All stories by Trav S.D. on BroadwayStars

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Peter Scolari: Trapped on the 37th Floor (R.I.P.) by Trav S.D.

Beloved character actor Peter Scolari (b. 1955) has left us too soon and as always I thought I would chime in with an appreciation that fills in some of the more obscure cracks that other eu…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 09:54AM
Saturday, October 23, 2021

The Jordan Christopher Experience by Trav S.D.

You may be inclined, as I often am, to mix up Jordan Christopher (Jordan Christopher Zankoff, 1940-1996) with Christopher Jones (star of Wild in the Streets). No doubt the two did some scrap…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 06:42PM
Friday, October 22, 2021

Johnny Yune: Korean-American Comic by Trav S.D.

During the first year of Covid, we binge watched The Love Boat, and that is how we became aware of Korean American comedian Johnny Yune (Yoon Jong Seung, 1936-2020). I didn’t know it at th…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 08:54AM

John Sheehan: Footlights and Flying “A” by Trav S.D.

I became aware of John Sheehan (1885-1952) because he co-starred in the 1934 Educational short Trimmed in Furs with Louise Keaton, Buster’s sister. Born in Oakland, Sheehan acted with stoc…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 08:54AM
Thursday, October 21, 2021

Saturday is Tin Pan Alley Day in NYC by Trav S.D.

Saturday October 23, 12-4pm is Tin Pan Alley Day in NYC! I will now do appropriate homage by supplying you with a clattering cacophony of links. My brand new article for Chelsea Community Ne…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 08:54AM
Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Barrie Chase: Of Musicals and “Mad, Mad World” by Trav S.D.

Dancer and actress Barrie Chase (b. 1933) has MANY notable screen credits but of COURSE we are going to foreground her memorable turn opposite Dick Shawn in It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 09:06AM
Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Coming Up: Music, Magic, and the Macabre in Chelsea by Trav S.D.

The barriers to resumption of NYC cultural life seem to be rapidly melting as the Covid rate goes down and the vaccination rate (here at least) goes up. This week Chelsea Community News publ…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 03:36PM

A Hal B. Wallis Production by Trav S.D.

Just some very brief jottings on producer Hal B. Wallis (Aaron Blum Wolowicz, 1898-1986). Wallis’s rapid rise in the movie business was the very definition of what it means to get in on th…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 09:03AM

The Divinity of “Divine” by Trav S.D.

October 19 is the natal day of the much-missed Divine (Glenn Milstead, 1945-1988). As Lon Chaney was to Todd Browning, so was Divine to John Waters, both muse and star at the heart of his wo…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 07:54AM
Monday, October 18, 2021

Yesterday’s Great Neck Gatsby Fest by Trav S.D.

Well pleased we were with yesterday’s Gatsby Fest, organized by Destination Great Neck, a literal stone’s throw from the house where F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote a good chunk of The Great G…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 05:42PM

Inger Stevens: Did You Hear the One About the Farmer’s Daughter? by Trav S.D.

Oh, how Hollywood loved blonde Northern European model/actresses in the ’60s. I knew of many of them because they were still around in the ’70s when I was a kid, woman like Elke Sommer (…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 12:12PM
Sunday, October 17, 2021

Roy Stewart: Started with Hal Roach by Trav S.D.

Roy Stewart (1883-1933) starred in over 100 silent films, most of them westerns, but I am personally most interested in the beginning of his career, for that is when he acted in some of the …

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 02:18PM

Phyllis Gordon: Pictures and Pet Cheetahs by Trav S.D.

Phyllis Gordon (1889-1964) was mostly a supporting player during her brief heyday — in our visiually focused age, she is primarily known for a couple of flashy publicity stunts. Gordon was…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 02:18PM
Saturday, October 16, 2021

The Goofy Greatness of Ann Guilbert by Trav S.D.

A few words of apprecation this morning for Ann Guilbert, or Ann Morgan Guilbert (1928-2016). Guilbert enjoyed a sort of charmed career. She went from being a key cast member in the popular …

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 07:42AM
Friday, October 15, 2021

Helen Hunt Jackson and “Ramona” by Trav S.D.

Attention paid today to poet, novelist, historian and activist Helen Hunt Jackson (Helen Maria Jackson, 1830-1885), best known today for her 1884 novel Ramona, which was adopted for the Amer…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 09:42AM

Dope on Dick Bernie by Trav S.D.

Frustrating, but amusing — if you Google “Dick Bernie”, you will get pictures of 94 year old Dick Van Dyke championing Bernie Sanders for President, or clips of Bernie Mac saying “Gi…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 08:36AM

Dr. Lucky’s Got a New Book on Burlesque! by Trav S.D.

We are delighted to report that our friend Lynn Sally (whom I initially knew as the burlesque performer “Dr. Lucky”) has just hit the market with a tremendous new book entitled Neo-Burle…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 08:36AM
Thursday, October 14, 2021

Douglas Carter Beane’s “Fairycakes” Opens Tonight! by Trav S.D.

I was very jazzed last night to, through the good graces of the estimable Allen Lewis Rickman (Boardwalk Empire, A Serious Man, and the reigning king of Yiddish theatre), attend the invited …

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 10:42AM

Dolletta Boykin: The World’s Smallest Mother by Trav S.D.

I’m pretty sure that I have never heard a better name for a performing little person than Dolleta Boykin (Dolly Dodd, 1881-1948). Not just Doll like the Doll Family, but “Dolletta”, an…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 10:42AM
Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Yves Montand Was Born 100 Years Ago Today by Trav S.D.

I’m not certain if I would otherwise have done a post on singer/actor Yves Montand (Ivo Levi, 1921-1991) before I learned of his early years. In America, we thought of him as one of a hand…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 07:24AM
Tuesday, October 12, 2021

The Jean Wallace Story by Trav S.D.

There are fewer than two dozen film acting credits in the dossier of Jean Wallace (Jean Walaceck, 1923-1990). Yet hers is a story worth knowing for show biz buffs I think. Wallace was raised…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 11:42AM
Monday, October 11, 2021

Buster Brodie, The Hairless Man by Trav S.D.

Buster Brodie (Max Broida, 1885-1948) billed himself as “The Hairless Man”, but he had an additional distinguishing characteristic: he was only 4′ 9 1/2″ tall, making an almost littl…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 09:18AM

Chief Caupolican: “World’s Greatest Indian Orator and Entertainer” by Trav S.D.

By happy coincidence, the natal day of Chief Caupolican (Emile Barrangon, 1876-1968) falls on Indigenous Peoples Day this year. Chief Caupolican was believed to have been a member of the Map…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 09:18AM
Saturday, October 9, 2021

Musings on Madame Tussaud by Trav S.D.

We hope you will forgive the split nature of this portmanteau-post, which is intended to do double duty as a capsule biography of Madame Tussaud (Anna Maria Grosholtz, 1761-1850) and a revie…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 04:54PM

Alastair Sim and the Heuretics of Humbug by Trav S.D.

Alastair Sim (1900-1976) rarely stirred from his “right little, tight little island”, spent more time on stage than screen, and jealously guarded his private life. As a consquence, he is…

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

Hank Patterson: From Alabam’ to Ziffel by Trav S.D.

We are apt to think of Elmer Calvin “Hank” Patterson (1888-1975) as a rube comedian on account of his long standing role as Fred Ziffel, proprietor of Arnold the Sentient Pig on the Paul…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 10:24AM
Friday, October 8, 2021

Who Were the Gaiety Girls? by Trav S.D.

Before the Floradora Girls, the Ziegfeld Girls, or the Goldwyn Girls, there were the Gaiety Girls. These were the creation of West End impresario George Edwardes (1855-1915). Edwardes had le…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 09:32AM
Thursday, October 7, 2021

James Whitcomb Riley: Vaudeville Poet by Trav S.D.

In his day, Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916) was known as “America’s Best Loved Poet”. Today, I fear that most English departments regard his work as primitive kitsch and …

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 07:18PM

Louis F. Gottschalk: The Royal Composer of Oz by Trav S.D.

Every person who aspires to write film scores should know the name Louis F. Gottschalk (1863-1934). He was the first guy to do it, at least the first to compose complete scores; prior to him…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 07:18PM

The Legacy of Lyle Tuttle by Trav S.D.

While Lyle Tuttle (1931-2019) could easily have exhibited himself in sideshows, he did not. He was a guy who made many sideshow artists possible. Tuttle himself sported a full tattoo “body…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 08:32AM
Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Jerome Cowan: A Serviceable Villain by Trav S.D.

Three cheers today for hard-working character actor Jerome Cowan (1897-1972). Cowan appeared in over 200 films and TV productions; if you don’t know the name, I hope you know that face fro…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 11:42AM

All that Chat

Sep 14, 2021: Chicago - Ambassador Theatre
Oct 17, 2021: Dana H. - Lyceum Theatre
Mar 28, 2022: Plaza Suite - Hudson Theatre
Apr 07, 2022: The Minutes - Studio 54
Apr 28, 2022: Macbeth - Lyceum Theatre