Friday, November 28, 2008

Providence 28 November 1928

It's highly unlikely that HPL attended this play, but it shows the cultural milieu.

"The Rabbit's Foot (A Musical Extravaganza)" // Lyrics by Grace Sherwood, music by Ruth Tripp

Performed at the Providence Plantations Club, November 28 and 29, 1932

Eighteen songs in the show. The show's plot involved pirates, bootleggers, and Russian dancers. The theme song, "Rabbit's Foot Blues," was written for a female character named Honey Dew Melon Jones, a racial caricature in the minstrel tradition.

Gertrude Pridgett was born into a showbiz family that performed in minstrel shows. She first appeared onstage in 1900, singing and dancing in minstrel and vaudeville stage revues. In 1902 she married the song and dance man William "Pa" Rainey and from then on became known as Ma Rainey. The couple formed a song and dance act that included Blues and popular songs. They toured the country, but primarily the South and became a popular attraction as part of Tolliver's Circus, The Musical Extravaganza and The Rabbit Foot Minstrels

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