All stories by Trav S.D. on BroadwayStars

Saturday, February 4, 2023

A Century of the System in the States (A Celebration of Richard Boleslawski) by Trav S.D.

A century ago (1923) Moscow Art Theatre veterans (and refugees from the USSR) Richard Boleslawski (Bolesław Ryszard Srzednicki, 1889-1937) and Maria Ouspenskaya founded the American Laborat…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 09:32AM

Two True Cootes by Trav S.D.

Albert “Bert” Coote (1867-1938) was the son of Robert Coote (1834-1888) a popular British music composer. Bert first went onstage himself at age five, appearing throughout his childhood …

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 08:18AM
Friday, February 3, 2023

Of Kenneth Anger and Hollywood Babylon by Trav S.D.

Unthinkably, blasphemously, through some apparent pact with Satan, film-maker, author, fabulist and provocateur Kenneth Anger (Kenneth Anglemyer, b. 1927) still lives. At the time of the pre…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 04:02PM
Thursday, February 2, 2023

Three Books to Buy That Aren’t My Own by Trav S.D.

Oh, don’t you fret, I’ll be getting in your face plenty about my own books and other projects as this year progresses, but short term, three people close to me have their own tomes to pr…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 03:02PM
Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Was W.C. Fields a Racist? by Trav S.D.

The headline is a trick question. Everyone who lived between 1880 and 1946 was a racist by our standards, so of course W.C. Fields was. His professional friendship with Bert Williams, and a …

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 07:24PM

Black History Month 2023 by Trav S.D.

Black History Month is when I typically have done posts honoring black performers for whom I don’t know the birthdate, of which there have been a relatively high percentage. Case in point,…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 12:42PM
Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Cindy Williams Never Actually Stopped Working by Trav S.D.

Cindy Williams (1947-2023) passed away about a week ago (Jan. 25) but somehow the news didn’t get out until last night. Of the two Laverne and Shirley stars, Williams was far and away my f…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 02:54PM

Isham Jones and His Orchestra by Trav S.D.

Seems late in the game to be adding Isham Jones (1894-1956) to our roster of successful vaudeville veterans (he’s the 1,790th figure we’ve added to the series) but while I really do love…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 07:06AM
Monday, January 30, 2023

The Vaudeville Origins of V. Vale and RE/Search Publications by Trav S.D.

To be of my age and of my proclivities is to have been influenced by West Coast-based RE/Search Publications (est, 1980). This underground publishing house put out high end periodicals on a …

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 01:36PM
Sunday, January 29, 2023

Viva Victor Mature! by Trav S.D.

It’s superficial of me, I know, but I became much more interested in, and approving of Victor Mature (1913-1999) once I learned he was half Italian. His father, Marcello Maturi was a Kentu…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 01:48PM

W.C. Fields in the Silents by Trav S.D.

We have accumulated over 100 posts on Travalanche about quintessential classic comedian W.C. Fields (1880-1946), so many that long ago we bundled them all into their own section. Starting wi…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 11:18AM
Saturday, January 28, 2023

Dorothy Donnelly: Mother of Poppy by Trav S.D.

Our principal reason for celebrating Dorothy Donnelly (1875-1928) may differ from many other folks’, for she was the woman who wrote to book and lyrics to Poppy (1923), the hit Broadway sh…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 09:03AM
Friday, January 27, 2023

Singin’ Sam, The Barbasol Man by Trav S.D.

January 27, 1888 was the birthdate of Harry Frankel, better known to audiences as Singin’ Sam, The Barbasol Man. Born in Springfield, Ohio (hometown of Clark and McCullough), Frankel was r…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 03:24PM

The Return of “Cabaret in Captivity” by Trav S.D.

Today (January 27) is Holocaust Remembrance Day and as it happens I have timely related news to report: friend Edward Einhorn of Untitled Theatre Company #61 is reviving their historical rev…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 02:24PM
Thursday, January 26, 2023

Remembering Ellen by Trav S.D.

Haha, don’t worry she’s not dead, she’s only turning 65! The title of this post has more to do with the fact that Ellen ended her long-running talk show a few months ago, and the monst…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 12:06PM

The Anne Jeffreys Centennial by Trav S.D.

Born 100 years ago today, the minor midcentury star Anne Jeffreys (Anne Jeffreys Carmichael, 1923-2017). Jeffreys was an operatically trained Southern belle from Goldsboro, North Carolina, w…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 09:54AM
Wednesday, January 25, 2023

The Rice-Centennial: Dan Rice’s Bicentennial Birthday! by Trav S.D.

Born 200 years ago today: one horse circus pioneer, impresario, clown, comedian and star Dan Rice (1823-1900) Dan Rice was one of the most important show business figures of the 19th century…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 08:02AM
Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Sharon Tate Would be 80 Today by Trav S.D.

Today would have been the 80th birthday of Hollywood actress Sharon Tate (1943-1969). The circumstances of Tate’s death possess layers of wrongness: 1) that she died at all; that she died …

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 11:03AM

R.I.P. Everett Quinton by Trav S.D.

I was running around from pillar to post yesterday so couldn’t respond as immediately as I would have liked to the sad news of the passing of the great stage star Everett Quinton (b. 1952)…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 10:02AM
Monday, January 23, 2023

Danny Arnold: Before and After “Barney Miller” by Trav S.D.

I’d long known about Danny Arnold (Arnold Rothmann, 1925-95) as the genius creator/producer of Barney Miller and Fish, but was delighted to learn that he had a background in variety entert…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 07:32AM
Sunday, January 22, 2023

Jim Jarmusch Turns 70 by Trav S.D.

I celebrated Jim Jarmusch’s 70th birthday today by watching the one movie of his I hadn’t yet seen, The Limits of Control (2009). To my delight, it stars Isaach de Bankolé, whom I had c…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 04:18PM

A Century Ago: Eisenstein Presents His Theory of Attractions by Trav S.D.

We are well past the centennial of the birth of Soviet film-maker and theorist Sergei Eisenstein (1898-1948) but this year marks the centennial of something he gave birth to. I had occasion …

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

Olive Craddock a.k.a. “Roshanara” by Trav S.D.

Roshanara (Olive Craddock, 1894-1926) is today remembered as the more authentic competitor to Ruth St. Denis in the presentation of South Asian dances to Western audiences. While St. Denis i…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 08:48AM
Saturday, January 21, 2023

Emma Haig and Art “Dustbowl” Fowler by Trav S.D.

A story of strange bedfellows today, and not the first we’ve encountered in our exploration of vaudeville’s annals. And apparently content ones! We begin with Emma Haig (1898-1939), a di…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 01:03PM

Gus Visser and His Singing Duck by Trav S.D.

The fame of vaudeville performer Gus Visser (1894-1967) is ironically perhaps greater now than it was in his own day. This is because footage of Visser’s hilarious act wound up in the PBS …

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 01:03PM

Tonight and Tomorrow at MOMA: “The Unknown” Restored! by Trav S.D.

Sorry for the last minute bulletin, but I only just learned about this yesterday. Tonight and tomorrow, New Yorkers, MOMA will be screening a restored version of The Unknown (1927), includin…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 01:03PM
Friday, January 20, 2023

Opening Tonight at Film Forum: 2 Weeks of Preston Sturges by Trav S.D.

Opening today (January 20, 2023) at New York’s Film Forum, and running through February 2, a screening series entitled Written and Directed by Preston Sturges. I have already written exten…

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

R.I.P. David Crosby (and Some Cool Facts About His Background) by Trav S.D.

David Crosby (1941-2023) has just passed away at the age of 81. Few thought he would make it to this age! I was a fan of The John Larroquette Show (1993-94), on which Crosby was stunt cast i…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 10:42AM

A Century of Burns and Allen by Trav S.D.

A century ago this year, George Burns teamed with Gracie Allen and made their debut in a vaudeville house somewhere in New Jersey. Nowhere that I’ve been able to find (and I and others hav…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 08:42AM
Thursday, January 19, 2023

Love for Richard Lester by Trav S.D.

The amazing director Richard Lester (Richard Lester Liebman, b. 1932) is still with us, though he hasn’t directed for 30 years, and his career hasn’t been honestly vital for 40. The reas…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 02:12PM
Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Of A.A. Milne and Winnie the Pooh by Trav S.D.

We’ve had numerous occasion to mention author A.A. Milne (Alan Alexander Milne, 1882-1956) on this blog, and as often as not, the references were NOT to his most famous creation Winnie-the…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 03:12PM

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