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

Monday, August 12, 2013

Passing Review

A while back I mentioned Jack Singer's The Passing Review, a theatrical turn that traveled the country and included impersonations of Montgomery & Stone in The Wizard of Oz. Here's a postcard image, found online, as well as an ad for the troupe from the Greenville Kentucky Record, Dec 16th 1909. The ad lists several popular performers who will be impersonated, including Montgomery & Stone, and even impressario Oscar Hammerstein!

The same paper included a brief write-up of the show, specifically mentioning Bobby Burgess and Arthur Roach -

"The comedians are Bobby Burgess, who for several years has played the Scarecrow, Arthur Roach as the Tinman, Montgomery and Stone's greatest success, are peers in their take off of New York's greatest laugh-makers."

Not the best grammer, but the point is made. Anna Laughlin (Dorothy) was impersonated by "...Miss Clara West who is shown at her best in her impersonations of Anna Held.."

The production is billed as "Strictly High Class Moral and Refined Musical Comedy". I'm not quite sure what to make of the final line of the ad - "Ponderous singing chorus of the road." (!)


Anonymous said...

This is a little of topic but it is about The Wizard of Oz musical. I was recently giving a gift of two beautiful lanterns. When they were purchased, the history was that they were used as stage props in one of the original productions of the musical. I was wondering if you knew of any websites or pictures that I could look at to see if I can find them and verify this. I would love anyones help on the subject. They are beautiful.

Bill Campbell said...

I'd love to see a picture of them if you have one - my email is wcam60@aol.com
There actually aren't that many photos showing the original stage sets, they usually focus on the performers - probably the current best source is the book Oz Before the Rainbow, by Mark Evan Swartz. There are quite a few photos, though once again not too many showing the sets! Also, it's very possible they could be from any of the innumerable stage productions that have been done over the years - it could be quite difficult to track them down...