Posts Tagged ‘John T. Kelly’

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Molly Fuller

April 21, 2013

Molly Fuller (1865?-1933), American actress and singer, as Percy Verance, the girl bachelor in the burlesque, The 20th Century Girl
(photo: Schloss, New York, 1895/96)

Greene’s Opera House, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 22 April 1896
‘The new 20th Century Girl will be seen at Greene’s opera house tonight. The burlesque has been revised and every change has been considerably for the better. Many novelties from the ”other side” have been introduced and great attention has been given to the selection of pretty girls and beautiful costumes to enhance the novelty of the entertainment. Miss Molly Fuller will be seen in the title role and the following excellent company will act in support; John T. Kelly and Gus Williams (who have starred individually and jointly for the past ten years): Allene Crater (prima donna): Wm. Cameron (comedian); Annie St. Tel (the dancing sunbeam), Thomas Lewis, Harry Kelly, Georgia Hawley, Aimee Van Dyne and Arthur Pell, leader of the orchestra and conductor of a chorus of selected voices.’
(The Cedar Rapids Evening Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Wednesday, 22 April 1896, p. 5b)

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Lillian Russell

April 11, 2013

Lillian Russell (1860/61-1922), American beauty and former star of comic opera in burlesque for the first time in Whirl-i-gig, Weber and Fields’s Broadway Music Hall, New York, 21 September 1899
(photo: Dana Studios, New York and Brooklyn, circa 1895)

‘BURLESQUE IN NEW YORK.
(From Our Own Correspondent.)
‘”Whirligig, a dramatic conundrum in two guesses,” the second “guess” being “The Girl from Martin’s [sic] [i.e. The Girl from Maxim’s]; a bit of a fling at the Parisian comedy craze,” formed the opening programme at Weber and Field’s Broadway Music Hall, on the 21st inst., and drew such a big crowd that the little house was packed to the doors. Every seat in the house had been sold by auction at a high premium, two boxes having fetched $250 each. The jokes and comic scenes of the new offerings were by Edgar Smith, the lyrics by Harry B. Smith, and the music by John Stromberg. In Whirligig the authors have adhered to their regular methods in providing a story which has no particular point or moral, but gives opportunity for the introduction of witty absurdities, droll humour, plenty of music, gay costumes, and pretty girls. Messrs Joe Weber and “Lew” Fields are again seen as a pair of fun -making Germans who lose themselves in a labyrinthian [sic] dialogue of broken English, and have a knack of getting into trouble and involving others in their tribulations. The former is introduced as Herman Dillpickel, inventor of the Flotascope, “a machine for throwing living pictures on the native air,” and the latter as Wilhelm Hochderkaiser, an architect with plans for a jail possessing all the comforts of home. An important feature of the programme was the début in burlesque of Lillian Russell, who, in America, bears the undisputed title of “Queen of Comic Opera,” and whose salary at this music hall is said to be $1,500 per week. Miss Russell, who received an ovation on her entry, figured prominently in the first part as Mdlle. Fifi Coo-Coo, Queen of Bohemia, and The Girl from Martin’s [sic], a burlesque on the Feydeau farce (a burlesque on a farce is surely a novelty) now running at the Criterion here, as the frisky young person who finds herself in the wrong bed. Doubts of Lillian Russell’s popularity in burlesque were dispelled at the outset, for she adapted herself admirably to the new surroundings, and acted the burlesque scenes as though travesty, instead of comic opera, had been for forte for years. She presented a handsome appearance in a richly embroidered cream white gown, a crimson velvet hat with feathers of exaggerated dimensions, scarlet lingerie, and red slippers with diamond buckles. Miss Russell had two good songs, “The Queen of Bohemia” and “The Brunette Soubrette.”
‘The Queen of Bohemia fascinates Mr Sigmund Cohenski, a wealthy Hebrew gentleman. This latter rôle fell to “Dave” Warfield, who gave another of his inimitable character studies. A flirtation scene between these two, a clever travesty of the Marquis of Steyne incident in Becky Sharp, was one of the best things in the show. Peter Dailey appeared as Josh Boniface, the prosperous proprietor of a hotel in the suburbs of Paris, in the first part, the chorus girls being his waitresses and a chambermaids, and as General Petitpois, in the after-piece. According to precedent Mr Dailey sang a new coon song with a catchy melody wedded to it, and, also according to precedent, it was encored half a dozen times.
‘As Captain Kingsbridge, of the U.S. Navy, Charles Ross had a taking sea song, and a travesty of a scene in Miss Hobbs, with Irene Perry in Annie Russell’s rôle, which were sung and acted with charming grace and humour. John T. Kelly was Harold Gilhooly, “with a life story and a trained bear.” As an Italian with a Hibernian dialect he was exceedingly funny, and the comic pantomime of George Ali as Bruno, the bear, was very diverting. In the burlesque of The Girl from Maxim’s Mr Kelly was the idiotic Duke de Swellfront, with varnished hair; Weber and Fields were the ferocious duellists, Sarsaparilla and Tarroller; Dave Warfield, Dr. Fromage; and Lillian Russell, Praline. Some of the things that have been expurgated from the adaptation of the French farce at the Criterion seemed to have crept into the travesty of it, some of the episodes being of a pretty reckless character. The costumes were exceptionally handsome, and the richness of the stage pictures has been rarely excelled. Miss Hilbon, the little daughter of Bessie Bonehill, played a small part acceptably, and the Misses Mabel and Lulu Nichols as Madame Petitpois, “addicted to splits,” and the Duchess De Swellfront, the Duke’s mamma, respectively, increased the fun at every opportunity. Bessie Clayton’s sprightly and novel dance made a big hit. There were the usual enthusiastic demonstrations at the close, the stage being crowded with floral offerings of all shapes and sizes. Newly decorated and improved, the music hall now ranks among the most tastefully appointed amusement houses on Broadway.’
(The Era, London, Saturday 7 October 1899, p.9e)

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April 11, 2013

Lillian Russell (1860/61-1922), American beauty and former star of comic opera in burlesque for the first time in Whirl-i-gig, Weber and Fields’s Broadway Music Hall, New York, 21 September 1899
(photo: Dana Studios, New York and Brooklyn, circa 1895)

‘BURLESQUE IN NEW YORK.
(From Our Own Correspondent.)
’“Whirligig, a dramatic conundrum in two guesses,” the second “guess” being “The Girl from Martin’s [sic] [i.e. The Girl from Maxim’s]; a bit of a fling at the Parisian comedy craze,” formed the opening programme at Weber and Field’s Broadway Music Hall, on the 21st inst., and drew such a big crowd that the little house was packed to the doors. Every seat in the house had been sold by auction at a high premium, two boxes having fetched $250 each. The jokes and comic scenes of the new offerings were by Edgar Smith, the lyrics by Harry B. Smith, and the music by John Stromberg. In Whirligig the authors have adhered to their regular methods in providing a story which has no particular point or moral, but gives opportunity for the introduction of witty absurdities, droll humour, plenty of music, gay costumes, and pretty girls. Messrs Joe Weber and “Lew” Fields are again seen as a pair of fun -making Germans who lose themselves in a labyrinthian [sic] dialogue of broken English, and have a knack of getting into trouble and involving others in their tribulations. The former is introduced as Herman Dillpickel, inventor of the Flotascope, “a machine for throwing living pictures on the native air,” and the latter as Wilhelm Hochderkaiser, an architect with plans for a jail possessing all the comforts of home. An important feature of the programme was the début in burlesque of Lillian Russell, who, in America, bears the undisputed title of “Queen of Comic Opera,” and whose salary at this music hall is said to be $1,500 per week. Miss Russell, who received an ovation on her entry, figured prominently in the first part as Mdlle. Fifi Coo-Coo, Queen of Bohemia, and The Girl from Martin’s [sic], a burlesque on the Feydeau farce (a burlesque on a farce is surely a novelty) now running at the Criterion here, as the frisky young person who finds herself in the wrong bed. Doubts of Lillian Russell’s popularity in burlesque were dispelled at the outset, for she adapted herself admirably to the new surroundings, and acted the burlesque scenes as though travesty, instead of comic opera, had been for forte for years. She presented a handsome appearance in a richly embroidered cream white gown, a crimson velvet hat with feathers of exaggerated dimensions, scarlet lingerie, and red slippers with diamond buckles. Miss Russell had two good songs, “The Queen of Bohemia” and “The Brunette Soubrette.”
‘The Queen of Bohemia fascinates Mr Sigmund Cohenski, a wealthy Hebrew gentleman. This latter rôle fell to “Dave” Warfield, who gave another of his inimitable character studies. A flirtation scene between these two, a clever travesty of the Marquis of Steyne incident in Becky Sharp, was one of the best things in the show. Peter Dailey appeared as Josh Boniface, the prosperous proprietor of a hotel in the suburbs of Paris, in the first part, the chorus girls being his waitresses and a chambermaids, and as General Petitpois, in the after-piece. According to precedent Mr Dailey sang a new coon song with a catchy melody wedded to it, and, also according to precedent, it was encored half a dozen times.
‘As Captain Kingsbridge, of the U.S. Navy, Charles Ross had a taking sea song, and a travesty of a scene in Miss Hobbs, with Irene Perry in Annie Russell’s rôle, which were sung and acted with charming grace and humour. John T. Kelly was Harold Gilhooly, “with a life story and a trained bear.” As an Italian with a Hibernian dialect he was exceedingly funny, and the comic pantomime of George Ali as Bruno, the bear, was very diverting. In the burlesque of The Girl from Maxim’s Mr Kelly was the idiotic Duke de Swellfront, with varnished hair; Weber and Fields were the ferocious duellists, Sarsaparilla and Tarroller; Dave Warfield, Dr. Fromage; and Lillian Russell, Praline. Some of the things that have been expurgated from the adaptation of the French farce at the Criterion seemed to have crept into the travesty of it, some of the episodes being of a pretty reckless character. The costumes were exceptionally handsome, and the richness of the stage pictures has been rarely excelled. Miss Hilbon, the little daughter of Bessie Bonehill, played a small part acceptably, and the Misses Mabel and Lulu Nichols as Madame Petitpois, “addicted to splits,” and the Duchess De Swellfront, the Duke’s mamma, respectively, increased the fun at every opportunity. Bessie Clayton’s sprightly and novel dance made a big hit. There were the usual enthusiastic demonstrations at the close, the stage being crowded with floral offerings of all shapes and sizes. Newly decorated and improved, the music hall now ranks among the most tastefully appointed amusement houses on Broadway.’
(The Era, London, Saturday 7 October 1899, p.9e)

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Katie Seymour

December 24, 2012

Katie Seymour (1870-1903), English actress, dancer and singer (photo: Walery, London, circa 1890)

‘A New Deal in Vaudeville. On to-morrow evening, at the Baldwin Theatre, the much talked of Hermann Transatlantique Vaudeville Company will make its firs appearance in San Francisco. Peculiar interest attaches to this attraction; they have had a remarkable tour throughout the United States, and from all accounts deserve the attention that has been bestowed upon them. It is unquestionably a new departure in vaudeville business, and if the entertainment is what the announcements claim it is Professor Hermann is to be heartily commended. Appearances indicate that the attendance for their engagement here will be both large and fashionable. Such has been the result everywhere in the East, and the organization is appearing only in the leading legitimate theatrers of the country. The list of celebrities that go to make up the entertainment certainly warrant the belief that there is considerable merit in the company. The list is headed by the name of the indescribable Trewey, a clever Frenchman, who has become famous throughout Europe. Trewey hails from Angouleme, in the South of France, and seems to have arrived at the acme of manual dexterity. Column upon column has been devoted to his skill by Eastern papers, notably by the Scientific American, which devoted quite an extensive article to the illustration of the ”shadowgraph” act. His is an entirely new and original style of entertainment, and is said to be as delicately artistic as anything that has ever been presented in a theater. His versatility is almost unbounded; he is a mimic, a prestidigitator, a natural-born comedian, and the quasi discoverer of the latent beauties of shadow-graphing. We will know more about him after to-morrow night. A familiar name on the list is that of Gus Williams, who needs no introduction to our theater-goers. His peculiar talents are well known here, and in certain branches of the comic art he is quite inimitable. John T. Kelly, a monologue comedian, and Ross and Fenton, sketch artists, complete the American portion of the programme. A clever act is that of the Athois, who are from the Empire Theater, London. Under the title of ”The Spider and the Fly” they go through a very ingenious acrobatic performance on a huge web which is stretched upon the stage. A child phenomenon, Freddy by name, from the Folies Bergere, Paris, is said to be very clever, and at once captures the hearts of all the ladies and children, in fact there is much in the entertainment that appeals to the feminine sex and the younger portion of our community, and the result is that the matinees are always crowded. Herr Tholen, from the Hippodrome, Paris, gives a very clever, comical, musical act in conjunction with a live singing poodle, which he has facetiously names ”Boulanger.” ”Boulanger” may prove a revelation, and if Tholen can find something new to do in the guise of a clown it would also be a revelation. The prevailing fancy for skirt dancing is not forgotten. Katie Seymour, from the principal London theaters, is said to be the most skilful and dainty of any of the artists in that line that have visited the metropolis, and there are also four danseuses from the Gaiety Theater, London, who execute a very graceful ”pas de quatre.” The list certainly gives evidence of a very diversified entertainment, and there is no reason to doubt but that the immense success and fashionably audiences that has been the lost of the organization in the Eastern cities will be fully duplicated here.’ (The Morning Call, San Francisco, California, Sunday, 27 April 1890, p. 11b/c)