Posts Tagged ‘The Dairymaids (musical comedy)’

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Julia Sanderson

July 23, 2013

Julia Sanderson (1887-1975), American actress and vocalist at about the time of her appearance in the musical comedy The Hon’ble Phil, Hicks Theatre, London, October to December 1908. G.P. Huntley, Herbert Clayton, Horace Mills, Denise Orme, Eva Kelly and Elsie Spain were the other principals.
(photo: The Dover Street Studios, London, 1908/09)

‘Two English Musical Plays At Rival Theaters This Week.
‘Two of George Edwardes’ London musical comedy successes will be the leading novelties of the week at the theaters, both The Quaker Girl and The Sunshine Girl being seen in Washington for the first time, the former after noteworthy engagements in London, New York, and Boston, and the latter coming to the Capital for its American debut after a continuous run of more than a year in the English metropolis, where it is till on view nightly at the Gaiety.
‘Washington will be particularly interested in the premiere of The Sunshine Girl at the Columbia tomorrow night, for upon this occasion a new Charles Frohman star will be evolved from the will be evolved from the nebulosity of chorus girl, soubrette, and leading lady. The honor is to be bestowed upon the talented and piquant Miss Julia Sanderson, who has been a Washington musical comedy favorite since the days of the ill-fated Dairymaids, whose cast she deserted during an engagement five years ago in the theater where she is now to become start.
‘Miss Sanderson’s career is not marked by many of those hardships which are usually related as warnings to the stage-struck girl. Her father, Albert Sackett, is an actor, and through his influence she secured an engagement with the Forepaugh stock company in her home city, Philadelphia. Here she divided her time between playing maid and pursuing her grammar school studies, for she made her debut in the theatre when she was 15.
‘As a member of the chorus with Paula Edwardes’ company in Winsome Winnie. Miss Sanderson entered the musical comedy field. She had an opportunity to play the title role when Miss Edwardes retired from the cast on account of illness. The understudy was at that time advertised as the youngest prima donna in the world.
‘But the sudden elevation did not result in any permanent advancement for Miss Sanderson. She went back to the ranks in A Chinese Honeymoon and in Fantana, but was given a hit when De Wolf Hopper revived Wang, after which she joined The Tourists.
‘Miss Sanderson has appeared in London in two successes, first with G.P. Huntley in The Honorable Phil and later with Ellaline Terriss in The Dashing Little Duke. ‘While not so recognized in the size of billboard and program type, Miss Sanderson has been a star in popular appreciation for two years, her graceful dancing, harm of manner, and small, but dulcet voice having won generous approbation in both The Arcadians and The Siren.
‘Mr. Frohman has engaged a capable musical comedy cast to support his new satellite. Joseph Cawthorn has for several seasons been a comedy mainstay for Elsie Janis, and Alan Mudie will be recalled as the agile dancer in The Arcadians.’
(The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., Sunday, 26 January 1913, Magazine Section, p.2a)

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Myra Hammon

June 16, 2013

Myra Hammon (1886?-1953), Australian singer, actress and pantomime principal boy
(photo: unknown, probably UK, circa 1914)

Myra Hammon appears to have begun her career with J.C. Williamson’s Musical Comedy Company, touring Australia in 1902 and 1903 in Florodora and The Circus Girl. She afterwards in 1906 began a partnership with Alice Wyatt and together they were billed as a serio-comic duo or ‘the Sandow Girls.’

Tivoli Theatre, Adelaide, Saturday evening, 16 February 1907
‘The Tivoli Theatre was crowded in every part on Saturday evening, when a change of programme was given, and several new artists made their first appearance. The performance was bright and lively all through, and called for vigorous demonstrations of appreciation. The Sandow girls, Misses Myra Hammon and Alice Wyatt created a favourable impression, first by their physique, and next by their vocal talent. In the second part they gave an amusing travesty of heavy weight-lifting and Sandow exercises, and the ease with which they manipulated huge dumbbells afforded genuine mirth, not unmixed with astonishment on the part of many in the audience.’
(The Advertiser, Adelaide, South Australia, Monday, 18 February 1907, p. 8 f; the Sandow Girls routine would appear to have been inspired by the song sung by Carrie Moore, herself an Australian, and chorus in the London production of The Dairymaids, a musical comedy which opened at the Apollo Theatre, London, on 14 April 1906)

Hammon and Wyatt were included in Allan Hamilton’s Mammoth Vaudeville Company, when it played at the Theatre Royal, Hobart, Tasmania, on Saturday, 15 June 1907.

‘Myra Hammon and Alice Wyatt, the Australian Sandow Girls, are doing splendidly in Great Britain, and having a good time.’
(The Newsletter: an Australian Paper for Australian People, Sydney, New South Wales, Saturday, 14 August 1909, p. 2c)

‘Myra Hammon and Alice Wyatt, the Australian Sandow Girls, are touring the Continent, opening at Vienna in August.’
(The Newsletter: an Australian Paper for Australian People, Sydney, New South Wales, Saturday, 21 August 1909, p. 2a)

At Christmas, 1910, Myra Hammon and Alice White were appearing in the pantomime of Babes in the Wood at Brixton, South London. Shortly afterwards they seem to have gone their separate ways and in the Spring of 1914 Miss Hammon was married:
‘News has leaked out in Birmingham (Eng.) of the marriage, which took place quietly in a registrar’s office, of one of the local ”principal boys” – Miss Myra Hammon. The happy man is Mr. Charles Butler, a well-known business man in that city. Miss Hammon is leaving England for a world’s tour, including Australia, South Africa, and India. In the [music] halls she appears with her sister, Edie [sic] Wyatt, as ”Hammon and Wyatt, the Australian Sandow girls and singers.’
(The West Australian, Perth, Western Australia, Saturday, 4 April 1914, p. 9g)

Miss Hammon did not retire from the theatre until about 1920, however. She was the Prince Perfect in the pantomime Cinderella at Christmas 1914 at the Grand Theatre, Middlesborough, before appearing in Look Out, a revue, produced on 4 October at the Empire, Newport, prior to an extended tour, including the Hippodrome, Leeds, the Empire, Finsbury Park, and the Hippodrome, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Cast included Ennis Parkes (Mrs Jack Hylton). Myra Hammon was then seen as Principal Boy in the pantomime Babes in the Wood at the Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham, at Christmas 1916, and again at the Bordesley Palace, at Christmas 1919.

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Maude Odell

April 27, 2013

Maude Odell (fl. early 20th century), English model of feminine beauty, ‘the Original Sandow Girl’ (not to be confused with the American actress of the same name)
(photo: Bassano, London, 1906)

The references to Sandow and the body beautiful are to the internationally acclaimed German-born strongman and athlete, Eugene Sandow (1867-1925) who was billed as ‘The Most Powerful Man on Earth.’ Through his popular act he created something of a fad during the early years of the twentieth century for healthy living. It should also be noted that the shapely, white-clad beauties known as Sandow Girls – theatrical successors to Gibson Girls – first made their appearance in the farcical musical play, The Dairymaids at the Apollo Theatre, London, on 14 April 1906. In one scene they (played by Minna Moore, Dorothy Ward and others) and Carrie Moore, the leading lady of the show, were discovered exercising with ropes, punch-bags and dumbbells. The Dairymaids ran successfully until December that year, by which time Maude Odell had already made her mark at the Palace.

Palace Theatre of Varieties, London, November 1906.
‘The Palace had added a very agreeable item to its already amusing programme. It consists of the fine poses of a lady who is known variously as “Galatea,” “La Statue Humaine,” and Miss Maude Odell. Under whichever name you care to take her, or by any other, she remains sweet, delicate, attractive. The pictures which she realises in her, apparently, marble figure are extremely various. “The Dancer,” after Tadolini, in the Villa Borghesi, is very charming; Lord Leighton’s “Bath of Psyche” is well realised; the Luxembourg “Salambo” is another difficult pose remarkably well carried out. But each of the eight pictures are worth seeing. Music by Mr. Herman Finck and odes from the graceful pen of Mr. Clifton Bingham grace the production.’
(The Bystander, London, Wednesday, 7 November 1906, p.473b)

American Music Hall, New York City, January 1909
‘Maud Odell did not win any marked favour in her sketch, The Chamelion. The offering is so unpromising that comment is uncalled for. The posing of Miss Odell, however, was artistic and quite pleasing.
(The New York Dramatic Mirror, New York, Saturday, 16 January 1909, p.17d)

‘As she travels, Maud Odell, the English model of feminine proportions, has wrought out a definition of beauty in connection with which she has chosen to criticise American women. “Beauty is health,” she is credited with saying. “American women are not beautiful because they are anaemic. The cheeks are pale, their steps are not sprightly, they look as though they never drew a long, deep breath that swept the lungs. Americans should be the most beautiful of women because they have natural style and they are clever and vivacious. But they worship intellect and neglect the body.”’
(The New York Dramatic Mirror, New York, Saturday, 13 February 1909, p.2c)

Maude Odell
a half-tone photograph of ‘Miss Maude Odell (the Original Sandow Girl)’ published probably in 1906 by Weiners of London. The remainder of the caption reads, ‘Now appearing at the Palace Theatre, London as “Galatea” (La Statue Humaine), a Type of Beauty attained by the use of the “Sandow Symmetrion.”’
(photo: Wykeham, Balham, London, circa 1906)

Blaney’s Lincoln Square Theatre, New York City, February/March 1909
‘Maude Odell made her reappearance at Blaney’s Lincoln Square last week, in what was reported as a new act written and staged by James R. Gary. The posings were practically new, but the act is laid pretty much along the same lines as the old one. William H. Turner, Harold La Coste, and Daisy Chaplin gave adequate support with little to do. Miss Odell was greatly appreciated in her poses, but what is the reason for the sketch infliction? She could score a much greater hit with the elimination of this part. The poses included “The Water Carrier,” “Night,” “Skating,” “The Snake Charmer,” “Ode to Bacchus,” and “Beauty and the Beast.” Her supporting models contributed “A Fantasy, “Springtime,” “At the Seashore,” “Cupid and Venus,” and the concluding ensemble tableaux, “The Maid at the Bath.”’
(The New York Dramatic Mirror, New York, Saturday, 6 March 1909, p.9a)

Blaney’s Lincoln Square Theatre, New York City, March 1909
‘Maude Odell followed and received more applause than last week. Some of the poses were new ones and caused much favourable comment.’
(The New York Dramatic Mirror, New York, 13 March 1909, p.12b)

Blaney’s Lincoln Square Theatre, New York City, March 1909
‘Maude Odell, assisted by her six models, was seen in her newest posing act, The Maid at the Bath. As already stated in The Mirror, the sketch is stupid. The posings are well conceived and cleverly carried into effect. Miss Odell is seen to better advantage than heretofore and the entire offering is vastly superior to her former one.’
(The New York Dramatic Mirror, New York, Saturday, 20 March 1909, p.9d)

‘Why They Don’t Clap.
”’Have you seen the near perfect woman, Maude Odell?” she asked. ”No. You ought to see her. And if you want to be really amused, you ought to go and watch the men gazing at her wide-eyed, the men with their wives. They are taking in all her perfect points, but they are afraid to applied her on account of their wives. That beautiful, near perfect woman leaves the stage nearly every time without a handclap on account of the wives.”’
(Chillicothe Constitution, Chillicothe, Missouri, Saturday, 27 March 1909, p. 6d)

‘Most Perfect Woman in the World Is Here
‘Maude Odell, Who Won $10,000 Beauty Prize, Says It’s Easy to Be Handsome.
”’Every woman can be as perfectly formed as I am,” is the good news Maude Odell brings to dissatisfied femininity. The steady, truthful look in her large, clear brown eyes as she made the statement in the atrium at the Claypool [Indianapolis] Friday added its testimony to the conviction in her voice. She was having a week’s rest from vaudeville and was enjoying it.
‘It was at a little four-cornered dinner in honor of her birthday. ”Honest truth, I don’t have a birthday in every city I play,” she said in a rather startled tone, ”for I’m not that anxious to grow old.”
‘After some gallant bantering on the part of the men in the party to the effect that if she told her real age the local branch of the Gerry Society would get after the management of the Colonial Theatre, where she is to pose in living pictures this week, for allowing a child to appear on the stage in violation of any child labor laws that may exist here. Miss Odell, swearing all to secrecy, told her age. And it hasn’t been more than a decade since she was ”sweet sixteen,” either.
”’No, I’m not a crank on diet, for behold!” she said, daintily spearing a generous bit of indigestible lobster with a fork. The lobster went the way of other indigestibles, and the dinner ended with the only tribute to the ancient gods that have ruled beauties since Cleopatra’s time, a glass of milk.
‘Women Made to Be Attractive.
”’The real thing is exercise,” she went on. ”From my earliest recollection my father instilled into my mind always that women were made to be attractive. I pondered on his teachings even when a small child, and when he died I sought out Eugene Sandow and told him I wanted to be a perfect woman.
”’Sandow was struck with the novelty of a girl of 14 having that as a life ambition, and he and Mrs. Sandow took me in. I soon became their favorite pupil, and it is they who set me on the road to reach my life’s ambition.
”’After exhausting their methods I devised methods of my own, and today my system enables me to keep every one of my dimensions to a hair’s breadth.”
‘Miss Odell in her big picture hat and beautifully fitting black dress was a magnificent sight, and the lobster added to her attractiveness, showing that all this beauty was human.
”’It’s proportion that makes beauty,” she went on. It must not be supposed that she gave all this in the form of a lecture, for it was a birthday dinner, a very informal one, and her ideas on beauty were doled out in snatches, sandwiched in between bits of conversation on all sorts of common, everyday subjects.
”’It’s proportion that makes beauty, and a girl four feet high can be as beautiful as the regulation five-feet, eight-inch woman. Taking her height as a basis she should develop her other dimensions to correspond, and that is what I have succeeded in doing.”
‘Miss Odell, unlike the majority of physical culturists, neither swims nor rides horseback. Both exercises she considered detrimental to proper development, each tending to develop certain special muscles out of proportion to others.
‘She loves automobiling, but, unlike the vast majority of her sister artists of the stage, she admits that she is an amateur when it comes to running a machine. During her stay in Indianapolis she intends to take a spin on the Motor Speedway, but she will insist that the machine be under the guidance of an expert chauffeur. She has a horror of taxicabs, having been held up in Brooklyn not so very long ago for $12 for a single trip, though she admits she and her companion were partly to blame for insisting on a circuitous route when the conscience-stricken chauffeur wanted to drive direct.
‘Masters American Slang.
‘Miss Odell is English through and through, and talks with a strong English accent. During her residence in New York, however, where she has been a sensational vaudeville headliner, she has picked up a number of Americanisms.
”’How do you heat your flat?” she asked a local member of the party. ”’With hot air,” was the answer.
”’I hope you don’t furnish the hot air yourself,” she flashed.
‘Her mastery of American slang startled the Indianapolis members of the party and made her English manager open his eyes.
‘She has acquired the soda fountain habit – the ”American” soda fountain in England, be it noted, is a painful joke to American tourists who have been inveigled into investing in the wretched stuff dispensed – but she has not yet mastered the American sandwich habit, though she is taking lessons. She had her first roast beef sandwich a few days ago and found it very much to her taste.
‘Before coming to America, where, by the way, she will locate permanently, Miss Odell was a sensation in the capitals of Europe – London, Paris and Berlin. The winning of the $10,000 prize for the finest physical specimen of young womanhood was an incident.
‘Artists raved over her when she posed in living pictures, even the Berlin artists, the hardest in the world to please. She has had many tempting offers to pose for paintings and statuary, but has accepted none of them.
”’The only think I have consented to is to have a cast made of me for the British Museum,” she said. ”I have consented to that in order that my proportions may be permanently preserved.”’
(C.J.B., The Indianapolis Sunday Star, Indianapolis, Indiana, Sunday, Society & Stage, 23 January 1910, p. 1b-e)

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February 2, 2013

Phyllis Dare (1890-1975), English actress and singer, star of musical comedy,
as she appeared in The Dairymaids
(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, probably 1907)

‘FAIR PHYLLIS
‘She May Have Eloped With a Pinfeather Nobleman.
‘Special Correspondence.
‘LONDON, March 10 [1908]. – The mysterious disappearance of Phyllis Dare, England’s most beautiful and most photographed actress, has given rise to the rumor that she has eloped with Lord Dalmeny, Lord Rosebery’s son. The young man, heir to a fortune of $15,000,000 was sent to Scotland recently because of his mad infatuation for the actress. He is only twenty-three.
‘Miss Dare had been playing in Birmingham and left without a word of explanation even for her manager.’
(The Fort Wayne News, Tuesday, 8 March 1908, section, p.4c)