All stories by Trav S.D. on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

More on Marxfest by Trav S.D.

Hello, you must be going! The long-awaited return of Marxfest will take place over two glorious weekends in NYC, packed with once-in-a-lifetime events calculated to thrill the obsessive Marx…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 09:48AM

The Other Charles King by Trav S.D.

It amuses me especially to title this post “the OTHER Charles King” since it’s likely that precious few readers have ever heard of the first one we wrote about here. As it happens, tod…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 07:36AM
Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Little Gloria…Happy At Last by Trav S.D.

Gloria Vanderbilt (1924-2019) was born 100 years ago today. Hers is a name that has meant something different to every American generation. Contemporary people may or may not recognize her a…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 08:42AM
Monday, February 19, 2024

The Travalanche Hall of Presidents by Trav S.D.

Happy Presidents Day! Young people may not know this, but ostensibly this is not a day for ALL the Presidents, just Washington and Lincoln. We used to celebrate them each as separate holiday…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 05:32AM

William Dunlap: One Eye on the Future by Trav S.D.

It is our pleasure this morning to tell you about Early American Renaissance Man William Dunlap (1766-1839). Dunlap’s most significant contributions were in the theatre, but he was also a …

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 04:32AM

Hope Hampton: The Duchess of Park Avenue by Trav S.D.

A few words on the brief career of Hope Hampton (Mae Elizabeth Hampton,1897-1982). Hampton was a Philadelphia beauty pageant queen who was spotted by pioneering producer Jules Brulatour whil…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 02:24AM
Sunday, February 18, 2024

The Other Little Caesar by Trav S.D.

Though we have been writing about lots of corporate brands of late, we regret to advise that today’s post is not about the pizza chain. Nor even the 1931 gangster movie with Edward G. Robi…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 11:12AM
Saturday, February 17, 2024

The Mel Welles Centennial by Trav S.D.

For a goodly stretch there, when I was about 20 years old, my very favorite movie in all the world was Roger Corman’s original 1960 Little Shop of Horrors (which is one of the many reasons…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 09:54AM
Friday, February 16, 2024

The Murder of Hokum W. Jeebs by Trav S.D.

On this day in 2011, Professor Hokum W. Jeebs (Robert Stabile, b. 1951) breathed his last. This is a story of the New Vaudeville, but sounds for all the world like something from the Very Ol…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 06:42AM
Thursday, February 15, 2024

150 Years Ago: The Birth of Ernest Shackleton by Trav S.D.

150 years ago today: the birth of Polar Explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton (1874-1922). It gives me particular pleasure to write about him on the day after Valentine’s Day, for Shackleton was …

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 04:24AM
Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Jack Benny is “The Medicine Man” (1930) — Or IS He? by Trav S.D.

And though it is Jack Benny’s birthday, and I am developing a longish piece about Benny’s movies, the precipitating cause of this post is that February 14 ALSO happens to be the birthday…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 11:12AM

For National Ferris Wheel Day: On Some Big Wheels by Trav S.D.

Something appropriate there is about the fact that National Ferris Wheel Day and Valentine’s Day are one and the same. I can’t think of a more romantic date activity than a ride on one o…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 09:02AM
Tuesday, February 13, 2024

A Proper Post on George Segal by Trav S.D.

According to the master calendar that makes this blog happen, there are numerous new people I could be writing about on this Fat Tuesday — but I find I want to talk some more about George …

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 11:06AM
Monday, February 12, 2024

The Sad Saga of the Other David Steinberg by Trav S.D.

I say “the other” because the better known David Steinberg was a Canadian stand-up comedian who was popular in the 1970s. The one who concerns us today was David J. Steinberg (1965-2010)…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 09:36AM

A Century Ago Today: The Premiere of “Rhapsody in Blue” by Trav S.D.

I’ve little original to say upon the the topic, but I cannot let it go unobserved: today marks 100 years since George Gershwin premiered his Rhapsody in Blue at Aeolian Hall in New York (F…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 06:24AM
Sunday, February 11, 2024

On the “Camel Caravan” and Related Expeditions by Trav S.D.

The R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company was incorporated on this day in 1890. I’m not here to celebrate or endorse their product, but RJR did leave a camel print in the shifting sands of show bu…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 10:42AM
Saturday, February 10, 2024

Harry Beaumont: From Main Street to Maisie by Trav S.D.

Harry Beaumont (1888-1966) is not regarded today as a great cinematic auteur, and perhaps he shouldn’t be in terms of such matter as camera placement, shot composition, and so forth (and t…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 12:02PM
Friday, February 9, 2024

Carmen Miranda: The Brazilian Bombshell by Trav S.D.

Today’s post on Carmen Miranda (1909-1955) goes out to another Carmen M, my friend Carmen Mofungo (Michele Carlo), one of the many performers influenced and inspired by the Brazilian star.…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 12:02PM

A Jumble of James Murrays by Trav S.D.

I categorically discourage this sort of thing but an acquaintance recently approached me and asked whether the James Murray he saw in some vintage advertising for a vaudeville bill that feat…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 08:48AM
Thursday, February 8, 2024

James Dean: Young Man in a Hurry by Trav S.D.

You see what I did there, right? It wasn’t easy. Just TRY to find an unglamorous photograph of James Dean (1931-1955). Naturally, to focus my search, I went to “as old man in Giant“, c…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 10:54AM
Wednesday, February 7, 2024

R.I.P. Charles J. Ouda by Trav S.D.

Sudden death always feels like a sucker punch, sometimes more than others. I just got the word that Kenyan actor Charles J. (“Charli”) Ouda has passed away at the age of 38. I had the ha…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 01:24PM

The Glorious Gloria Talbott by Trav S.D.

Today we pause to acknowledge actress Gloria Talbott (1931-2000). We’ve had a handful of occasion to mention Talbott here, chiefly in relation to her horror films: she has key roles in The…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 07:54AM
Tuesday, February 6, 2024

900 New Posts Free! by Trav S.D.

The bad news — my hard drive died so I won’t be churning out a few thousand new daily words for a couple of days. The good news? I’ve just opened up to the public over 900 additional p…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 10:12AM
Monday, February 5, 2024

The Strange Tale of Dr. Dante: Hypnotist and Con Man by Trav S.D.

This one is far from an exclusive but the show biz angle lured me in. I’m quite sure I first heard of Ronald Pellar (1930-2013) a.k.a Dr. Dante a.k.a. Ronald Dante a.k.a. Mr. Hypnotist as …

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 10:36AM
Saturday, February 3, 2024

R.I.P. Melanie by Trav S.D.

Melanie (b. 1947) passed away a week ago. I’d already planned a post for her birthday, which is today, so I thought I’d save the obit and let this one, regrettably, do double duty. Melan…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 08:06AM
Friday, February 2, 2024

Film Forum’s Sapph-o-Rama Begins Today by Trav S.D.

Launching today in New York: Sapph-o-Rama, Film Forum’s 30 film series of movies “exploring the eccentric, enduring, and genre-encompassing history of the Lesbian image in cinema”. The…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 02:42PM

Two Tourneurs, Father and Son by Trav S.D.

A somewhat unusual case to contemplate today: a father and son, both of whom made well-known, well-respected and popular movies in two countries: France and America. Maurice Tourneur (Mauric…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 11:32AM
Thursday, February 1, 2024

That Time I Interviewed Dr. Bronner by Trav S.D.

It’s quite true, although it must be pointed out that there have been three generations of Drs Bronner since the mid 20th century, and many generations of soap-making Heilbronners before t…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 01:36PM

Happy 70th, Bill Mumy by Trav S.D.

Bill Mumy (Charles William Mumy Jr, b. 1954) turns 70 years old today. For someone who has nearly 100 screen credits accumulated over nearly half a century, and has distinguished himself in …

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 10:18AM

La Vie de André Antoine by Trav S.D.

More than once here have we pointed out the real true fact the many theatrical forms that owe their origins all or in part to France: melodrama, farce, vaudeville, burlesque, revues, even th…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 08:12AM
Tuesday, January 30, 2024

The Dirt on Tammy Grimes by Trav S.D.

Oh, there’s no “dirt” on Tammy Grimes, per se, only information. it’s just wordplay and a shameless headline. Grimes (1934-2016) was an actress/performer whose legend was primarily i…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 12:54PM

All that Chat

May 30, 2023: Grey House - Lyceum Theatre
Jun 26, 2023: Just For Us - Hudson Theatre
Jul 24, 2023: The Cottage - Hayes Theater
Nov 16, 2023: Spamalot - St. James Theatre
Dec 18, 2023: Appropriate - Hayes Theater
Mar 07, 2024: Doubt - Todd Haimes Theatre
Apr 14, 2024: Lempicka - Longacre Theatre
Apr 17, 2024: The Wiz - Marquis Theatre
Apr 18, 2024: Suffs - Music Box Theatre
Apr 25, 2024: Mother Play - Hayes Theater
Jun 10, 2024: The Drama Desk Awards