All stories by Trav S.D. on BroadwayStars

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Rida Johnson Young: Mother of “Mother Machree” by Trav S.D.

Today appears to be an old time Broadway double-header (we just posted about actress Christie MacDonald). Rida Johnson Young (Rida Louise Johnson, 1876-1926) was a major playwright, libretti…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 09:06AM
Monday, February 27, 2023

Jennifer Coolidge Plugs Chaplin by Trav S.D.

Thanks a thousand times to the the Facebook friend who called my attention to Jennifer Coolidge’s acceptance speech for her well deserved SAG award for her work on White Lotus. It had me b…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 07:03PM

A Salute to David Sarnoff by Trav S.D.

Just the briefest of acknowledgements of the 20th century broadcasting giant David Sarnoff (1891-1971). He’s top of mind at the moment as I’m in the middle of working on my book Vaudevi…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 07:03PM

For National Cigar Day: Several Old School Entertainers Associated With Cigars by Trav S.D.

Far be it from us to endorse and advocate the deadly habit of tobacco smoking, but also far be it from me to whitewash history. When I was a kid, “old Jewish comedians with cigars” was a…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 12:24PM
Sunday, February 26, 2023

Gleason Under Glass: The Great One in TV Variety by Trav S.D.

This is my eighth post about comedian Jackie Gleason (1916-87), including an overview of his entire career, a piece on The Honeymooners, a look at his movies of the ’60s, ones dedicated to…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 01:06PM

Diane Baker, In Brief by Trav S.D.

This tribute to lovely Hollywood actress Diane Baker (b. 1938) will be little more than a mash note, but can you blame me? Though she had studied serious acting, I think of Baker as one of t…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 05:36AM
Saturday, February 25, 2023

George Harrison Would Be 80 Today by Trav S.D.

Today would have been George Harrison’s 80th birthday, and I’ve realized that out of my 50 or so Beatle related posts, Harrison is the one who has gotten the least attention here. At som…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 01:06PM
Friday, February 24, 2023

R.I.P. Rosemary by Trav S.D.

Mothers-in-law are famous fodder for Borscht Belt jokes, but I had exceedingly good luck with both of mine. Ironically I lost my second one first, just when I was getting to know her, but af…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 11:54AM

The Art of Arthur Blake by Trav S.D.

I’m pretty sure I learned about impressionist Arthur Blake (1914-1985) by virtue of the fact that he was performing at the Cocoanut Grove on the night of the famous 1942 fire. He is not to…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 06:18AM
Thursday, February 23, 2023

This Coming Weekend: Prepare to Encounter “Brute Force” by Trav S.D.

Many folks I admire attended my talk at the Lambs last week; but I feel privileged to have gotten to know one of them a good deal better in the days since then. And I wish I’d done so soon…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 03:18PM

Musings on Musidora: The Original Irma Vep by Trav S.D.

The above is far from a representative photo of Musidora (Jeanne Roques, 1889-1957), but I knew it would appeal to lovers of music hall and drag. History remembers Musidora best as the origi…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 11:06AM
Wednesday, February 22, 2023

George Washington on Stage and Screen by Trav S.D.

Presidents Day notwithstanding, February 22 is the actual birthday of George Washington. Washington (like Lincoln) was once once worshipped in this country with a fervor 21st century people …

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 08:42PM

Ted Annemann: The Enigma by Trav S.D.

A wink and a nod today on behalf of magician and mentalist Theodore “Ted” Annemann (Theodore Squires, 1907-1942). Like many of his era, Annemann continues to exert an influence upon the …

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 11:06AM
Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Your Daly Devotional: Of James, Tyne and Timothy Daly by Trav S.D.

It takes being a biographical blogger to know how common some surnames are in certain fields, and there are a LOT of actors named Daly, Daily or Daley: Augustin Daly, Arnold Daly, Dan Daly (…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 11:02AM

The World of Wheeler Oakman by Trav S.D.

A few words of acknowledgment today on screen actor actor Wheeler Oakman (Vivian Eichelberger, 1890-1949), who appeared in nearly 300 films over a veritable half-century. Based upon his give…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 07:42AM
Monday, February 20, 2023

Marian Spitzer and “The Palace” by Trav S.D.

February 20 was the natal day of writer Marian Spitzer Thomas (1899-1983). Spitzer was someone I really wish I’d gotten to meet, and I was thrilled to learn that my friend Mari Lyn Henry a…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 09:54AM

20 Years Ago Today: The Station Night Club Fire by Trav S.D.

20 years ago today (February 20, 2003) there occurred one of the worst nightclub fires in American history. It’s relatively recent history for me to be covering on this blog, but it’s al…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 09:54AM
Sunday, February 19, 2023

Of Paul Terry and Terrytoons by Trav S.D.

We already talked a bit about Paul Terry (1887-1971) with respect to his studio’s creations Mighty Mouse and The Mighty Heroes; this brief post will fill out the rest of the portrait. Terr…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 11:02AM
Saturday, February 18, 2023

Yoko Ono Turns 90 by Trav S.D.

When I was a kid and just learning about the Beatles, I thought Yoko Ono (b. 1933) was strictly cool, for I was just discovering art at the same time. I didn’t understand why she was hated…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 08:42AM
Friday, February 17, 2023

The Silents of the Lambs: My First “Trav Talk” in Three Years by Trav S.D.

If Ted can have Ted Talks, Trav can have Trav talks. The title of this post and the atmospheric lighting in the photo above may cause you to believe something creepy is afoot, but I’m deli…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 06:36PM

Deep Thoughts on Larry the Cable Guy by Trav S.D.

There were four show business folks I had ID’d for potentially writing about today. I decided to kick three of them down the road ’til next year, and to give all of today’s attention t…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 03:12PM
Thursday, February 16, 2023

The Drums of Gus Moeller by Trav S.D.

Just a brief roll on the snare for Sanford Augustus “Gus” Moeller (1878-1960). When I was a kid I was in a regional drum and bugle corps with my brother (a trumpet player) and learned wh…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 08:32AM
Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Of Sax Rohmer, Fu Manchu and Beyond by Trav S.D.

Having investigated many pulp and mystery authors here before, it’s likely that I would have written about Sax Rohmer (Arthur Henry “Sarsfield” Ward, 1883-1959) anyway, but we had ad…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 09:24AM
Tuesday, February 14, 2023

A Century of Burns and Allen: A Valentine’s Day Podcast by Trav S.D.

As we promised here back on George Burns’ birthday, the multi-talented Burns and Allen maven Lauren Milberger and myself have recorded a special podcast conversation in celebration of the …

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 02:42PM

R.I.P. Richard Anobile by Trav S.D.

I only just got the memo that Richard J. Anobile (1947-1923) passed away a few days ago. Classic comedy fans all know Anobile’s name for a couple of reasons. The broader reason is that he …

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 01:42PM

The Final Epstein and Hassan Show by Trav S.D.

We begin this Valentine’s Day with a salute to BlackJewLove! Back in October, I reported on the sad passing of Naimah Hassan, one half of the truth telling comedy duo of Epstein and Hassan…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 08:12AM
Monday, February 13, 2023

Hey, Ho, Way to Go, Ohio by Trav S.D.

By my house is a wooded area where I do my walking when the weather is good. It’s a nice little amenity my community offers but it does have this one little quirk. It seems like every time…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 07:12PM

Hazel Howell’s Greatest Hits by Trav S.D.

We became curious about Hazel Howell (1898-1965) after enjoying her prominent turn in Laurel and Hardy’s The Music Box (1932), her last proper screen role. Surprisingly, she was apparently…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 11:36AM
Sunday, February 12, 2023

The Zeffirelli Centennial by Trav S.D.

Born 100 years ago today, Italian designer, director and politician Franco Zeffirelli (1923-2019). When Zeffirelli passed, only four years ago, it dawned on me that his hit 1968 screen adapt…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 12:02PM
Saturday, February 11, 2023

The Other Side of Sidney Sheldon by Trav S.D.

When I was a kid I associated the name Sidney Sheldon (Sidney Schechtel, 1917-2007) exclusively with cheesy paperback novels my mother read, and the soapy TV movies they made out of them. At…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 03:18PM

Chevalier Ira Paine: Master Shot of the World by Trav S.D.

Strange but true, but I learned about American music hall sharpshooter Ira Paine (1837-1889) from researching the famed Folies Bergère in Paris. Born in Hebronville, Massachustetts, Paine w…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 03:18PM

All that Chat

Nov 27, 2022: KPOP - Circle In The Square