Posts Tagged ‘Majestic Theatre (Fort Wayne)’


January 19, 2013

Thelma Fair (fl. early 20th Century), American actress and singer,
was also seen on tour in the United States during 1904 as Euphemia in the musical comedy,
The Office Boy, a part originally played by Louise Gunning when the piece
opened at the Victoria Theatre, New York, on 2 November 1903.
(photo: Sarony, New York, 1905)

Otto Hauerbach and Rudolf Friml’s The Firefly on tour in the United States, the cast headed by Edith Thayer, supported by Maxwell Moree, Paul Vernon, Thelma Fair, Etta Hager, et al
‘Fort Wayne theatregoers and music lovers were treated to a delightful surprised yesterday at the Majestic theatre when the comic opera, The Firefly [first produced in the United States at the Lyric Theatre, New York, 2 December 1912], with Edith Thayer, a dainty little lady, and by the way, the possessor of quite the best voice that has come this way for some time, was the attraction.
The Firefly is a charming and colourful little thing, with a real story that is very pretty and music that is real music. The book is by Otto Hauerbach and the music by Rudolf Friml. The singer in question is Edith Thayer. As to Miss Thayer you may say that you never heard of her, perhaps, but you will hear of her some day, and that a not very distant day, for a woman with such ability as an actress and such a voice in spite of her diminutive figure, is as certain to be heard in grand opera as the sun is certain to rise to-morrow. Edith Thayer – it is an easy name to remember; and it’s worth remembering, too, for she will some day be the ideal Mimi of La Boheme, or a most charming “Madame Butterfly.”
‘In the meantime she is making a bewitching Nina, and a cute little Tony in this pretty operetta, The Firefly It is positively not an exaggeration to say that this is the best musical show that has played in Fort Wayne this season. It contains enough good music to supply three musical comedies of the ordinary kind, and its story has material sufficient for a dozen.
‘Miss Thayer gives one a real surprise at her first coming from the wings and filling the auditorium with its volume and charming your ear with its beauty. You picture in your mind the possessor of such a voice. You are sure that she is an Amazon of Juno-like physique. Imagine your surprise when a petite elf of less than 100 pounds in weight and less than five feet in height steps upon the stage, this wonderful volume of delightful music issuing from her lips! You are captivated from the start, and when your learn that she can act as well as sing, or better still, when you learn that she can sing so effectively and with such colourful power so difficult a thing as the aria in the last act, you cannot refrain from applauding enthusiastically. She was the experience of the audiences that witness the performances yesterday afternoon and last night.
‘Miss Thayer is supported by a remarkably fine company. Hers is not the only voice in the cast, for there are many others, not the least of which is that of Miss Etta Hager, who took the audience by surprise at the opening of the second act with the song, “Sapphire Seas.” The tenor is a good looking young fellow, Burton Lemham by name, who has a voice that is sweet and melodious and who acts the part of hero with becoming grace One of the really fine performances of the cast is that of Paul Vernon as an old German music teacher, who makes Nina his protege. He had a rich, sonorous bass voice as well as being a good actor, and he makes of the character a real lovable old fellow. Charles M. Bowers also has a splendid voice and with Thelma Fair, who, by the way, is a clever actress, sings the hit of the show, a song called “Sympathy,” which will be whistled over the city by tomorrow. Bert Wheeler and Irene Samsel are clever dancers who get a generous hand for their clever rendering of “The Latest Thing from Paris.” Alice Gallard is very good as Mrs. Oglesby Vandare, the inevitable widow in search of No. 2.
‘The comedy hit of the cast is the work of Maxfield Moree as Jenkins, Mrs. Vandare’s private secretary. He is funny to look at, his dancing and antics are genuinely funny, and his is supplied with many funny lines and much funny “business” by the author of the play. Had Miss Thayer been out of the cast and her part in the hands of a less clever actress, he might easily have made his part the star role of the show.
‘The pieces [sic] abound in tuneful music, much of its being strikingly original. A number of the songs are exceedingly pretty, and the finale to the second act reaches the dignity of light opera, and approaches grand opera.
‘The production is well mounted and the company is backed by a chorus of good voices. Arthur Hammerstein offers here an attraction of which he might feel justly proud, and which is calculated to inspire confidence in him as a producer.’
(Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Monday, 13 April 1914, p.8f)


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)