Posts Tagged ‘Lillian Russell’

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Thomas S. Dare, gymnast, clown and pantomimist

August 1, 2013

Thomas S. Dare (about 1855-after 1910), American gymnast, clown and pantomimist
(photo: H.T. Reed & Co, London, 16 Tottenham Court Road, London, circa 1877)

Thomas S. Dare, whose real name was Thomas S. Hall, was born in New York and for a time worked with his brothers, George and Stewart, both of whom were also gymnasts. He was married for the first time on 1 July 1871 in New York City [(The Sun, New York, New York, Thursday, 12 February 1885, p. 2g)] to Susan Adeline Stuart/Stewart (1854/55-1922) who became internationally celebrated as the trapeze artist, Leona Dare. T.S. Dare subsequently married in 1882 Frances Mary Stevenson, whose stage name was Ada Dare, and was later professionally associated with the boxer James J. Corbett (1866-1933).

Mr. W. Knowles’s Benefit, Cambridge music hall, London, Tuesday evening, 29 May 1877
‘… Mr Steward [sic] Dare (the one-legged gymnast) and Little Hall (the American Clown) gave an exceedingly clever and also amusing exhibition of their talent as performers on the horizontal bar… .’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 3 June 1877, p. 4b)

‘Original, Sensational, Amusing.
‘STEWART H. DARE,
‘the Unipedal, or One-Legged, Gymnast,
‘and
‘THOMAS S. DARE,
‘the Merry Gymnastic Clown,
‘in their Wonderful and Mirthful Gymnastic entertainments. Big success everywhere. Splendidly dressed, and the handsomest Apparatus I the country. Read extracts from Testimonials:-
”’Gentlemen, – We take great pleasure in bearing testimony to the merit and success of your wonderful and unique entertainment. – J.H. JENNINGS, Oxford.”
”’Gentlemen, – I take great pleasure in recommending your wonderful performance to all Managers. – F. ABRAHAMS.”’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 11 November 1877, p. 17d, advertisement)

‘MARRIED [in London], at the Register office, Brixton, on Wednesday, the 20th inst. [December 1882], Thomas S. Hall, better known as Thomas Dare, of the Dare Brothers, to Miss Frances Mary Stevenson.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 23 December 1882, p. 4b)

Springfield, Ohio, September 1886
‘Tony Pastor’s Own Company Tonight At the Grand.
‘Tony Pastor and company arrived this morning and are stopping at the Arcade. His company this season is stronger and better than ever. The Boston Press speaks as follows of the company: … Thomas S. and Stewart Dare, the marvelous gymnasts, and the performance of the latter, the one-legged acrobat, on the horizontal bar are truly marvelous, while the former is too well known in the role of grotesque clown and facial comedian to need any commendation… .’
(Springfield Globe-Republic, Springfield, Ohio, Wednesday, 15 September 1886, p. 1g)

ADA DARE SUED FOR DIVORCE.
‘She is in Lillian Russell’s Company and Her Husband is a Well-known Acrobat.
‘Thomas S. Dare, the well-known clown, pantomimist, and acrobat, has brought suit for absolute divorce against his wife, Ada Dare, an actress, who appeared last season in Sinbad, the Sailor, at the Madison Square Garden. She is now a member of the Lillian Russell comic opera company, which is on its way to San Francisco. Mr. Dare asks for a decree on the statutory grounds, naming as co-respondents several men said to be prominent in commercial and theatrical circles. Mr. Dare also asks for the custody of his seven-year-old son. According to the not of issue of the case, which has been filed for the September term of the Superior Court, Mr. Dare’s real name is Thomas S. Hall. The papers were served on Mrs. Dare early in August, when she was playing at the Madison Square Garden, but she was allowed the usual twenty days’ notice to pass by without making an answer, and it is probably that the decree will be granted without opposition.
‘Mr. Dare is widely known as a circus and variety performer both in this country and abroad. For eleven years he and his brother, Stewart H. Dare, a one-legged acrobat, travelled in Europe and met with great success. Another brother, George H. Dare, is also an acrobat. Dare’s first wife was Leona Dare, the trapezist, whom he met in New Orleans in 1869, and in 1871 they were married in this city. He taught her to perform on the trapeze and she accumulated a fortune in the business, but she left Dare in 1876. in 1880 she secretly obtained a divorce in Illinois in order to marry Baron Greenebaugh, an Austrian whom she met while performing abroad. The Baron was disinherited by his father and soon after abandoned his wife.
‘Dare was managing a music hall in Paris in 1882 when he met his second wife, whom he is now suing for divorce. Her name then was Frances Mary Stevenson, and she was a member of the Zento troupe of bicyclists. They were married in London, and performed together on the Continent until 1885, when they came to America.’
(The Sun, New York, Thursday, 1 September 1892, p. 9f)

‘PIQUO AND HIS LITTLE DECEPTION
‘If You Would Succeed in the Acrobatic Art Take a Foreign Name.
‘So Says a Clever Impersonator of That Highly Mischievous Character.
‘A gymnastic team which was billed under the names of Paulinetti and Piquo lately appeared at the Orpheum Theater in this city [San Francisco] and presented an act on the horizontal bar that was probably as entertaining as any that has ever been witnessed on the stage. One would infer from the Italian nature of the names that the possessors were born and reared in Italy’s sunny country, but would be somewhat surprised to learn that instead of being of foreign extraction the two gentlemen are both natives of these glorious United States, and to use the words of Piquo himself they are proud of it. There are tricks in all trades, and the theatrical profession is no exception to this general rule, but in an interesting talk with Piquo the reasons for this assumption of foreign cognomens were readily understood and it must be granted that the little deception practised on the American public is fully warranted by the attendant circumstances. It is a well known fact, says Piquo, that a variety artist who appears under a name peculiar to European countries is almost invariably assured of being well received by an American audience simply because there is a mistaken impression that whatever is foreign must be good. This, says he, militates against the American artist, especially in acrobatic performances, and Piquo evidently knows whereof he speaks, for he is no novice in the theatrical business. He first commenced to earn regular salary and thereby professionalized himself in 1868 in the city of New York, where he was born. His proper every day name is T.S. Dare, or Tommy Dare, as he is familiarly called by those who know him best. He played the part of the clown in the act, and will be remembered as having caused considerable merriment in that character. His partner, who rejoices under the name of Paulinetti when he is doing his turn, is Ph. Thurber when he is not going through his very clever and difficult scientific work on the horizontal bar.
‘Piquo says that the immediate cause of their taking the foreign names was the fact that they had traveled extensively throughout Europe, showing at the best music halls in the principal cities, and on returning to this country conceived the scheme. The first manager to whom they applied for an engagement, on learning that they had just arrived from across the pond and had closed a successful season of several months at the Folies Bergeres, in Paris, immediately contracted for their appearance at his theater and paid them double salary for the European name. When they first went to England as the American artists, ”Dare and Thurber,” they were coldly received by the English managers, who said there was a surfeit of that horizontal bar business in the theatrical market, ”don’t you know,” but condescended to give them a trial. The managers soon thawed out, however, on the opening night, when they saw how well the team was received by the languid English audiences, who really became enthusiastic in their applause. After that long engagements were the rule. Mr. Dare (of Piquo), for his identity must be preserved, is authority for the statement that English acrobatic artists cannot compare with the Americans engaged in the same line. In their gymnastic work, while the former are slow, studied and lumbering, the latter are more easy, quick and graceful. Piquo also says that the feats which he and Paulinetti perform are not on-half as difficult as answering to their foreign aliases. After a performance one evening a gentleman of color was overhead to remark to his companion, ”Say, Johnson, dem fellers, Polinaris and Pie-cut, were de best on de programme.”
‘Piquo’s countenance became sad when he said that there was some danger of the team separating, on account of some little misunderstand, but it is to be hoped that such an event will not occur, for two people who work so well together in public should experience no difficulty in getting along in their private life. But Piquo says that it is the gratitude of the world. To use his language: ”I have had a score of partners in the course of my theatrical career; have given them all the benefit of my thirty years’ experience in the acrobatic business, and the they gave me the frigid shake. But, never mind, if this one leaves me I will soon get another one, and we will hold on to the name of ‘Paulinetti and Piquo’ even if the new man should be Scandinavian.”’
(The San Francisco Call, Friday, 14 January 1898, p. 9b)

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Lillian Russell

June 12, 2013

Lillian Russell (1861?-1922), American star of comic opera, appears in vaudeville at the Palace Theatre, New York, 1915
(photo: White, New York, circa 1915)

‘Lillian Russell, a prominent resident of Pittsburgh and well known in these parts as a creator of cosmetics, returned to the stage at the Palace. Many gentlemen with double chins and other visible indications of profitable leisure were present and the welcome back was hearty.
‘Lillian Russell and “My Evening Star”
‘Miss Russell sang four numbers, including “Chloe.” Once more she invited “My Evening Star” [recorded circa 1912, from www.archive.org] to come down. These songs are of the Weber and Fields pre-broiler period, when the chorus girls were required to have – let us say – architectural stability.
‘It was, we’ll confess, our first glimpse across the footlights of Miss Russell. When she was at her height we were observing “Superba” and the second company in The Chinese Honeymoon from a perilous and provincial gallery seat. So, of course, our review is devoid of memories.
‘Watching Miss Russell, we couldn’t help but think that – say forty years from now – we’ll be brushing cigar ashes from our waistcoats, and applauding – with elderly difficulty – the youthful Ina Claire and the girlish Elsie Janis.
‘Anyway, Miss Russell is promising.’
(Frederick James Smith, The New York Dramatic Mirror, New York, Saturday, 13 November 1915, p.19a)

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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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Daisy Le Hay in the United States touring production of The Dollar Princess, 1910

January 9, 2013

Daisy Le Hay (b. 1883), English actress and singer,
as she appeared during 1910/11 in the United States’ touring production of
The Dollar Princess as Alice Cowder, a part originated on the
English-speaking stage by Adrienne Augarde at the Knickerbocker, New York, 6 August 1909,
and by Lily Elsie at Daly’s, London, 25 September 1909.
(photo: Moffett, Chicago, 1910)

‘Daisy Le Hay is the Alice. She plays the part with fire, and has a voice that will keep her in the front rank of musical comedy artists. She sang the songs allotted to her with a resonance and quality of tone that were delightful.’
(The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., Tuesday, 21 March 1911, p.5b)

Lillian Russell and Daisy Le Hay, who are appearing in Chicago, model their dresses at a dressmakers’ convention, 1910
‘Actresses set the fashion in dress for America. So insisted Mrs. Idah McGlone Gibson in the address she delivered at the dressmakers’ convention. And the reason therefor is that actresses ”dress the part.” their dresses always are en rapport with the character they seek to portray.
”’For that same reason the fashionably dressed woman must choose a gown indicative of her own temperament,” said Mrs. Gibson. ”The best dressed actresses of the stage choose gowns that exactly fit their own personalities.”
‘Just at that moment a velvet curtain cutting off a portion of the stage was drawn aside and in the glare of the lights appears Miss Lillian Russell, her daughter, Mrs. Dunsmore, and Miss Daisy Le Hay, actresses appearing now in the Chicago theatres.
”’No woman in America has spent more money in the American dress shops than Miss Russell,” said Mrs. Gibson, after she had introduced the actresses and each had performed a bewitching smile for the benefit of the audience of dressmakers.
‘Then she pointed out that the dress worn by Miss Russell was just the sort that should be affected by the sort of woman Miss Russell is. Miss Daisy Le Hay was attired in a frock of another character in perfect consonance with her individual type of figure.
‘Then Mrs. Gibson proceeded to hammer home the philosophy of perfect gown wearing.’
(New Castle News, New Castle, Pennsylvania, Friday, 30 September 1910, p.9b)