Celebrity for the week ending
Saturday, 27 December 2008

Grace Palotta (1870?-1959),
Austrian-born actress and singer,
popular in England and Australia,
as the Prince in the pantomime Cinderella, produced at the
Grand Theatre and Opera House, Croydon, south London, Christmas, 1897

Gracie Leigh and Grace Palotta
left to right: Gracie Leigh and Grace Palotta
as they appeared in Cinderella, Croydon, Christmas 1897

(photo: The London Stereoscopic & Photographic Co Ltd, London, 1897/98)

'Mr. George Edwardes is indeed to be congratulated on the success of his first pantomime, Cinderella, at the Grand Theatre and Opera House, Croydon. The words have been written by Mr. Horace Lennard, and he and Mr. Edward Sass have spared no pains or expense in the production of the piece. Some of the scenes are wonderfully effective, and those of the Royal Forest and the Baron's Kitchen are most realistic. Mr. Lionel Rignold is amusing as Baron Klondyke, and Mr. Fred Wright jun., as Pedro, is admirable. Miss Maggie May makes a very fascinating Cinderella, and her pathetic rendering of ''Now de eyes I lubb'd am flown'' always gets a well-deserved encore. Miss Grace Palotta, as the handsome Prince, looks stately and imposing, and is full of go and vivacity, especially in her song of a ''rollicking, frolicking man-about-town.'' Mr. Welton Dale and Mr. George Antley, the Ugly Step-Sisters, sing a capital song, ''Not always.'' Of the dances the ribbon dance in the first act and the autumnal dance in the second are as pretty as any dances we have ever seen. The costumes are gorgeous, and the whole pantomime is lavishly stages and dressed.'
(The Court Circular, London, Wednesday, 5 January 1898, p. 13a)

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© John Culme, 2008