Dangerfield, Fred (Scenery and Mechanical Effects).
Chicago. American Extravaganza Company. 1891.
Theatre program and assorted ephemera from the musical extravaganza "Sinbad, or the Maid of Balsora," produced by David Henderson's American Extravaganza Company in 1891 at the Chicago Opera House with Eddie Foy in the featured role of Fresco. Scenery and "Mechanical Effects" were handled by Fred Dangerfield, who had designed Gilbert and Sullivan productions at the Savoy Theatre in London. The book and lyrics were by Harry B. Smith. The Sinbad ephemera includes a program from the Baldwin Theatre in San Francisco (October 12, 1891) that celebrates, with the show on tour, the 150th presentation of the musical (very good condition). Also, two 11 x 7 inch cards with lithographic images in color from the production (perhaps front and back sheets of a binder; damp stains to front and rear and short repaired tear to rear). Finally, and most delightfully, nine color lithographs depicting seventeen primary characters from the production, including an image of Eddie Foy in the role of Fresco; all in very good condition. The musical extravaganza opened in June 1891 in Chicago and went on tour that summer, returning to Chicago in the fall where it continued its successful run. Many of the featured male characters were "breeches roles" performed by women; a cast of over 200 actors and dancers was involved. The plot was slim, but offered ample opportunity for spectacular scenic effects. Sinbad's beloved Ninetta is kidnapped by the villainous smuggler Snarleyow; Sinbad pursues the villain, assisted by the fairy Cupid. The Baldwin program lists scenes as they unfold: "The Deck of the Roc" (a ship) with "a storm at sea. The vessel sinks"; we move to "A Tropical Isle" and the rescue of Ninetta"; we next find ourselves "In the Jungle" and at last enter "The Valley of Diamonds" (featuring "A Grand Ballet, A Winter's Carnival"--i.e. dancing Icicles and Snowflakes, etc.); then we're off to "The Palace of Sinbad and Grand Wedding Cavalcade." A "Transformation" scene wraps up the piece. An unusual and colorful collection of 19th century Chicago musical theatre ephemera. Item #51111
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