Celebrity for the week ending
Saturday, 29 November 2008

Isadore Rush (Mrs Roland Reed, d. 1904),
American actress and singer

Isadore Rush
'She is beautiful and her face and carriage have a peculiar charm . . . . Her laugh is like low music. . .'
(Willa Cather, Nebraska State Journal, Nebraska, Thursday, 13 September 1894, p. 5c)

a cabinet photograph of Isadore Rush as Cleopatra Sturgess, 'a twentieth-century woman,' in
The Politician; or, The Woman's Plank, a satire in four acts by Sydney Rosenfeld,
based in the original by David D. Lloyd, produced by Roland Reed in 1894

(photo: Falk, New York, 1894)

Isadore Rush's last role.

Isadore Rush and Company on tour in Hugh Morton's Glittering Gloria, Walker Theatre, Winnipeg, Canada, Tuesday, 4 October 1904
'Was Glittering Gloria quite as glittering as had been anticipated by last night's big audience at Mr. Walker's play house/
'Perhaps not.
'But there's one thing sure, and that is that none of us can truthfully say we didn't get the worth of our money if a good hearty laugh is what we wanted.
'What some of us were looking for - and didn't find - was the glint and glitter of regulation musical comedy.
'But bless your heart, there wasn't any real regret because we mistook the character of the entertainment.
'After all, you know, amusement is the chief end and aim of all up-to-date theatrical representations, and, judged by that standard, Glittering Gloria was a hit with a capital H.
'Yes, indeed, no disputing that: for I saw ordinarily undemonstrative persons holding their sides with uncontrollable laughter - and some of the roars of that gathering caused windows to rattle across the street.
'What if the situations are impossible? What if the plot is hackneyed?
'If the show makes folks laugh, what else can you ask?
'Back to the mines with your carping critics!
'Crudely fashioned is it?
'Well, who cares so long as it makes us merry?
'And, come to think of it, perhaps if the show had been the stereotyped musical comedy that some of us expected, we shouldn't have been half as well pleased.
'Honestly, now, don't you think there was quite enough singing as it was - considering the singers.
'Now for instance take our old friend Isadore Rush - she of the sozodont smile and the fluffy gowns.
'We're all fond of her, of course, dainty little woman, but goodness gracious you didn't want to hear Isadore sing any more, did you?
'Well, rather not!
'Isadore has a pretty prance and oh, such pearly teeth. But her singing - well a little of Isadore's singing goes such a long way.
'And then there's lovely little Lulu Loudon. Lulu's all right, yes, indeed, but fancy having her warbling at you all evening.
'Why it would be enough to - well, never mind, but it's just as well that Glittering Gloria has been altered from musical comedy to farce don't you think?
'For originally it was musical comedy you know - that is it was in New York.
'Yes, and come to think of it, as musical comedy in New York it was a frost - a blighting frost that lowered the grade of Fisher and Ryley's bank account.
'Miss Rush did most of her work in the second act, but she wears lovely gowns in all the acts and looks even more stunning than ever.
'The part she has is rather a boisterous one, but our fair Isadore just seems to take a delight in hustling round - in Rush to work, so to speak.
'Yes, and think of all the hustling between acts to don those Worth creations. Haven't seen what her press agent said, but, of course, they are Worth creations. They always are.
'Wilton Heriot as Toddleby, an eccentric Englishman - all stage Englishmen are eccentric, you know - was one of the special hits. Some of Mr. Heriot's business is particularly funny.
'Edward Favor's bright comedy helps out the third act - and it needs the assistance. Favor used to be one of the vaudeville headliners and in his new field is also doing nicely, thank you.
'George Parsons as Jack James has a marvellously mobile face. How that chap James can prevaricate to be sure. As Chimmie Fadden would say he puts old Annanias clean to the bad.
'George B. Jackson does a neat bit of character work as Slapton, presenting a comedy Britisher without making him an offensive burlesque. Mr. Jackson has many Winnipeg friends, made in the palmy days of Charley Lindsay's Columbia Opera company., and they're all pleased to find him making continued progress in the profession.
'Miss Olney as Mrs. Jack James is up to the mark, but Miss Loudon isn't any better in her part, than she out to be.
'There is to be a special matinee this afternoon and to-night the concluding performance.'
(C.W. Handscomb, Winnipeg Free Press, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Wednesday, 5 October 1904, p. 3b/c)

'ISADORE RUSH, ACTRESS, DIES IN OCEAN SURF
'Well Known Theatrical Star victim of the Sea, at San Diego, California.
'San Diego, Cal., Nov. 15 [1904] - Miss Isadore Rush, leading lady in Glittering Gloria, and widow of Roland Reed, was caught by an immense wave while in bathing with other members of the company and carried into deep water.
'She was rescued and brought unconscious to the shore. Then her friends and a number of doctors worked frantically over her two hours in the effort to restore consciousness, but at the end of that time Miss Rush died.
'Caught by High Wave.
'At the time the actress was carried out by the big wave, half a dozen members of her company were in the surf with her. The waves were unusually high. Miss Rush was a little farther out from the shore than the others and was caught up by the back flow of a great breaker. The struggles of the actress to escape being carried out were seen by a spectator. He at once gave the alarm to her friends.
'Brought Ashore Unconscious.
'Assistance was at once hurried to her, but she was unconscious when brought to shore, physicians were called and every means possible used to revive the unfortunate woman, but without success.
'Another member of the company, Wilton Heriot, who endeavored to rescue his companion, was rendered unconscious in the attempt, and was pulled out of the water by H.B. Smith. He was revived after vigorous treatment.
'The accident occurred at a point were an immense pile of rocks threw the water into high surf, and it is possible that she was injured by striking on one of the bowlders.'
(The Cedar Rapids Evening Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Tuesday, 15 November 1904, p. 1b)

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© John Culme, 2008