Posts Tagged ‘Fantana (musical comedy)’


a scene from The Beauty Spot, Herald Square Theatre, New York, 1909

January 16, 2014

a scene from The Beauty Spot, a musical comedy written by Joseph W. Herbert, with music by Reginald De Koven, produced at the Herald Square Theatre, New York City on 10 April 1909.
(photo: unknown, probably New York, 1909; halftone publicity postcard, publisher unknown, 1909)

‘On March 28 [1910] Pittsburg will have an opportunity to meet Jeff de Angelis in The Beauty Spot, as the management of the Alvin theater announce that attraction for this date. The production will be identically the same as it was during its run of over six months at the Herald Square theater, New York city, while the principle [sic] roles will be interpreted by the same brilliant cast including George James, James MacFarlane, Frank Doane, Viola Gillette, Isabel D’Armond, Jacques Kruger, Alf Deball, Jean Newcomb, Katherine Bowen and Frances Burns.
‘In the role of the flurtatious old Russian general, Jefferson de Angelis is most happily cast, and not in recent years has he had a part that suited him so admirably. George J. MacFarlane as Jacques Baccrel is both manly and capable, while his splendid cultivated voice renders his performance most pleasing. Frank Doane in the character of the negro valet, masquerading as a Prince of Borneo, is screamingly funny. Diminutive Isabel D’Armond as Madine, the general’s daughter, is exceedingly dainty and graceful.’
(The Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, Sunday, 20 March 1910, Theatrical Section, p. 3d/e)

‘DE ANGELIS. – Jefferson De Angelis, now at the New York in The Pearl Maiden, has been on the stage practically all his life. He had a company of his own as far back as 1884, when he made a world tour. He used to be the character comedian in Colonel McCaull’s opera company at Wallack’s, and there established himself as a crowd-drawing attraction in New York whenever he comes to town. His activities in musical comedy have been very numerous, and covered a long time at the Casino. The Jolly Musketeers was one of his biggest drawing cards, and lasted him for four seasons. Fantana is looked back on now as one of the funniest shows ever in the city. Since then he has starred in The Great White Way and The Beauty Spot. He was a member of the all-star cast of The Mikado at the Casino. While in St. Louis this Fall, Mr. De Angelis contracted a tired feeling of everything pertaining to theatricals, and so expressed himself publicly. He seems, however, to have recovered his old-time enthusiasm.’
(The New York Dramatic Mirror, New York, Saturday, 24 January 1912, p. 10a)


The Original Eight Berlin Dancing Madcaps

April 14, 2013

Seven of the The Original Eight Berlin Dancing Madcaps as undergraduates in A Knight For a Day, a musical comedy by Robert B. Smith, with music by Raymond Hubbell and Lyrics by Robert B. Smith, produced at Wallack’s Theatre, New York, 16 December 1907
(photo: Hall, New York, 1907)

‘This scene [above] from A Knight For a Day gives an excellent idea of the liveliness of The Eight Berlin Madcaps. One of the Madcaps missed the picture (count ‘em), and yet the pose is so novel that if she were here you don’t know where she’d be. (Tut, tut.) But if she missed a performance – well, then The Madcaps wouldn’t be over seven and the Gerry Society might stop ‘em. Harrowing thought, that. Still, the rest of the show is so blame good you can take a chance on going to Wallack’s Theater anyway.’
(The Standard and Vanity Fair, New York, Friday, 15 May 1908, pp.10 and 11)

‘The eight dancing madcaps, with the latest musical furore, A Knight for a Day, is an imported acrobatic terpsichorean novelty. And a true, emphatic and striking hit they undoubtedly are. The act is not easy to copy and would have many imitations were it not for the time, trouble and expense in producing one fact, by the way, never included in The Knights management. Laughing at expense and earnestly desiring to please is one motto that repays.’
(The Fort Wayne News, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Friday, 24 April 1908, p.14b)

Helen Hoz

Helen Hoz, the eighth of the Original Eight Berlin Dancing Madcaps in A Knight For a Day, Wallack’s Theatre, New York, 16 December 1907
(photo: De Youngs, New York, 1907)

‘From Our New York Dramatic Correspondent.
‘At Wallack’s theater, New York, is A Knight For a Day, a musical comedy written by Robert R. Smith, the younger brother of the nestor of American librettos, Harry B. Smith, and composed by Raymond Hubbell, who wrote the music for Fantana and who removed from the stage when he married that charming prima donna Helen Lord.
‘John Salvin, a small but unctuous comedian, who was one of the strong favorites at the Casino when George W. Lederer in control there and who has since become a bulwark of burlesque in Chicago, heads the company. May Vokes, who has made several successes in eccentric roles hereabout, is likewise in the cast, and Miss Sallie Fisher, who made the song “Dearie” famous, impersonates the gurgling ingenue.
A Knight For a Day has had a strange and varied career. It was produced a year or so ago at the Grand Opera House and then at the New York theater under the title of Ma’mselle Sallie and was so vigorously condemned that it put its manager, John C. Fisher, once wealthy through Florodora, practically out of business, and the company, in plain language, “busted.”
‘The production was then galvanized by B.C. Whitney of Detroit and sent to Chicago, where it ran for a long white at Whitney’s theater and where, in fact, it is sill in evidence in its thirty-seventh week.
‘The play is now greatly improved and is, in fact, a success.’
(Robert Butler, The Evening Telegram, Elyria, Ohio, Saturday, 11 January 1908, p.7c)

* * * * * * * *

‘Chorus Girl Can’t Stand Baldheads.
‘New York, Jan. 16 [1908]. – Miss Merri Corye has gone to Chicago, whence she came. For months and months until last evening Miss Corye was one of the “wholly Chicago” merry-merry ensemble feminines of A Knight for a Day, the musical comedy at Wallack’s.
‘Merri, who is nineteen and pretty, cannot abide baldheads. W.M. Hale, the manager of the play, got this note at the theater last night:
‘“I am going black to Chicago, where there aren’t any baldheaded men except those who come from the East, and where, anyhow, the theatres don’t let ‘em sit in the front rows to make girls google-eyed. I haven’t seen a young man in a front seat since I’ve been here, and if I stay here any longer I know I shall have to wear specs on the stage or go to a nunnery. A chorus girl has as much chance to win a young husband in a Broadway musical show as a fly has of ticking an elephant.”
‘The front rows at Wallack’s last evening didn’t hold as many baldheads as usual, the ushers said. Lobby rumor had it that baldheaded men, unaccompanied by their wives or toupees, were being encouraged to sit in the balcony.’
(The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., Friday, 17 January 1908, p.13e)