Posts Tagged ‘James a. Herne’


Lizzie Webster, American burlesque actress and singer

October 10, 2013

Lizzie Webster (1858-1937), American burlesque actress and singer, whose short career flourished between about 1877 and 1879 under the management of Edward E. Rice.
(photo: Mora, New York, 1877/79)

Lizzie (Elizabeth) Webster, who is said to have begun her career at McVicker’s Theatre, Chicago, retired from the stage upon her marriage in June 1879 to Jacob Nunnemacher (1853-1928), a Milwaukee businessman who built the Nunnemacher’s Grand Opera House at Milwaukee and who in 1880 was connected with Edward E. Rice in a theatrical venture. Nunnemacher was born in Milwaukee, one of the children of Jacob Nunnemacher (senior) and his wife, Catherine, who were natives respectively of Switzerland and Prussia.

‘Rice’s Evangeline Combination.
‘Rice’s Evangeline Combination begins an engagement at the Memphis Theater Monday night. In speaking of this grand spectacular extravaganza, the Louisville Courier-Journal says: ”Evangeline comes to us with a new brightness and freshness. Several substitutions have been made, notably Miss Lizzie Webster for Miss Eliza Wethersby in the character of ‘Gabriel,’ Miss Venie Clancy for Miss Flora Fisher, as ‘Evangeline,’ and Mr. Richard Golden for Mr. N.C. Goodwin as ‘Le Blanc.’ The loss and gain are so evenly balanced that it is hardly worth while discussing, and, besides, the new-comers give to the extravaganza an air of newness quite refreshing. Many points have been added in the way of hits and in the business of the different characters, and there is such a variety of matter than the extravaganza will bear seeing many times and other seasons yet. Miss Lizzie Webster and Miss Eliza Wethersby differ in qualities rather than quality. The present ‘Gabriel’ has not quite the assertive dash of the former one; is not quite the actress or quite the singer, but is quite as charming in appearance, and has an air of sweet disposition, freshness, gentle archness and purity, with that degree of sprightliness which win the good-will and affection of the audience. Thus there is no loss in the change.”’
(The Memphis daily Appeal, Friday, Memphis, Tennessee, 30 November 1877, p. 4c)

Lizzie Webster appeared as Ralph Rackshaw in an ‘unofficial’ production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore when it was produced at the Lyceum Theatre, New York, under the management of Edward E. Rice on 23 January 1879.

‘It is published in the leading New York papers that Lizzie Webster has had a house in that city make a pair of tights for her which cost one hundred dollars – and she fills the bill plumply.’
(Sedalia Weekly Bazoo, Sedalia, Missouri, Tuesday, 18 March 1879, p. 2a)

‘Ned Rice’s Evangeline Revival and the Memories That it Awakes …
‘… Of Gabriels there have been many, but none more sweetly picturesque than Venie Clancy, a delicate and pretty little girl, whom consumption carried away all too soon; there was a roguish Gabriel in Lizzie Webster, a brunette whom to see was to worship, and whom Jacob Nunnemacher, the Milwaukee manager, now esteems as his wife… .’
(The News Herald, Hillsboro, Ohio, Thursday, 5 May 1887, p. 5b)

* * * * *

‘In 1871, German-born [sic] businessman and theater enthusiast Jacob Nunnemacher was able to fulfill his aspirations of providing Milwaukee with its first opera house… . this, the Nunnemacher Grand Opera House was constructed at the northwest corner of Wells and Water Streets in the center of Milwaukee’s civic activity.’
(Megan E. Daniels, Milwaukee’s Early Architecture, Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, SC, &c., 2010, p. 34)

‘Messrs. E.E. Rice and J. Nunnemacher have leased the Fifth Avenue Theater, N.Y., for an indefinite period, commencing Monday, March 29, (Easter Monday,) and on that day will produced Mr. James A. Herne’s Hearts of Oak
(The Evening Star, Washington, D.C., Saturday, 20 March 1880, p. 2d)


The Abbott Sisters (fl. late 19th Century), American duettists

January 11, 2013

Abbott Sisters (fl. late 19th Century), American duettists
(photo: J. Schloss, New York, 1894)

The Abbott Sisters with Albert Chevalier’s Company at the Columbia Theatre, Brooklyn, week beginning 2 November 1896
Chevalier will get his introduction to Brooklyn at the Columbia next week and will sing his best known coster songs. In his company are the Abbott sisters, the American singers who made a hit [at the Palace Theatre of Varieties, Cambridge Circus] in London last season.’
(The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, New York, Friday, 30 October 1896, p.7a)

‘Albert Chevalier, the London coster singer, will make his first appearance in Brooklyn this week at the Columbia theater. Chevalier is notable among music hall entertainers for the really artistic character of his impersonation. He has humor, of course, or he could never had succeeded on the stages on which he first made his fame. But his humor is restrained by a fine sense of art and his personations show an acting ability of a high order. Had he been an American he would, no doubt, have been a character comedian like [James A. ] Herne or [William H.] Thompson or Frank Mayo. But the London music halls offer a much wider scope than do our variety houses and furnish audiences which our variety theaters, outside of two or three in New York which have developed very recently, never see. In that city his coster sketches were as highly appreciated in a twenty minute turn as they would have been here in a three act play, and with them he made a success which is likely to keep him permanently on the music hall boards. He has been in American about a year now, during which time his vogue has been steadily growing and his songs have run all over the country. A Chevalier song, though, in the hands of another singer, is like inferior photographs of a pretty woman. No one knows the charm until he has seen the original. During his week at the Columbia Mr. Chevalier will sing the songs which are most widely known, “My Old Dutch,” “Tick Tock,” “The Future Mrs. ‘Awkins,” “The Coster’s Song,” “The Little Nipper,” and others. He will be supported by a company of English entertainers whom he brought to this country because they were drawingroom sings at home and were somewhat different in style from the variety stage performers with whom we are familiar. The only Americans in the party art the Abbott sisters, two girls whose home is in Brooklyn and who made a hit in London last summer with their songs to mandolin accompaniment. They were popular on this side before they went abroad but now that the novelty and freshness of their work have impressed London they will be better liked at home. It is always pleasant to have one’s judgment confirmed by people of wide experience. Other members of the Chevalier company are Mr. Charles Bertram, Mr. Harry Atkinson, Mr. Cyrus Dare, Mr. Harry Brett and Miss Nora Girton.’
(The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, New York, Sunday, 1 November 1896, p.24a/b)