Friday, November 29, 2019

Denver's Orpheum Theatre (1918)



So I was digging at one of the local Goodwill outlets, when I spotted this very large portfolio folder. I flipped it over, and found an entire run of 1918 The Commercial newspapers, the weekly publication by the Denver Civic and Commercial Association.


The Denver Civic and Commercial Association was the forerunner for the Denver Chamber of Commerce.

So I'm randomly going through these great papers, scanning for anything entertainment-related, for the blog, and sure enough, I find the mother lode of vaudeville show advertisements for the old Orpheum Theatre!

The original Orpheum Theatre, located at 1513 Welton St., was built in 1903 as a vaudeville venue. It was demolished in 1930, and rebuilt, reopening in 1932. In 1955, the seating capacity increased to 2,600. The venue was remodeled again, around 1964, reducing the capacity to 1,200. It was closed September 10, 1967, and subsequently was demolished.

The papers I found were for that original vaudeville theatre era!

So pop some popcorn, and pull up a chair, as there are lots of advertisements to go through. This is a fantastic snapshot of an (almost) entire year of early Denver live entertainment:
 
 
January 1, 1918
Nellie and Sara Kouns, Arthur Deagon, Jean Adair & Co
The soprano Kouns Sisters recorded on Vocalion.
Comedian Arthur Deagon performed in George M. Cohan productions. He died in 1927.
Jean Adair was a Canadian stage actress, who made several films later in her career, including in the Cary Grant movie, Arsenic and Old Lace. She died in 1953.

January 8, 1918
Sophie Tucker, Mr. and Mrs. Mel-Burne, Bert Baker & Co...
Sophie Tucker (1886-1966) was known for her comic and risqué songs, she was one of the most popular entertainers in America during the first half of the 20th century. 
Couldn't find anything on Mr. and Mrs. Mel-Burne
Bert Baker was a vaudeville actor and comedian. 

January 15, 1918
Nan Halperin, Ioleen Sisters, George & Dick Rath, Emily Ann Wellman...
Nan Halperin (1898-1963) was a well-known singing comedian. She played in vaudeville at an early age, and later starred in musical comedies on Broadway.  
The Ioleen Sisters were a tight wire and sharpshooter act.
George and Dick Rath were a brother circus act.
Emily Ann Wellman was an American stage actress, known for her flash dramas (ten-minute plays).


January 22, 1918
Winona Winter, Claude & Fannie Usher and "The Four Husbands" Musical (Jack Boyle, Kitty Bryan, Harry Von Fossen and Robbie Gordone)...
 Winona Winter (1889-1940) was a silent film actress, singing comedian, and ventriloquist.
Couldn't find anything on Claude and Fannie Usher.
Jack Boyle (not the author) toured as “The Happy-Go-Lucky Pair,” with partner Dave Kramer. He died in 1933.
Kitty Bryan was a stage actress and singing comedian.
Harry Von Fossen was a black-face minstrel with the Al G. Fields company.
(Miss) Robbie Gordone was a vaudeville actress known for her "beautiful form."


January 29, 1918
Harriet Rempel, Williams & Wolfus, Willie Weston, Ralph Dunbar's Tennessee Ten, the Levolos, Three Misses Stewart...
Harriet Rempel was an actress, who also penned several shows - one of the first credited female playwrights.
Williams & Wolfus - a husband and wife vaudeville duo (Herb Williams and Hilda Wolfus).
Willie Weston recorded for the Victor and Pathé labels.
Ralph Dunbar's Tennessee Ten was one of the first African-American acts to appear along side Anglo performers, in Denver. Known for playing jazz and "Ethiopian songs."
The Levolos were a high wire husband and wife act, Pat and Julia.


February 5, 1918
Mercedes, Fanchon & Marco, Bee Ho Gray, Ada Summerville...
Mercedes (no last name) was billed as the "Eighth Wonder of the World" and "The Musical Enigma."
Fanchon and Marco - (Fanchon Wolff Simon and Marco Wolff) brother and sister vaudeville act, who later went on to become the most famous producers of live stage acts.
Be Ho Gray (Emberry Cannon Gray 1885-1951) Native American western performer, who played the banjo. He died in 1951.
Actress Ada Summerville was the wife of Be Ho Gray.


February 12, 1918
Charles Withers, Herbert Clifton, Bert Swore, Gaudsmidt Brothers
Charlie Withers was a vaudeville actor.
Herbert Clifton (1885-1947) known as "The Male Soprano," performed as a woman, along with his wife. By 1914 he was a featured act in the Ziegfeld Follies.
Bert Swor (1871-1943) was a minstrel show performer, who often appeared with Neil O'Brien. Swor later appeared in movies, from 1928-1938.
Gaudsmidt Brothers were Netherlands-based siblings (billed as an "Alaska Trio") who performed with their poodles.


February 19, 1918
McIntyre & Heath, Jim and Betty Morgan, Alexander Kids, Kanazawa Boys, Frank Crumit...
McIntyre & Heath (James McIntyre and Thomas Heath) were blackface comics.
The Alexander Kids might be the same as the Alexander Sisters (Anna Gertrude and Rose).
The Kanazawa Boys were an Asian-American brother balancing act.
Frank Crumit 1889-1943 was singer and composer who often performed with his wife Julia Sanderson.
Jim and Betty Morgan were a husband and wife singing act.


February 26, 1918
Avon Comedy 4, Anna Chandler, Keller Mack and Anna Earl, Roy Rice and Mary Werner, The LeGrohs, and the Boyarr Company...
The Avon Comedy 4 were Irving Kaufman, Harry Godwin, Charles Dale and Joe Smith. They also recorded for the Victor label.
The Boyarr Company were Russian dancers and singers.
Anna Chandler (1884-1957) performed as an actress and mezzo-soprano singer.
Keller Mack started out in blackface, but later teamed up with Anna Earl, as a popular acting duo.
Roy Rice and Mary Werner were an acrobatic duo.
The LeGrohs were an acrobatic novelty act (two men and one woman), but apparently did pantomime (as billed above).


March 5, 1918
Joseph E Howard, Jack King & Morton Harvey, Lenore Simonsen, Roode & France...
Joseph E Howard (1870-1961) was a Broadway composer and lyricist. A famed member of Tin Pan Alley with his wife, Ida Emerson. His hits included "Hello! Ma Baby."
Jack King and Morton Harvey were lyricists, known for "The Tunes My Dear Old Daddy Loved So Well."
Lenore Simonsen was a soprano musical act.
Couldn't find anything on Roode & France.


March 12, 1918
Alan Brooks, Bernie and Baker, Adelaide Boothby, Comfort & King, Selma Braatz, Parker Brothers, Lester Sheehan and Pearl Regay 
Alan Brooks (1888-1936) was a well-known silent film actor ("King of Kings," "Pals in Paradise," "Young April"). 
Bernie & Baker (Phil Baker and Bernie Baker) were a musical comedy duo.
Adelaide Boothby was often described as a "pretty little singer."
Comfort & King were either African-American or blackface performers (could get a confirmation on this one)
Selma Braatz was known as "Europe’s greatest woman juggler."
The Parker Brothers (not the game company) were known for their athletic stage routines. 
Lester Sheehan and Pearl Regay were a dancing couple.


March 19, 1918
The Marx Brothers, Ruth Roye, Apdale's Zoological Circus, Rouble Sims, Valanova Troupe, George Austin Moore and Cordelia Haager 
The Marx Brothers third ever appearance in Denver. It's unknown if they were going by their famous stage names, or if they were still using Julius, Milton, Leonard and Arthur.
Ruth Roye (1895-1960) "Princess of Ragtime." She recorded for the Columbia label.
Apdale's Zoological Circus (sometimes billed as Apdales Animals). The main attraction was Bedelia, the black bear. 
Rouble Sims did a live drawing/cartooning act. 
George Austin Moore and Cordelia Haager were a comedy singing duo. Haager's act was often described as similar to Carrie De Mar.

 
March 26, 1918
Emma Carus (with Larry Comer), Ziegler Sisters, Scarpioff & Vavara, Bernard & Janis, Reynolds & White, Stan Stanley
Emma Carus 1879-1927) was a contralto singer and was an original member of Ziegfed Follies (1907). Often described as a cross between Sophie Tucker and Faye Templeton.
Ziegler Sisters (Mrytle and Adelaide) were a dancing sibling pair.
Scarpioff & Vavara were young male Russian duo (a tenor and a pianist).
Bernard & Janis (couldn't confirm if this was Elsie Janis and Sam Bernard).
Stan Stanley would later work with Mae West.

 
April 2, 1918
John Hyams and Leila McIntyre, Donald Kerr & Effie Weston, Elida Morris, Harry Beresford, The Cycling Brunettes, SAnti, Harry Gilfoil.
Hyams and McIntrye were a married couple act. McIntrye, 1882-1953 would appear in more than 40 movies (their daughter was actress Leila Hyams). Hyams died in 1940.
Effie Weston originally performed with her brother, Bert, then later teamed up with Kerr, then later Jessie Brown.
Elida Morris (1886-1977), recorded for the Victor and Columbia labels. She became one of the founder members of the Women's Aeronautical Association, an organisation to which Amelia Earhart also belonged.  
Harry Beresford (1863-1944) Between 1926 and 1938, he appeared as a supporting actor in more than 50 Hollywood films.
No detailed information on the Cycling Burnettes.
Santi was known for the Cobra Dance of Death
Harry Gilfoil often played as his character creation of “Baron Sands." He was also known as an impressionist.
April 9, 1918
Cressy and Dayne, Morton and Glass, Charles Hanlon and Art Clifton, Al Shayne, Alfred Latell, Hary and Etta Conley, Stuart Barnes 
(Will) Cressey and (Blanche) Dayne were a married comedy acting duo.
(Paul) Morton and (Naomi) Glass were also a husband and wife duo, who wowed audiences with their dance moves. 
Al Shayne recorded for Columbia and Brunswick.
Alfred Latell (died 1951) was an animal impressionist. Wearing elaborate, lifelike costumes, he  impersonated monkeys, bears, goats, cats, dogs, and birds.

 
 April 16, 1918
Cecil Lean and Cleo Mayfield, Harry and Emma Sharrock, Basil and Allen, McDonald and Rowland, Regal and Bender, Edwin Stevens and Tina Marshall, Gertrude Hoffman
Cleo Mayfield (1898-1954) and Cecil Lean (died 1935) were a married songster couple.
Harry (1878-1963) and Emma Sharrock  - circus performer, who joined his wife Emma, who did a mind reader routine.
Edwin Stevens (1860-1923) acted and sang in operas, dramas, musical comedies, and classical plays, and appeared on Broadway.
Gertrude Hoffman (1883-1966), known for her suggestive dance moves. Married composer, songwriter and vaudeville orchestra leader, Max Hoffman.

April 23, 1918
Gertrude Hoffman, Leo Beers, Kelly and Gavin, Kitamuro Trio, The Stantons, JC Nugent
Gertrude Hoffman (see above)
Leo Beers was a "world renowned whistling songster."
(Phil) Kelly and (Joe) Gavin - "The actor and the Italian."
The Stantons (Val and Ernie) - comedy duo.
Couldn't find anything on the Kitamuro Trio.
JC Nugent (1868-1947) appeared in 21 movies, after his vaudeville career ended.

 
April 30, 1918
Sarah Padden, Phina & Co, Allen Shaw, Foster Ball, Three Webber Girls, Mlle. Rhea, and Will Oakland
Sarah Padden (1881-1967) was later an active screen actress from 1926 to 1958, appearing in 178 films and TV shows.
Phina & Co - No idea if this is/was originally Phina and Her Picks (with Eva Taylor).
No info on the Three Webber Girls.

 
May 7, 1918
Nellie V. Nichols, "Vanity Fair of 1918," Vardon & Perry, Lew Reed & The Wright Girls, Lucille & Cockie, Oakes & Delour
Nellie V. Nichols (born Helene Cathachakes) was a Greek born comediane, who later appeared in numerous movies, after her vaudeville career. 
The Vanity Fair of 1918, featured Jack Trainor, Olga De Baugh, and a "company of 20."
(Frank) Vardon & (Harry) Perry - no additional information.
Lew Reed and the Wright Girls. Lew was once married to actress Jessie Reed. No information who the Wright Girls are.

 
May 14, 1918
Bert Kalmar and Jessie Brown, Fradkin, Miss Jean Tell, William Robinson, Brodean & Silvermoon, Harry De Coe, Brown & Newman, Marion Harris
Bert Kalma (1884-1947) wrote a number of hits including "I Wanna Be Loved By You." He also wrote the musical score for the Marx Brothers' movies "Animal Crackers," "Horse Feathers," and "Duck Soup." Jessie Brown (1892-1985) was his wife.
Fradkin ( Frederic Fradkin) was a concert violinist, who performed with soprano Miss Jean Tell.
Brodean & Silvermoon were a human and his Spitz dog act.
Harry De Coe was a chair and table balancing act.
William "Bill" / "Mr. Bojangles" Robison (1878-1949) went on to appear in numerous movies and was the first African American performer to appear without the use of blackface. He was also the first to headline a vaudeville show, and the first to appear in a Hollywood film, as an interracial dance team (with Shirley Temple in The Little Colonel)
 
 
 May 21, 1918
Blossom Seeley, Count Peronne, Loney Haskell, Tasma Trio, Lachmann Sisters, Dugan & Raymond
Blossom Seeley (1891-1974) was called the "Queen of Syncopation." She was a major recording star, for the Columbia label, and appeared in several movies.
Count Peronne was a singer, who often appeared with his pianist, Trix Oliver.
Loney Haskell (1870-1933) formerly appeared with Don The Talking Dog, and Harry Houdini. 
The Tasma Trio (two women and a man) were billed as "Human Tops," for their aerial routines.
Lachmann Sisters (Nina Olivette and Violet Carlson) were ballet comedy act. Olivette later married Harry Stockwell (the father of actors Dean and Guy Stockwell)

 
May 28, 1918
George Damerel, Wheeler & Moran, Burley & Burley, WH Macart and Ethlynne Bradford, 3 Natalie Sisters, Prevett, Merrill & Co.
George Damerel, along with his wife Myrtle (1888 -1978) performed acting shorts Myrtle would later go on to star in the radio series "Myrt and Marge."

June 4, 1918
Haruko Onuki, Jack Clifford, Tom Dingle and Sam Ward, Margaret Edwards, Miss Gwen Lewis, Tarzan 
Haruko Onuki was a Japanese-American soprano.
Jack Clifford often did character impressions, along eith Agnes Dunn and Gertrude Kerpin. 
Tarzan was part of a huge movie promotion for the silent film "Tarzan of the Apes," which debuted in 1918.  No idea if the "Tarzan" in this live performance was actually actor Elmo Lincoln, who played the character in the movie. 
Margaret Edwards "The Perfect Girl from California" was a dancing act.

(the remainder of June-July and most of August didn't show advertisements for 
the theatre in The Commercial)

 
 August 27, 1918
Ivan Bankoff, Clara Howard, Gardner & Hartman, Equilli Brothers, Gordon & Rica, Harry Mayo and Lynn Basil 
Ivan Bankoff (formerly of Bankoff and Girlie) was also prolific producer with Sammie Burns (Burns and Fulton) 
Clara Howard was a comedienne, who filled in for Marion Harris, after she left the Orpheum tour due to a reported "distressing breakdown."  
The Equilli Brothers were an acrobatic act, who performed "equilibrium stunts."

(no advertisement noted for September 3)

 
 September 10, 1918
Derwent Hall Caine, Andy Rice; Hahn, Weller & O'Donnell, Valyda & Brazilian Nuts, Drew & Wallas, Roy Harrah & Jacquelina, Taylor Trio
Actor Derwent Hall Caine (1891-1971) would star in three movies, and later go on to be a member of the British Parliament. 
Roy Harrah and Jacquelina were a roller skating act. 

 
September 17, 1918
Ralph Herz, Moran & Mack, Dooley & Nelson, Tina Lerner, Grace De Mar, Charles & Anna Glocker, Horace Golden
(George) Moran & (Charles) Mack were a minstrel duo. During one performance, Moran walked out on the show. Bert Swor would replace him and dubbed him the new "Moran."

September 24, 1918
Cecil Cunningham, Fern & Davis, Professor J. Edmund Magee, Ralph Dunbar's White Hussars, Harris & Manion, Gordon & Kern, Marie Nordstrom. 
(This was also the first performance where there was an "official war review.")
(Miss) Cecil Cunningham (1888-1959) appeared in several Broadway revues, before joining the Orpheum touring circuit. 
Professor J. Edmund Magee was a hypnotist.
Ralph Dunbar's White Hussars singing band would later be renamed Al Sweet and his White Hussars, after Dunbar went on to focus on producing vaudeville acts. 
Harris and Manion were a comedy routine duo with Valle Edward Harris (1882-1961) and Jack Manion. The duo didn't last long, and Jack was later replaced with Vera Griffin.

 
October 1, 1918
 Toto, Maryon Vadie and Ota Gegi, Frank Milton, DeLong Sisters, The Girl From Milwaukee, Julie Ring & Co., Keane & White, Milt Collins
Toto (the clown) appeared with his dog, Whiskey. He would later make comedy shorts with Hal Roach. The original Toto was then replaced with Stan Laurel (Laurel and Hardy). 
Milt Collins was often described as imitator and one-act actor. 
The Girl From Milwaukee was a contralto singer. She toured the country, without revealing her true identity.

 
October 8, 1918
Mlle. Dazie & Co., Kennedy & Rooney, Willie Solar, Carl Jorn, Mack & Williams, Cole & Denary, Gilbert & Friedland
Mlle. Dazie (Daisy Ann Peterkin 1884-1952) was a ballet dancer.
Carl Jorn was Metropolitan Opera House tenor
Mack & Williams were known for their stair dance. 

(no advertisements noted for October 15, 22, and 29, as well as November 5 and 12)
 November 19, 1918
Ruth St. Denis, Pistel & Cushing, 3 O'Gorman Girls, Whipple & Huston, Adonis & Dog, Georgalis Trio, Albert Vertchamp
Ruth St. Denis (1879-1968) was a modern and interpretive dancer
Adonis and Dog was a canine acrobatic act.

November 26, 1918
Julius Tannen, Mme. Doree's Celebrities, Holmes & Wells, Yvette & Saranoff, Jack Alfred & Company; Imhof, Conn & Coreene 
Julius Tannen (1880-1965) was known to stage audiences for his witty improvisations and creative word games. He had a successful career as a character actor, appearing in more than 50 movies, including Singing in the Rain, in which he appears as the man demonstrating a talking picture early in the film.

(no advertisement noted on December 3)

 
 December 10, 1918
Winston's Water Lions and Diving Nymphs, Queenie Williams and William Pollard, Dominique Amoros, La France Brothers, Donny & Lynn, Gallagher & Rolley, Nell Lockwood
Harold W. Winston (1887-1960) was known as a performer and a trainer of sea lions. 
 
December 17, 1918
Wilbur Mack, Alla Moskova, Ball & West, Chas Irwin, Prosper & Moret, Florenzo Duo, Caliste Conant
Wilbur Mack (1873-1964) at first appeared with his first wife, Nella Walker (Mack and Walker). He later found success during the early age of talkies. He also reinvented his husband and wife routine, with a new wife, Gertrude Purdy (Mack and Purdy).
Alla Moskova (1893-1973) was a Russian-born actress and dancer, who would later be known for appearing in the silent movie The King of Kings.  

 
December 24, 1918
Eva Tanguay, James C. Morton and Co., The Misses Campbell, Eddie Foyer, Dickenson & Deacon, Sylvia Loyal and Co., Madame Paula
Eva Tanguay (1878-1947) was a Canadian singer and entertainer who billed herself as "the girl who made vaudeville." 
The Misses Campbell (Georgia and Honey) were a songster duo. 
Eddie Foyer (not to be confused with Eddie Foy) was an improvising poet.

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