Posts Tagged ‘In Dahomey (musical comedy)’

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George W. Walker in In Dahomey

July 10, 2013

George W. Walker (1872/73-1911), African-American vaudevillian, as Rareback Pinkerton for the song, ‘The Czar, He is the Greatest Thing,’ in In Dahomey, the all African-American musical comedy which took London by storm after its opening there at the Shaftesbury Theatre on 16 May 1903. In Dahomey was first produced at the New York Theatre, New York, on 18 February 1903.
(photo: Cavendish Morton, London, 1903)

The Grand Theatre, Woolwich, London, week beginning Monday, 25 January 1904
‘Mr. Clarence Sounes has undoubtedly scored in securing In Dahomey, played by Williams and Walker and their company, for the first week of its tour. There was an enthusiastic audience on Monday. Messrs. Williams and Walker are without doubt the mainstay of the play. Mr. Bert Williams as the lugubrious Shylock Homestead causes roars of laughter, and his son, ”The Jonah Man,” is redemanded again and again. As the mercurial Rareback Pinkerton, Mr. Geo. W. Walker causes much merriment, and his dancing is one of the features of the show. His song, ”My Castle on the Nile,” was on Monday encored five times. The chorus business in his son, ”The Czar,” is also well done. Mr. G.A. Shipp as Hustling Charley acts with a fine sense of comedy, and his dancing is extremely clever. Mr. Harry Troy scores with his son, ”Mollie Green.” As George Reeder Mr. Alex. Rogers acts quietly. Mr. J. Lebrie Hill and Mr. Peter Hampton are successful as Hamilton Lightfoot and Dr. Straight. Miss Hattie McIntosh makes a dignified Cecilia Lightfoot. Miss Lottie Williams as Mr. Stringer brings her part into prominence. As Rosetta Miss Ada [Aida] Overton Walker makes a decided hit, and dances in a capital manner. Her song, ”A Actor Lady,” is well sung, which touches of burlesque. Miss Ada Guignesse sings ”Brown skin baby mine” in a style that makes one regret that it is her only appearance. At the finale of the last act there is a cakewalk competition among the members of the company for a prize presented by the management. Thunders of applause greet the efforts of each pair of dancers. Mr. J. Gladwin, the courteous acting-manager, should have difficulty in finding room for his patrons for the rest of the week.’
(The Stage, London, Thursday, 28 January 1904, p. 15b)

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July 10, 2013

George W. Walker (1872/73-1911), African-American vaudevillian, as Rareback Pinkerton for the song, ‘The Czar, He is the Greatest Thing,’ in In Dahomey, the all African-American musical comedy which took London by storm after its opening there at the Shaftesbury Theatre on 16 May 1903. In Dahomey was first produced at the New York Theatre, New York, on 18 February 1903.
(photo: Cavendish Morton, London, 1903)

The Grand Theatre, Woolwich, London, week beginning Monday, 25 January 1904
‘Mr. Clarence Sounes has undoubtedly scored in securing In Dahomey, played by Williams and Walker and their company, for the first week of its tour. There was an enthusiastic audience on Monday. Messrs. Williams and Walker are without doubt the mainstay of the play. Mr. Bert Williams as the lugubrious Shylock Homestead causes roars of laughter, and his son, “The Jonah Man,” is redemanded again and again. As the mercurial Rareback Pinkerton, Mr. Geo. W. Walker causes much merriment, and his dancing is one of the features of the show. His song, “My Castle on the Nile,” was on Monday encored five times. The chorus business in his son, “The Czar,” is also well done. Mr. G.A. Shipp as Hustling Charley acts with a fine sense of comedy, and his dancing is extremely clever. Mr. Harry Troy scores with his son, “Mollie Green.” As George Reeder Mr. Alex. Rogers acts quietly. Mr. J. Lebrie Hill and Mr. Peter Hampton are successful as Hamilton Lightfoot and Dr. Straight. Miss Hattie McIntosh makes a dignified Cecilia Lightfoot. Miss Lottie Williams as Mr. Stringer brings her part into prominence. As Rosetta Miss Ada [Aida] Overton Walker makes a decided hit, and dances in a capital manner. Her song, “A Actor Lady,” is well sung, which touches of burlesque. Miss Ada Guignesse sings “Brown skin baby mine” in a style that makes one regret that it is her only appearance. At the finale of the last act there is a cakewalk competition among the members of the company for a prize presented by the management. Thunders of applause greet the efforts of each pair of dancers. Mr. J. Gladwin, the courteous acting-manager, should have difficulty in finding room for his patrons for the rest of the week.’
(The Stage, London, Thursday, 28 January 1904, p. 15b)

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Mattie Edwards as she appeared in In Dahomey, Shaftesbury Theatre, London, 1903

January 18, 2013

Mattie Edwards (1866-1944), American stage and screen actress,
as she appeared as the Dahomian Queen in the prologue of
In Dahomey, Shaftesbury Theatre, London, 16 May 1903.
(photo: Cavendish Morton, London, 1903)

The Duluth Theatre, Minnesota, week beginning Monday, 28 February 1887
‘The Duluth Theatre had big houses for the past week. The performance given at this place is as good as at any similar house north of Chicago. Manager Jackson will not spare any expense to get good cards. The laugh-makers for the week were Mattie Edwards, Kittie Gerry, Sestor Bros., Ella Leon, Jerry Cavana, Frankie Hall, Powers and White, and the Hill children, who were very good for ones so young – about six years… ‘
(The New York Clipper, New York, Saturday, 5 March 1887, p. 807b)

Mattie Edwards, late of the In Dahomey company, appears in Klaw & Erlanger’s gigantic production of Edmund Day’s drama, The Round-Up, Majestic, Fort Wayne, March 1912
The Round-Up Coming.
‘Klaw & Erlanger’s Big Production at the Majestic, March 15-16.
The Round-Up, Klaw & Erlanger’s stupendous production of Edmund Day’s famous drama, will be seen for the first time in this city at the Majestic theater March 15 and 16. This play, with its heart interest and thrills and extraordinary sensationalism in the most realistic battle scene ever presented, has a popular appeal that has resulted in an unbroken succession of crowded audiences wherever seen.
‘The production is one of the largest that Klaw & Erlanger have ever made, and they have omitted no deal in scenery or equipment that could contribute in any way to the completeness of this great atmospheric picture. The company is large and very able, and in addition to the leading players, there is an auxiliary interest in the form of genuine western cavalrymen, cowboys, Mexican vaqueros, Apache Indians and twenty cow ponies from Arizona cattle ranges. The locale of the scenes is Southwestern Arizona before the advent of the wire fences and during the period when General Creek was chasing Conchise and his braves in the reservation at Fort Grant. The story, although written about a western theme, and strongly dramatic, is not of the “wild and woolly” character that one almost instinctively associated with the term western play. The personalities of the story are, of course, the rough and homely type of the ranges, but the story is one of such supreme heart interest and so true to human nature generally that it perhaps could be translated to another locale and interpreted by different types of character, with fully as great effectiveness as in the setting in which it is now presented. The broad art of the scene painted and the marvels of stagecraft have never produced such scenes as those represented in the Round-Up. The eye looks upon the great distance of arid desert and up to the towering gigantic canyons with wonderment that paint and brush, stage mechanism and light effects can have such magic use as to present such vividly real scenes. The “battle scene” – the real thing in shot and shell and gatling gun, and it is worked up to a climax of overwhelming excitement. In this scene twenty mounted Indians rise along the tortuous path at the edge of a precipice and the attack upon the two wanderers of the desert by this band of Apache Indians and their routing by a detachment of United States cavalry, headed by “Slim” Hoover, the sheriff. The scene of the last act at Sweetwater, presenting a cattle round-up, is a typical scene of western bravado and cowboy horsemanship, with a dozen bucking broncos. The magnitude of this production is such that it can only be played in a few cities and in only the largest theaters.
‘The cast includes Hanley Holmes, Harold Hartsett, William Conklin, Mitchell Harris, Harry Cowan, W.H. Sullivan, M.E. Heisey, Frank Vail, James Ashburn, Jacques Martin, W.N. Bailey, Edward Settle, Charles Aldridge, “Texas” Cooper, Genla Henius, Inez Macauley and Mattie Edwards. There will be an auxiliary organization of 150 people, including soldiers, scouts, cow-punchers, Mexican vaqueros, Arizona girls, Apache Indians and twenty horses.’
(The Fort Wayne Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Saturday, 2 March 1912, p.12b-d)