All stories by Trav S.D. on BroadwayStars

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Love for the Lomax Legacy by Trav S.D.

Lovers of American folk music know and revere the name of Lomax. For over a century and four generations this family has devoted itself to the discovery, preservation, and dissemination of t…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 10:07AM
Friday, September 22, 2023

The Original “Planet of the Apes” Cycle by Trav S.D.

September, 1973 (50 years ago) marked the first televised broadcast of the 1968 box office hit Planet of the Apes. Probably not coincidentally that was also the year the last in the original…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 09:07AM
Thursday, September 21, 2023

Break a Strap, Jo Weldon! by Trav S.D.

The woman who would be “Boobs” is unleashing her superpower tonight in a weekly show that runs through the end of October at the Laurie Beechman Theatre. We’re hoping to catch it, but …

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 02:43PM
Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Of Foy and “Frontier Marshal” by Trav S.D.

Balk if you must; scoff if you will; but all roads lead to vaudeville. Case in point, I had an entirely different agenda in catching Frontier Marshal (1939) on Criterion’s streaming platfo…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 09:33AM
Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Of Mugwumps, Mamas, and Papas by Trav S.D.

I originally intended to do a post on The Mamas and the Papas on the birthday of their late songwriter and arranger John Phillips (1935-2001), but by most accounts he was a piece of work and…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 12:55PM

On Glen Cavender and How They Laid Him Out in Lavender by Trav S.D.

Miracle of miracles, a silent comedy star I haven’t yet written about. I don’t know how Glen Cavender (1883-1962) slipped through the cracks (maybe I thought Glenn Tryon was Glenn enough…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 09:37AM

James Haskins and Black History by Trav S.D.

Today we celebrate the late James Haskins (1941-2005), author of somewhere upwards of 150 books for young people and adults. We know of Haskins chiefly on account of two works in particular:…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 08:33AM

A Terrific New Book About Lupe Velez by Trav S.D.

Great news! Today is the pub date for Eve Golden’s new book Strictly Dynamite: The Sensational Life of Lupe Velez. Fans know the high marks set by Eve’s earlier works on Jean Harlow, The…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 07:25AM
Monday, September 18, 2023

Cliff Notes on Clurman by Trav S.D.

I wish there was a better encapsulating title for “man (or woman) of the theatre”. There have been many such figures over the centuries, people who performed too many important functions…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 10:07AM
Saturday, September 16, 2023

A Salute to Alexander Korda by Trav S.D.

On account of the tumultuous nature of the 20th century, the Hungarian-Jewish producer-director Sir Alexander Korda (Sándor László Kellner, 1893-1956) became a film-maker of international…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 09:07AM
Friday, September 15, 2023

Jottings on Joseph Pevney by Trav S.D.

A respectful nod today to the work of actor/director Joseph Pevney (1911-2008). Pevney’s is not one of your more widely circulated Hollywood names, so I’ll help you out at the top. His f…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 07:19AM

50 Years Ago Today: Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Sometimes Zeppo by Trav S.D.

September 15, 1973 is the most frequently given pub date of the first edition of the book Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Sometimes Zeppo, by Joe Adamson — 50 years ago today. Many or most die-…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 06:13AM
Thursday, September 14, 2023

Amy Winehouse Would Be 40 Today by Trav S.D.

Amy Winehouse (1983-2011) would have been 40 years old today, had she not joined the 27 Club a dozen years ago. As I grow older and less engaged with a lot of contemporary pop culture, Wineh…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 11:25AM

Carnivàle Turns 20 by Trav S.D.

20 years ago today marked the television premiere of the HBO television show Carnivàle (2003-2005). Of course I’m a fan of this show, given its Depression era carnival setting, though lik…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 09:13AM
Wednesday, September 13, 2023

A Circus Talk in Queens Tonight! by Trav S.D.

News you can use, but you gotta act fast! Mark St. Leon, who I mentioned in my earlier post on Elsie St. Leon is giving a talk on his famous circus family at Maple Grove Cemetery in Kew Gard…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 02:49PM

Sherwood Anderson and “Winesburg, Ohio” by Trav S.D.

I have but little doubt that many look at the “books and authors” section of Travalanche and walk away thinking “ya basic”. I’m a lover of classics, and this section is a sort of m…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 01:43PM

A September 11 Finding Aid by Trav S.D.

As we’ve amassed a bunch of pieces related to the events of 9/11 here, as well as on my other blog, and elsewhere, I’ve created this hub from which they all can be accessed. 9/11: Americ…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 11:43AM

Angie Pontani on September 11 by Trav S.D.

I had the pleasure and honor of working closely with neo-burlesque queen Angie Pontani on her revue Burlesque-a-pades about a decade ago. I learned tons in the doing of it; it was the princi…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 10:37AM

Taking Matthew Betz by Trav S.D.

It’s surely not necessary for you to remember the name Matthew Betz (1881-1938), particularly since he himself used a variety of professional aliases, like M.C. Von Betz, Matthew Von Betz,…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 08:19AM
Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Alice Washburn’s Brief Window by Trav S.D.

I cannot tell a lie, all the good intel on Alice Washburn (1860-1929) comes from Steve Massa’s indispensable tome Slapstick Divas. I’ll give you broad strokes; there are lots more specif…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 07:19AM
Monday, September 11, 2023

On O. Henry, Vaudeville and the Vitagraphoscope by Trav S.D.

The writer known as O. Henry (William Sydney Porter, 1862-1910) covered a lot of ground in his relatively short life: small town druggist, bank clerk, Texas ranch hand, hotel cigar vendor, p…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 10:37AM
Sunday, September 10, 2023

Marie Laveau: Voodoo Queen by Trav S.D.

I am pleasantly surprised this morning to learn how much is now concretely known about the famous Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau (1801-1881), and her daughter Marie Laveau II (1827-ca. 1890s). I …

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 01:07PM

For Suicide Prevention Week: Of Suicide and Show Business by Trav S.D.

National Suicide Prevention Week, an annual public awareness campaign organized by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, launches today. It’s not a pleasant topic, but it’s an …

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 10:49AM

On the Other Thomas Jefferson by Trav S.D.

Today’s post concerns not the esteemed President, but the son of the famous actor Joseph Jefferson, who went on to distinction in his own right, even if he did have a confusing name. This …

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 09:43AM
Saturday, September 9, 2023

The Amazing Johnathan by Trav S.D.

Had we not lost him earlier this year, today would have been the 64th birthday of The Amazing Johnathan (John Szeles, 1958-2023). Early as his passing was, it might have been much earlier. H…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 09:37AM

The Cliff Robertson Centennial by Trav S.D.

Born 100 years ago today: actor Cliff Robertson (Cliff Parker Robertson III, 1923-2011). In preparing this post I came across a quote about Robertson to the effect that he “never became a …

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 08:33AM
Friday, September 8, 2023

Goober and the Ghost Chasers by Trav S.D.

Okay, I freely admit that this is not the most momentous day in show business history, although it may be somewhat of note to people precisely my age: today marks the 50th anniversary of the…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 07:43AM
Thursday, September 7, 2023

Don Messick: Voice of Scooby Doo by Trav S.D.

Few voice-over actors had the range of Don Messick (1926-1997), who could go from straight parts to character roles to non-humans (a specialty) often in the same cartoon, without the audienc…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 05:49AM

RIP, Dream Weaver by Trav S.D.

Most sources are telling the life and death of Gary Wright (1943-2023) wrong, so I feel compelled to step in and attempt a better job of it. The headlines are reading like Wright was a one h…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 04:33AM
Wednesday, September 6, 2023

The Rise and Fall of the Cockettes by Trav S.D.

Born this day Hibiscus (George Edgerly Harris III, 1949-1982), founder of The Cockettes, The Angels of Light, et al. The Cockettes were a kind of anarchist, avant-garde, hippie, gay, San Fr…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 08:04AM
Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Daryl F. Zanuck: Started in Silent Comedy! by Trav S.D.

Only our ignorance has prevented us from doing a dedicated post on Daryl F. Zanuck (1902-1979) hitherto — but it’s not the ignorance you think. I mean, I know all the classic Hollywood p…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 09:07AM