Posts Tagged ‘Shubert Brothers’


A Chinese Honeymoon, 2nd Anniversary Souvenir, 5 October 1903

January 22, 2013

cover of A Chinese Honeymoon souvenir,
distributed at the Strand Theatre, London, 5 October 1903
(from original artwork by ‘Kin’,
published for the Strand Theatre by The Stage Souvenir Co, London,
printed by David Allen & Sons Ltd, London and Belfast, 1903)

This attractive souvenir of the long-running musical comedy by George Dance, with music by Howard Talbot, which began its career at the Theatre Royal, Hanley, on 16 October 1899, contains photographs of and text by the leading personalities of the piece (including Picton Roxborough) on the occasion of its second anniversary at the Strand Theatre, London, where it had opened on 5 October 1901. A Chinese Honeymoon eventually closed there after 1,075 performances on 23 May 1904.

George Dance

George Dance (1858-1932), English dramatist and theatrical manager
(photo: Lizzie Caswall Smith, London, 1903

May honestly claim to be the most successful of all musical comedies. Originally produced by Mr. George Dance’s Company on October 16th, 1899, at the Theatre Royal, Hanley, it at once leaped into pubic favour. Two companies were sent immediately on the road, and it was while paying a visit to the Theatre Royal, Darlington, the following year that Mr. Frank Curzon first saw it. He determined to bring it to London, and he produced it eventually at this theatre on October 5th, 1901. Since that date it has been played here without a break, and this evening it registers its second anniversary.
In addition to the Strand production, A Chinese Honeymoon is being represented to-night by five different companies in the British provinces, under the direction of Mr. George Dance.
Messrs. Shubert ‘presented’ it at the Casino Theatre, New York, on June 2nd, 1901, where it met with an enthusiastic reception, and 500 consecutive performances were given – hereby establishing a record for musical plays in New York. It is now being played by four ‘road’ companies in the United States and Canada, under the management of the Messrs. Shubert.
It was produced by Mr. George Musgrove at the Princess’s Theatre, Melbourne, on June 30th, 1902, with equal success; and ran into 165 performances – a record for the Antipodes. Mr. Musgrove’s Company is now touring it in Australia and New Zealand [and Tasmania].
One February 14th, 1901, Mr. George Walton produced it at the Theatre Royal, Capetown, with its customary success (a success that was continued throughout South Africa) and a second tour is now being organized to open in Capetown in a few months’ time.
A German version was given at the Central Theater, Hamburg, by Mr. C.M. Roehr on February 12th, 1903, whtn the universal verdict was repeated. It is now included in the répertoire of the principal theatres throughout Germany, Austria and Hungary.
Mr. Maurice E. Bandmann is at the present time taking it on a third tour through the English-speaking cities situated round the Mediterranean.
Arrangements are already conducted for its presentation to the Parisian public. And it would seen that with this last invasion it had no other worlds left to conquer; but this is not so, for a series of unauthorized performances were given last year in China itself.
R. Byron Webber, Business Manager. Strand Theatre, Oct. 5th, 1903.


Flora and May Hengler, American duettists and dancers

January 5, 2013

Hengler Sisters (Flora and May, fl. late 19th/early 20th Century),
American duettists and dancers
(photo: Morrison, Chicago, mid 1890s)

‘Announcement is made that the Hengler sisters lately danced at an entertainment in the house of one of the Vanderbilts at Newport. The unimpeachability of the Vanderbilts is less significant in this instance than the delicate compliment carried to the taste of the entertainment committee of the Hanover club. It will be remembered that the Hengler sisters danced at that club with so much chic and agility that the integrity of the organization was seriously threatened by the women who were not present.’
(The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, New York, Monday, 24 July 1893, p. 4e)

‘The Hengler sisters, two little girls, who began their professional career about the time that they made a stir by dancing at the dignified Hanover Club of this city, are in Paris. They began a return engagement at the Folies Bergeres in Paris on September 4. During their previous engagement they made such a hit that M. Marchand, the manager, gave them this return engagement, which is for three months. They are the stars of the bill, and the fact that they are Americans is noted on the programmes. They are said to be the first performers to make a success in Paris with what is known as a ”neat” singing and dancing act.’
(The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, New York, Sunday, 3 October 1897, p. 16c)

‘In connection with this production [The Sleeping Beauty and the Beast, Broadway Theatre, New York, 4 November 1901] the appearance of the Hengler sisters brings back memories to the old-time theatre-goer. They are the daughter of T.M. Hengler, dead these many years, who with his partner, W.H. Delehanty, was a pioneer in what for many years was known as the ”refined clog-dancing speciality.” Both men were Albanians, and had been in minstrel troupes for several years, when, in 1868 they formed the team of Delehanty and Hengler and joined Dingess and Green’s minstrels. Then they introduced the act of coming on dressed in the pink of costume fashion, the stage usually being set as a garden. There is a sample of the kind of song they sang:

White wandering in the park one day
In the pleasant month of May,
What was my surprise
When a pair of roguish eyes
Met me by the fountain in the park

‘At the end of each verse they broke into a clog-step in rhythmical harmony with the music.
‘The little Hengler girls have speaking parts in the extravaganza. One of them has had more serious dramatic ambitions, and has devoted time to the study of Shakespeare and reading. Tony Pastor first saw their talent, and was largely responsible for their first opportunities in London.’
(The New York Times, New York, Sunday, 10 November 1901, Magazine Supplement, p. 3d)

‘Shuberts Sign Hengler Sisters.
‘The Hengler sisters, Flora and May, have signed a contract to appear under the management of Shubert Bros. when they make their new production that Reginald De Koven is writing for the new Lyric Theater. Prominent roles will be assigned the Hengler sisters, and it is said they will be seen in more pretentious parts then they have yet essayed.’
(The Post-Standard, Syracuse, New York, 30 November 1902, p. 11c)

‘The Hengler Sisters are reported to be arousing the audiences to great enthusiasm at the Alhambra Music Hall, London, with their dainty turn. They are billed to appear at 10.30 P.M., which is headliners’ time in England, and are effectively singing ”The Maiden With the Dreamy Eyes” and ”Down Where the Cocoanut Grows,” Horowitz & Bowers’ latest effort. It is expected that they will arrive in new York shortly, to go into one of the Shubert productions.’
(The New York Clipper, New York, 4 April 1903, p. 134d)

‘Mrs. Stuyvesant Fish gave a dinner Thursday evening at her house, 25 East Seventy-eighth street, New York, for Mr. and Mrs. Albert Zabriskie Gray. Her guests were seated at tables decorated with spring flowers.
‘After the dinner, which was accompanied by the music of Highland bagpipers, there were songs and dances by the Misses May and Flora Hengler. General dancing followed the entertainment, and for this other guests arrived.’
(The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., Saturday, 4 February 1911, p. 7e)