All stories by Trav S.D. on BroadwayStars

Friday, August 17, 2018

Barney Bernard: Such a Potash! by Trav S.D.

A tribute today to stage and screen actor Barney Bernard (1878-1924). Originally from Rochester, Bernard was a “Hebrew” comic in vaudeville, burlesque, Broadway musicals and sile…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 05:12AM
Thursday, August 16, 2018

West Fest Launches Tomorrow with Visits to Mae West’s Old Haunts by Trav S.D.

Tomorrow marks the 125th birthday of the late stage and screen writer and comedienne Mae West. Appropriately we are launching West Fest, our Mae West festival on that day,  with a ceremonia…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 09:36AM
Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Of Fakers and Fakirs: Faux Indian Mysticism in Professional Magic by Trav S.D.

It’s Indian Independence Day! This one goes out to my son, who is about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime by spending several months in that storied, ancient nation. I thought I…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 10:12AM
Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The Man Behind “Casey at the Bat” by Trav S.D.

A little tribute today to a distant cousin of mine, Ernest Lawrence Thayer (1863-1940), best known for his comic 1888 poem “Casey at the Bat”. Thayer was the son of a wealthy woo…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 10:24AM

On the Highly Substantial Alice Ghostly by Trav S.D.

Character actress Alice Ghostley (1923-2007) was born on August 14. No doubt you already know where you know her from, and we’ll hit that, but honestly Ghostley was a woman of so many …

Linked From Trav S.D. at 09:06AM
Monday, August 13, 2018

Marion Lorne: More Than Aunt Clara by Trav S.D.

A tribute today to Marion Lorne (Marion Lorne MacDougal, 1883-1968), best known to American audiences as the adorable, doddering character “Aunt Clara” on the sitcom Bewitched fo…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 12:24PM

West Fest: The Vaudevisuals Interview with Trav S.D. by Trav S.D.

West Fest, our multivarious celebratory festival for Mae West opens this week! And it was our good fortune to have Jim Moore of Vaudevisuals point his trusty camera at festival co-organizer …

Linked From Trav S.D. at 09:06AM
Sunday, August 12, 2018

Dan Curtis: “Dark Shadows” and Beyond by Trav S.D.

This post came out of a conviction that the name “Dan Curtis” ought to be a household word, at the very least as a horror auteur, beyond the small circle of aficionados who rever…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 09:04AM

On Diamond Jim Brady by Trav S.D.

A tribute today to that great New York character Diamond Jim Brady (1856-1917). I feel like I’ve known about this legendary personage my whole life; the only way I can imagine I’…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 07:36AM
Saturday, August 11, 2018

Anna Massey: Horror, History, Mystery by Trav S.D.

Okay it’s undoubtedly odd that I’m doing a post about the later British actress Anna Massey (1937-2011) prior to one on her father Raymond Massey, but there’s one coming u…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 03:06PM

The Mike Douglas Show by Trav S.D.

August 11 was the natal day of tv talk show host and big band singer Mike Douglas (Michael Delaney Dodd, Jr., 1920-2006). A post on this minor show business figure has most assuredly not bee…

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In the Fullness of Time, “Wonder Wheel” Will Be Vindicated by Trav S.D.

It’s Coney Island History Day today, prompting me to ask: WTF happened to Woody Allen’s Wonder Wheel? As a Coney Island aficionado I was hugely excited about the advent of this f…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 10:42AM
Friday, August 10, 2018

For World Lion Day: Comedians and Lions! by Trav S.D.

It happens to be World Lion Day! While our favorite King of Beasts is naturally Bert Lahr in The Wizard of Oz, we thought of another way to pay tribute to the day: several moments in classic…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 11:54AM

Chaplin, A Life by Trav S.D.

“Come in, — Come In! And know me better…” — The Ghost of Christmas Present As my good fortune would have it, I found myself spending six hours on buses and trai…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 10:48AM

Foxy V at the Duplex this Sunday by Trav S.D.

Foxy V (Alicia Buxton) was once Foxy Vermouth; that was the only name I knew her by when she had a show-stopping bit in our earliest workshop versions of I’ll Say She Is in 2014, inclu…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 09:36AM
Thursday, August 9, 2018

For National Book Lovers Day: A Shelf’s Worth of Mae West Books! by Trav S.D.

A post in conjunction with our upcoming West Fest, the Mae West Festival in NYC, Aug. 17-29, 2018.  It’s National Book Lovers Day! May we suggest these excellent tomes about everyone…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 09:36AM
Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Mae West: “Television Should Be Censored”! by Trav S.D.

I’ve been sitting on this gem for months; we share it today in conjunction with our upcoming West Fest, the Mae West Festival in NYC, Aug. 17-29, 2018.  In August 1970, Mae West did …

Linked From Trav S.D. at 11:42AM
Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Talking Pictures from 1913! by Trav S.D.

Ben Model and Undercrank Productions have rocked my world yet again! Last night I watched their jaw-dropping new release, The Kinetophone! A Fact! A Reality! (available to the public today…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 09:18AM

Gene Buck: Knew Songwriting Inside and Out by Trav S.D.

August 7 is the birthday of that great Jazz Age figure Gene Buck (Edward Eugene Buck, 1885-1957). Detroit-born Buck originally gained fame as a cover illustrator for Tin Pan Alley sheet musi…

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Monday, August 6, 2018

Yesterday’s Coney Island Burlesque Talk by Trav S.D.

Yesterday’s talk on Coney Island and Burlesque at Coney Island USA was a smasheroo thanks to a full house and a great performance by performing partner Vexy Minx a.k.a Enshara, whom th…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 02:42PM

On Charlie Chaplin’s Mother by Trav S.D.

Charlie Chaplin’s mom (1865-1928) was born on August 6. The daughter of a London shoemaker, her birth name was Hannah Hill. At age 16 she went into music hall and changed her name to L…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 09:12AM

The Time I Met Charlotte Rae (R.I.P., Dear Lady) by Trav S.D.

Just got the news that Charlotte Rae has died at age 92. The jolly, effervescent, stout little ball of talent is best remembered for her character Edna the housekeeper on Diff’rent Str…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 08:12AM
Friday, August 3, 2018

Dolores Del Rio: The Female Valentino by Trav S.D.

Having had occasion to refer to her a few times, today just a very few brief words on the great Latin beauty Dolores Del Rio (María de los Dolores Asúnsolo López-Negrete, 1904-1983). Del …

Linked From Trav S.D. at 09:54AM

Mel Tolkin: Conductor of a Great Comedy Orchestra by Trav S.D.

A brief shout out today to the great comedy writer Mel Tolkin (Shmuel Tolchinsky, 1913-2007). Born in a Jewish shtetl in the Ukraine, Tolkin moved to Montreal with his family when he was 13.…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 08:48AM
Thursday, August 2, 2018

Carroll O’Connor, Archie Bunker and “All in the Family” by Trav S.D.

I’ve wanted to do a post on this topic for ages. All in the Family (1971-1979) was a central, formative TV experience for me. My family watched it religiously, at least during the firs…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 11:04AM

Max Liebman: The Ziegfeld of Television by Trav S.D.

A brief shout-out on behalf of influential Broadway, resort, and television impresario Max Liebman (1902-1981). Liebman was born in Vienna Austria, and grew up in Brooklyn, where he attended…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 08:48AM

The Haymarket: The Devil’s Dance Hall by Trav S.D.

August 2 is the birthday of Ashcan School artist John Sloane (1871-1951) so we thought we’d take the opportunity to share one of his works, and one of our favorite paintings in the Bro…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 07:42AM

Myrna Loy: Before, During and After “The Thin Man” by Trav S.D.

Some brief tribute to Myrna Loy (Myrna Williams, 1905-1993) today. The wider public tends to remember her exclusively for her Thin Man films with William Powell, and I’ll probably writ…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 06:36AM
Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Time Again for TNC’s Street Theater! by Trav S.D.

I’ve been attending (and covering) Theater for the New City’s annual free street theater production at least since 2004, when I included it in an article I wrote about protest th…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 05:36AM

Larry Crane: The Irish Wizard by Trav S.D.

Larry Crane (Lawrence McCrann, 1877-1950) was a close-up magician who billed himself on the vaudeville stage as “The Irish Wizard”. Born in County Rosecommon, Ireland in August o…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 03:24AM
Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Ted Cassidy: Lurching Toward Legend by Trav S.D.

All Hail, Ted Cassidy (1932-1979)! At 6’9″ tall you bet we bow down to him, although one would hardly need to — he was 3/4 of a foot taller than me! As his fans know from h…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 12:54PM