Welcome to my blog, featuring various pieces from my collection of Oz books, artwork and memorabilia!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Another Ozzy Mystery

After the photo last week of Montgomery & Stone, I thought I'd share a couple odd little photos I ran across online while looking through the New York Public Library Digital Gallery.

Here we have an unidentified pair of performers, in costume as the Scarecrow and, could that possibly be, Jack Pumpkinhead? These are from a group of photos printed on a contact sheet, with no information other than the name of the photographer, White Studios in New York City. They were filed under Wizard of Oz, but I don't think this has anything to do with the Broadway Wizard. There is no date to help with identification, and these could easily be an unknown pair of vaudeville performers. (Note - see the comments below for identification of these performers).

This certainly isn't Fred Stone and David Montgomery, and I know of no occasions when these two characters would have been together in a stage production - if that actually is Jack Pumpkinhead. There is a definite resemblance to the makeup style used in The Wogglebug, the unfortunate show that never made it to Broadway, and featured Jack Pumpkinhead as seen on the right.







 
The Scarecrow is clearly copied from the Fred Stone character, with a notably different hat, but the other figure is harder to place. It's a bizarre and intriguing couple of images!

Here's a final shot, showing the two performers in more standard outfitting, as well as in character. Another little mystery waiting to be solved...

9 comments:

Sam A M said...

My best guess, which could also be the worst possibility, is that it could be the Pumpkin from Denslow's book-musical.

I know I'm most likely wrong, but that's all I can figure.

Bill Campbell said...

It's not a bad guess, but the character in The Pearl and the Pumpkin looked very different compared to this costume. I don't really know whether this is even meant to be a pumpkin, but that's what it looks like to me!

Nasal Noteworthy said...

The image of these two characters are to be found in the book "A Pictorial History of Vaudeville" by Bernard Sobel, published by Citadel Press in 1961. There, on page 139 we find the caption: "Early vaudevillians Charles Daly and Dan Healy went on tour with a stunning imitation of the Montgomery and Stone "Scarecrow Dance" from The Wizard of Oz."

Daly played the Scarecrow and Healy the Pumpkin man. This may have been a sort of pastiche of both the Wizard and Land of Oz. In any event, I hope this answers your question.

Bill Campbell said...

That's great to know! I had no idea - it's fascinating to me that they made use of Jack Pumpkinhead rather than the Tin Man.

J. L. Bell said...

Could the choice have something to do with getting close enough to Montgomery and Stone for audiences to recognize but not so close as to prompt copyright complaints? A scarecrow is a more common figure than a tin woodman, especially when paired with a living pumpkin.

Bill Campbell said...

That would be a logical reason for not doing a direct imitation, although it does seem to have been done. I've seen the period postcard featuring Jack Singer's Passing Review, which looks like a straightforward copy of the main characters from the Broadway show. I wonder how many variations popped up during the time of the show's success?

Bill Thompson said...

It looks similar to a 1912 Broadway play called The Lady Of the Slipper, Bill. See my Facebook Photo Album of the souvenir book from it. It is not Montgomery and Stone, but I wonder if it's Daly and Healy in the same show...

Bill Campbell said...

I think you've hit on the solution - I'm not familiar with The Lady of the Slipper, but after looking through your souvenir booklet, these must be the same characters!

Hungry Tiger Talk said...

It is indeed a riff on LADY OF THE SLIPPER. It was a Victor Herbert retelling of CINDERELLA and Montgomery and Stone played Punks and Spooks (a Scarecrow and living Pumpkin man) who are created by Cinderella's fairy godmother. The two vaudevillians, Daley and Healey are spoofing the Herbert show.