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February 4th, 2009

Radium Girls!

My dad found the following on the internet:


It's the Catskill Mountain News of Friday, March 19, 1926; the story of interest is "Radium Girls at the Galli-Curci Theatre"

It reads, in its entirety:

"Tom Senna and Splendid Company in Margaretville Monday and Tuesday. A musical Comedy Company of 25 people, mostly girls. This talented organization comes here from fresh triumphs and an extended tour of the country's leading playhouses where they have scored an immense hit. The company is composed of 25 people headed by Tom Senna and Gertrude Webber, and supported by Al Butt, Josephine Malcolm, and Al Golden, and surrounded by the snappiest dancing debutantes ever assembled in one chorus by any company. For the first time at popular prices will also be shown the Eight Radium Girls from Paris. This rare novelty is one of the greatest hits of the season. The Radium set and costumes used in this offering are exactly as seen in the famous Radium scene in the New York Follies. This Musical Comedy is brimming over with song hits, peppy dancing, sparkling comedy and a wealth of colorful scenery and costumes. It is another dollar and a half show at popular prices."

Tom Senna was my great-uncle; one of five relatives (on my Italian grandmother's side) who were in Vaudeville. (On my mother's side, the Duffy family were circus performers, we have been told. Now you know where I get it from.) Gertrude was, of course, his wife, my (great) Aunt Gertrude. My dad points out that Tom probably paid a penny a word for that article. And they don't say what they actually charged for admission, just that it was a show "worth" a dollar and a half, which was a heck of a lot of money in those days.

I am especially tickled with the idea that a family member might have been dabbling in Radium back then. I suspect Gertrude would not have been happy if he actually were dabbling in that Radium, of course...

I just got off an iChat with dad in Florida, where he shared this with me. My only comment was, "Dignity; always dignity!"



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