Edward Metcalfe: The Splendid Foil, By Joyce H. Munro

Let wars rage still while I work with a will at this peaceful trade of mine. “Armorer’s Song” from Robin Hood I. Doloroso He lies beneath a rectangular stone set flush with the ground behind the Pilgrim State Hospital in Brentwood, Long Island, New York. I haven’t...

Willie, West and McGinty: The Comedy Builders by David Soren

Bill Briscoe (1886-1949) began his career as a comic acrobat in a team known as Wild and West, which toured internationally. He and Frank Crossley (ca. 1882-ca. 1942), both from Lancashire, England, developed a carpenter slapstick act as Willie West & McGinty (no...

White Rats: A Vaudeville Revolt by Frank Cullen

By the 1890s the vaudeville world was composed of empires and smaller fiefdoms in which performers were pawn in the moguls’ fight to monopolize and the independent’s struggle to survive. The United Booking Office, the booking arm of the huge Keith-Albee (later...

What is Vaudeville? By Frank Cullen

"Vaudeville was America’s first big-time show business, a coast to coast enterprise that at its height reached as many as 5000 theatres and employed as many as 50,000 people full- or part-time as entertainers and a nearly equal number in related business and crafts....

Trixie Friganza: Bold and Brassy Vaudeville Fun by Robin Williams

Trixie Friganza was born Delia O’Callahan (Brigid O’Callaghan) on November 29, 1870 in Grenola, Kansas, U.S. She died on February 27, 1955 in Flintridge, California. In her 84 years, Trixie made her mark on Vaudevillian history with her flamboyant attitude,...

Tony Pastor: The Clean Vaudeville Entrepreneur by Victoria Moses

Tony Pastor (April 26, 1833-August 26, 1908) was known as the Father of Vaudeville for his contributions as a performer and manager of variety entertainment. Pastor began his career as a circus clown, later shifting to comic singer on stage, and finally to manager and...

The Wiere Brothers: Organized Mayhem by David Soren

Harry (June 23, 1906- January 15, 1992), Herbert (February 27, 1908- August 5, 1999) and Sylvester Wiere (September 17, 1909- July 7, 1970) were a zany comedy team born in Berlin, Vienna and Prague respectively so that each had a different nationality despite being...

The Tutt Brothers: Pioneering Black Impressarios by David Soren

African-American performers, producers and writers Salem Tutt Whitney (born Indiana 1869 – Chicago, Feb. 12, 1934) and J. Homer Tutt (born Logansport, Indiana January 31, 1882- Los Angeles, February 10, 1951) billed themselves as brothers although they may have been...