Posts Tagged ‘Louise Montague’

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Ruth Stetson

May 19, 2013

Ruth Stetson (fl. 1880s), American burlesque actress
(photo: Conly, Boston, circa 1888)

‘Memories of old times were revived at the Fourteenth-Street Theatre last evening when Lydia Thompson reappeared before a Metropolitan audience as Prince Fritz in Oxygen. Those who expect to find any traces of time on Miss Thompson’s countenance will be to some extent surprised. She has preserved her appearance wonderfully. As to her voice, there is little of it left. But she has lost nothing in vivacity and grace, nor in that winsomeness of manner that made her a favorite years ago. The old burlesque burnished up with new local allusions and topical songs is just as absurdly funny as ever. It is the sheerest nonsense, so ridiculously bad that it makes people ashamed of themselves to laugh at it; but they do laugh, and that right heartily. The company supporting Miss Thompson is full of industry if not overburdened with skill. A more active and energetic set of buffoons it would be hard to find anywhere. Among them Miss Addie Cora Reed, Lillie Alliston, Ruth Stetson, and Leila Farrel, and Messrs. R.F. Carroll, Alexander Clark, and Louis de Lange especially distinguished themselves last night. The whole company joined in making the old burlesque move with the life of a too much galvanize corpse, and the audience was kept in a state of uproarious laughter from the beginning of the performance to the end.’
(The New York Times, Wednesday, 18 May 1886, p.4)

THE CORSAIR. Spectacular operatic burlesque, in three acts, music by Mr Edward E. Rice and Mr John J. Braham, libretto by Mr J. Cheever Goodwin, produced at the Bijou Opera House [NewYork], Tuesday, Oct. 18th, 1887.
‘In The Corsair all the essentials of the regular Rice burlesque are present, with the exception of clever comedians. Mr Frank David, who made some success as the comedian in The Pyramid, has been put in the principal role here, and falls flat. The other male members of the cast have few opportunities, although Mr [George A.] Schiller was occasionally humorous. Sig. [J.C.] Brocolini is the possessor of a fine voice, and used it to advantage as Seyd Pacha. Miss Annie Summerville was pleasing as Conrad, until she attempted to sing. Miss [Louise] Montague looked pretty and acted well as Medora. The remainder of the ladies [including Ruth Stetson as Fetnab] had nothing whatever to do. Mr Rice has composed a number of bright, catchy airs for the piece, and these were duly appreciated. The scenery calls for special mention, almost all of the sets being marvels of gorgeousness, especially the last one, which represented the Palace of Pearl. In another scene, that of the harem, it is stated in the programme that the curtains, which fill up the stage, alone cost $1,800.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 5 November 1887, p. 15c)

Ruth Stetson also played the small part of Tip-Top, Chief of the Pages in The Crystal Slipper; or, Prince Prettiwitz and Little Cinderella, a burlesque produced by David Henderson which first opened at the Chicago Opera House on 11 June 1888 before heading off on tour. Although there were various changes in cast, others who appeared in the show induced Topsy Venn, May Yohe, Edwin (Eddy) Foy, Marguerite Fish, Ida Mulle and Little Tich. (For further information, see Armond Fields, Eddie Foy: A Biography of the Early Popular State Comedian, Jefferson, North Carolina, 1999, ch. 6)

‘Ruth Stetson, the well-known burlesque actress, is soon to wed Mr. George Brewster, an elderly and wealthy gentleman residing in New York.’
(Duluth Evening Herald, Duluth, Minnesota, Wednesday, 5 June 1889, p. c)

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Louise Montague

March 2, 2013

a carte de visit photograph of Louise Montague (1859-1910),
American actress and singer
(photo: Sarony, New York, circa 1883)

‘Miss Louise Montague, a member of the variety-theatre profession born in New York, aged 21, has been selected by Mr. Forepaugh as the winner of his prize of $10,000 for the handsomest woman in the country. In complexion she is a semi-brunette. Her lips are cherry, teeth regular and pearly, and visible at every smile through a large but not disproportionate mouth; has large expressive brown eyes, a symmetrical nose and an intelligent cast of countenance. In conversation – and she is possessed of a fund of sparkling talk – every feature if animated, and her flashing eyes and health-tinted cheeks, coupled with a vivacious manner, lend an additional charm to her demeanor. She is of medium height and figure and has a little foot.’
(The Lancaster Daily Intelligencer, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Monday, 4 April 1881, p. 2b/c)

New York, 29 April 1887.
‘Capt. Alfred Thompson and Joseph Brooks, composing the Imperial Burlesque Company, have been sued for [$]8500 by Miss Louise Montague, whom they had engaged for four weeks, commencing May 29th, and whom they discharged because she would not sing for them, so that they might judge of her vocal powers.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 14 May 1887, p. 15e)

‘Louise Montague, the $10,000 beauty, is making the hit of The Gondoliers in the company that is touring through the West [United States], and she makes it by high kicking. It was reported a year ago that she was studying for opera and it is evident that the report was true.’
(The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Sunday, 20 April 1890, p, 18g)

Don Juan [to be produced on 28 October 1893] at the Gaiety [London], is to have the services of Mr. Arthur Roberts, Mr. Robert Pateman, Mr. Arthur Playfair, Mr. Edmund Payne, Miss Millie Hylton, Miss Sylvia Grey, Miss Katie Seymour, Miss Cissie Loftus, and Miss Louise Montague, a young singer from America.’
(The Birmingham Daily Post, Birmingham, England, Monday, 18 September 1893, p. 6h)

‘LOUISE MONTAGUE DEAD.
‘Was Famous ”Ten Thousand Dollar Beauty” of Forepaugh’s Circus.
‘Louise M. Montague, once heralded over the country as the ”Ten Thousand Dollar Beauty,” died on Tuesday at her home, 164 Manhattan Avenue. Louise Montague was an actress with Edward E. Rice’s company in The Corsair, and later became a star of David Henderson’s Sinbad the Sailor.
‘Adam Forepaugh, the circus proprietor, determined to make her beauty the feature of his circus, and in 1878 he engaged her to travel with his circus. She was advertise as the ”Ten Thousand Dollar Beauty,” and rode in the parades in a gorgeous chariot especially constructed for her.’
(The New York Times, Thursday, 17 March 1910)

‘DEATH DRAWS VEIL ON $10,000 BEAUTY
‘Louise Montague, Who Captured the Big Beauty Prize Money, Dies.
‘NEW YORK March 16 [1910]. – ”Montague, Louise M., died on Tuesday at her residence, 184 Manhattan avenue.”
‘This simple death notice appeared in the New York papers today. It was written in the main by Louise Montague herself a week before her death, the day on which death would come being left blank, to be filled in by the undertaker.
‘Few who read this notice know that the Louise Montague, whose death was so simply chronicled, was the woman who was once heralded far and wide over the country as the ”Ten Thousand Dollar Beauty.”
‘After the first rage over her had subsided she sought the quiet of private life, but a few years afterwards went on the stage because it was discovered that she had talents equal to her beauty.
‘Then Forepaugh with a showman’s acumen, offered a $10,000 prize for the most beautiful woman in America and had the judges select Louise Montague. Riding on a gorgeous chariot she was a feature of his circus parades.
‘But just before she died she asked that all the old pictures of herself in the days of her fleeting glory be brought to her, and tonight they stood on the mantel and on chairs in the room where Louise Montague lay in her coffin. Pinned on the wall was a glaring, many-colored poster – ”Forepaugh’s prize beauty” – and over the mantel was a faded photograph, life size of Louise Montague as ”Sindbad the Sailor.”’
(Evening Bulletin, Honolulu, Friday, 1 April 1910, p. 10c/d)