Press Clippings for the week ending
Saturday, 7 February 2009

A random selection of clippings
from newspapers and magazines

The New York Times critic
impressed by Bonnie Maginn
in the burlesque Fiddle-dee-dee,
Weber and Fields's Broadway Music Hall,
New York, 1900

Bonnie Maginn

Bonnie Maginn (fl. early 20th Century),
American actress and singer

(photo: unknown, probably New York, circa 1902)

'Mr. Weber and Mr. Fields, those estimable worshippers of Euphrosyne, have been at much pains since the beginning of their season to work over the show called Fiddle-dee-dee, and it is now indisputably and variously amusing. It goes quickly, the jokes tell, the songs are good, and the pictures are pretty. Such a chorus has not been seen since the halcyon days of Edward E. Rice, when odalisques and almas reigned in his burlesques. Such a distinguished group of principals has never before been seen in burlesque. What is the use of recalling Lydia Thompson, Pauline Markham, Lisa Weber and Harry Beckett, or Nelly Farren, Letty Lind, and Fred Leslie in the presence of these two laughter-provoking principals, and De Wolf Hopper, Warfield, Ross, Kelly, Lillian Russell, Fay Templeton, and Bonnie Maginn? Yes, indeed, Bonnie Maginn! Any one who sees her dance in the ''Rosie is Ma Posie,'' and lead the Eleventh Cavalry, will be willing to place Bonnie among the principals.'
'As for the new burlesque of Arizona, it needs some working over of the same sort as Fiddle-dee-dee has had. It aims at too close a caricature, is too long and too persistent. When the folks sit on red-hot stoves, when the champagne is produce from the same receptacle, and the whisky from a clock which closes at the hour of 1 and compels its owner to go thirsty, when the girls' sidecombs remind the loving young Lieutenant of McComb's Dam Bridge, Mr. Edgar Smith's ''book'' seems to be getting way down to a rather low level of humor. That will not do for the comic stage of Mr. Weber and Mr. Fields. But, of course, it will not have to be so very long. Such obvious puerilities will disappear in the refining process.'
(The New York Times, New York, Sunday, 21 October 1900, p. 18a)

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Simple Simon Simple
at the Columbia Theatre, Washington, D.C.,
week beginning Monday, 11 September 1905

Simple Simon Simple

a scene featuring the Simpleville Cadets,
lead by (extreme left) Jerry D. Sullivan,
from Simple Simon Simple

(photo: unknown, USA, 1905)

'A clever combination of extravaganza, pantomime, operetta, and musical farce, Simple Simon Simple will be the Columbia Theater's attraction during the current week. The book and lyrics are from the pens of Charles H. Brown and Otis F. Wood and the score is by a dozen well-known composers.
'Simon Simple and his dusky companion, Mose, are the leading lights, and their absurd antics supply the basis for a story. The action of the piece transpires in the village of Simpleville, which may be located anywhere. The characters are all modern in type and dress, and what they say and do may be heard and seen in every-day life. Simon's mamma has kept her boy in knee pants and sailor waists all his life, despite the fact that he is now eighteen years old. The doting Mrs. Simple has deceived her son by telling him he is but fourteen years of age, knowing that when he is eighteen he may, if h so desires, leave home and become his own master. Simon's uncle knows this and endeavors to bribe him to run away. His nephew is adamant, however, until a circus is mentioned, and when he succumbs to the temptation and joins. Sig. Saute's great allied shows as an acrobat. Simon's parents are in despair and implore him to give up the life of a performer and stay at home. Simon refuses to do this unless his sweetheart, Hulda Spiegelgerger, will consent to marry him. This she agrees to do provided he puts on long pants and dresses as a grown-up man hereafter. Simon, who has appeared in front of the circus tent in a gaudy bathrobe, preparatory to walking the high wire, now throws aside his gown and struts forth in all the glory of his new ''store clothes.'' His uncle is furious when Simon announces that Simpleville is circus enough for him and he has decided to stay at home and settle down with pa and man.
'Fun is the dominating element of Simple Simon Simple, and the piece merits all the claims being a laughing success. Neil McNeil, a well-known eccentric comedian, play Simon. Little Jerry Sullivan, one of the former Lilliputians, enacts the part of Mose and runs Simon a close second for honors. Wally Clark, a German comedian, is the Hans Spiegelberger of the piece. J.K. Adams is the circus man, Sig. Saute; Horace Wright is Tony, Tom Springer is the judge, George Murphy plays Swatem, the copper; Bertie Dale sings ''Mammy Johnsing,'' Trixie Cadiz is Mose's sweetheart, Dinah Mite, and Anna McNabb and May Kilcoyne sustain the roles of Hulda and Alma respectively. A large chorus of singers and dancers complete the organization.'
(The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., Sunday, 10 September 1905, Part Three, p. 7a/b)

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Daisy Jerome at the
Orpheum, Oakland, California,
week beginning Sunday, 20 April 1913

Daisy Jerome

Daisy Jerome (b.1881), American singer and comedienne,
and popular principal girl in several United Kingdom pantomimes

(photo: Langfier, Glasgow, circa 1912)

'Miss Daisy Jerome, the bright little English girl who came to the Oakland Orpheum last Sunday a stranger, has conquered all; and the audiences are paying so many fine tributes that she is fairly overwhelmed with the applause and recalls. Besides she is getting hosts of letters and messages from her new found admirers, and florists are kept busy delivering flowers both to the Orpheum and to her hotel. Miss Jerome has a distinctive style and manner, and her ability as a story-singer is unquestioned.'
(Oakland Tribune, Oakland, California, Thursday, 24 April 1913, p. 11c)

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© John Culme, 2009