Who's Who in Musicals: Addendum 2004
by John Kenrick
b. June 1, 1940 (New York City)
A graduate of Carnegie Mellon, this gifted comic actor was the child of
a Pulitzer Prize-wining journalist and a princess. He appeared in dozens of
regional productions before making his Broadway debut in a 1968 Lincoln
Center production of King Lear. He created the role of designer
"Sebastian Baye" in Coco (1969). Although a vicious
caricature, it was the first "openly gay" featured character in a
Auberjonois's performance included the show-stopping song "Fiasco!,"
and brought him the Tony for Best Featured Actor in a
Musical. He followed this by playing Father Mulcahey in the big screen
version of M*A*S*H (1970)
The slender and nimble Auberjonois has alternated between musicals and
straight comedies throughout his career. His Broadway musical roles include
"The Duke" in Big River (1985), film producer
"Irwin S. Irving" in City of Angels (1989), and vampire
slaying "Professor Abronsius" in the ill-fated Dance
of the Vampires (2002). Auberjonois is well known for his
performances on television, including the governor's pompous secretary
"Clayton" on Benson, the shape-shifting
"Odo" on Star Trek: Deep Space
Nine, and attorney Paul Lewiston on Boston Legal.
Cook, Will Marion
b. Jan. 27, 1869 (Washington, DC) - d. July 19, 1944 (New York )
A graduate of Oberlin College, Cook became the first African American
composer to break through the color barrier to Broadway. With a
combination of talent and bravado, his Clorindy (1898) became the
first black musical to play (albeit briefly) on Broadway. Cook had
better luck with In Dahomey (1903),
a vehicle for Bert Williams and
George Walker that followed a modest
New York run with a sensational success in London.
Known for his erratic temper, Cook continued his association with
Williams & Walker, providing scores for Abyssinia (1906) and
Bandana Land (1908). Although these shows still used old racial
stereotypes, they made the first serious efforts to depict blacks as
multi-dimensional characters. When the vogue for all-black musicals
faded, Cook continued interpolating songs in Broadway scores.
Coyne, Joseph E.
b. Mar. 27, 1867 (New York City) - d. Feb. 17, 1941 (Surrey, UK)
After making his Broadway at age 13, Coyne developed his talents as a
light comedian in vaudeville. After a series of minor Broadway roles, he
moved to England, where he soon garnered the role he is best remembered
for, "Prince Danilo" in the first English-speaking production
of The Merry Widow (1907). Coyne thought himself miscast, but
his nimble depiction of dissipated nobility won him lasting
star status on the West End. His played the male leads in London's The
Dollar Princess (1909), The Quaker Girl (1910), and The
Girl From Utah (1913), among many other musical hits. At age 58,
Coyne received fresh acclaim as the youthful attorney "Jimmy
Smith" in No, No, Nanette (1925). After several disappointing
follow-ups, he retired from the stage in 1931.
(b. Phyllis Haddie Dones)
b. Aug. 15, 1890 (London, UK) - d. April 27, 1975 (Brighton)
(b. Florence Hariette Zena Dones)
b. Feb 4, 1887 (London, UK) - d. March 11, 1975 (London)
The Dare sisters got their start as children appearing in holiday
pantomimes. Zena Dare created the
lead role in Catch of the Season (1905), and had several minor
success before moving on to marriage and a career in non-musical roles
-- including a song-free role in
Ivor Novello's Perchance to Dream
(1945) and King's Rhapsody (1949 costarring Novello and
Zena's sister Phyllis. Zena made her final appearance as
"Mrs. Higgins" in the London cast of My Fair Lady (1958),
a role she played with relish for seven years.
Phyllis Dare made her West End
debut at age 11. She graduated to leads by taking over Zena's role in The
Catch of the Season (1905). Phyllis went on to star as "Eileen"
in The Arcadians (1909), "Dora" in The Girl From Utah
(1913), "Sally" in Miss Hook of Holland (1914), and
"Fay Blake" in Lido Lady (1926). Dare segued into non-musical
roles, making her final singing appearance as "Marta" in
King's Rhapsody (1949). Phyllis died just six weeks after her sister.
(b. Frederique Rosine DeGresac)
b. 1866 (France) - d. Feb. 20, 1943 (Hollywood)
In a business dominated by men, this stylish woman wrote under a
masculine pseudonym. After winning notoriety in France with her
innovative coverage of the Dreyfus case, she moved to America and found
herself collaborating on a series of musicals with music by
Victor Herbert -- including
The Enchantress (1911), Sweethearts
(1913), and Orange Blossoms (1922).
Hoschna, Karl L.
b. Aug. 16, 1877 (Kuschwarda, Bohemia) - d. Dec. 22, 1911 (New York
Trained in Vienna, Hoschna emigrated to America and played oboe in
Victor Herbert's orchestra before working as an arranger & composer
for Tin Pan Alley. He began contributing songs to musicals, usually in
collaboration with lyricist Otto Harbach.
Their first complete score to
reach Broadway was Three Twins (1910), which included
"Cuddle Up a Little Closer To Me." They had even better luck
providing an all-new book and score for the popular American adaptation
of Madame Sherry (1910), which included "Every Little
Movement Has a Meaning All It's Own." Hoschna churned out five more
musicals in the next year, including The Fascinating Widow
(1911), a Broadway vehicle for female impersonator Julian Eltinge.
Hoschna died at age 34.
Hoyt, Charles Hale
Librettist, lyricist, producer
b. 1860 (Concord, NH) - d. Nov. 20, 1900 (New York City)
One of the most prolific comic playwrights of the 19th Century, Hoyt
created several libretti for musical farce comedies, including two
memorable hits. A Trip to Chinatown (1891) had a record-setting
Broadway run, and Hoyt contributed the lyric for the hit song "The
Bowery." He also adapted his comedy A Parlor Match as an
1896 musical vehicle for Ziegfeld star Anna Held. Hoyt occasionally
acted as producer of his projects, becoming one of the wealthiest
theatrical personalities of his time. Suffering from symptoms of
advanced syphilis, he died at age 40.
Actress, manager, producer
b. July 20, 1826 (Winchester, England) - d. Nov. 4, 1873 (Montclair, NJ)
After touring Great Britain with comedienne Madame Vestris, the attractive
actress made her Broadway debut in Lester Wallack's company in
1852. Keene toured extensively and ran her own company in San
Francisco before returning to New York in 1855 as Broadway's first successful
female actor-manager. She built her own Broadway theatre, Laura Keene's
Varieties, where she produced and starred in a repertory of comedies and
occasional musical burlesques, moving to a new, larger theatre in 1856.
While delighting the public, the dictatorial Keene frequently ruffled
the feathers of her fellow actors. Her lifelong battle with tuberculosis
makes her success in a grueling male-dominated profession all the more remarkable.
At a time when a month long Broadway run was
considered a hit, Keene's "musical burletta"
The Seven Sisters
(1860) ran for 253 performances, the longest continuous theatrical run
up to that time.. In 1863, the financial uncertainties caused by the
Civil War forced Keene to give up her theatre. She took her company on an
ongoing national tour, relying on a non-musical repertory. On April
14, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated during
Keene's performance in the comedy hit Our American Cousin at
Fords Theatre in Washington, DC. After calming the riotous audience, she
cradled the dying president's head in her lap. Although Keene had no connection
with the plot, she never escaped the shadow of that tragedy. She toured and
lectured, occasionally displaying the dress soaked with Lincoln's blood. Keene
died of a tubercular hemorrhage at age 47.
Mann, Terrence V.b. July 1, 1951
Actor, singer, dancer
After appearing in the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival and the Off-Broadway
production of A Night at the Fights (1979), this handsome and athletic
actor made his Broadway debut in the ensemble of Barnum (1980). He was
Broadway's first "Rum Tum Tugger" in Cats (1982), leaping
about the audience with manic Mick Jagger-esque glee. A tall and handsome baritone
with powerful stage presence, Mann graduated to leading man status as
"Saul" in the short lived Rags (1986). He received a Tony
nomination for his memorable performance as "Javert" in
Les Miserables (1987) and took over as narrator of
Jerome Robbins Broadway in 1990.
Mann created the role of "The Beast" in Disney's stage version of
Beauty and the Beast (1994), earning his second Tony nomination. After
appearing in the short-lived drama Getting Away With Murder (1996), he
originated the role of the conniving "Chauvelin" in
Frank Wildhorn's The Scarlet Pimpernel
(1997). He took over as "Frankenfurter" during the Broadway revival
of The Rocky Horror Show (2001), and appeared as stuffy "Mal
Beineke" in The Addams Family (2010). Mann is married to fellow Broadway
musical star Charlotte d'Amboise.
Dancer, singer, actress
b. Mar. 11, 1907 (London, UK) - d. Aug. 19, 1981 (Pinner, UK)
One of the London stage's most popular stars, Matthews got her start as a chorus dancer
in several West End shows, and traveled to Broadway for Andre Charlot's Revue
(1924) and Earl Carroll's Vanities (1927). She
also appeared in Noel Coward's hit London revue
This Year of Grace (1928) and the West End and New York productions
of Wake Up and Dream (1929). Matthews starred in
Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's
London hit Ever Green, introducing "Dancing on the Ceiling"
a task she repeated in the 1934 screen version.
She appeared in half a dozen London shows and three films with her
second husband, musical comedy star Sonnie Hale.
Several mediocre film and stage musicals led Matthews to withdraw from
public performance for many years, returning to appear in the film Tom
Thumb (1958). She continued to appear on stage and television,
making concert appearances through the late 1970s. One of her final
professional roles was as Wallis Simpson's "Aunt Bessie" in the TV mini
series Edward and Mrs. Simpson (1980).
b. July 10, 1894 (Boston, MA) - d. May 23, 1969 (Beverly Hills, CA)
Dubbed by columnist Bernard Sobel as "the most affable" of
Broadway's golden age composers, McHugh worked amicably with numerous
lyricists, but is best remembered for his work with
Dorothy Fields. After composing several songs
for Harlem's legendary Cotton Club, they created the score for
Broadway's Blackbirds of 1928, which included "I Can't Give You
Anything But Love" and "Doin' the New Low Down." And
although Lew Leslie's International Revue (1930) failed, it's
McHugh-Fields score boasted two major hits: "Exactly Like You" and
"On the Sunny Side of the Street." The team moved to Hollywood in
the early 1930s, where they turend out such hits as "Cuban Love Song"
and gradually (and cordially) chose to work with new collaborators.
Well-liked and professionally admired by his colleagues, McHugh contributed
songs to dozens of films. He could turn out melodies with seemingly effortless
speed, even while driving a car. Readily able to adapt to a variety of styles and
genres, he kept turning out hit songs through the mid-1950s
a remarkable feat considering the changes in popular taste during those years.
McLellan, Charles Morton
(aka - "Hugh Morton")
b. 1865 (Bath, Maine) - d. Sept. 22, 1916 (London)
This former journalist teamed with composer Gustave Kerker
(1857-1923) to create several Broadway musicals, including The
Belle of New York (1897) -- which went from a modest New York run to
become a major hit in London. McLellan wrote seven more libretti, most
with composer Ivan Caryll -- including the Broadway favorite The Pink
Lady (1911). His career was cut short by his death at age 51.
b. May 7, 1958 (Queens, NY)
This New York native made her Broadway debut as a replacement "Voice
of Sonia" in the long-running hit They're Playing Our Song
(1980). After serving as an understudy in the musical adaptation of The
Human Comedy (1984), Murphy took over the gender-switched title role
in The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1986). Her searing portrayal of
"Fosca" in Stephen Sondheim's Passion (1994) earned the Tony for Best
Actress in a Musical. Murphy copped a second Tony playing "Anna" in an
innovative revival of The King and I (1996). Noted for her serious
portrayals, this versatile actress surprised many with her comic
performance as "Ruth Sherwood" in an acclaimed revival of Wonderful Town
(2003). She won fresh acclaim in the Encores concert series playing
"Phyllis" in Follies (2007) and "Cora Hooper"
in Anyone Can Whistle (2009). She is married to actor Shawn Elliott.
b. 1865 (London) - d. July 1, 1914 (London)
The diminutive comedy star of the Gaiety Theatre musicals first worked
for producer George Edwardes as "Shrimp" in In Town (1892).
Supporting roles in Don Juan (1893) and The Shop Girl
(1894) led to a long series of star comic parts in The Circus Girl
(1896), A Runaway Girl (1898), The Toreador (1900), The
Girls of Gottenberg (1907) and Our Miss Gibbs (1909), among
others. Soon after illness forced Payne out of
rehearsals for The Girl From Utah, he died at age 49.
Rice, Thomas Dartmouth
Minstrel, singer, dancer
b. May 20, 1808 (New York) - d. Sept. 19, 1860 (NYC)
A minor traveling performer, Rice stumbled into history in 1828 when a
Louisville street dancer inspired him to put on blackface make-up and
perform of an old Negro singing "Jump Jim Crow." This hateful
racial parody delighted audiences, bringing Rice international fame. Rice
went on to depict Jim Crow in a series of 1830s burlesque musicals that he
called "Ethiopian Operas." While Rice was certainly not the first
white performer to use blackface, his unprecedented success inspired the
rise of minstrelsy. He appeared with several minstrel troupes in the
1840s, but was bankrupt by the time
paralysis led to his death at age 58.
Strauss, Johann, II
b. Oct. 25, 1852 (Vienna) - d. June 3, 1899 (Vienna)
The most popular composer of his time, Strauss was a natural fit for the
musical stage. Inspired by the success of Jacques Offenbach, Vienna's beloved
"Waltz King" provided the music for fifteen operettas,
several of which became international favorites. Die
Fledermaus (1874) is his best known score, still staged
by major opera companies all over the world -- and its giddy overture
remains a "classical standard." Cagliostro in Wein
(1975), Ein Nacht in Venedig (1883) and Der Zigeunerbaron
(1885) are still occasionally heard. Several successful musicals have
posthumously used Strauss melodies, including Wiener Blut (1899),
Walzer aus Wein (1930) and the stage and screen versions of The
b. June 4, 1955 (Philadelphia, PA)
This gifted comic actress made her Broadway debut as an ensemble
replacement in Barnum (1982). She played gossip columnist "Hedda
Hopper" in the short lived Marilyn (1983), and was a standby for
"Angel" in The Rink (1984). Testa won long overdue attention as the
imperious "Domina" in an acclaimed revival of A Funny Thing Happened On
The Way To The Forum (1996), and as "Madame Maude" in a short-lived
revival of On The Town (1998) -- for which she received her first
Tony nomination. She created the role of "Magdalena" in Marie Christine
(1999), an operatic adaptation of Medea. Testa was riotous as "Maggie"
in the long-running revival of 42nd Street (2001), earning her
second Tony nomination. She played the dual roles of "Melpomene"
and "Medusa" in Xanadu (2007), and "General
Matilda B. Cartwright" in the unsuccessful revival of Guys and
Dolls (2009). Her numerous television roles include a cabaret singer
on Sex in the City (2002), and she appeared in the film Eat
Pray Love (2010)
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