Posts Tagged ‘George W. Lederer’


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)


February 3, 2013

Helen Lord (d. 1911),
American musical comedy actress,
as she appeared as successor to Edna May as Violet Gray in The Belle of New York
(photo: C.J. Horner, Boston, USA, circa 1899)

This real photograph cigarette card in one of the series issued in England about 1900 with Ogden’s Guinea Gold Cigarettes shows Helen Lord in one of the costumes for Violet Gray in which she succeeded Edna May, the originator of that part in The Belle of New York.

‘Wonder if Hugh Morton realized when he dashed off the book of The Belle of New York that he was creating therein a character which would bring prominence to everyone who played it? “Violet Gray,” the Salvation Army lassie, certainly takes first place among the light characters creations of the last dozen years. It is not because of its originality nor yet is it due to any remarkably meritorious music that “Violet” scores so heavily. It is the decided and pleasant contrast which the character offers to every other in the play, in all probability, that lends to it its peculiar charm. Edna May’s unparalleled career could only have been made possible by such a part. Helen Lord, her successor and a chorus girl, therefore, has become prominent since she essayed the character. Now the news comes from Australia that Louise Willis Hepner, the pretty but not overtalented blonde who used to play “Jack” in Jack and the Beanstalk, has aroused the greatest enthusiasm in the same character.
The Belle of New Yor, by the way, has made a success in Australia. In Melbourne they did not take so very kindly to it, but that was a guarantee that in Sydney, if it had the least merit, it would certainly meet with a fair share of success. It has “caught on” in the latter city beyond every expectation and the individual “hits” in the cast have been many. Belle Bucklin plays the little French candy girl, made popular by Phyllis Rankin. Oscar Girard wobbles [sic] not unpleasantly in “Dan” Daly’s shoes and other not widely known actors are spoken highly of.’
(The Herald, Syracuse, New York, Sunday, 2 July 1899, p.10a)

In Gay Paree at the new York.
‘the management of the New York Theatre announces the last week of The Man in the Moon, Jr. In Gay Paree, with a new book by Edgar Smith, music by Ludwig Englander, and new costumes, will be put on Nov. 6 for two weeks. This move has been made by Mr. Lederer in order to open his new theatre, the Columbia, in Boston, with The Man in the Moon, Jr., which will be transferred there. The cast of In Gay Paree will include Joseph Ott, Ferris Hartman, Gilly Gregory, Billy Gould, William Cameron, Kitty Loftus, Helen Lord, Maude Young, and others. Fougere and a new travesty by George V. Hobart on Barbara Frietchie will be special features.’
(The New York Times, New York, Monday, 30 October 1899, p.7e)

Helen Lord
Helen Lord as Violet Gray in The Belle of New York
(photo: unknown, USA, circa 1900)

‘Helen Lord, who made an excellent impression in Edna May’s part in The Belle of New York, has decided to go into vaudeville, presenting a singing act.’
(The Sunday Herald, Syracuse, New York, Sunday, 9 December 1900, p.18e)

‘Miss Helen Lord, who is now with Frank Daniels in Miss Simplicity will be starred in an opera company of her own next year.’
(The North Adams Transcript, North Adams, Massachusetts, Monday, November 1901, p.4d)

‘Helen Lord and Raymond Hubbell, composer of The Runaways, are to be married shortly.’
(The Fort Wayne News, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Saturday, 4 July 1903, p.3b)

‘Composer’s Wife Passes Away.
‘Hornell, N.Y., Jan. 8 [1911] – – Helen Lord Hubbell, wife of Raymond Hubbell, the composer is dead here. Mrs. Hubbell as Helen Lord had a brilliant stage career a few years ago when she succeeded Edna May in The Belle of New York.’
(The Evening Telegram, Elyria, Ohio, Tuesday, 3 January 1911, p.5e)