Celebrity for the week ending
Saturday, 30 August 2008

Marie Dainton (1880?-1938),
Russian born English actress, vocalist and mimic,
appears at Keith's Grand Opera House, Indianapolis, November 1909

Marie Dainton

Marie Dainton

(photos: Bassano, London, circa 1909)

'A vaudeville bill full of pleasing features and singularly free from weak points was presented to an enthusiastic matinee audience at the Grand yesterday. While no act on the bill cam be ranked as a sensational headliner, there are three or four whose high average brings it into the list of the banner bills of the season.
'Marie Dainton, a pretty impersonator of stage celebrities, hailing from the London music halls, has an imitation of Maude Adams in What Every Woman Knows that is a gem. She had caught Miss Adams's voice exactly, even to the fine twists and turns that have rendered that voice one of the most charming on the stage, and she has also appropriated a number of Miss Adams's little mannerisms. Glancing away from the stage while Miss Dainton is speaking the closing lines of What Every Woman Knows, it is easy to imagine - it is almost conviction, in fact - that Maude Adams in person is on the stage. In her impersonations Miss Dainton uses no makeup, relying upon voice and manner to create the necessary illusions. This makes her task much harder, of course. Besides Maude Adams, Miss Dainton at the matinee yesterday impersonated Anna Held, Irene Franklin, Bert Williams and Mrs. Leslie Carter, catching the mannerisms of each, without, however, as in the case of Maude Adams, [being] absolutely convincing.
'Arthur Dunn, the diminutive comedian, and Marie Glasier are back in their sketch, The Messenger Boy. They were given a hearty reception by the matinee audience, and, in spite of Miss Glasier's overworked laugh, the sketch went with a rush. It has been either brushed up or worked down since it was seen here last season and in consequence is much improved.
'In addition to Marie Dainton's act there are three one the bill that are decidedly artistic - Witt's ''Girls From Melody Lane.'' Mr. and Mrs. Erwin Connelly in a sketch entitled Sweethearts, and Miss Winona Winters in songs, impersonations and a ventriloquial offering.
'''The Girls From Melody Lane'' are a quartet of High-class singers, whose voices, excellent individuality, blend perfectly. The act throughout is neat and ''classy.'' There are no costume changes, no attempts at grotesque comedy, nor anything else of the sort tending to mar an offering of this kind. The feature, if there can be a feature where all are so good, is the fine contralto voice of Miss Nina Barbour. The girls are a little unfortunately in their repertory of songs, there being none that leaves a permanent impression. It is the singing, not the song, that counts.
'Sweethearts is a sketch that come close to the ideal vaudeville sketch, dealing simply and effectively with a sing theme. It is decidedly English in both its comedy and its pathos, resembling Dickens somewhat. It is presented in two scenes, forty years elapsing between them. The lapse of time is shown effectively by the growing of a sapling into a great tree. Love remains the same. The playlet is excellently acted.
'Winona Winters, a pretty and vivacious girl, comically imitates a Swedish servant girl and a negro mammy, besides singing pleasingly some straight songs and giving the ventriloquial act for which she is famous among vaudeville lovers.
'Elsie Faye, a clever little singer and dancer, Joe Miller and Sam Weston present a good singing and dancing costume act; Martin and Maxmillian open the bill with a magician's act, where every trick is revealed by the awkwardness of the assistant, and the Walthour Trio of cyclists offer some daring novelties. Both the kinodrome pictures are comic.'
(The Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis, Indiana, Tuesday, 23 November 1909, p. 6f)

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© John Culme, 2008