All stories by Trav S.D. on BroadwayStars

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

On Jazz Age Jimmy Walker by Trav S.D.

A tribute today to one of New York’s most colorful and beloved Mayors, James John “Jimmy” Walker (1881-1946). Almost all New York’s Mayors have been fascinating chara…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 07:54AM

Bessie Marbury: Social Trailblazer by Trav S.D.

Elisabeth “Bessie” Marbury (1856-1933) is an important cultural figure for you to know about, for about a dozen different reasons. She was an important New York literary agent an…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 07:54AM
Monday, June 18, 2018

Richard Boone: Mad Man in the Old West by Trav S.D.

My introduction to actor Richard Boone (1917-1981) was no doubt atypical. Instead of initially encountering him through the many westerns for which he is best known, I first saw him in the 1…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 11:06AM
Sunday, June 17, 2018

Sunday Funnies, Part Two: Talkie Adaptations by Trav S.D.

This being Father’s Day and a Sunday, I thought I would give myself (and hopefully you) a treat by dropping Part Two of my previous post on comic strips adapted into movies during the …

Linked From Trav S.D. at 10:48AM
Saturday, June 16, 2018

Coney Island Mermaid Parade Today! by Trav S.D.

Stepping off at 1pm today: the 36th annual Coney Island Mermaid Parade! Get all the info you need on the annual beach-side Bacchanalia here. And, by way of mental preparation, check out the …

Linked From Trav S.D. at 08:36AM

Happy World Juggling Day by Trav S.D.

Happy World Juggling Day, sponsored by the International Jugglers Association. In observance, we invite you to check out the juggling section of Travalanche, which features 3 dozen juggling …

Linked From Trav S.D. at 08:36AM
Friday, June 15, 2018

Respect for Jim Varney by Trav S.D.

You can be punished by success, and that was most certainly the case with the late Jim Varney (1949-2000), although he was slowly beginning to remedy his peculiar predicament at the time of …

Linked From Trav S.D. at 07:24AM
Thursday, June 14, 2018

Summer of Magic Launches at N-YHS Tomorrow by Trav S.D.

As much as it pains me personally to have to report this, the New-York Historical Society is launching a TERRIFIC looking exhibition and program series drawn from and inspired by the collect…

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

For Pride Month: On Drag in Classic Comedy by Trav S.D.

For Pride Month: my article on drag in classic comedy is in this week’s Chelsea Now! Advertisements

Linked From Trav S.D. at 09:24AM
Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Waltons: A Mountain Among TV Shows by Trav S.D.

We’ve been binge watching The Americans of late and so I’ve got Richard Thomas (whose birthday it is) on my mind. Nothing makes me happier than when actors manage to escape the e…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 11:24AM

Nina Mae McKinney: The Black Garbo by Trav S.D.

A tribute today to pathbreaking African-American actress Nina Mae McKinney (1912-1967). Originally from Lancaster, South Carolina, she moved to New York where her good looks, and singing and…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 09:12AM
Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Molly McIntyre: A Sonsy Little Lass by Trav S.D.

I was tempted to save this one for St. Andrews’ Day (since we don’t have a birthday for her) but what the hey, it’s pretty much in the can, so I release it into the world n…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 09:24AM
Monday, June 11, 2018

Adam RealMan Brings Coney Island to Great Neck! by Trav S.D.

The Great Neck Fair was this past weekend, and to our delight our friend the sideshow star Adam Real Man of Coney Island USA took the stage for an hour. This was a particular delight for us,…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 01:36PM
Sunday, June 10, 2018

Puerto Rican Vaudeville! by Trav S.D.

The National Puerto Rican Day Parade is happening today in New York, an apt day to celebrate Puerto Rican culture general, and, here on Travalanche, some specific manifestations of it. For e…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 08:12AM
Saturday, June 9, 2018

Billy Golden: Popularized “Turkey in the Straw” by Trav S.D.

Billy Golden (William B. Shires, 1858-1926) was a blackface** comedian in minstrel shows and vaudeville, and later a recording artist. Originally from the river towns of Cincinnati and St. L…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 08:12AM
Friday, June 8, 2018

Lillian Gale: First Girl Audience Singer in Vaudeville by Trav S.D.

Lillian Gale (1885-1972) is a slight enigma. The Pictorial History of Vaudeville tells us she was “the first little girl to sing from the audience” and supplies us with this pict…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 08:04AM
Thursday, June 7, 2018

R.I.P. The Last Munchkin by Trav S.D.

Though he passed away on May 24, it was widely reported only yesterday that Jerry Maren (Gerard Marenghi, 1920-2018) had passed away at the age of 98. We saved our post for today because we …

Linked From Trav S.D. at 11:18AM

Mathews and Bulger: At Gay Coney Island by Trav S.D.

With the Coney Island summer season now imminently underway we thought it a good time to do a post on a pair of men who penned a once-famous musical comedy on the fabled destination, the tea…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 10:12AM
Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Frances Starr: Star of Broadway by Trav S.D.

Frances Starr (1886-1973) was an important early 20th century stage actress who later dabbled in screen work as well. Originally from upstate Oneonta, New York, she started out it with an Al…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 09:42AM

Riene Davies: Marion’s Older Sister by Trav S.D.

Reine Davies (Irene Douras, 1883-1938) was the older sister of Marion Davies, and inevitably the person who inspired her to go into show business herself. It was Reine who first adapted the …

Linked From Trav S.D. at 08:42AM
Tuesday, June 5, 2018

The Brick’s Festival of Lies Opens Today! by Trav S.D.

The Brick Theater’s Festival of Lies opens today! I’m so excited to be able to present the first developmental workshops of my new solo show TALL TALES at that venue and in that …

Linked From Trav S.D. at 09:36AM

William Boyd IS “Hopalong Cassidy” by Trav S.D.

Western star William Boyd (1895-1972) was born on this day. Almost exclusively known as “Hopalong Cassidy” today, Boyd had acted in pictures for nearly two decades before that fo…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 08:32AM
Monday, June 4, 2018

Dennis Weaver IS McCloud by Trav S.D.

I’ve seen the late Dennis Weaver (1924-2006) in a wide variety of vehicles over the years: the TV western Gunsmoke (1955-1964), Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil (1958),  Way…Wa…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 09:33AM
Sunday, June 3, 2018

The Comedy Career of Tony Curtis by Trav S.D.

The late Tony Curtis (Bernard Schwartz, 1925-2010) was born on this day. This won’t be a terribly in-depth post, but will essentially take a look at the fact that for a period roughly …

Linked From Trav S.D. at 07:06AM
Saturday, June 2, 2018

Thoughts on “Leave it to Beaver” by Trav S.D.

Jerry Mathers came into the world on June 2, 1948. I wasn’t yet born during the original run of Mathers’ great claim to fame, Leave it to Beaver (1957-1963); I began to watch it…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 11:18AM
Friday, June 1, 2018

I’m in the NY Times Today by Trav S.D.

A terrific plug for my book Chain of Fools in the NY Times today in Jason Zinoman’s review of a new novel about Stan Laurel:…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 11:32AM

The Burlesque of Marilyn Monroe by Trav S.D.

Marilyn Monroe (Norma Jean Mortenson, 1926-1962) was born on June 1. It may seem madness that I did a post on Jayne Mansfield five years ago, but have not yet done one on Monroe, the much mo…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 11:32AM

Ada Jones: Funny Lady of the Phonograph by Trav S.D.

Born on June 1, Ada Jones (1873-1922), one of the first popular recording artists and one of the first female singers ever recorded. Originally from Lancashire, she immigrated to the U.S. at…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 08:12AM
Thursday, May 31, 2018

The 60s: Comedy’s Mid-Life Crisis by Trav S.D.

The title of this post refers of course to the 1960s, not the age of the performers, although that certainly applies as well. I struggled mightily with what to title this piece. The real sub…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 10:24AM
Wednesday, May 30, 2018

In Which I Meet Black-Eyed Susan! by Trav S.D.

I fulfilled a long-standing bucket list goal last week in getting to meet the legendary Black-Eyed Susan of the Ridiculous Theatrical Company! On the table (besides those pill bottles) was a…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 11:33AM

Russ Brown: Ya Gotta Have Heart by Trav S.D.

Russ Brown (1892-1964) is best remembered for winning his Tony winning performance as Van Buren, manager of the Washington Senators in the original 1955 Broadway production of Damn Yankees,…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 07:04AM

All that Chat