Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Lovecraft at the Theater: Robert Mantell

"I used to think that Leiber {Senior} was really better than Mantell himself — for the latter was getting egotistical, self-conscious, and stagey." -HPL

My best guess: Monday 9 October fits only certain years and NOT 1915 or 1917. It does fit 1916, so that's Chrispy's best guess. (Perpetual Calendar Aid).

Mantell was married to actress Genveieve Hamper (after 1912) and they made a dynamic husband and wife team on the stage. He had at least two "revival" tours in 1915 and 1917. In exact robes, he is listed in a 1917 book on "Da Google", which indicates it is from the 1915 tour. Similar images are reproduced on a number of on line library sources, with NO DATE. Some are lobby cards, others are postcards circulated in the various cities he toured.

Bio articles:

Seller lists no provenance or details other than what is printed on promotional post card. I found one listing on his tour from Grand Rapids: (The advertisement on the back says the company will open for one week at Powers' Theatre, Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Monday, November 13.) This, too, fits the year 1916.

Providence post card with indications Lovecraft saw this or similar productions in Providence.

From a book.

From the Wisconsin Production

A New York image, albeit in black and white.

A 1902 image for comparison.


* Note, Mantell is listed doing a 1916 play earlier in the year, but no listing of other 1916 work: Caliban of the Yellow Sands [Original, Musical, Spectacle], Performer: Robert Mantell [Hamlet] May 24, 1916 - Jun 1916. There would have been time to do a late year tour, though.

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