Copyright
Ettore Rella.

A history of burlesque (Volume 1939 14) online

. (page 1 of 29)
Online LibraryEttore RellaA history of burlesque (Volume 1939 14) → online text (page 1 of 29)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


REFERENCE DEPARTMENT



i,i^?!i,n^E'??0_PUBLIC LIBRARY " ^




ACCCtBION



♦792.079 Un3^ B 549897

NOT TO ac TAKEN FROM THC LIBRARY



I «417-»M— IO*«i



AN FfiANCISCO
MXKE fiCSEKKCH

VOLUME XtV




Wo»k Projects Adrnini strati on

13 bS






549897



San Francisco Theatre Research



Vol. 14



SAN FRANCISCO THEATRE RESEARCH SERIES



A Monograph History

of the

San Francisco Stage

And Its People From

1849 to the Present

Day



Edited hy
LA\TOEWCE ESTAVAN



Volume XIV
A HISTORY OF BURLESQUE

By

ETTORE RELLA



1940
San Francisco



St:o



nsored hy the City and bounty or San Fran6l3co
Project 1 0677, 0. P. 665-08-5-167



Work Projects i-\dmlnistratlon



V/llllam R. Laws on. State Administrator



TABLE OF CONTENTS



BURLESQUE



PAGES



PART ONE (1850 - 1870) 1-130

I In the Beginning . ^ 1

II Gilbert and Planche 2

III Take-0ff3 and Pirns 4

IV Box and Cox 7

V Doctor Collyer 10

VI Lola's Pas Seul 12

VII Blaclcface Bxn'lesque 15

VIII Arrival of the English 20

IX The Rise of the Melodeons 23

X New Piornittire for an Old Hang-Out. ... 31

XI A Burlesque Tempest. 34

XII Melodeon Undercurrent 37

XIII Greek Myth Through London Fog 40

XIV A Miner Sees A Burlesque Faust 44

XV Inside a Melodeon 46

XVI Three Fast Men for Ten Nights 50

XVII The Marsh Juvenile Comedians 52

XVIII Maguire and the Seven Sisters 54

XIX A Free Ride for the State Senate .... 56

XX Mazeppa Comes to Tovm 61

XXI Boucicault's Arrah-na-Pogue, 63

XXII Lady Don 70

XXIII The Elfin Star 76

XXIV The Black Crook 78

XXV Under the Gaslight - After Dark .... 90

XXVI Commedia dell 'Arte and the Martinettis , 96

XXVII Elise Holt 109

XXVIII Blondes Invade Classical Ballet 116

XXIX Lydia Thompson 121

PART TWO (1870 - 1900) 131-269

XXX H-umpty DumptT and the Lone Fisherman . . 131

XXXI Prophecy of the Bella Union 135

XXXII The Zavistowskis 137

XXXIII Tony Denier as tlumpty Dumpty 140

XXXIV Blanche and Ella Chapman 142



21

^a f

02

ir.



tij



TABLE OF CONTENTS (Concluded)



PAGES

XXXV Dark Times for B\irlesque 145

XXXVI The Forrolls 152

XXXVII Jack and Jill 155

XXXVIII Desperate Revivals 158

XXXIX A Trip to the Moon 163

XL Grimaldi and the Decline of Pantomime • 168

XLI Edward "Everlasting" Rice 171

XLII Struggle for Survival 185

XLIII More Revivals 192

XLIV Willie Edouin and the Emerson Minstrels 196

XLV Burlesque in Pantomime. ..,...,. 199

XLVI Botticelli and Big Bertha 208

XLVII Provincial Consciousness. , 214

XLVIII Harry Dixey 217

XLIX Two Long, Profitless Trips 221

L Pay Templeton . 225

LI The Black Crook Resuscitated 230

LII Lydia Thompson's Farewell Totir 231

LIII The Kiralfy Ballot 234

LIV David Henderson 237

LV Extravaganza at the Tlvoli. • 247

LVI Beginnings of Ragtime 251

LVII The Ten Gay Years 253

PART THREE (1900 - 1906) 270-295

LVIII V/ober and Fields 270

LIX Kolb and Dill 275

IX Local Writers of B-urlcsquo 281

LXI The Bui^lesque v-Iheol at the California , 286

LXII Shifting Background 289

PART FOUR (1907 - 1940) 296-316

LXIII The Big Shows 296

LXIV Theatrical Background for the Big Shows 304

LXV Visible Signposts 312

BIBLIOGRAPHY 317-319

ACKNO"/LEDGrffiNTS 320

INDEX 321-341

PROJECT EDITORIAL STAFF 342



EDITOR'S HOTE

As in the case of MIFSTRELSY, which
has not yet achieved the distinction of separate
historical treatment in the literature of the
stage, the growth and development of th:it fa-
miliar, unrefined enterta3.nment called BUR-
LESQUE has not attracted an hist or ian, and is to
be traced only in scattered 'Sources. This mono-
graph, of commercial book .length, should prove
a fair first step tov/ard remedying the situ-
ation, for though the locale is San Francisce,
the national, even international aspects of bur-
lesque have not been deprived of brief iiotice.
Similarly, the outstanding burlesques performed
in San F'rancisco were performed also in New
York and other centers throughout the country,
often with the same stars or casts. Public
reaction, too, vas similar, so that this his-
tory may be said to be a representative one, at
least as far as the general may be inferred
from the particular.



The monograph takes up burlesque in
its earliest aspects, thoxigh the form is not
ancient — even as a literary appellation - and
certainly the character of performance so desig-
nated on the modern American stage is quite
young. John Hollingshead, writing in 1898,
pointed out that the very word "burlesque" was
unlmown in France or England before 1640 or
1650. Historically, we have burlesque which v.^as,
as this monograph explains, "an urceremonious
take-off on a staid original," composed pro-
gressively in rhymed verse, partly in prose
dialogue, and finally In prose .Today, a- 'cevelcs^
ment of the nineteenth century, we have an ex-
tension of all these forms, and especially of
the era of the sixties and seventies, of ""tl-
araod and plumed nudity," the smutty double
entendre, the obscene gesture — all of this a
development or off-shoot of the Manhattan musi-
cal revue, with the radicalism of its runway
over the seats and heads of the audience to the
final anarchism of the strip tease. This mono-
graph has carefully and authentically woven into
a significant narrative the story of burlesque
in all its varied form and color.



ILLUSTRATIONS



EARLY BURLESQUE STARS FRONTISPIECE

Louise Montague, Lydia Thompson, Pauline Mark-
ham, Mable Santley,Adah Richmond, Viola Clifton

FOLLOWING PAGE

SCENE PROM THE SPECTACULAR "BLACK CROOK" 77

ELISE HOLT 108

Stormy Petrel of BTirlesque

LYDIA THOMPSON 120

Directress of the Famous British Blondes

ELLA CHAPMAN AM) ALICE ATHERTON 172

Favorites of Burlesque

MESTAYER AND LONG 179

In the Burlesque of "The Two Orphans"

WILLIE EDOUIN AND HARRY DIXEY 216

Two Prominent Burlesquers of the 1870 's

FAY TET/IPLETON 224

Toast of the Mauve Decade

FERRIS HARTMAN 254

In the Role of "The Toymaker"

WEBER, FIELDS, RUSSELL AND MANN 269

The Favorite New York Burlesque Quartette

KOLB AND DILL 274

In "Playing the Ponies" at Fischer's Theatre

WINPIELD BLAKE AND MAUDE AMBER 277

Leading Lights at Fischer's Theatre in the Early 1900 's

MAX DILL 283

In Two Burlesque Roles at Fischer's Theatre






eoi



07 L



^



oo



9rJ."ft*-' Z'r''" 'iO i^>"*'\*C"l Y;?;'*';.^S






::iirir}t.






Obi' ;:;:(: vV;':






r?n;1c:r;;;^ ; •'Mft^i:^.



", .-i ;.-• '■ Si






EARLY BURLESQUE STARS




1. LOUISE MONTAGrUE

2. LYDIA THOMPSON

3. PAULINE MARKHAM



4. MABLE S ANT LEY

5. ADAH RICHMOND

6. VIOLA CLIFTON




HISTORY OF BURLESQUE IN SAN FRANCISCO



PART ONE



(1850 - 1870)



I — IN THE BEGINNING

Colley Clbber was moved to write an "Apology" for

the condition of the contemporary English stage of the late

eighteenth century:

"... (the playhouses of London) . . .were reduced
to have recourse to foreign novelties: L'Abbo,
Balon, and Mademoiselle Suhligny, three of the
then most famous dancers of the French opera,
were at several times brought over at extraor-
dinary rates, to revive that sickly appetite
which plain sense and nature had satiated. But
alasi there was no recovering to a sound con-
stitution by those merely costly cordials; the
novelty of a dance was but of a short duration,
and perhaps hurtful in its consequence; for it
made a play without a dance less endured than
it had been before, when such dancing was not
to be had."

The age of Alexander Pope, the age of compressed,
aristocratic wit, the age of a deliberately circumscribed
complacency, of narrow, upper-class, classically schooled
communication was over. The people crowded into the "minor



.V. Ubt^V^AU^U^^kj&S^^



; si£- oii-



.«S..:,..;,.s.f -



OyfVO



-f-/:'T v^^;:i[.















^ t •* - 1.



tCJ'-^-U't






afS'di .. ■ • .K-.^eiti



K'.o 1 ;=- n'^', ^- J iy<i Z n :J-f.toO r*-



Burlesque 2

theatres'' looking for and applauding some approximate re-
flection of their ov/n lives.

Jaraes Stark heroically sounded the abnjidoned ideas
of the classic repertory across the boards of the Jenny Lind
Theatre cf San Francisco for several weelcs corirnencing November
5, 1850. VfLien Stark and his v;ife headed a return coiiraany to
San Francisco in 1060, a decade of change was there to nuffle
the applause. The Bulletin for June Q, 18S1 announces a the-
atrical benefit for Stark, Stark's friends were not only
bolstering him up v/xth practical s;yT.ipathy|they v/ere also lay-
ing the ghost of a noncontemporary form. That benefit program
consisted o3? a portion of the second act of Henry IV , includ-
ing the death scene, topped of 3" by the farcical afterpiece cf
Jumbo Jim ; and the drama of the Irish finigrant, or Temptation
vs. Riches .

I I — GILBERT AIID PLMCHE

W. S. Gilbert learned the tricks of his trade by
deflating the romantic afflatus of the contemporary opera.
The Pretty Druldess , an extravaganza founded on Bellini's
opera. Norma, the last burlesque v/ritten by Gilbert before he
stepped over the faint line dividing burlesque from operetta,

closes with this speech!

(Norma coiues forward)

So ends our play, I come to speak the tag,

vifith dovmcast eyes, and faltering stops, tliat lag,

I'm cowed and conscience-stricken - f or tonight

Yi/e have, no doubt, contributed our mite

To justify that topic of the age,

The degradation of the English stage.

More courage to my task, I, p'rhaps might bring.

Were this a drama with real everything -

Real cabs-.-real lime-light, too in which to bask~-

Real turnpike-keepers, and real Grant and Gas].:'.



Burlesque 3

But no— the piece is coinmon-place, grotesque,
A solemn f oll7 - a proscribed burlesque I
So for burlesque I plead. Forgive our rhymes;
Forgive the jokes you've heard five thousand times j
Forgive each breakdovm, cellar-flap, and clog.
Our low-bred songs — our slangy dialogue;
And, above all — oh, ye with double barrel —
Forgive the scantiness of our apparel I

And the people did forgive, because they were for-
giving their own familiar world. They were beholding and
forgiving their ovm rowdy discomfiture with the artistic
niceties and subtleties of the upper classes. And the ab-
solution was legal and complete because it was administered
in a public place and openly paid for. This excerpt from
Gilbert — aside from its merit — is valuable because it is
so self-conscious of the form of the burlesque.

One of tho repercussions to the rise of the bur-
lesque was a corresponding rise of the fairyland morality
play. Appended to the outline of "The Argument" of such a
play (Babil and Bijou by James Robinson Plancho) is this
note:

"This scone is intended to shadow forth the
revolutionary changes that arc taking place in
poetry and art. Our aspiring meditative spirit
(Melusine) has descended from the world of
ideas to the world of business. The pixrer
power is dethroned, and fact (Pragma), with her
son, investigation (Skepsis), are the reigning
influences in our minds. The working-classes
of thought are thus displacing the higher
powers of imagination."''^



* This note was written by Dion Boucicault, one of the many
well-knovm actor -playwrights who came to San Francisco in
the 1870s. to star with the famous stock company at the
California Theatre on Bush Street. He was later Maxine
Elliott's tutor.






i-ae/cy'



^Tj'i sis'y \Qii:i e^lraotjo ,6Va.3.-

C i. J t t eXf BS£5Cf t ' ::-•'•'■• ^ ^ i ' • : V . - s- .



■(Qd'ohs'II 'f-.d



1; "if*-f-






. «>•»—-»■■■ .■■«Yi-v'w«'i' r ' ■— .*"f <a, " . ' " 1 '. ; ' ; 'r~" ■"

.. u ... ^ 4 - — r, t .JiT' ;t



Burlesque 4

III — TAKE-OFFS Alg) PUNS
Both of the foregoing quotations, no matter hov/
revealing of the sensibility of the period, to the present-
day reader seem tangential to the burlesque itself; and this
is alv/ays the case with contenporary descriptions of an ob-
ject, the exact details of which were taken for granted.

How, more particularly, can the burlesque be dis-
tinguished — the burlesque in its true form, as apart from
the more muddled forms which preceded it, were coexistent with
it, and follov/ed it?

In the first place, the burlesque was an uncere-
monious take-off of a staid original. Burlesques were often
described as "travesties." Not only the current opera, but
the current polite "cup-and-saucer" play as well, stimulated
its ovm distorted, critical reflection in a counterpart bur-
lesque. Norma in one instance became Mrs. Nprmer ; La Sonnam -
t>ula became The Roof Scrambler ; The Bohemian Girl became The
Merry Zingara. or The Tipsy Gipsy and The Pipsy Wipsy ; The
Bayadere, or The Maid of Gashraere was twisted around to Buy
It Dear, It's Made of Caslimere ; Manfred was merely hyphenated
into Man-Fred ; La Figlia del Reggimento was made obvious by
La Vivandiere or True to the Corps .

The puns inherent in these titles indicate a qual-
ity inherent in the v;hole burlesque; inherent in the whole
nineteenth century which pursued an aggravated pleasure
in the mesmerizing thoughtlessness of endless p\;ins :






>» III;



-■ir^i t\r,



ri©.7



;•. J .MOOi; 'ivijy



Ot;e-J>



X rii euoetji'^ut-. f^xiJ — ibarla.



^' ji, i)t)\\'OxS.o



y cJaiJ



ieDifiB-»,or



.VO;



orix sniBoec i'i



3.1150 J- i':




' '-'*Si I nr ■ Ml n



Burlesque



TIL3URNIA:

Papal Listen, and forgive me.

He once paid his addresses to me.

GOVSRNOR :

Did he? He doesn't do it now, or he'd have

PUT A STM1P on his letter.

TILBURINA :

If a ship's feminine, how can she 'oo a

MN-of-war?

ESSEX:

To business :-

The Gfovemor of Tllh'ry we suspect

Of doing ev'rything that's not correct.

He is accused of systematic robbery,

Of bribery, corruption and of jobbery;

Of mixing birch brooms with the tea: 'tis odd

If where he's spared no birch we spare the rod.

His men he's worked, half wages, overtime;

He has sent coals to Nev/castle J - a crime

So coaled - ! mean, so called - by those v/ho've spoke

On law, see BLACK-STONE, LYTTLE-TOH, and COKE.

His books, v;hich not one proper entry leavens,

Will all be found at sixes and at sevens,

Like gloves. If oroved, he'll be, the law advises.

Tried, at the PITTING TIME, at the next 'SIZES.

These quotations, italics included, are from Elizabeth, or
The Invisible Armada , an ''Original Burlesque" by P. C. Bur-
nand. Joseph Severn, with forv/ard, unseeing solicitation, ac-
companied Johji Keats to his death in Italy in 1820. Prom
quarantine in the harbor of Naples, Severn wrote to their
friend William Hazlitt in England:

"...V/e are in good spirits and I may say hope-
ful fellov/s — at least I may so.y as much for
Keats — he made an Italian pun today — the rain
is coming down in torrents....''""*

Early in the 1870s, P. C. Burnand wrote a bur-
lesque '^lartly in prose dialogue, which was a nev/ departure."'"''*



•jfr Sharp, Willis.m Th e Life and Letters of Joseph Severn .
-"-*Burnand , Sir F. "UT (English ~dra:nat is t) Records and Rem



minis-



- >:-!■?•



at JIT

.-:.: -rill



_.eviiii.b* ryii 10 »v/on il ob i



B. no' erf!i rtAc '</:;.n , enJinxnal 3''"?.-rl3' .t 11






hbo ai.l ' .. ',- ^

£ ' L^cLjbl scf lis Iii:\,
. •'9sJv£)S :W^, ..... .... . ,■ . . ..To-'il -.r-ovo-tii O}!^

.S^i^Sia' ixen Qci:f ctB . ^i-LJIT ••)I'! IT- •"I'-i .©n.:f dri? tboitT

10 ti.M-Qcriis ifl. HfOi'? Q'ttB .^.&5£:'i•io•;.c :5o.;:Ii'-tx ^ rsfioicfficfoiJp 'Seer":
.-TicT.'i ^.Og-GX ax ■'^IiJ-:tI .t:. difB&b zjirL o-1

-oqoxl ijisa . -...-qa isocy- ■ ' •• ."*'

rr.i;i^'r. 'orlctr-^jitx ■Xi.'J

• ' . , ■ . . » -^Tio:^ .-.

-':■._, .- ^K-toT..' ftnfiii'tm- ,D ,'1 ^dOV8l 9/i;f /-



Burlesque 6

A departure from another typical quality of the "classical"
burlesque: coupleted iambic pentameter. The elegant, inci-
sive couplet of the late eighteenth century had relaxed in
burlesque to the limited subtlety of a two-faced rhyme.

And the audience craned their necks for the double
meaning throughout the traditional five scenes of the story,
played v;ithout interval. It v;as not until approximately 1885
that the three-act form of the burlesque appeared.

If the staid original was an opera, the musical el-
ement of the burlesque was conveniently available. If the
burlesque referred to a serious play of the period, or was
"original," the music became an eclectic, nearly as possible
appropriate, embellishment. Elizabeth by P. C. Burnand is de-
scribed on its title page as an original burlesque. The mu-
sic however commanded the following universality: an air
from Herve's Chilperic ; a trio from Balfe's The Bohemian Girl ;
an air by Christy, "Would I Were a Little Bird"; another air,
"The Mermaid" by Macfarren; together with a number of tunes
so popular that the authors are not indicated: "Turn it Up";
"Love Not"; "Where Has My Dolly Gone?"; "Rocky Road to Dub-
lin"; "For England, Home and Beauty." The solo singing was
enhanced by choral backgrounds of introductory music, finales,
and intermediate dancing. The group dancing derived from the
Italian school of the ballet, based on shorter, more con-
stricted movements than those of the Russian school which
gained currency at the txirn of the century. Most of the bal-
lerinas of the burlesque houses of the nineteenth century



oiJiieo£iijQ:

^bLo" Oii1 Jo x'^xliinp- Ssv'iiqX''^' "te.riiorrs. pro'r'i et^sitsqe^ /•

;!.t boxBlei bed' -^LnirieQ ctoa-^-^d-xir^^is actBl sri.) lo d:oIqi''co ©vie

R lifntj i -I. •Ifivieini' diroxfllv/ be-^jeXcj

-Is- Xc'Slcjjin aa'j ,/5f. - I.-sJa srfct 11

srl'ji ll- .aLcSnl^t-'-if ••revftoo saw Oi/pseliwd a^fd" lo ine:m

-■..n srfT .<;/ip39X'Xirci li-irxis-i^'io rsR se 95«<:t sljij ecfl no b©cliir>e
■'.'::; ftp * v^-t-C-Ss'x? iwcliol edi £)ex5n:i?ir2'ro .' levpv/orl i^la

eercf/.f.l "c "-ificsvjsr- b .dissoi jfieiifilo^M -^ "LiiM^-xo'.l ©ii?"

i"qU it fi-iJjT^'" 'I-tf)? ..'iB snorictiTfi arfct ;fBrfr}- •S5l^:':jcq os

-'C''>:, - j: JbsoH -^^i- /IIoC ^M ze'd 9'xerAV" j«^cM ©v-dJ''

£>jBw ,^nfg-: i/fioS bne ©fitorl ti)fii3Xsra''I •!'>'''-:" i"r:lX

^eeX/^iiiLoisci^i \-torfor/boi^rU Ic ebcisscyi^:iQB<i XBtorio tccT tecnBririe
&i-(i moil bflv.ti©fc 3nxo;tef5 cr • ' - ib^.;?ieJnX has

-.ioo tjT- ■■;. ,'.^-!- ' . . ': • -•>i-^+ 'io Xcodoe nsil&:il

—•'■•••''••■■'■■ Tf' ,-;■:• v.: r • 3jca "lo oecLj rris/Ii r. •neflrovoxn bacfoXi^e

-iit lo ;tt:o'! .\sc er(ci ^o n'xsii ed^ io, x'^ntniuT, fceiiXB?,



Burlesque V

were Italian or at least shrewdly favored. Italian names.

These particular characteristics of the burlesque

took earliest and clearest shape in France. William Dunlap,

in his History of the American Theatre published in 1832,

writes :

"It appears, however, that in Prance, as v/ell as
in England, the minor theatres take the lead in
popularity and fashion. The most prolific and
successful dramatists of Paris have devoted
their time and talents to the vaudeville or pe-
tite comedie, and other prodiictions, distinct
from the legitimate tragedy and comedy of good
old times. Legitiinacy is out of fashion even at
the theatre. .. .But v;hat is most extraordinary,
these French manufacturers produce wares of a
very su;,')orior quality, at least in comparison
with their English neighbours, and supply not
only the Parisian, but the London and American
market. . .Mons. Eugene Scribe and his collabo-
rateurs pour out comedy, opera, farce or pieces
uniting the three, and a spice of tragedy in
the bargain, and all full of interest, wit,_ inci-
dent — in short, delightful performances.''

IV — BOX AND COX

With a single, swift gesture, the Gold Rush placed
a makeshift city of twenty to thirty thousand people on the
shores of San Francisco Bay where a few months before had
been only five thousand. Culture did not have time to become
indigenous. The theatrical traditions of New York and London
came West intact.

In 1848, even before the Gold Bush, California's
first theatre at Monterey Avas resounding to the same farcical
humor that had already titillated the crowds in the big east-
ern cities. Colonel Stevenson's volunteer regiment at the



..-:y-.-yTo;t8lH ' e 1 1



Burlesque 8

Monterey garrison had been disbanded. By way of artiuslng them-
selves (there v;as no audience to speak of), several famous
English farces \?ere presented: Damon and Pythias « Nan , the
Good for Nothinp; , and ospecially Bpy: and Cox * John Madison
Morton's conception of Cox, the journeyman hatter, and Box,
the journc^Tman printer, proved to be the perennial idea in all
the nineteenth century farces. At one point, Arthur Sullivan
v/rote rausic for a libretto taken by F. C. Burnand from Mor-
ton's original. The old quarrel for the room in which
Cox slept by ni.ght and Box by day, is still very lively in
V/, H. Audcn's Dance of Death and Marc Blitzstein's The Cradle
Will Rock . Sullivan called his duct "The Otrajigor":

COX: \i/ho arc you, sir? Tell me, who?

Box: If you come to that sir, who arc you?

Cox: Wiio are YOU sir?

Box: ^'Vhat's that to you, sir?

Cox: what's that to who, sir?

Box: W:.\o, sir?-~You, sir.

Cox: (aside): Yesl 'tis the printer.

Box: (aside): Yesl 'tis the hatter.

But farces were mere "afterpieces" to the big show.
The big show was a burlesque, an extravaganza. Stephen C.
Mas sett* knev/ that. Anybody "in the theatre" in 1850 knew
that. And Massett was handicapped; he was alone. 1/Vhen on
June 22, 1849, Massett gave his historical "One Man Concert"
in the Courthouse on Portsmouth Square the makings of a bur-
lesque company were certainly not — for any man's asking -



«- See Monograph on Stephen C. Massett , Vol. I, this series.



«/:'ccpsl ioievoe ,(10 s^jseqe oS eonslbi/B on saw e^eriif) B©v''-.r-

,5:ocI ^rcs ,-i.3jii?:{ ru-n^ven'ii.'oc arfo ^xoO lo Aoliqo-oiicjo c'::'oo''ioM
r»eviXii/? ^uxlitiA ,:tnlcq eno JA .esoisl f^tfort - ^ r'.- r-'o;fsnin orii
(lolrlv; nJt mooi 3f^:t 10I Xo-xtsx/p I>Xo erlT •XfinJ:,; r':<:o s*no*

r*463fteTSC crlT" .^ox/ti sir' iioIXfic- ri/SvIXX.vS *^lSiL-ili£

?oii> ,on xXoT r-il^ ^.^'- '■■^ '-' "■ ■"

Siis. ^... . . . .. .. - .;

'."tia ,.^rlY/ cut- ;J.f5rfo 2 '':^-6rf..' ixoO
•lie ^i/o?— TliE ^dxAV :xo8

^,0 rrirrrqQ.7cJ »iii!rt2^BV.Bi.i>.& tt£: ,exrpc oXt/jcI b bbv,' wojIb sicf ori^
W-QXTi 03SX «! "ei:tX'Or{,-i- oiS;J ni" xboorA^ .-ctsdJ wonii *:fctoeafiM
no neiiT' ..srioXifi'- ajsw- sii' j.cs' jCBOxisnPri asw iy^-eseiaM JbrxA .'^tflrfj

•*'-. a.rxl?{-;f^ &'*rtP..-' v -• .'.or> TjXiix-.Q.lTPa" OTa#- Y^^v[i^oo ©x/peeX-



[^J^.. rttf X<5JB1gO/f . • '



Burlesque 9

in San Francisco. The male aggression on the gold fields had
dehumanized itself, and it was not until the successful (and
umsuccessful) miners fell back again upon the rising town
that they demanded their lives be complotely furnished.
Massett, reflecting the theatrical spirit of the time, heroi-
cally interspersed the sentimental ballads on his program
with three burlesque numbers :

"Imitation of an elderly lady and a German girl

who applied for the situation of soprano and

alto singers in one of the churches of Massa-
chusetts.

"Imitation of Madame Anna Sishop in her song,
•The Banks of the Guadalquivirt '"

"Yankee Imitation, 'Deacon Jones and Seth Slope* •"

On October 22, 1849 the Philadelphia Minstrels per-
formed at the opening of the Bella Union gambling resort.
October 29, 1849 Rowe's Olympic Circus"'*" was opened with a
company made up of three equestrians, one clown, two slack-
rope dancers and a ringmaster. January 16,1850 a group of pro-
fessional playt3rs, after great success in Sacramento, started
an engagement in a second story hall at the rear of the old
Alta California newspaper office. Their opening night con-
sisted of The Wife by J. Sheridan Knowles; Charles II, or The
Merry Monarch by John Howard Payne and Washington Irving j and
the "laughable farce" The Sentinel. "^^ During the following'



•?«■ See Monograph on Joseph A. Rowe , Vol* I, this series.
■«-»This company found It almost impossible to procure dramatic

scripts in California. They paid one ounce of gold dust

for a copy of the farce. Box and Cox .



f>iiB) £x;ls5eooxtP erfcJ" Ji^tm/ iorr asw cfl !>«« -^IXce^i ijsslrtacru/ffeb
rnvo:? gniBxi ari:^ nc"' •■-./; -:r.-^c' rrr.T sTsrt/ir: (Xu'ieasoojjenir

-.Loisrf .tocii-' ^. - - - — .;;:j3orfi ©ri^ snli. -.. -, rf^ases^'



Online LibraryEttore RellaA history of burlesque (Volume 1939 14) → online text (page 1 of 29)