s, New York, March 1908
Olga Nethersole’s final week at Daly’s was devoted to repetitions of plays in which she had appeared in seasons past. In all of them she was heretofore been popular, and by her performances last week she lost none of that popularity. The members of her supporting company also appeared to better advantage than in the earlier offerings of her local engagements. Carmen was presented on Monday night, Sapho on Tuesday, Magda on Wednesday, Camille on Thursday, and The Second Mrs. Tanqueray on Friday. Sapho was repeated on Saturday afternoon and evening.’
(The New York Dramatic Mirror, New York, Saturday, 7 March 1908, p.7d)

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Grace Palotta and Florence Lloyd A Gaiety Girl, Daly’s Theatre, New York, 18 September 1894

January 29, 2013

Grace Palotta and Florence Lloyd as they appeared in the bathing scene
in A Gaiety Girl, Daly’s Theatre, New York, 18 September 1894
(photo: B.J. Falk, New York, 1894)

This real photograph cigarette card was issued in England in the late 1890s by Ogden’s in one of their Guinea Gold series. The photograph shows Florence Lloyd and Grace Palotta respectively as Cissy Verner and Ethel Hawthorne in the London Gaiety Theatre Company’s production of A Gaiety Girl at Daly’s Theatre, New York, 18 September 1894. A United States tour followed the Broadway run.

Florence Lloyd and Grace Palotta

Florence Lloyd and Grace Palotta as they appeared in the bathing scene
In A Gaiety Girl, Daly’s Theatre, New York, 18 September 1894
(composite photo, originals by: B.J. Falk, New York, 1894)

A Gaiety Girl at Daly’s [New York] is realistic in that it has two dozen gaiety girls [sic] on the stage. The burlesque bases its hope to success on the claim that one dozen of these are beauties.’
(The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, New York, Sunday, 23 September 1894, p.8c)

‘George Edwardes’ London company will occupy the Brooklyn Academy of Music during Christmas week [1894]. It will appear in The Gaiety Girl [sic] that had a run of 300 nights in London and three months at Daly’s theater in New York.’
(The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, New York, Sunday, 16 December 1894, p.9a)

The Gaiety Girl [sic], an English burlesque which has attracted a good deal of attention in London and New York, will be brought to the Academy of Music for the whole of this week. The piece is a mixture of pretty girls, English humor, singing, dancing and bathing machines and dresses of the English fashion. The dancing is a special feature of the performance, English burlesques giving much more attention to that feature of their attractiveness than the American entertainments of the same grade do. The present dancers are the successors of Letty Lind and Sylvia Gray [sic], who are still remembered for introducing the blessings of the skirt dance to America, and they are subjects of the same sort of interest.’
(The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, New York, Sunday, 23 December 1894, p.9a)

‘The attendance at the Academy [Brooklyn] to see the new musical comedy – it might better be called a farce – A Gaiety Girl, was not great in point of numbers. It was Christmas eve, and Brooklyn people do not attend theatres on the night before Christmas. Those who did go are wondering yet what they say. No such surprising amount of nothing has appeared on a stage here for some time. It was entertaining beyond a doubt, but this was mainly owing to the efforts of perhaps three capably eccentric actors and three or four dancers. Harry Monkhouse, as Dr. Montague Brierly, was exceedingly clever. He was like a subdued De Wolf Hopper, and the audience waited for him to appear again when he left the stage. His scenes with Miss Maud Hobson, as Lady Virginia Forrest, where comical, and he has a drawl that would make any lines funny. Miss Maud Hobson was excellent as the flirtatious chaperon and woman of the divorce courts. Mr. Leedham Bancock [i.e. Leedham Bantock], as Sir Lewis Grey, judge of the divorce court; Major Barclay, as portrayed by Mr. Frederick Kaye, and the Rose Brierly of Miss Decima Moore were well received. The Gaiety girls [sic] are good dancers, graceful as could be wished for, and Miss Cissy Fitzgerald made a hit in her one dance, but, in spite of continued applause, she refused to reappear. The play went calmly on amid a storm of handclapping which developed into several well defined hisses when no attention was paid to the encore. As Miss Fitzgerald came down pretty hard on the floor at the close of her dance and limped off, it is to be presumed she was unable to continue. Mr. Charles Ryley, as Charles Goldfield, has a pleasant tenor voice and was quite willing to use it. The rest of the cast looked pretty, the songs were quite catching and the lines fairly humorous. Most of the jokes, however, were too broad for this side of the bridge. Mina, as given by Miss Grace Palotta, was a typical American idea of a French girl. Her songs were light but taking and she gave them with decided vivacity and grace. The words of A Gaiety Girl are by Owen Hall, lyrics by Harry Greenback [i.e. Harry Greenbank] and music by Sydney Johnson [i.e. Sidney Jones]. The play is well mounted.’
(The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, New York, Wednesday, 26 December 1894, p.2c)