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no. 344

Saturday, 17 April 2004

The Flirting Princess
La Salle Theatre, Chicago, 1 November 1909

Harry Pilcer and 'The Perfect Chorus'

Harry Pilcer and 'The Perfect Chorus' in
The Flirting Princess, La Salle Theatre, Chicago, 1 November 1909.

(photo: unknown, Chicago, 1909)

The Flirting Princess, a musical comedy was produced by Mort H. Singer at the La Salle Theatre, Chicago, on 1 November 1909. The piece was staged by Joseph C. Smith. For further information about the several musical shows by Adams, Hough and Howard produced in Chicago, see Kurt Gänzl, The Encyclopaedia of The Musical Theatre, Blackwell, Oxford, 1994, vol. I, p.8

Harry Pilcer

Harry Pilcer (1886?-1961), American dancer, actor and singer

(photo: Dobson, Liverpool, circa 1912)

'The Flirting Princess, produced at the La Salle last week by Morton H. Singer, proved a sort of review a la Weber and Fields. It did not have the advantage of a week in Milwaukee and the unusual preparation for the Chicago premiere. Therefore the production was in a rather crude condition last week. The reviews, cordially allowing for the extenuating circumstances, contained among words of encouragement some sharply adverse criticism, especially for the book. Will Hough and Frank Adams are the authors and Joseph E. Howard the composer, with special music by Harold Orlob and orchestrations by Hilding Anderson. The result of the efforts of these three workers on the musical portion was generally pleasing. The Flirting Princess is a sort of an escaped Egyptian vampire, who has a craze for kissing men once and once only. To find her a husband and to find wives or husbands for other people a matrimonial agency is started, and eventually the princess chooses a life partner. That is about all there is of a story. Specialities, displays of the chorus, an Apache and hypnotic dance and eighteen musical numbers complete the entertainment. John Ransome, Knox Wilson, May Vokes, Adele Rowland, all are there, but all do not arrive. May Vokes has one song, which she does well. John Ransome has a mild little change from the Dutch to the Irish, and a fairly good song, "Never Choose a Girl From Her Photograph," which he does effectively. Knox Wilson has a part which suggests his April Fool in The Land of Nod, and he makes one of the hits with a concertina and a chorus of girls playing accordions. He appears briefly with his saxophone, and the audience seizes the opportunity with the most vigorous applause, but Tuesday night he would not return. Instead, an imitation of a judge's stand was shoved on and a fairly stupid scene about a race was given. In another instance a house, with the interior of a room showing to the audience, is the centre of much business. Ransome climbs on the roof to take a drink, and says: "This is on the house." A hypnotic dance, by Joseph C. Smith, who staged the production, and Violet Dale, who plays the title-role vigorously, closes the first act. The night The Mirror representative saw it the act closed in silence. It should be replaced with a bright, musical comedy number. The Apache Dance by Adele Rowland and Mr. Smith went better, but never would be missed in a musical review. The two morbid dances form an incubus on the performance which it cannot carry. Harry Pilcer pleases with an acrobatic dance and does a female impersonation, with a song, which goes very well. Thomas A. Conkey as the Emir in search of his master's escaped daughter, the flirting princess, has a song of much richness and beauty, "Pale Golden Star." Adele Rowland is prepossessing in male attire, playing opposite Mr. Pilcer in woman's clothes. There are possibilities, as in any similar elastic production, but the fad for queer dances now in possession of the producer's mind is retarding development.'
(The New York Dramatic Mirror, New York, Saturday, 13 November 1909, p.11b)

The Flirting Princess

flyer for The Flirting Princess,
La Salle Theatre, Chicago, 1 November 1909

'It is said that a burlesque of Madame X is in preparation for interpolation in The Flirting Princess at the La Salle… Violet Dale is making a hit as the Princess Klioh in The Flirting Princess. Her singing and acting of the title-role is receiving most flattering notices. The Flirting Princess will probably be an all-season attracting on Chicago.'
(The New York Dramatic Mirror, New York, Saturday, 27 November 1909, p.9b)

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