All stories by Trav S.D. on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Theatre is Back! And Two New Talks by Trav S.D.

All sorts of exciting things afoot; though fairly unrelated, I thought I’d bundle them all toegther in this handy news bulletin: Go here for my review/ article on Mike Daisey’s new show …

Linked From Trav S.D. at 04:48PM
Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Charles Napier: From Eden to Archer by Trav S.D.

Some words of appreciation today for character actor Charles Napier (1936-2011). A native of Kentucky, army vet (sergeant in the paratroopers), and former basketball coach, Napier was workin…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 07:54AM
Sunday, April 11, 2021

Promising Young Woman by Trav S.D.

WARNING: I always include spoilers. Most descriptions of Promising Young Woman I’m seeing, whether by critics or marketing people, seem to bump their heads against the limitations of an in…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 02:24PM

On Joel Grey (and His Father and Daughter) by Trav S.D.

While plenty of show biz buffs can tell you about Joel Grey (b. 1932), and some are probably aware that actress Jennifer Grey (b. 1960) is his daughter, I imagine far fewer know that the fam…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 10:06AM
Friday, April 9, 2021

April 19: A Crash Course in Classic Comedy by Trav S.D.

April is a crazy month for classic comedy anniversaries, including the birthdays of Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd and (this year) the centennial of the first comedy short directed by Bust…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 01:18PM

Milt Larsen: More Than Magic by Trav S.D.

I pen this post on the 90th birthday of a national treasure named Milt Larsen (b. 1931). I had the great honor of interviewing Mr. Larsen in preparation for my 2005 book No Applause: Just Th…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 12:18PM

Hugh Hefner and Playboy in Film and Television by Trav S.D.

We’ve already written (from a somewhat negative perspective) on the legacy of Hugh Hefner (1926-2017). Today, we thought we’d balance the picture out some, with a look in particular at h…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 10:12AM

R.I.P. James Hampton by Trav S.D.

Today we blow taps for character actor James Hampton (b. 1936) who passed away a couple of days ago at the age of 84, of complications due to Parkinson’s. Many may remember Hampton best as…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 06:54AM
Thursday, April 8, 2021

Shecky Greene Lives by Trav S.D.

Strange but true — Shecky Greene (Fred Sheldon Greenfield, b. 1926), a comic whose name has been a byword for “old school” for over half a century, is still alive and kicking. Over the…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 08:03AM
Wednesday, April 7, 2021

John McGraw: A Giant in Vaudeville by Trav S.D.

Thanks to reader Michael KInter, who let it be known that baseball legend John McGraw (1873-1934) deserves a place in the vaudeville annals. Kinter is currently working on a musical about Mc…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 08:03AM
Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Through April 12: 20% Off “Chain of Fools” by Trav S.D.

I’ve been doing plenty of hustling of late, of my first book and my third book, leaving my second one as a veritable orphan! Luckily, I just heard that now through April 12 the publisher B…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 05:42PM

A Glance at Joi Lansing by Trav S.D.

In the majestic hierarchy of blonde pin-up actresses of the 1950s, Joi Lansing (Joy Rae Brown, 1929-1972) runs fourth behind Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, and Mamie Van Doren, but only in…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 10:06AM
Monday, April 5, 2021

Ray Cooke: Another Torchy by Trav S.D.

Oklahoma native Ray Cooke (1905-1963) was 22 when he began working as a bit player in Hollywood pictures. He frequently played bellhops, sailors, messenger boys, cab drivers, chauffeurs, and…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 07:42AM
Sunday, April 4, 2021

The Messiah at the Movies: Several Classic (and Not-So-Classic) Films About the Life of Christ by Trav S.D.

For Eastertide: several films about the life of Jesus. There are fewer movies on this subject than you might think given the dominance of the Christian religion in America, but I think a com…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 09:54AM
Saturday, April 3, 2021

Arthur Byron and Family by Trav S.D.

You may know Arthur Byron (also billed as A.S. Byron, 1872-1943) from some of the talkies he made towards the end of his career. He played sypporting roles in a couple of dozen pictures betw…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 09:42AM
Friday, April 2, 2021

The Loss of Debralee Scott by Trav S.D.

Disco era character actress Debralee Scott (1953-2005) enjoyed a brief time in the sun, although it must be said that during that time (roughly 1975-80) she was practically ubiquitous. Hers …

Linked From Trav S.D. at 08:48AM
Thursday, April 1, 2021

Slices of the Tenderloin by Trav S.D.

Now that we have a complete set I can share my series of stories I wrote for the Chelsea Community News for Black History Month and Women’s History Month. I decided to concentrate on New Y…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 12:06PM

This Month on Criterion: The “Best” of the Marx Brothers by Trav S.D.

Naturally, any Marx Brothers fan worthy of the name already owns all of the Marx Brothers’ starring films in one form or another, but it’s going to be real handy for us lazy slugs not to…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 12:06PM
Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Nomadland by Trav S.D.

For some of us, the words “Frances McDormand, Senior Citizen” sound like the clanging of a tomb door above our heads, but there it is. It was McDormand who saw a role for herself in a fi…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 08:54PM
Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Anna Q. Nilsson: From “Most Beautiful” to “Waxworks” by Trav S.D.

You don’t have to be a full-fledged silent film buff to have seen Anna Q. Nilsson (1888-1974) on screen. Today her most widely seen performance is as one of the “waxworks” in Sunset Bo…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 09:42AM
Monday, March 29, 2021

Phil Foster: Brooklyn’s Ambassador to the World by Trav S.D.

A tribute today to actor and nightclub comic Phil Foster (Fivel Feldman, 1913-1985). Foster was all about Brooklyn. Born and bred there, he took his professional name from Foster Avenue, whi…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 09:36AM
Sunday, March 28, 2021

Charles Starrett: The Durango Kid by Trav S.D.

Today a tip of the Stetson to Charles Starrett (1903-1986), one of the screen’s unlikeliest cowboy stars. Starrett was an upper crust Yankee who attended Worcester Academy and Dartmouth. A…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 10:18AM
Friday, March 26, 2021

The Short Story (i.e., The Story of Martin Short) by Trav S.D.

My first exposure to Martin Short (b. 1950) came not on his breakthrough sketch shows of the mid ’80s but even earlier, when he was the star of the short-lived CBS sit-com The Associates …

Linked From Trav S.D. at 09:06AM
Thursday, March 25, 2021

Spencer Charters: Late Bloomer with an Early Check-Out by Trav S.D.

Spencer Charters (1875-1943) was a terrific character actor whom you’ve certainly seen in small supporting parts in a zillion classic films. He was usually cast as fussy clerks, local bure…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 02:32PM

Howard Cosell and The Original Saturday Night Live by Trav S.D.

In 1975, if any of my friends had said to me “Did you watch Saturday Night Live last night?” it is a dead certainty that I would have said, “You mean the show with Howard Cosell?” I …

Linked From Trav S.D. at 10:12AM

Steve McQueen: A Big Wheel by Trav S.D.

I just spent two hours trying to find the perfect image to head this post about Steve McQueen (b.1930). In my mind’s eye I’m picturing something from the classic year of 1968, perhaps a …

Linked From Trav S.D. at 02:36AM
Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Why “Deadwood” was the Best TV Western Ever by Trav S.D.

The poetical prankster in me was half tempted to head this post “Milchwood”, a tribute to Joyce, Dylan Thomas and Deadwood‘s creator David Milch all at the same time (Milch” is Germa…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 10:12AM
Monday, March 22, 2021

This Thursday: Catch Me and “The Host with the Most” by Trav S.D.

Delighted to announce that this Thursday, March 25, I’ll be the guest on The Host with the Most Toddcast with Todd Newton. Newton’s an amazing show biz veteran: he was the host of variou…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 12:12PM
Sunday, March 21, 2021

Suzanne Kaaren: From the 3 Stooges to Donald Trump by Trav S.D.

Brooklyn-bred chorus cutie Suzanne Kaaren (1912-2004) had quite a journey. As a young woman she acted with stock companies, posed as a model, and kicked in the choruses of Ziegfeld and Radio…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 06:36PM

Good News for Silent Comedy Fans by Trav S.D.

I have a confession to make. My fandom, even with respect to my favorite obessions, is flighty. I binge, I max out, I’m filled to the brim, and then I have to stay away for a while. It may…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 09:48AM
Saturday, March 20, 2021

For UN French Language Day: Call My Agent! by Trav S.D.

March 20 is French Language Day as declared by the United Nations, and that’s no small thing around my house. Both my wife and I have been brushing up on the literal Lingua Franca as one o…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 02:18PM

All that Chat

Oct 06, 2019: Slave Play
Oct 17, 2019: The Sound Inside - Studio 54
Feb 01, 2020: The Minutes
Mar 31, 2020: Diana - Longacre Theatre
Apr 19, 2020: Sing Street - Lyceum Theatre
Dec 16, 2021: Diana - Longacre Theatre