Posts Tagged ‘Marie Blanche’

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Bessie Skeet, Marion Brown, Helen Paites, Billy Blane and Camille Barnette as they appeared in bathing costumes in High Jinks, produced at the Lyric Theatre, New York, on 10 December 1913

February 14, 2014

left to right: Bessie Skeet, Marion Brown, Helen Paites, Billy Blane and Camille Barnette, American chorus girls, as they appeared in bathing costumes in High Jinks, the musical comedy produced at the Lyric Theatre, New York, on 10 December 1913 (after a short out of town trial run) and transferred to the Casino Theatre, New York, on 12 January 1914. High Jinks eventually reached London on 24 August 1916, when it was produced at the Adelphi Theatre.
(photo: White, New York, 1913)

‘Arthur Hammerstein will bring his musical comedy High Jinks to the Lyric Theatre Wednesday night [10 December 1913]. The book of the new musical show is by Leo Ditrichstein and Otto Hauerbach and the music is by Rudolph Friml, who was first introduced to the American public a year ago by Mr. Hammerstein through the production of The Firefly
High Jinks is in three acts, and the action all takes place in Paris during a carnival. Dr. Thorne, an American nerve specialist practicing in the French capital, has a friend by the name of Dick Wayne, an explorer, and Wayne has discovered a drug in the form of a perfume called ”High Jinks.” The effect of this perfume is to make the timid brave, the pessimist an optimist, the serious man jovial, and the prudish person a daredevil. The complications of the piece are brought about by the manner in which Dr. Thorne experiments with this curious drug. Much of the plot is told in songs.
‘The cast of High Jinks includes Elizabeth Murray and Tom Lewis, featured at the head of a lit of principals. Among the other players are Ignacio Martinette, Elaine Hammerstein, the daughter of Arthur Hammerstein, who makes her professional début in this production; Robert Pitkin, Burrell Barbaretto, Snitz Edwards, Blanche Field, Ada Meade, Mana Zucca, Emilie Lea, Augustus Schultz, and Elsie Gregley.’
(The New York Times, New York, New York, 28 December 1913, p. 23)

* * * * *

One of the hit songs of High Jinks was ‘The Bubble,’ a studio recording of which was made on cylinder by Emory B. Randolph and chorus. (For another copy, click here.) ‘The Bubble’ also recorded in 1916 by Marie Blanche, a member of the London cast of High Jinks. For a selection of orchestral highlights from the show, click here.

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Alice Delysia in Carminetta, Prince of Wales’s Theatre, London, 1917

June 24, 2013

Alice Delysia (1889-1979), French actress and singer, star of London revues
(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, circa 1916)

Carminetta, an operetta adapted from the French by Monkton Hoffe, with music by Emile Lassaily, Herman Finck and Herman Darewski, and lyrics by Douglas Furber, was produced by Charles B. Cochran at the Prince of Wales’s Theatre, London, on 22 August 1917. Delysia appeared in the title role (understudied by Sylva Dancourt), and other important parts were played by Leon Morton, Robert Cunningham, Dennis Neilson-Terry (succeeded by Geoffrey Gwyther), May Beatty, Florence Vie and Marie Blanche. Alec S. Clunes, grandfather of Martin Clunes, was also in the cast.

‘Delysia Returns.
‘Whatever else may be said of Carminetta, at the Prince of Wales Theatre, it is undeniable that it gives Alice Delysia the opportunity of demonstrating to the full her completely-equipped temperamental gifts. Her picture of Carminetta, own daughter to Bizet’s immortal Carmen, is one of those performances that, should you brain and heart happen to be tuned to the appeal of the artist, simply thrill and hold you from beginning to end. Stormily tempestuous, utterly lovable, a tiger-cat, a hoyden – everything by turn, and always a great personality – so does Delysia assert herself at the Prince of Wales. It may be pointed out by the hyper-critics that she is not always perfect and that she is sometimes too violent in her passion. But what do such flaws matter with an artist who can sing and act three such absolutely dissimilar numbers as the ”Habanera,” the ”Cliquot” song, and that utterly lovely ”Farewell” which brings down the final curtain? Delysia’s is a truly splendid accomplishment, and Carminetta should find a sanctuary in every heart.
‘M. Morton is, as always, a great comic artist. As the South American wine-grower Panelli he is superlatively quaint. Another excellent bit of character acting comes from Mr. Robert Cunningham as Escamillo, one the Toreador of Carmen’s fatal attraction, Mr. Dennis Neilson-Terry as Ensign O’Hara plays a difficult part with much skill. Then there are pretty Miss Marie Blanche as the English Lady Susan – a skilful contrast to Carminetta’s violent personality – Miss May Beatty clever as Frasquita, and Miss Florence Vie comical as Panelli’s sister. There is also a charming chorus in crinolines and peg-top trousers, and a gay and youthful spirit about everybody and everything!’
(The Lady, London, Thursday, 30 August 1917, p. 199a)

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Ida René and Marie Blanche in Samples!

April 12, 2013

a scene with Ida René and Marie Blanche from Harry Grattan’s revue, Samples!, Playhouse Theatre, London, 30 November 1915
(photo: Wrather & Buys, London, 1915)

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April 12, 2013

a scene with Ida René and Marie Blanche from Harry Grattan’s revue, Samples!, Playhouse Theatre, London, 30 November 1915
(photo: Wrather & Buys, London, 1915)

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April 12, 2013

a scene with Ida René and Marie Blanche from Harry Grattan’s revue, Samples!, Playhouse Theatre, London, 30 November 1915
(photo: Wrather & Buys, London, 1915)

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February 3, 2013

Thelma Raye (née Thelma Victoria Maud Bell-Morton, 1890-1966)
English musical comedy actress,
in costume as O Kiku San
in the revival of The Geisha, Daly’s Theatre, London, 18 June 1906.
The front-of-house frame encloses
photographs of Miss Raye by the Dover Street Studios
as she appeared in The Little Michus.
(photo: unknown, probably London, 1906)

Auburn haired Thelma Raye was born on 6 September 1890 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Nothing is known at present of her early life and training as an actress and singer in musical comedy, and the first we hear of her is in The Little Michus (Daly’s, London, 29 April 1905), playing Marie Blanche in succession to Mabel Green and Denise Orme, and Ernestine in succession to Nina Sevening, Bertha Callan, Iris Hoey, Mabel Russell and Marie Löhr. Remaining with the same management for the next two years she was next seen in the revival of The Geisha (Daly’s, 18 June 1906) as O Kiku San, before playing in Les Merveilleuses (Daly’s, 27 October 1906) as Illyrine in succession to Denise Orme, and in The Girls of Gottenberg (Gaiety, 15 May 1907) as Elsa in succession to May de Sousa and Enid Leonhardt.

Thelma Raye’s next engagement was to play Helene in the American production of the popular English musical, The Dairymaids (Criterion, New York, 26 August 1907, 86 performances). Returning to England she was re-engaged by George Edwardes for the part of Elsa in a touring company of The Girls of Gottenberg, beginning with a short stay at the Adelphi Theatre, London (10 August 1908, 12 performances). She was next seen in a tour of The Pigeon House, first produced at the New Theatre, Cardiff, on 27 June 1910; during the run her part of Léontine de Merval was later played by Iris Hoey and Dorothy Moulton. Miss Raye was afterwards engaged to play Mariana in Bonita (Queen’s, London, 23 September 1911, 42 performances), Honorka in The Grass Widows (Apollo, London, 7 September 1912, 50 performances), and Fifi du Barry (in which part she was succeeded by Marie Blanche) in The Joy-Ride Lady (New, London, 21 February 1914, 105 performances).

Thelma Raye
Thelma Raye as Fifi du Barry in
The Joy-Ride Lady, New Theatre, London, 21 February 1914.
(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, 1914)

On 21 Marcy 1917, now aged 26, Thelma Raye was married to Percy Stewart Dawson (1888-1947), an Australian and member of the Steward Dawson family of jewellers and silversmiths of Sydney & London. The couple had already had a daughter, Dawn, who was born at Bournemouth in England on 1 April 1913. The marriage foundered, however, and in March 1918 Miss Raye returned to London. During 1919 she was on a UK tour as the lead in Cosmo Hamilton’s play, Scandal. It was at about this time that she met the actor Ronald Colman (1891-1958); they were married at on 18 September 1920. Frustrated by his inability to make headway with his career, Colman left England for New York less than a month later followed by his wife in February 1921.

Later recalling that this was the most difficult period in his career, Colman was lucky enough to be chosen to appear in Henri Bataille’s drama, La Tendresse, starring Ruth Chatterton (Empire, New York, 25 September 1922). This led to his being cast as leading man to Lillian Gish in the 1923 Hollywood film, The White Sister, in which Thelma was allocated a tiny part. Such was the success of this venture, at least as far as Colman was concerned, that he was awarded a contract by Samuel Goldwyn and during the next eighteen months he appeared in several other films, two of which respectively starred May McAvoy and Constance Talmadge. In 1924 Colman was seen again with Lillian Gish, in a film version of George Eliot’s novel, Romola, in which Thelma Raye was given an uncredited bit part.

There is little doubt that Colman’s steeply rising success as a Hollywood star soon put an intolerable strain on his marriage. The couple publicly acknowledged a breakdown in their relationship by early 1926 and although separated they did not formally split for another eight years. As one writer has put it, ‘Raye loomed in the background and would periodically appear – often demanding more money in proportion to her husband’s increasing financial success. A divorce was finally arranged after Raye was offered a hefty financial settlement and the parasitic relationship finally came to an end.’ This view was endorsed in the biography, Ronald Colman: A Very Private Person (William Morrow & Co Inc, 1975) by Juliet Benita Colman (b.1944), Colman’s daughter by his second marriage to the English actress Benita Hume. Miss Colman’s opinion of her father’s first wife was that she had ‘a jealous and vindictive nature.’

Of Thelma Raye very little else is heard. In the summer of 1938 it was rumoured that she was to return to the stage in a play, A Garden of Weeds by Ronald Gerard, which was to tour in the United States before a New York opening, but nothing seems to have come of this or any other theatrical project. Then in early in 1939, describing herself as ‘the Original Mrs. Ronald Colman,’ Thelma Raye was reported to have opened a small sports/novelty shop at Laguna Beach, California. She settled in New South Wales, Australia, about 1943 and died at Port Macquarie on 29 June 1966.

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February 3, 2013

Thelma Raye (née Thelma Victoria Maud Bell-Morton, 1890-1966)
English musical comedy actress,
in costume as O Kiku San
in the revival of The Geisha, Daly’s Theatre, London, 18 June 1906.
The front-of-house frame encloses
photographs of Miss Raye by the Dover Street Studios
as she appeared in The Little Michus.
(photo: unknown, probably London, 1906)

Auburn haired Thelma Raye was born on 6 September 1890 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Nothing is known at present of her early life and training as an actress and singer in musical comedy, and the first we hear of her is in The Little Michus (Daly’s, London, 29 April 1905), playing Marie Blanche in succession to Mabel Green and Denise Orme, and Ernestine in succession to Nina Sevening, Bertha Callan, Iris Hoey, Mabel Russell and Marie Löhr. Remaining with the same management for the next two years she was next seen in the revival of The Geisha (Daly’s, 18 June 1906) as O Kiku San, before playing in Les Merveilleuses (Daly’s, 27 October 1906) as Illyrine in succession to Denise Orme, and in The Girls of Gottenberg (Gaiety, 15 May 1907) as Elsa in succession to May de Sousa and Enid Leonhardt.

Thelma Raye’s next engagement was to play Helene in the American production of the popular English musical, The Dairymaids (Criterion, New York, 26 August 1907, 86 performances). Returning to England she was re-engaged by George Edwardes for the part of Elsa in a touring company of The Girls of Gottenberg, beginning with a short stay at the Adelphi Theatre, London (10 August 1908, 12 performances). She was next seen in a tour of The Pigeon House, first produced at the New Theatre, Cardiff, on 27 June 1910; during the run her part of Léontine de Merval was later played by Iris Hoey and Dorothy Moulton. Miss Raye was afterwards engaged to play Mariana in Bonita (Queen’s, London, 23 September 1911, 42 performances), Honorka in The Grass Widows (Apollo, London, 7 September 1912, 50 performances), and Fifi du Barry (in which part she was succeeded by Marie Blanche) in The Joy-Ride Lady (New, London, 21 February 1914, 105 performances).

Thelma Raye
Thelma Raye as Fifi du Barry in
The Joy-Ride Lady, New Theatre, London, 21 February 1914.
(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, 1914)

On 21 Marcy 1917, now aged 26, Thelma Raye was married to Percy Stewart Dawson (1888-1947), an Australian and member of the Steward Dawson family of jewellers and silversmiths of Sydney & London. The couple had already had a daughter, Dawn, who was born at Bournemouth in England on 1 April 1913. The marriage foundered, however, and in March 1918 Miss Raye returned to London. During 1919 she was on a UK tour as the lead in Cosmo Hamilton’s play, Scandal. It was at about this time that she met the actor Ronald Colman (1891-1958); they were married at on 18 September 1920. Frustrated by his inability to make headway with his career, Colman left England for New York less than a month later followed by his wife in February 1921.

Later recalling that this was the most difficult period in his career, Colman was lucky enough to be chosen to appear in Henri Bataille’s drama, La Tendresse, starring Ruth Chatterton (Empire, New York, 25 September 1922). This led to his being cast as leading man to Lillian Gish in the 1923 Hollywood film, The White Sister, in which Thelma was allocated a tiny part. Such was the success of this venture, at least as far as Colman was concerned, that he was awarded a contract by Samuel Goldwyn and during the next eighteen months he appeared in several other films, two of which respectively starred May McAvoy and Constance Talmadge. In 1924 Colman was seen again with Lillian Gish, in a film version of George Eliot’s novel, Romola, in which Thelma Raye was given an uncredited bit part.

There is little doubt that Colman’s steeply rising success as a Hollywood star soon put an intolerable strain on his marriage. The couple publicly acknowledged a breakdown in their relationship by early 1926 and although separated they did not formally split for another eight years. As one writer has put it, ‘Raye loomed in the background and would periodically appear – often demanding more money in proportion to her husband’s increasing financial success. A divorce was finally arranged after Raye was offered a hefty financial settlement and the parasitic relationship finally came to an end.’ This view was endorsed in the biography, Ronald Colman: A Very Private Person (William Morrow & Co Inc, 1975) by Juliet Benita Colman (b.1944), Colman’s daughter by his second marriage to the English actress Benita Hume. Miss Colman’s opinion of her father’s first wife was that she had ‘a jealous and vindictive nature.’

Of Thelma Raye very little else is heard. In the summer of 1938 it was rumoured that she was to return to the stage in a play, A Garden of Weeds by Ronald Gerard, which was to tour in the United States before a New York opening, but nothing seems to have come of this or any other theatrical project. Then in early in 1939, describing herself as ‘the Original Mrs. Ronald Colman,’ Thelma Raye was reported to have opened a small sports/novelty shop at Laguna Beach, California. She settled in New South Wales, Australia, about 1943 and died at Port Macquarie on 29 June 1966.