A few weeks ago, I ran a news item about the poetry of the first Mrs. Tarkington. Just the other day, one of my search engine feeds turned up a Library of Congress photo of Louisa, specified as from the period from 1910 to 1915. A link in the photo’s comment thread led me to the website of painter Tyler Alpern, one of whose muses is Louisa’s nephew Bruz Fletcher.
The influenza epidemic which brought an abrupt end to this Broadway production, as you may or may not recall, also killed millions of people around the globe in 1918… an epidemic spawned by injured soldiers returning home from the trenches of Europe’s drawn-out war. So I doubt that Penrod was the only show that flopped that year.
In 1939, Photoplay Magazine ran a very fine 2-part, detailed profile of actor James Stewart. Today, we mostly think of Stewart for It’s A Wonderful Life and the balance of his post-war oeuvre (including Liberty Valance, The Glenn Miller Story, Winchester ‘73, Rear Window, and his Anthony Mann Westerns), so it’s easy to forget that even before Stewart’s stint as a pilot during the War he was a household name.