Friday, August 16, 2019

The Other Broadway Cast

Another new acquisition arrived in the mail a couple days ago. It is a copy of The American Standard magazine for October 16, 1903. The cover girl is Isabel D'Armond, the second actress to ever portray Dorothy. She is wearing Dorothy's "Ball of All Nations" costume.

[Note: Isabel D'Armond's name gets spelled many different ways throughout her career. For the time being I am making this the preferred spelling.]

Isabel D'Armond as Dorothy Gale in  Co. No. 2 of THE WIZARD OF OZ in 1903.

Isabel began her association with The Wizard of Oz musical in March of 1903 when it was announced that she had been cast as Dorothy and would lead the second company tour.

Chicago Tribune, March 22, 1903

Wizard's stage director Julian Mitchell decided to bring Isabel into the original Broadway production at the Majestic Theatre in still another capacity, to take over the role of Tryxie Tryfle while Lotta Faust was on her summer vacation. Isabel played Tryxie from July 6 through the week of August 3, 1903. Obviously this kept Isabel employed (so she wouldn't be tempted to take another job), but it also gave her experience with the original Broadway production and gave her a big opportunity to learn the show.

The second company of The Wizard of Oz began its tour by playing a week at the Montauk Theatre in Brooklyn, New York, premiering on September 7, 1903.

But Wizard's stage director Julian Mitchell had a little trick up his sleeve. He sent four of the leads from the Broadway production (Anna Laughlin, David Montgomery, Fred Stone, and Jeannette Lowrie) to perform the show with Company No. 2 in Brooklyn, while he brought the Company No. 2 stars (Isabel D'Armond and the Swor brothers, who were playing the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman) to the original Broadway production at the Majestic in Manhattan to play for a week.

While it was undoubtedly a fine opportunity for the Company No. 2 stars to get to work with the much more polished Broadway cast, it also enabled the producers to advertise Company No. 2 as featuring the "Stars from the Broadway Production."

After the one-week run in Brooklyn, Laughlin, Montgomery, and Stone headed back to the Majestic, while Lowrie left the show permanently. And Company No. 2 (now starring Isabel D'Armond) set off on the road - first stop Smith's Theatre in Bridgeport, Connecticut, on September 14, 1903.  Company No. 1 wouldn't set out on the road until early October.

Copyright © 2019 David Maxine. All rights reserved.

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