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FOOTLIGHT NOTES
no. 434

updated
Saturday, 14 January 2006

The 'Eight See-Saw Girls'
in John Oliver's melodrama,
Broadway After Dark,
Thalia Theatre, New York, 9 September 1907

The Eight See Saw Girls

The 'Eight See-Saw Girls'

(photo: Hana, London, 1907)

'The French cartoonist's idea of the English Girl finds abundant justification in the above picture, which is of an English vaudeville team, called the "Eight See-Saw Girls." When a French artist wants to draw an English girl in a comic drawing he invariably makes her upper teeth extravagantly prominent. In this photograph we see only two girls with their mouths shut, and one of them is decidedly the prettiest of the eight. That ought to be a tip to the other six. These eight girls have been engaged by A.H. Woods for his new melodrama, Broadway After Dark. We understand that this is the first time an importation has been made for melodrama. But, dear girls, don't be so toothy. The girls have been here only a few days, but they already think Broadway is much nicer than the bloody bloomin' old Strand.'
(The Standard and Vanity Fair, New York, Friday, 2 August 1907, p.13)

Before its Broadway opening, Broadway After Dark was produced at the State Street Theatre, Trenton, New Jersey, on Thursday, 29 August 1907.
'Broadway After Dark, which will be the next attraction at the State Street Theatre tomorrow, Friday and Saturday, with matinees Friday and Saturday could be described as a typical example of "advanced melodrama," inasmuch as it is thoroughly up-to-date and at the same time reverts back several generations in the history of the stage to the early days, when melodramas were what their name implied - dramas with melody or music. Most of the plays that are presented under the general head of melodramas are nothing but comedy-dramas, but the action of Broadway After Dark is interrupted every few minutes to permit of the introduction of a singing speciality, which is not dragged in by the heels, but fits in nicely. For this purpose the company carries a chorus of pretty girls with good voices, who not only sing, but dance as well. Some of the latest song hits that have become famous on Broadway will be sung in this play.'
(Trenton Evening Times, Trenton, New Jersey, Wednesday, 28 August 1907, p.2a)

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