Thursday, November 17, 2005

North Carolina and New Jersey

Yesterday, I looked through microfilm of two newspapers, the Charlottle Observer (from Charlotte, North Carolina) and theJerseyman (from Morristown, New Jersey). And in each, I found material about a Louise Brooks' appearance with the Denishawn Dance Company as well as her later role in The American Venus (1926).

Denishawn appeared in Charlotte in February, 1923 - and the substantial review which ran in the Observer noted "Denishawn Company Plays to Large House Here." I found that review, an earlier article, and some advertisements. That coverage was dwarfed by what appeared in the Jerseyman. This small town New Jersey newspaper gave the troupe a substantial front page review of their late April, 1924 performance. Prior to that, the paper had devoted two other front page stories to Denishawn - each noting their upcoming engagement. I also uncovered two distinct advertisements for their appearance at the Morristown High School Auditorium. (This Denishawn event - like many others - was a benefit. This engagement benefitted "the Fund for the Installation of the greatest Carillon of Bells now in this country, recently erected at Morristown." The performance raised more than $2,000.)

Along with the Denishawn material, I also found a few items relating to the screening of  The American Venus in Morristown. (Especially interesting are reviews of this film from New Jersey newspapers, as the film was partially shot at the Atlantic City Miss America contest of 1925.) Among the material I found in the Jerseyman was an article entitled "How Fay Lanphier Was Chosen 'Miss America' and 'American Venus'." No doubt supplied by the studio, it addressed the controversy over Lanphier's selection as Miss America and her awarding of a movie contract (by Walter Wanger) to appear in The American Venus.

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