Press Clippings for the week ending
Saturday, 25 October 2008

A random selection of clippings
from newspapers and magazines

Columbus; or, the Original Pitch in a Merry Key,
a new burlesque, Gaiety Theatre,
London, 17 June 1869

a scene from <I>Columbus</I>, Gaiety, London, 1869

a scene from Columbus; or, the Original Pitch in a Merry Key,
Gaiety Theatre, London, 17 June 1869

(engraving: The Illustrated London News, London, Saturday, 12 June 1869, p. 601)

'Our weekly chronicle of theatrical novelties has described the new musical burlesque, or opera buffa, entitled Columbus; or, the Original Pitch in a Merry Key (America), which has been brought out, within the last month, at the Gaiety Theatre. It relies partly for its attractions upon the introduction of many queer parodies of well-known opera tunes; and partly, no doubt, upon the sprightliness of its ballet-dancing; but still more upon the costly magnificence of its decorations, and the beautiful scenes painted by Messrs. Gordon, Telbin, and Matthew Morgan. One of the most effective scenes is that on board the Caravel, when Columbus arrives at the cost of a strange and transatlantic country, which is named Kokatouka, and finds that is savage inhabitants are easily frightened by his prediction of an eclipse, which is speedily verified.'
(The Illustrated London News, London, Saturday, 12 June 1869, p. 601c)

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Marie Tempest's introduction
to the variety stage at the
Palace Theatre, London, September 1906

Marie Tempest

Marie Tempest (1864-1942),
English actress and singer

(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, circa 1912)

London, 22 September 1906
'The big variety or vaudeville event of this week was the debut of Marie Tempest (of the so-called regular theatres) at the Palace. This engagement has proved the wisest yet made by the Palace's manager, Alfred butt, who is so young that all concerned call him ''grandfather.'' The melodious Marie was even more melodious than hitherto, and it was indeed a treat to hear her returning to the gentle art of vocalization, which she has neglected so long, in order to devote herself to the drama. Miss Tempest's voice (and her priceless tiara) are drawing huge crowds to the Palace. Naturally in this interviewing age (O America! What have you to answer for to this connection?) Marie has been much interviewed and many strange articles have been written about her. Most paragraphs (''How do these things get into the papers?'' said Manager Vincent Crummles) have asserted that the Tempest-ous salary is 50 per night. I have reason to believe that the exact is 120 per week no more no less.'
(The New York Dramatic Mirror, New York, New York, 6 October 1906, p. 15b)

Vaudeville Notes from London
'Marie Tempest has scored a great success at the Palace. She has a repertoire of thirteen songs and makes frequent changes, so that her admirers came again and again to hear her. At her opening performance she sang ''Forethought'' and ''Speak but One Word,'' by Lambert; ''Les Filles de Cadix,'' by Delibes, and ''The Nightingale'' song.'
(The New York Dramatic Mirror, New York, New York, 13 October 1906, p. 19a)

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Maud Courtney at the Colonial,
New York, week beginning
Monday, 15 October 1906

Maud Courtney

Maud (otherwise Maude) Courtney (fl. late 19th/early 20th Century),
American variety theatre entertainer

(photo: Hemus Sarony, Christchurch, New Zealand, circa 1911)

'Maude Courtney, who used to sing the old songs, and who has been in Europe and other parts of the word for the past four years, made her reappearance and was given a very cordial welcome. She opened with a song called ''Au Revoir Hyacinth,'' following it with a ditty called ''Put a Little Bit Away for a Rainy Day,'' both of which are the hits of the present day in London. It must be recorded that they did not hit the fancy of the Colonial patrons to any extent. Miss Courtney's personality and manner made as strong an appeal as ever which was proven when she recited ''Didn't She Jim?'' and sang a medley of songs that were once popular here and which she had sung in London. In her last selection she was assisted by a man in the gallery [probably Harry Calvo], who joined in very harmoniously. When Miss Courtney finds good substitutes for her first two song her speciality will be as attractive as ever, as she is an accomplished and gifted artist.'
(The New York Dramatic Mirror, New York, New York, 27 October 1906, p. 18a) (The song 'Au Revoir, My Little Hyacinth,' by Herman Darewski, with words by A.E. Sidney Davis, was featured as an interpolated number in the popular musical comedy, The Beauty of Bath, which was first produced by Seymour Hicks at the Aldwych Theatre, London, on 19 March 1906. The star of that show, Ellaline Terriss recorded the song for The Gramophone & Typewriter Co Ltd of London on 10 January 1907, but it was it was rejected. The same company, however, had already issued a recording of the song made on 16 November 1906 by Phyllis Dare. The latter, who had not appeared in The Beauty of Bath, was well known through professional ties with Ellaline Terriss and her husband, Seymour Hicks. C.W. Murphy and Dan Lipton's 'Put a Little Bit Away for a Rainy Day' was among the first songs recorded by the English music hall comedienne, Ella Retford; she cut it three times during 1906, twice for the Sterling label and once for Odeon. Michael Kilgarriff, Sing Us One of the Old Songs, Oxford, 1998, states that Carlotta Levey, another English music hall artist of the period, also sang 'Put a Little Bit Away for a Rainy Day.')

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© John Culme, 2008