Press Clippings for the week ending
Saturday, 9 August 2008

A random selection of clippings
from newspapers and magazines

Lydia Thompson's troupe open at
Wood's Museum, New York, in the burlesque,
Paris; or, The Apple of Discord,
14 November 1870, with Harry Beckett,
William B. Cahill, Willie Edouin,
Eliza Weathersby, Minnie Walton, et al

Harry Beckett (1839-1880),
English actor and singer

(photo: Sarony & Co, New York, circa 1870)

'WOOD'S MUSEUM. - A new spectacular burlesque extravaganza, called Paris, or the Apple of Discord, was played for the first time last evening at Wood's Museum, by Miss Lydia Thompson's troupe of unbleached blondes. There was a crowded house to give spirit to the acting, and, to judge from the hearty applause with which the numerous palpable hits at the prevailing follies and fools of the day with which the piece abounds, were received everybody who was present was heartily pleased with it. Paris, however, is not by any means so good a play as several of its peculiar kind which have already been made famous by Miss Thompson's troupe. It is very that in the very parts [sic] where it should be the most sprightly, and although the jokes that Lydia and her companions bandy about, almost as fast as they can talk, are, on the whole, quite up to the usual standard of the everyday witticisms which characterize ''caricature'' plays, there ware a great many attempts at ''funnyisms'' which are very miserable indeed. Lindley Murray, besides, stands a very poor show in many portions of the dialogue. The idea of the lovely Venus letting such an expression as ''Can that be him'' fall from her pretty lips is something positively crushing. Miss Thompson made an admirable Paris, and Harry Beckett was perfectly at home as Œnone, the shepherdess. Miss [Minnie] Walton as Venus did well, even when she had to sing a song, the discordant harmony of which would set even a discord-loving Japanese's teeth on edge. Miss Annie Firmin as Juno performed her role with a good deal of spirit. Messrs. [William B.] Cahill and [Willie] Edouin as Castor and Pollux were excellent. It should be said that the choruses were execrable, rendered as much so by the bungling of the orchestra itself as by the want of voice on the part of the singers. This was partly redeemed, however, by the way Miss Thompson, Miss [Marie] Longmore, Mr. Beckett, and Mr. Cahill sang ''Hark, Hark, the Angels are Whispering in Œnone's Cottage.'' Paris will undoubtedly have a good run if the subordinates get a little more drilling in their various rôles.'
(The New York Herald, New York, Tuesday, 15 November 1870, p. 7e/f)

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The English actress Adelaide Neilson
dies suddenly in Paris, 1880

Adelaide Neilson

Adelaide Neilson (1847-1880),
English actress

(photo: The London Stereoscopic & Photographic Co Ltd, London, late 1860s)

'The Career of a Noted Actress.
'From the Balto. Sun.
'Miss Lilian Adaline [sic] Neilson [Adelaide Neilson], the actress, whose sudden death in Paris, France, Sunday last, has been announced, was born at Saragossa, Spain, March 4, 1850. Her father was a Spaniard and her mother the daughter of an English clergyman. She was educated in England, had some knowledge of the Latin classics, of English literature, French, and was a fair performer on the piano. Her first appearance on the stage was at Margate, England, while yet a child. She was brought out in London at the New Royalty Theatre in July, 1865, in the character of Juliet, which she afterword repeated about 1,200 times. She appeared at the Princess Thatre, London, in July, 1868, in the character of Gabrielle de Savigney, in The Huguenot Capatin, by Watts Phillips. In March, 1867, she played Nellie Armroyd, in Lost in London. In 1868, she appeared in Edinburgh in such parts as Rosalind in As You Like It, Pauline, in The Lady of Lyons, Julia, in The Hunchback, &c. She worked with incessant vigor, and one after another, it great rapidity, assumed leading feminine characters in as many new plays. Dr. Westland Marston wrote for her a piece called Life for Life [Lyceum, London, 6 March 1869], in which she impersonated the character of Lilian in a manner that won her great praise. She made a great hit in London as Amy Robsart in Kenilworth. After a tour of Great Britain she appeared in London at Drury lane, and made a brilliant local hit as Rosalind. Her career in America, from the time of her first appearance here in 1872 at Booth's Theatre as Juliet, was a triumphal march wherever she chose to play. She paid a second visit to this country in 1874-75. She was again warmly welcomed. She made a third and a fourth visit to this country, entering upon her last engagement at New York in October of last year, and playing in all the principal cities of the country. Her eyes were dark brown, her complexion pale olive, her hairy ruddy brown, her voice rich, soft and melodious, and her physique graceful and healthful. She was once married to a Mr. Joseph Lee, of England. Recently her wardrobe was sold, it is said, in anticipation of her second marriage. Miss Neilson, however, was, according to the New York Times, privately married in London, last August, just before she sailed for America, to Mr. Edward Compton, the actor who supported her in her leading parts last season. The Times thinks this makes the disposition of her estate, supposed to be at least $200,000, irrespective of wardrobe and jewelry, a complicated and delicate one. It has been stated that the American divorce which she obtained from Mr. Lee in New York, in 1877, would not probably stand law in England. Should this turn out to be so, should no heirs of blood present themselves, and should it be ascertained that Mr. Lee has not since married, the question may lead to a long litigation between Mr. Lee and Mr. Compton, who will, of course, assert his claims, and Miss Neilson's hard-earned fortune will probably be half consumed by the lawyers.'
(The Keystone Courier, Connellsville, Pennsylvania, Friday, 27 August 1880, p. 1f)

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Leopoldine Konstantin declines
offers to appear on Broadway, 1922

Leopoldine Konstantin

Leopoldine Konstantin (1886-1965), Austro-Hungarian (Czechoslovakian), actress
as the 'Beautiful Slave of Fatal Enchantment' in Sumurun

(photo: unknown, 1911)

'Leopoldine Konstantin, Famous Russian Actress, Who Won't Swap Her Petrograd Laurels for Anything New York Has to Give.
'Leopoldine Konstantin and Mlle. Robez Lankeffy are two other famous European beauties, both favorites where the Rhine and the Neva flow, who couldn't see the Hudson with a spyglass. It was predicted by Paris and Berlin correspondents of American theatrical magazines that both these beauties would be among the stars on Broadway next year. But that was several months ago. The last word from abroad is that Mlles. Konstantin and Lankeffy shake their heads at all offers to induce them to cross the Atlantic. . . .
(The Lima News, Lima, Ohio, 25 June 1922, Magazine Section, p. 2f)

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