Press Clippings for the week ending
Saturday, 18 April 2009

A random selection of clippings
from newspapers and magazines

Raymond Lauzert entertains
in a cellar, London, 1913

Gertie Millar and Raymond Lauzerte

Gertie Millar and Raymond Lauzerte
as they appeared dancing the Tango in The Marriage Market,
Daly's Theatre, London, during 1913

(photo: Rita Martin, London, 1913)

'Cellar is Scene of Unique Entertainment by Popular London Actor. '(Special to THE TRIBUNE by international New Service.)
'LONDON, May 11 [1912]. - M. Raymond Lauzerte, whose performance as the French hero of Fanny's First Play [produced at the Little Theatre, London, on 19 April 1911], has won the admiration of London playgoers, gave a pleasant surprise yesterday to his friends in the form of a tea party in distinctly novel surroundings. M. Lauzerte had invited his guests to come and have tea with him ''in a cellar'' at 29 Duke street, St. James'.
'If the wonder of the visitors was aroused before their arrival, it was certainly heightened when they commenced to explore this original rendezvous. Much ingenuity had been displayed by the owner of the cellar, Miss Reid, in converting it into an extremely artistic nook. The impression of descending was one of bowers of roses with ramblers and ivy climbing over white lattice, and although some of the floor was richly carpeted, the next was of the red brick farmhouse order, giving the quaintest effect. It required an effort to realize one was in a real coal-cellar within a stone's throw of Piccadilly.
'It was inevitable that under such conditions M. Lauzerte's party would prove a success. Among the guests to be seen in the various compartments of the cellar were:
'Miss Lillah McCarthy, [and her husband] Granville Barker, Guy Standing, Mr. and Mrs. Godfrey Tearle, the Machioness Touwnshend, Miss Evelyn Millard, Miss Iris Hoey, Max Leeds, Miss Christine Silver, Mrs. Desmond Deane, Miss Dorothy Minto, Mrs. Edmond Dulac, Mr. Martineau, Captain and Mrs. Moss, Miss Dora Barton, Miss Sarah Brooke, Miss Marie Lohr and Graham Browne.'
(Oakland Tribune, Oakland, California, Sunday, 12 May 1912, supplement, p. 2b/c)

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A. Seymour Brown and Nat D. Ayer's
growing success, USA, 1909/10

Nat D. Ayer

Nat D. Ayer (1887-1952), American popular composer

(photo: Gould & Marsden, Inc, New York, circa 1912)

'Miss Blanche Ring, who recently severed her connection with the Joe Weber company, is nothing if not original and progressive. This talented actress has built her reputation mainly upon singing Irish songs, so it behoved her when going into vaudeville to secure suitable new material to uphold her reputation as the foremost singer of these songs.
'After a thorough search of the suitable publishing world, Miss Ring has at last secured two new songs that have scored the hit of her career. One, an Irish song, is called ''Murphy,'' and the other a Scotch number called ''When Hop Scotch Mary Took Her First Scotch Highball,'' both with words by A. Seymour Brown and music by Nat D. Ayer, these two young men having recently made an enviable reputation writing the majority of the lyrics and music for The Newlyweds and Their Baby.'
'Miss Ring was easily the favorite of a large and pretentious vaudeville bill at the Alhambra Theater, New York city, last week, her two new songs scoring the biggest hit of her act.'
(Anaconda Standard, Anaconda, Montana, Sunday, 7 March 1909, Part Two, Editorial Section, p. 2d)

'Nat D. Ayer, the handsome young composer, has been getting column ''write ups'' on the road where he and his partner, A. Seymour Brown, are appearing in vaudeville. One paper said, ''The most remarkable thing about Ayer is that he is only twenty-one.'' We thought the most remarkable thing was that he never writes us and says he was a ''knockout.'' Modest boy.'
(The New York Dramatic Mirror, New York, Saturday, 29 January 1910, p. 20d)

'Eva Tanguay, one of the highest salaried artists in vaudeville, prepared New Yorkers to look forward to the return of Theodore Roosevelt with pleasure in her rendering of one of the most novel of popular hits entitled ''Moving Day in Jungle Town,'' by Seymour Brown and Nat Ayer.
'During the rendition of this song all the different animals of the jungle are introduced to the audience. Miss Tanguay herself rising an elephant who ''don't care'' and seems to enjoy the frolic of carrying the exuberant and never-attest comedienne around the stage as she sings:

It's moving day in Jungle Town,
all the natives wear a worried frown.
All the monkeys and the chimpanzees
Moving 'way from their banyan trees.
Hear the rattle of the pots and pans,
Getting ready for the caravans.
Run you lions and tigers, run, run, run;
Here comes Teddy with his gun, gun, gum.

(Trenton Evening Times, Trenton, New Jersey, Tuesday, 9 August 1910, p. 5d)

'The Newlyweds and Their Baby, which will appear at the City Opera House [Frederick, Maryland], Wednesday, September 7 [1910], is the latest addition to the class of cartoon comedies, and it may be truthfully termed one of last season's biggest successes. The company is a large one, compose of 60 1-2 people. The ''half,'' of course, being the baby. The show is in two acts and four scenes, the finale of the first act proving a distinct innovation.
'The credit for the book goes to Aaron Hoffman and Paul West, and the dialogue, extra characters and situations they have applied to help make The Newlyweds and Their Baby into a play, constitute a combination which has proven satisfactory to theatre-goers where the play has been seen.
'The music is by Seymour Brown, Nat D. Ayer and John W. Bratton. There are sixteen musical numbers, counting the finale of the second act, all of which will obtain whistleable popularity; but the one to attain distinctive hits are ''Boogie Boo,'' ''Love Time,'' ''Every Baby is a Sweet Bouquet,'' and ''Can't You See, I Love You.'' ''Boogie Boo'' is given by Mr. Newlywed, assisted by ''The Eight Pouter Pigeons.'' The pony pallet of young girls is without a doubt a most entertaining feature of the show.
'The scenic embellishments of both acts are entirely adequate and the costuming of the company is worthy of special mention. The gowns of Mrs. Newlywed and the thirty-two Newlywed girls are of the stunning variety. Leo Hayes and the Countess Olga von Hatzfeldt carefully and cleverly portray Mr. and Mrs. Newlywed, while Jimmy Rosen makes an individual hit as Napoleon Newlywed, the baby, George P. Murphy makes a great hit as the German waiter, while the entire cast and chorus are entirely adequate.'
(The Daily News, Frederick, Maryland, Friday, 2 September 1910, p. 3c-e)

'The Newlyweds and Their Baby, the bright comedy founded on the famous cartoons of Geo. McManus, by Aaron Hoffman and Paul West, with music and lyrics by Seymour Brown, Nat D. Ayer and John W. Bratton, which has gained the record as being one of the prettiest, laughter creating, and catchiest musical attractions on tour, is the pleasing announced for the City Opera House [Frederick, Maryland] on Wednesday, September 7 [1910].
'This jolly musical melange has gained its reputation principally for the quality of its music and legitimate comedy. The musical hits in the lay are many and are whistled the country over. There is a certain effervescence, snap and go to the piece, and a consistent and pleasing story running through The Newslyweds that is seldom found in this class of entertainment. A company of 60 and half people [sic] participate in the fun-making, including James Rosen, as the baby; Countess von Hatzfeldt in the role of Mrs. Newlywed; Leo Hayes, as Mr. Newlywed; Geo. P. Murphy, as the German waiter; May Emory, as Napoleon's nurse, and many other well known artists of equal prominence.'
(The Daily News, Frederick, Maryland, Tuesday, 6 September 1910, p. 3c-e)

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Ina Claire in the film
Polly With a Past, USA, 1920

Ina Claire

Ina Claire (1893-1985), American actress

(photo: unknown, circa 1925)

'Polly With a Past at The Unique [Eau Claire, Wisconsin] is an uncommonly entertaining picture. Ina Claire, who stars in the Metro picturization of Geroge Middleton's and Guy Golton's delightful comedy drama, is a good actress on the legitimate stage and adorably pretty. The movie has nothing more shocking about it than its title.
'Role of Polly Shannon, demure daughter of a clergyman who for a lark transforms herself into a ravishing French vampire, is regarded by many critics as the best Miss Claire has ever done.
'The story opens in the sleepy little town of East Gilead, Ohio, where Polly secretly cherishes an ambition to be a grand opera star. One night she slips away to gay New York, en route to Paris, as she firmly believes, to cultivate her voice. But she goes broke and its obliged to accept temporary employment as housemaid with two young bachelors. They have a friend, Rex Van Zile, who is engaged to a young society woman with a fascination for saving souls. She appears to have tired of Rex because his exemplary habits place him quite beyond the necessity of ''saving.''
'Taking pity on Rex, his two chums persuade Polly to flirt with him. They provide her with a dazzling array of gowns and a French poodle. She herself supplies the French accent and, posing as a Parisian adventuress, she proceeds to enmesh Rex by her wiles. As part of her role she acknowledges a ''past'' that would put the most case-hardened vampire to blush - whereas, in East Gilead, O., she could not have hoped even for a future, much less a past that would shock anybody.
'But Polly gets on famously; so famously that the soul-saving fiancee of Rex becomes panic-stricken. From this point on the fun waxes fast and furious and winds up in a veritable whirlwind of merriment.
'The excellent orchestra of the Unique has been augmented by fine flue and clarinet layers recently come from Milwaukee.'
(Eau Claire Leader, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Wednesday, 4 May 1921, p. 2d)

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© John Culme, 2009