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
Tuesday, January 17, 2023

A Century of Stanislavski in the States by Trav S.D.

When I graduated from high school, my aunt/godmother gave me an incredibly thoughtful gift: a paperback copy of An Actor Prepares by Konstantin Stanislavski (Konstantin Stanislavski Alekseye…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 02:02PM
Monday, January 16, 2023

R.I.P. Lollobrigida by Trav S.D.

News travels so quickly nowadays — apparently the great Italian star Gina Lollobrigida (1927-1923) died TODAY at age 95 and the press release is already out. Usually, you know, it’s a fe…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 11:42AM

Frank Bacon: Lightnin’ by Trav S.D.

Vaudeville was all about the Big Finish; the best shows and the best acts all ended on a spectacular, climactic note because audience reaction was everything. Frank Bacon’s (1864-1922) was…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 09:36AM
Sunday, January 15, 2023

Gene Krupa: The Chicago Flash by Trav S.D.

January 15 was the birthday of the father of modern drumming Gene Krupa (1909-1973) and this year will also mark 50 years since he shuffled off this mortal snare. Krupa remains one of the mo…

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

Journey for Margaret (O’Brien) by Trav S.D.

Today is the birthday of Margaret O’Brien (Angela Maxine O’Brien, b. 1937), not to be confused with Margaret Sullavan or Maureen O’Sullivan, who is not to be confused with Maureen O’…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 08:36AM
Saturday, January 14, 2023

R.I.P. Vaudeville Scholar Arthur Wertheim by Trav S.D.

We were very sorry to learn the other day, a year after the fact, of the passing away of vaudeville scholar and author Arthur Frank Wertheim (1935-2020). In all fairness to ourselves in miss…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 08:32AM
Friday, January 13, 2023

Remembering Rip Taylor by Trav S.D.

I feel hugely out of step, even a little guilty this morning. Every other show biz writer is going to be discussing yesterday’s passing of Lisa Maria Presley — and I will cop to the fact…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 01:03PM
Thursday, January 12, 2023

The Long Life and Short Reign of Luise Rainer by Trav S.D.

For most of my time on this earth Luise Rainer (1910-2015) was one of Hollywood’s best known unknown actresses, on account of several distinctions that catapulted her to trivia contest imm…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 12:48PM

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