HENTY CLAVIN COMBINATION Actors and stage hands sign a plaque thanking Henry Calvin who, behaving in character as "the Wazir of Police," prevented a panic when a theater fire broke out backstage Document signed:

Sale Price $1,280.00

Reg. $1,600.00

Condition: fine condition
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Actors and stage hands sign a plaque thanking Henry Calvin who, behaving in character as "the Wazir of Police," prevented a panic when a theater fire broke out backstage
Document signed: "Frances Compton", "Julie Wilson", "Carmen Austin", "Thelma Dare", "Erica Twiford", "Jo Ann O'Connell", "Bunny Yarick", "Ann Flood", "George Yarick", "Lynne Stuart", "Roberta Stevenson", "Bonnie Evans", "Lucy Andonian", "Bob Lamont", "Arthur Hammond", "Tom Rogers", "Ralph Strane", "Bill Johnson", "Jimmy Wisher", "Earle MacVeigh", "Truman Gaige", "Bruce MacKay", "Dick Vine", "Ned Thurston", "Don Weissmuller", "Kirby Smith", "Steve Reeves", "Mario Lamm", "Steve Ferry", "Florence Lessing", "Beatrice Kraft", "Nancy Lynch", "Bruce Ward", "Neile Adams", and 12 unidentified signatures, 1p, 13x25. Forty-six signatures in all. Enclosed in wooden frame with glass front. The illuminated text reads, in part: "... the entire cast ... is from this day forward completely and abjectly indebted to our Henry Calvin, the fat and famous 'Wazir of Police' in the aforementioned production for protecting their persons and properties ... on the Eight Day of January, 1955, on the occasion of a sudden fire backstage ... and whereas, since the same Henry Calvin did appeal to the groundlings and the others, in the character of the fat and famous "Wazir of Police', to 'Pray, tarry yet awhile', and to 'hold, friends' and 'Stay, I beseech you', thus preventing hysteria and panic and multiple tramplings and maimings and numerous lawsuits even unto the seventh generation ..." Some light signatures. Overall, fine condition. Accompanied by unsigned photograph (b/w, 8x10) of Henry Calvin holding the plaque. Lightly toned. Slightly worn at edges. Otherwise, fine condition. The hit musical Kismet was originally performed at the Ziegfield Theatre from 1953 December 3 to 1955 April 23, spawning such hit songs as "Baubles, Bangles and Beads" and "Stranger in Paradise." The show won three Tony Awards in 1954, including Best Musical. Signers JULIE WILSON (1924-2015) and BILL JOHNSON had replaced original stars Joan Diener and Alfred Drake in the role of Lalume and Public Poet. Popular cabaret singer Wilson was in the national road company of Kiss Me Kate (1949-1951) and appeared in films, including This Could Be the Night (1957). Johnson and Wilson would each be nominated later for a Tony, Johnson for Pipe Dream (1956) and Wilson for Legs Diamond (1989).  Body builder STEVE REEVES (1926-2000), formerly Mr. America, Mr. Universe and later the star of sword and sandals film epics like Hercules (1957), was an unlikely police guard in Kismet, swathed head to toe in a black caftan. Perhaps he didn't want to distract attention from his wife Joan Diener, the show's original female lead. TRUMAN GAIGE (1906-2012) performed on Broadway through the late 1960s (1776), made TV guest appearances into the 1980sAlthough many of the signers appeared in credits for several Broadway performances of the era, none became a major star. EARLE MacVEIGH (1911-1985) had held prominent roles in several Gilbert and Sullivan revivals of the late 1940s. LYNNE STUART became a successful general manager on the great white way. HENRY CALVIN (1918-1975) starred in the role of the Wazir of Police, leading the Baghdad police and guards in the rousing "Was I Wazir." (Why hasn't this number inspired a contemporary satire?)Calvin, staying in character as noted in the document, kept order in the theater, preventing a panic. Calvin's career moved in a new direction, however. He became nationally known as the affable but hapless Sergeant Garcia in Disney's TV production of Zorro (1957-1959). True to his musical roots, Calvin sometimes broke into song in episodes of Zorro. Two items. Framed, not in Gallery of History style. Not reviewed by us for conservation integrity. "As is" framing purchase.  

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