All stories by Trav S.D. on BroadwayStars

Monday, July 15, 2024

The Val Avery Centennial by Trav S.D.

Born 100 years ago today: Armenian-American character actor Val Avery (Sebouh Der Abrahamian, 1924-2009). Avery’s family was among the persecuted Armenian minority in Ottoman Turkey. He gr…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 10:18AM
Sunday, July 14, 2024

R.I.P. Ruth Westheimer and Richard Simmons by Trav S.D.

Well, my friend the author Eve Golden had scarcely announced the launch of her new website Eve’s Obits when two prominent celebrities obligingly demonstrated its usefulness by dying within…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 12:24PM
Friday, July 12, 2024

Digging Up Dudley Murphy by Trav S.D.

Juy 10 was the birthday of filmmaker Dudley Murphy (1897-1968); 2024 marks the centennial of one of his best known works Ballet mécanique (1924), an avant-garde film co-directed with Fernan…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 05:02PM
Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Some Additional Arbuckles by Trav S.D.

Having already written about such Fatty Arbuckle-adjacent figures as nephew Al St. John, wife Minta Durfee, ill-fated associate Virginia Rappe, and countless of his professional colleagues (…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 10:48AM
Monday, July 8, 2024

WNYC Turns 100 by Trav S.D.

July 8, 1924 was the day that WNYC radio in New York first went on the air. It’s been years since I was a regular listener, but I am a big fan of public media, and certainly went through p…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 02:12PM

A Look at Lydia Knott and Lambert Hillyer by Trav S.D.

…And Adelbert Knott (1858-1933), as well, for he came onto the scene first. Hailing from Tyner, Indiana (about a half hour from South Bend), Knott was both a writer and an actor. He was on…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 07:32AM
Sunday, July 7, 2024

The Fairy Tale Life of Shelley Duvall by Trav S.D.

Brewster McCloud (1970) is one of the least well-remembered films by its director Robert Altman, and doesn’t even top the list of movies people know which feature its star Bud Cort (surely…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 03:06PM
Saturday, July 6, 2024

For International ‘Zine Month: On Some Close-to-Home Theatre ‘Zines by Trav S.D.

July is International ‘Zine Month! The occasion has inspired a little navel gazing, for in those dim dark days before blogging was available, ‘zines were the only way many of us could se…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 10:18AM
Friday, July 5, 2024

For Barnum’s Birthday: A P.T. Barnum Finding Aid by Trav S.D.

Three P.T. Barnum posts in one day? This is unprecedented! I’m pretty sure I’ve never done that for anybody, two is the max. But I just so happened to have gotten three ideas for new Bar…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 02:42PM

Leave Barnum Alone: 7 Reasons Donald Trump is NOTHING Like P.T. Barnum, but In Fact Far, Far Worse by Trav S.D.

The walking tour I referred to in the previous post was, as intended, a revivifying return to basics for this correspondent. As I mentioned in that post, locations connected to P.T. Barnum w…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 01:42PM

A DIY P.T. Barnum NYC Walking Tour by Trav S.D.

This is the first of three new posts for our P.T. Barnum section today, in observance of the showman’s birthday. He’s top of mind at the moment because I conducted a walking tour of nota…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 08:12AM
Thursday, July 4, 2024

Hooray for Henry Armetta by Trav S.D.

Henry (Enrico) Armetta (1888-1945) is top of mind at the moment because I recently watched the Marx Brothers’ The Big Store (1941) while putting together my new book and prepped for Marxfe…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 12:42PM

For the Eva Marie Saint Centennial: On the Bonnie Maid Versatile Varieties by Trav S.D.

Happy 100th birthday to the still-kicking Eva Marie Saint! I confess the occasion presented me with something of a dilemma. Like everyone else I’m a big fan of her two biggest movies On th…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 09:32AM
Wednesday, July 3, 2024

200 Years Ago Today: The Birth of Castle Garden by Trav S.D.

A few days ago I led a 13 mile walking tour tracing the origins of New York theatre to its peak in the 20th century. I began that tour at Castle Clinton National Monument in the Battery, not…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 09:48AM

John Mason Brown: Cheers for a Forgotten Critic by Trav S.D.

July 3 was the birthday of theatre critic, columnist and author John Mason Brown (1900-1969). Most of the major theatre critics of Brown’s day enjoyed lingering pop culture fame by expandi…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 08:48AM
Tuesday, July 2, 2024

A Statue to Stephen Stucker by Trav S.D.

I’m in major need of a laugh today (if you follow the news and have a half a brain I imagine you are too) so I am grateful that today is the birthday of Stephen Stucker (1947-1984). Stucke…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 11:18AM
Monday, July 1, 2024

A Bicentennial Tribute to Liver Eating Johnson by Trav S.D.

Born 200 years ago today, John Jeremiah Garrison (1824-1900), gold prospector, guide, hunter, lawman, sailor, scout, soldier, trapper, woodhawk, whiskey peddler, and more. Originally from Ne…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 08:12AM

It Takes a Village People by Trav S.D.

Yes, I know that Pride Month is just gone, but the thing is July 1 is Victor Willis’s birthday. Willis (b. 1951) was the main singer and songwriter for the Village People, although amusing…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 03:48AM
Sunday, June 30, 2024

The Men in Cary Grant’s Life (A Guest Post by Lauren Milberger) by Trav S.D.

It’s been a minute since I’ve shared a guest post here on Travalanche, and I don’t do it very frequently, but I am excited to be presenting one today. My most frequent guest poster has…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 12:48PM
Saturday, June 29, 2024

Whither Ruth Warrick? by Trav S.D.

It’s June 29, and having already written about such June 29 Birthday Children as Richard Lewis, Fred Grandy, Nelson Eddy, Joan Davis, Slim Pickens, Ed Gardner (Duffy’s Tavern), and Coney…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 09:36AM
Friday, June 28, 2024

A Minute With Max Sick by Trav S.D.

I’m shocked and disappointed that no punk rocker appropriated the name of German strong man Max Sick (1882-1961). It certainly would live harmoniously alongside Johnny Rotten, Sid Vicious,…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 07:36AM
Thursday, June 27, 2024

Tomorrow: A Brand New Show About Sophie Tucker (in Buck’s County) by Trav S.D.

Lloyd and Susan Ecker are the world’s ultimate Sophie Tucker boosters — they’ve released a book, and a documentary, and a soundtrack CD to same, and I don’t know what all. Oh, wait! …

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 06:36AM
Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Tackling Tiny Roebuck by Trav S.D.

Theodore “Tiny” Roebuck (1906-1969) was a Native American athlete who dabbled in film acting in the 1930s. A member of the Choctaw tribe, Roebuck hailed from the Lenton Territory in what…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 06:48AM
Tuesday, June 25, 2024

A Shallow Dive Into the Life of Bessie Poole, Paramour of W.C. Fields by Trav S.D.

June 25 was the birthday of Bessie Poole (1895-1928). If you were crude and in a hurry you might describe Poole as “W.C. Fields’ side piece”, but that would be inaccurate for many reas…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 09:06AM
Monday, June 24, 2024

On Margaret Kelly, The Bluebell Girls, and Le Lido de Paris by Trav S.D.

June 24 was the birthday of dancer/choreographer/impresario Margaret Kelly (1910-2004); June 20 was the opening day in 1946 of the Paris venue she was long associated with, Le Lido. Four nat…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 11:18AM
Sunday, June 23, 2024

Of Pabst and Blue Ribbon Town by Trav S.D.

This post represents a confluence of two compelling forces: some cool radio clips that John Tefteller played at Marxfest last month, and the advent of the new Advertising and Brands section …

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 12:36PM

Drew Friedman in the News by Trav S.D.

Illustrator Drew Friedman is well known to all those in the Classic Comedy Cult. As the title of one of his better known books reminds us, he’s the guy who draws all the Old Jewish Comedia…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 09:24AM

LOOK at the Comedians by Trav S.D.

Somebody shared this 1951 Look magazine cover online the other day, and it seemed the perfect touchstone for a new post connecting you with links to my articles on the various comedians prof…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 08:24AM

Exploring H. Rider Haggard by Trav S.D.

Sir H. Rider Haggard (1856-1925) was born of a June 22. As a young man, the well connected Haggard had served in a succession of administrative and diplomatic posts in British colonial South…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 07:18AM
Friday, June 21, 2024

Why “America’s Got Talent” Is For The Birds by Trav S.D.

June 21, 2006 marked the premiere of America’s Got Talent, which makes this televised talent competition well on the way to having been on the air for two decades. And I, one of the nation…

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

For World Motorcycle Day: Moments in Midway Daredeviltry by Trav S.D.

This one goes out to my nephew and good friend James, and I must say I have been looking forward to writing this post for days with child-like glee. It is World Motorcycle Day, and so today …

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

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