Posts Tagged ‘Yvette Guilbert’

h1

Cissie Curlette, English music hall singer and mimic

October 22, 2014

Cissie Curlette (active 1905-1917), English music hall vocalist and mimic, in costume for her song, ‘What You Never Had,You Never Miss.’
(postcard photo: Schmidt, Manchester, circa 1909)

Tivoli Theatre, Adelaide, Australia, August 1909
‘Cissie Curlette, who is a clever, dainty, and refined comedienne, scored another success. The little lady is popular with all parts of the house, and she knows how to make very point tell with the audience. Miss Curlette will close her season at the Tivoli on Wednesday evening, as she sails for Europe by the Orsova on Thursday.
(The Register, Adelaide, Australia, Monday, 23 August 1909, p. 5c)

‘MORRIS’ PERSONAL PICKING.
‘Monday at the American, New York, Cissie Curlette, personally selected by William Morris in England, will be present as a feature of the vaudeville program for the week.
‘It will be Miss Curlette’s first American appearance. Mr. Morris is willing to gamble on her success. The outcome of the English woman’s debut will be watched with much interest by the vaudeville people. Mr. Morris saw her at the Holborn, Empire, London, immediately booking her twenty weeks yearly for the next three seasons. She was also among the acts last listed by VARIETY’S London correspondent as suitable for America.
‘Miss Curlette is on the style of Vesta Victoria. Miss Victoria claims to ”have but Cissie Curlette in the business.” Among Cissie’s songs are ”What I Never Had, I Will Never Miss,” ”Yea, Verily, Yea,” and a new ”Chantecler” number.
‘The accompanying photograph of Miss Curlette [similar to the postcard photograph, above] resembles somewhat Cissie Loftus in looks. The costume is worn singing ”What I Never Had”.’
(Variety, New York, Saturday, 7 May 1910, p. 11d)

American Music Hall, week beginning Monday, 23 May 1910
‘Daintiest of All English Comediennes CISSIE CURLETTE Direct from a Remarkably Successful Engagement in New York, where Press and Public Proclaimed Her the Best English Artist Ever Seen in America.’
‘Cissie Curlette, the latest importation from Europe, who has been winning a remarkable success for the past two weeks in New York will be the big feature at the American Music Hall this week. Miss Curlette is so different from the average run of English music hall artists that her success in this country was instantaneous. She has been likened to Vesta Victoria, Lucy Weston and Yvette Guilbert, but just where the similarity lies would be hard to say. She in an incarnation of dainty demureness and is gifted with a personal magnetism which fairly electrifies her audience.’
(The Boston Sunday Post, Boston, Massachusetts, Sunday, 22 May 1910, pp. 39b and 40d)

‘CISSIE CURLETTE, CHARACTER SINGER.
‘American Music Hall, No. 4. In one; thirteen minutes. Seen matinee, June 7 [1910]
‘What You Never Had You Never Miss, Chantecler and Toodle-I-Oodle-I-Oo was the repertoire which the much-heralded Cissie Curlette offered to the unsuspecting, but the eternal question, Who is Cissie Curlette? had been answered, and that was satisfactory. She acts her numbers cleverly, even to the lusty crow of a male rooster in her Chantecler number, and has a modest bearing, that won a place for her in the hears of the Music Hall patrons on short notice. Miss Curlette will never rival Halley’s comet, however, for sensational honors, her offering being a plain and ordinary singing act, with in its class, if it will be allowed to remain there, it is good with no moment of exception, and that much is enthusiastically shown by warm applause.’
(The Billboard, Cincinnati, New York, Chicago, Saturday, 18 June 1910, p. 11b)

‘Cissie Curlette was tremendously boomed by William Morris ere her American appearance. She scarcely lived up to the advertisement, but was reckoned a fair success.’
(The Newsletter, Sydney, NSW, Australia, Saturday, 23 July 1910, p. 3d)

* * * * *

Cissie Curlette was born, probably in Liverpool, about 1876. She was one of the 11 children of John Leary (1832/35-1910), an undertaker of funerals, formerly a mariner, and his wife, Elizabeth (née Leary, 1844-1935). She was living in the early 1920s in the Hampstead area of London but further details of her life are at present uncertain.

h1

Yvette Guilbert

February 9, 2013

Yvette Guilbert (1868/69-1944), French singer and entertainer
(photo: Camus, Paris, circa 1902)

Yvette Guilbert interviewed, New York, 1901
‘SONGS FRENCHMEN LIKE.
‘Yvette Guilbert’s New House – Also More Songs Like Those Which Have Enriched Her.
‘From The London King.
‘Out of the earnings of her music-hall career Yvette Guilbert has built for herself a gorgeous residence on the Boulevard Berthier. The house is a large white stone building, built from blocks extracted from the famous quarries at St. Denis. From the outside the hotel discloses the identity of its fair occupant, for the main feature of the corbet of the drawing-room window is the head of the singer smiling at the passerby.
‘From The London Pall Mall Gazette.
‘When Mme. Yvette Guilbert reached London from Paris last night she kindly granted the reporter of The Pall Mall Gazette the pleasure of being the first to see her. ”’What are you going to ask me?” she queries. ”It is a long time since I have been in England, but I have never forgotten a pretty English miss-journalist who asked me if our Parisian music halls were as proper as your English ones, and if I was going to dress decently. I gravely informed her that I was going to appear in tights simply, with a large hat and a walking stick. And, from her looks, she believed me. So you, you do not want to know how I shall appear? You want something about my repertoire?
”’In the first place, I have ‘La Légende de Saint-Nicholas,’ by poor gifted Gérard de Nerval, the promising young poet who died of consumption at thirty. The theme is a quaint and pathetic one. A butcher murders his three children, cuts up their bodies, and casts them into the salt tub. St. Nicholas comes by, is hungry, and asks the murderer for something to eat. The latter inquires what he would like. Nicholas, pointing to the salt tub, replies, ‘Give me some of what you have in there.’ The butcher, terrified, obeys in spite of himself. On his going to the tub the children emerge from it alive; the Saint has performed a miracle. Of course, the butcher repents, and le bon Dieu pardons him. ”’Another of my songs, my best one in fact, is called ‘Ma tête.’ It tells of a tramp whose habitat is in the fortifications of Paris. He boasts of the Hooliganism – for he is really a French Hooligan – of his conquests of the fair sex, for he is, in his opinion, a lady-killer. After a narrative of his nocturnal exploits he prognosticates the inevitable end in the following gruesome lines:

Fatal’ment j s’rai condamné,
Car y s’ra prouvé qu’ j’assassine,
Faudra que j’attende, blame et vané
Jusqua e’ qu’enfin on m’guillotine.
Alors un beau jour on m’dira:
‘C’est pour ce matin * * * faites vot’ toilette.
Je sortirni * * * la foule saluera
Ma tete!’

”’When singing this song I wear the casquette in favor with ces Messieurs des fortifications. At the end of the last stanza I drop the cap on the stage, thus representing, in a horribly dramatic manner, the head falling into the basket of the guillotine. It makes one shudder. Catulle Mendès says that the conception of this piece of ‘business’ is an ‘id-e tout-à-fait g-enisle’!
”’Moi je suis dans l’Bottin’ is a third song illustrating the ignorant vanity of a little Parisian shopkeeper, who bursts with pride because his name has at last been inserted in the great business directory of Paris.
”’And so,” she proceeds to say, ”a newspaper has stated that I was about to sing my ‘Souvenirs.’ That’s funny. No; I could not do that, it would take too long, and besides some of my recollections would be too amusing, oh, la-la! No; what I do sing are ‘Les Souvenirs d’Yvette.’ I am supposed to be singing in 1945, and I ask what has become of the people and things I knew years ago.
”’Of course, I have, as usual, an English song in my repertoire, ‘Mary Was a Housemaid’ – um, um, ym, c’est tout”
‘Yvette looks matronly in figure, but she had remained as arch and as full of diablerie as of old.’
(The New York Times, New York, Friday, 31 May 1901, p. 6f/g)

h1

February 9, 2013

Yvette Guilbert (1868/69-1944), French singer and entertainer
(photo: Camus, Paris, circa 1902)

Yvette Guilbert interviewed, New York, 1901
‘SONGS FRENCHMEN LIKE.
‘Yvette Guilbert’s New House – Also More Songs Like Those Which Have Enriched Her.
‘From The London King.
‘Out of the earnings of her music-hall career Yvette Guilbert has built for herself a gorgeous residence on the Boulevard Berthier. The house is a large white stone building, built from blocks extracted from the famous quarries at St. Denis. From the outside the hotel discloses the identity of its fair occupant, for the main feature of the corbet of the drawing-room window is the head of the singer smiling at the passerby.
‘From The London Pall Mall Gazette.
‘When Mme. Yvette Guilbert reached London from Paris last night she kindly granted the reporter of The Pall Mall Gazette the pleasure of being the first to see her. “’What are you going to ask me?” she queries. “It is a long time since I have been in England, but I have never forgotten a pretty English miss-journalist who asked me if our Parisian music halls were as proper as your English ones, and if I was going to dress decently. I gravely informed her that I was going to appear in tights simply, with a large hat and a walking stick. And, from her looks, she believed me. So you, you do not want to know how I shall appear? You want something about my repertoire?
”’In the first place, I have ‘La Légende de Saint-Nicholas,’ by poor gifted Gérard de Nerval, the promising young poet who died of consumption at thirty. The theme is a quaint and pathetic one. A butcher murders his three children, cuts up their bodies, and casts them into the salt tub. St. Nicholas comes by, is hungry, and asks the murderer for something to eat. The latter inquires what he would like. Nicholas, pointing to the salt tub, replies, ‘Give me some of what you have in there.’ The butcher, terrified, obeys in spite of himself. On his going to the tub the children emerge from it alive; the Saint has performed a miracle. Of course, the butcher repents, and le bon Dieu pardons him. “’Another of my songs, my best one in fact, is called ‘Ma tête.’ It tells of a tramp whose habitat is in the fortifications of Paris. He boasts of the Hooliganism – for he is really a French Hooligan – of his conquests of the fair sex, for he is, in his opinion, a lady-killer. After a narrative of his nocturnal exploits he prognosticates the inevitable end in the following gruesome lines:

Fatal’ment j s’rai condamné,
Car y s’ra prouvé qu’ j’assassine,
Faudra que j’attende, blame et vané
Jusqua e’ qu’enfin on m’guillotine.
Alors un beau jour on m’dira:
‘C’est pour ce matin * * * faites vot’ toilette.
Je sortirni * * * la foule saluera
Ma tete!’

”’When singing this song I wear the casquette in favor with ces Messieurs des fortifications. At the end of the last stanza I drop the cap on the stage, thus representing, in a horribly dramatic manner, the head falling into the basket of the guillotine. It makes one shudder. Catulle Mendès says that the conception of this piece of ‘business’ is an ‘id-e tout-à-fait g-enisle’!
“’Moi je suis dans l’Bottin’ is a third song illustrating the ignorant vanity of a little Parisian shopkeeper, who bursts with pride because his name has at last been inserted in the great business directory of Paris.
”’And so,“ she proceeds to say, ’’a newspaper has stated that I was about to sing my ‘Souvenirs.’ That’s funny. No; I could not do that, it would take too long, and besides some of my recollections would be too amusing, oh, la-la! No; what I do sing are ‘Les Souvenirs d’Yvette.’ I am supposed to be singing in 1945, and I ask what has become of the people and things I knew years ago.
”’Of course, I have, as usual, an English song in my repertoire, ‘Mary Was a Housemaid’ – um, um, ym, c’est tout’’
‘Yvette looks matronly in figure, but she had remained as arch and as full of diablerie as of old.’
(The New York Times, New York, Friday, 31 May 1901, p. 6f/g)