All stories by Trav S.D. on BroadwayStars

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Marx Brothers Council Podcast! by Trav S.D.

It’s Gummo Marx’s birthday today (and also that of the Marx Brothers’ father Frenchie) and that seems a MOST apt occasion on which to plug The Marx Brothers Council Podcast…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 12:18PM
Monday, October 22, 2018

Trav S.D.’s Guide to Horror in Wax Museums by Trav S.D.

With Halloween near upon us today we take a look at a minor but powerful horror subgenre, that of the wax museum based murdering madman. At least since Pygmalion and Galatea, storytellers an…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 11:06AM

Tony Roberts: Bred for Broadway by Trav S.D.

Though I like him a great deal, as with Jerry Orbach, whom we profiled here a few days ago, I’m not sure I’d be doing a tribute to stage and screen actor Tony Roberts (b. 1939) i…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 05:36AM
Sunday, October 21, 2018

Laurel and Hardy: The Silent Shorts by Trav S.D.

Stan and Ollie is due to have its world premiere tonight at the BFI Film Festival. To mark the occasion, we contribute this post on the first leg of their career as a comedy team — the…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 12:04PM
Saturday, October 20, 2018

Jerry Orbach: From Broadway to Briscoe by Trav S.D.

When Jerry Orbach (1935-2004) started attaining new heights of prominence in the late 1980s/ early 1990s, I found it hard to reconcile the guy I saw (a sort of thuggish, streetwise New York …

Linked From Trav S.D. at 04:06AM
Friday, October 19, 2018

Of Robert Reed and The Secrets of “The Brady Bunch” by Trav S.D.

The late Robert Reed (John Robert Rietz, Jr, 1932-1992) was born on this day. A trained Shakespearean actor who’d studied at RADA and was a member of the Actor’s Studio, with man…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 10:36AM
Thursday, October 18, 2018

Musings on “Mork and Mindy” by Trav S.D.

We choose Pam Dawber’s birthday for a Mork and Mindy post because we already wrote about Robin Williams on the occasion of his sad passing. In the ’70s, pretty, nice, bland ̶…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 12:32PM

On the Literary and Libidinous Miriam Hopkins by Trav S.D.

An appreciation today for histrionic Hollywood hotsy-totsy Miriam Hopkins (Ellen Miriam Hopkins, 1902-1972). Don’t read too much into that description, I just like alliteration. On the…

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

Sidney Kingsley: Father of Three Genres by Trav S.D.

The name of New York born playwright Sidney Kingsley (Sidney Kirschner, 1902-1995) is no longer a household word, if it ever was one, bit it ought to be. Kingsley invented not one but at le…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 10:18AM
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

El-Wyn: Spook Show Innovator by Trav S.D.

How appropriate that magician and spook show innovator El-Wyn (Elwin Charles Peck, 1902-1956) was born during the Halloween season. We have already written about guys like Dr. Silkini and Bi…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 04:54AM
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

On Some Fallen Comedy Heroes by Trav S.D.

The Conners, i.e., the Roseanneless Roseanne, premiers on ABC tonight. It seems a savvy and even a just move, and even a fitting punishment for the banished one herself, given that the sho…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 09:06AM
Monday, October 15, 2018

Linda Lavin IS “Alice” by Trav S.D.

Linda Lavin (whose birthday is today) was a Broadway star both before and after her famous sitcom Alice (1976-1985)…AND Ellen Burstyn also played the main character…so our title …

Linked From Trav S.D. at 02:32PM

Laverne and Shirley by Trav S.D.

I don’t normally throw a big party on Penny Marshall’s birthday but it seemed a good occasion to do a post on Laverne and Shirley (1976-1983). I was a big fan of this sitcom duri…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 11:12AM

P.G. Wodehouse: Comic Scribe and Collaborator by Trav S.D.

There’s too much to tell about P.G. Wodehouse (Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, 1881-1975), whose birthday it is today, to be in any way comprehensive…but I thought I would draw a…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 10:12AM

Fritz Feld: The Guy Who Went Pop by Trav S.D.

I’ve long wanted to do a post on character actor Fritz Feld (Fritz Feilchenfeld 1900-1993) and am so glad I have the opportunity to squeeze it in today. Feld was mostly a bit player, b…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 09:06AM

Denman Thompson: The Old Homestead by Trav S.D.

Denman Thompson (Henry Denman Thompson, 1833-1911) was a 19th century theatrical figure whose career took him nearly to the edge of the modern era (cinema), making him a tantalizing connecti…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 08:04AM
Sunday, October 14, 2018

Sam Rice: King of Burlesque by Trav S.D.

Sam Rice (George O’Hanlon, 1874-1946) was not the only guy to use the handle “King of Burlesque” but his choice to do so revealed a becoming Moxie. Rice produced full on bu…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 07:54AM
Saturday, October 13, 2018

The Five Fires of P.T. Barnum by Trav S.D.

Rounding out the final day of this year’s Fire Prevention Week, we thought we’d take a look at five major blazes that afflicted P.T. Barnum over his long career as an impresario.…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 07:36AM
Friday, October 12, 2018

Helena Modjeska: Pride of the Poles by Trav S.D.

The great Polish-American actress Helena Modjeska (Jadwiga Benda,1840-1909) was born on this day. Born in Krakow, there is murkiness in Modjeska’s early background, especially with reg…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 08:04AM
Thursday, October 11, 2018

P.G. Lowery: Gabriel’s Right Hand Man by Trav S.D.

“Good things cometh to he who waiteth as long as he hustleth while he waiteth.” — P.G.; Lowery African American bandmaster,musician and impresario Perry G. Lowery (1869-194…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 09:04AM
Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Helen Hayes: First Lady of the American Theatre by Trav S.D.

Confession: I never understood what all the fuss was about Helen Hayes (1900-1993). But then again I only ever saw her on film and television, never in the theatre where her reputation for g…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 03:48PM

Of Bill Irwin, Beckett and the Irish Rep by Trav S.D.

Big doings at one of my favorite NYC theatre companies, the Irish Repertory Theatre lately. I’ve loved everything I’ve ever seen at that theatre. More importantly (and this can&#…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 02:36PM

Johnny Downs: A Life Filled With Ups! by Trav S.D.

Child star (then former child star) Johnny Downs (1913-1994) had a truly interesting if minor career on stage and screen, one that was ironically much better than those of better known colle…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 11:18AM
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Thank You, Great Neck Record! by Trav S.D.

Thank you, Great Neck Record, for this terrific article on your new adopted son: http://greatneckrecord.com/local-historian-brings-vaudeville-to-life/ As I wrote here when we moved here six…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 10:18AM

Of Bostocks and Wombwells and Their Menageries by Trav S.D.

The name “Bostock” is one that turns up often in show business annals in the context of menageries of trained animals. For Americans, the crucial figure is Frank Charles Bostock …

Linked From Trav S.D. at 08:06AM
Monday, October 8, 2018

For Columbus Day: Three Italian Guys Who Played Indians by Trav S.D.

I was going to post this short listicle during November, Native American Heritage Month, but realized this morning that since it’s REALLY about Italians, and this is Columbus Day, and …

Linked From Trav S.D. at 01:36PM

R.I.P. Scott Wilson by Trav S.D.

Just a few words of tribute to honor the late Scott Wilson, who passed away from leukemia this past weekend at age 76. I was a big fan of his quiet understated acting. He was one of those ch…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 10:18AM
Sunday, October 7, 2018

The Fires of Coney Island by Trav S.D.

Fire Prevention Week begins today. Any study of history is to become aware of the frequency and the severity of fires in human existence prior to modern regulations and fire prevention metho…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 07:54AM
Thursday, October 4, 2018

“The Great Buster” Opens Tomorrow by Trav S.D.

Today is Buster Keaton’s birthday. See my biographical article on the great silent comedian’s early years here and the Buster Keaton section of Travalanche, containing close t…

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

A Star is Born — Prematurely! by Trav S.D.

I had originally scheduled this post for tomorrow, A Star is Born’s announced U.S. release date. But it already seems to be playing here in New York as of today, and critical word is a…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 08:32AM

Jan Murray: A Tummler on Television by Trav S.D.

A brief nod to Borscht Belt comedian Jan Murray (Murray Janofsky, 1916-2006), whose birthday is today. Murray was a frequent television presence when I was a kid — the kind of entertai…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 06:18AM

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