Posts Tagged ‘Winter Garden Theatre (New York)’

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Freeman & Dunham

June 9, 2013

Freeman & Dunham (John Freeman and William Dunham, fl. 1911-1919), American vaudeville entertainers, billed as ‘the kings of syncopated music’ ‘in song and chatter.’
(photo: unknown, USA, circa 1913)

Majestic Theatre, Colorado, Christmas week, 1911.
‘There are a couple of young gentlemen billed on the Majestic program this week as Freeman & Dunham, topical songs, syncopated hits. Now, we don’t happen to know just what a syncopated hit is, but if it is the kind of a hit that makes every audience want the fellows who made it to come back and do it some more, by Freeman & Dunham are syncopated hits, with a capital S and a capital H.
‘If vaudeville produces them any cleverer than this pair we have yet to learn of it, and if vaudeville is likely to produce any in the near or for that matter, distant future, we will have to be shown before we will belief it. In the first place they are very good looking young men, not anything in the sissy line, but fine, clean-cut young fellows who have education and breeding which shows in their faces. Naturally they know how to dress, and naturally, if they are half as good as one might be led to believe from the above remarks, they can sing cleverly, are real actors and have a popular act. The which is true.’
(Colorado Springs Gazette, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Wednesday, 27 December 1911, p.4c)

Freeman & Dunham appeared with many other vaudevillians in The Passing Show of 1914, produced at the Winter Garden Theatre, New York, on 1 June 1914.

Keith’s Palace Theatre, Fort Wayne, Monday, 1 November 1915.
‘Neither Freeman nor Dunham is a Caruso, but as mixologists of syncopated melody they are in a class by themselves. The boys present neat appearances and put their songs over big.’
(Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Tuesday, 2 November 1915, p.10d)

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Gertrude Hoffman

May 6, 2013

Gertrude Hoffman (1885–1966) American vaudeville dancer and choreographer, as ‘My Bird of Paradise’ in the ‘Hawaiian’ love song of that name, composed by her husband Max Hoffman [otherwise Hoffmann], with lyrics by Edward Madden, which was included in the revue, Broadway to Paris, produced at the Winter Garden Theatre, New York, on 20 November 1912 following a pre-Broadway opening at the Belasco Theatre, Washington, DC, on 30 September 1912.
(photo: Frank C. Bangs, New York, 1912, with artwork by Starmer for Jerome H. Remick & Co, New York and Detroit, 1912)

‘MAUD ALLEN’S [sic] DANCES COPIED BY NEW YORKER
‘Gertrude Hoffmann Will Soon Startle Gotham With London Sensation
‘SPECIAL DISPATCH TO THE CALL
‘NEW YORK, July 2 [1908]. – Maud Allan’s sensational dances that have been the joy of masculine London for several months are to be imitated by Gertrude Hoffmann.
‘Miss Hoffmann witnessed 14 performances of Miss Allan’s at the Palace, and when she returned said that she had copies the most minute detail, even of scenery, costumes and lighting effects. She gave particular attention to a ”vision of Salome.”’
(The San Francisco Call, San Francisco, California, Friday, 3 July 1908, p. 3d)

‘GERTRUDE HOFFMAN OPENING FEATURE AT THE BELASCO [Washington, DC]
‘Appears in ”Broadway to Paris” Week of September 30 [1912].
‘The Belasco theater will open its eight regular season under the management of David Belasco and the Messrs. Shubert on Monday night, September 30, with Miss Gertrude Hoffman in ”Broadway to Paris.”
‘Miss Hoffman, always prolific in novel dance creations, promises some original sensations when her new revue comes to the Belasco theater.
‘Miss Hoffman looked to Moscow and St. Petersburg for her inspiration last season, and the result was ”La Saison Russe,” which proved a revelation. Paris was Miss Hoffman’s artistic Mecca this season, and the answer is found in ”Broadway to Paris.” The spirit and atmosphere of the French capital finds expression in every stage picture, every costume, every speech, song and dance. The dance plays no small part in the revue, both in solo and ballet form, and it is in the sartorial treatment of the dance numbers that Miss Hoffman has given full expression to her poetic unconventional conceptions.
‘Miss Hoffman will herself lead the dance – barefoot – defying the peacock in the gorgeousness and color combinations of her raiment. Her achievements of the past are said to be totally eclipsed both in point of lavishness and originality in her new vehicle. It has a distinctive Parisian atmosphere and a snap that is thoroughly French. An organization of 125 members is supporting Miss Hoffman.’
(The Washington Times, Washington, DC, Sunday, 15 September 1912, p. 10a)

Gertrude Hoffman’s leg paintings
‘It’s the new style, just over from Paris. Miss Hoffman, who was never particularly strong for stocking[s] anyway, is trying to popularize it in America. She appears in her new revue, ”Broadway to Paris,” dressed just like this, with rabbits painted on her legs.
‘Leon Bakst, Russia’s great painter and an international leader in matters of art and fashion, invented the style. He insists that it’s much better to adorn pretty calves and ankles with painted pictures than to cover ‘em with stockings.’
(The Tacoma Times, Tacoma, Washington, Monday, 7 October 1912, p. 5c)

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May 6, 2013

Gertrude Hoffman (1885–1966) American vaudeville dancer and choreographer, as ‘My Bird of Paradise’ in the ‘Hawaiian’ love song of that name, composed by her husband Max Hoffman [otherwise Hoffmann], with lyrics by Edward Madden, which was included in the revue, Broadway to Paris, produced at the Winter Garden Theatre, New York, on 20 November 1912 following a pre-Broadway opening at the Belasco Theatre, Washington, DC, on 30 September 1912.
(photo: Frank C. Bangs, New York, 1912, with artwork by Starmer for Jerome H. Remick & Co, New York and Detroit, 1912)

‘MAUD ALLEN’S [sic] DANCES COPIED BY NEW YORKER
‘Gertrude Hoffmann Will Soon Startle Gotham With London Sensation
‘SPECIAL DISPATCH TO THE CALL
‘NEW YORK, July 2 [1908]. – Maud Allan’s sensational dances that have been the joy of masculine London for several months are to be imitated by Gertrude Hoffmann.
‘Miss Hoffmann witnessed 14 performances of Miss Allan’s at the Palace, and when she returned said that she had copies the most minute detail, even of scenery, costumes and lighting effects. She gave particular attention to a “vision of Salome.”’
(The San Francisco Call, San Francisco, California, Friday, 3 July 1908, p. 3d)

‘GERTRUDE HOFFMAN OPENING FEATURE AT THE BELASCO [Washington, DC]
‘Appears in “Broadway to Paris” Week of September 30 [1912].
‘The Belasco theater will open its eight regular season under the management of David Belasco and the Messrs. Shubert on Monday night, September 30, with Miss Gertrude Hoffman in “Broadway to Paris.”
‘Miss Hoffman, always prolific in novel dance creations, promises some original sensations when her new revue comes to the Belasco theater.
‘Miss Hoffman looked to Moscow and St. Petersburg for her inspiration last season, and the result was “La Saison Russe,” which proved a revelation. Paris was Miss Hoffman’s artistic Mecca this season, and the answer is found in “Broadway to Paris.” The spirit and atmosphere of the French capital finds expression in every stage picture, every costume, every speech, song and dance. The dance plays no small part in the revue, both in solo and ballet form, and it is in the sartorial treatment of the dance numbers that Miss Hoffman has given full expression to her poetic unconventional conceptions.
‘Miss Hoffman will herself lead the dance – barefoot – defying the peacock in the gorgeousness and color combinations of her raiment. Her achievements of the past are said to be totally eclipsed both in point of lavishness and originality in her new vehicle. It has a distinctive Parisian atmosphere and a snap that is thoroughly French. An organization of 125 members is supporting Miss Hoffman.’
(The Washington Times, Washington, DC, Sunday, 15 September 1912, p. 10a)

Gertrude Hoffman’s leg paintings
‘It’s the new style, just over from Paris. Miss Hoffman, who was never particularly strong for stocking[s] anyway, is trying to popularize it in America. She appears in her new revue, “Broadway to Paris,” dressed just like this, with rabbits painted on her legs.
‘Leon Bakst, Russia’s great painter and an international leader in matters of art and fashion, invented the style. He insists that it’s much better to adorn pretty calves and ankles with painted pictures than to cover ’em with stockings.’
(The Tacoma Times, Tacoma, Washington, Monday, 7 October 1912, p. 5c)

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John Charles Thomas and chorus

April 13, 2013

John Charles Thomas, the new Broadway matinee idol, and a group of beauties in The Passing Show of 1915, at the Winter Garden.’
(photo: White, New York, 1915; New York Star, Wednesday, 16 June 1915, p.4)

‘John Charles Thomas, a baritone who also made a bit of a hit with a very good voice in The Peasant Girl, has also been moved over to the Winter Garden, where he is “Youth.” Frances Demarest and Juliette Lippe, both in the last Passing Show, again appear, the former as “Everywoman” and the latter as “Gay Life.” Miss Demarest, who ws the first to sing that excessively popular “Every Little Movement Has a Meaning All Its Own” from Mme. Sherry, sings the Hawaiian song, “My Hula Maid,” one of the pleasing hits of the score. Daphne Pollard, well known on the Pacific Coast as one of the juvenile Pollards, is another member of the cast, making a little success of her own as “Ruby, a modern working girl.”
‘As for the chorus – well, it is a typical Winter Garden chorus, whose figures are its fortune. In one scene its members are called upon to wear gowns which appear to be sufficiently conventional, though decollete, when sheen from the front. But when a right-about-fact is effected, the spectator finds himself looking at a skirt, a belt, and nothing more. Gone is even the suggestion of a waist. Of course, the popularity of The Passing Show is assured.’
(Oakland Tribune, Oakland, California, Sunday, 4 July 1915, p.3fc)

‘The first moving stairway in use in any theater has been installed in the New York Winter Garden, and is now in operation from the stage floor to the highest tier of dressing rooms. Transgressing all accepted bounds of discipline and regulations which have always called for a quick dash to the dressing rooms after every musical number, the chorus girls of The Passing Show of 1915 now nonchalantly depend on the moving stairway to transport them from the stage their quarters with little delay and no exertion on their part, particularly appreciated during the hot weather.’
(The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., Sunday, 8 August 1915, Magazine Section, p.3d)

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Elsie Janis and Basil Hallam in The Passing Show, Palace Theatre, London, 1914

January 13, 2013

song sheet cover for ‘You’re Here and I’m Here’
words by Harry B. Smith, music by Jerome D. Kern
sung by Elsie Janis and Basil Hallam
in Alfred Butt’s production of the revue
The Passing Show, Palace Theatre, London, 20 April 1914
(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, 1914;
published by Francis, Day & Hunter, London, and
T.B. Harms & Francis, Day & Hunter, New York, 1914)

The first revue entitled The Passing Show was staged at the Casino Theatre, New York, in May 1894. The name was revived on Broadway for a similar production, The Passing Show of 1912 (Winter Garden, 22 July 1912). Thereafter there was a Passing Show every year until 1919, and the last of the series was The Passing Show of 1921 (Winter Garden, 29 December 1920). Meanwhile in London the format was reproduced by Alfred Butt at the Palace Theatre, Cambridge Circus, where The Passing Show was produced on 20 April 1914 with Elsie Janis, a young Broadway star making her first appearance in London, Basil Hallam, Clara Beck, Gwendoline Brogden, Winifred Delavanti, Marjorie Cassidy, Jack Christy, Mildred Stokes, Florence Sweetman, Nelson Keys and Arthur Playfair.

Elsie Janis and her partner Basil Hallam were an immediate hit. They recorded their two duets from the show, ‘You’re Here and I’m Here’ (HMV 4-2401; 1.20mb Mp3 file) and ‘I’ve Got Everything I Want But You’ (HMV 04116) in London on 4 June 1914.

The Passing Show proved so popular that Butt repeated his success the following year with The Passing Show of 1915 (Palace, 9 March 1915, with a second edition on 12 July), again starring Elsie Janis and Basil Hallam.

‘Elsie Janis Manager
‘Makes Alfred Butt of the Palace Talk Terms for New Act.
‘London, April 4 [1914]. – Elsie Janis has become a “manager,” according to Alfred Butt, proprietor of the Palace theater, where Miss Janis is to open in the new Revue in a fortnight.
‘“When Miss Janis was in London last summer,” Mr. Butt explained today, “I signed her to appear at the Palace. When she arrived back here a few weeks ago she informed me she had brought two other artists and I must find places for them on the bill.
‘“I saw them to-day for the first time and asked them both to sign contracts. To my amazement they said they couldn’t sign, that they already were under contract to Miss Janis. I asked her what it all meant and she told me she had both these music hall artists tied up tight for twelve months. If I wanted their services I must negotiate with their manager – and I did.”’
(The Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, New York, Sunday, 5 April 1914, Section 1, p.1b)<br><br>

Listen to a cover version of ‘You’re Here and I’m Here’ sung by Olive Kline and Harry Macdonough, recorded for Victor, Camden, NJ, 17 February 1914.