Guide to the Ralph G. Allen Burlesque Collection, 1905-1962 CTC.1972.02

ULS Archives & Special Collections

Summary Information

Repository
ULS Archives & Special Collections
Title
Ralph G. Allen Burlesque Collection
Creator
Allen, Ralph G.
Collection Number
CTC.1972.02
Date [inclusive]
1905-1962
Extent
1.5 linear feet (3 boxes)
Abstract
This collection contains approx. 150 scripts of burlesque sketches and 9 audio recordings of interviews and performances compiled by Ralph G. Allen and his colleague John Ulrich in a 1962 project funded by the Charles E. Merrill Faculty Fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh. Materials were drawn from the personal recollections and records of Jess Mack, Billy "Cheese and Crackers" Hagan ("baggy pants" comedian), Billy Foster, Irving Harman, and Jack Coyle.

Preferred Citation

Ralph G. Allen Burlesque Collection, ca. 1905-1962, CTC.1972.02, Curtis Theatre Collection, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

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Biography

Ralph G. Allen (1934-2004), was born in Philadelphia and graduated summa cum laude from Amherst College in 1955. In 1960 he received the Doctor of Fine Arts degree from Yale University School of Drama where he held the MCA Fellowship in Playwriting and was a John Golden Fellow. In 1965 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. His alma mater, Amherst College, awarded him a Doctor of Humane Letters degree in 1980.

A former University of Pittsburgh faculty member, Allen was a writer, director, teacher, historian , and theatrical advisor who served the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, UCLA, the University of Victoria, New York University School of the Arts, The University of Tennessee, and Queens College.

While in residence at the University of Pittsburgh, Allen collaborated with Professor John Ulrich with the aid of a Charles E. Merrill Faculty Fellowship, to compile Burlesque sketches from comedian Billy Hagan's personal collection and interviews from performers Billy Foster, Bert Carr, Maxie Furman, Irving Harman, Jack Coyle, and Billy "Cheese and Crackers" Hagan.

Allen co-conceived the Tony awarding winning musical, Sugar Babies, and frequently published scholarly articles on the burlesque. His play,  A Horse of a Different Color, premiered at the Three Rivers Shakespeare Festival in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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Scope and Content Notes

Series I contains a collection of burlesque skits compiled from the personal records of Jess Mack of Boston, an agent and former Burlesque Performer. Series II contains audio recordings of burlesque performances of Billy Hagan, Frank X. Silk, Lou Browne, Floyd Hallicy and interviews with Billy Hagan, Billy Foster, Irving Harman, and Jack Coyle.

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Arrangement

Series I. Burlesque skits

Series II. Audio reels

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ULS Archives & Special Collections, February 2007

University of Pittsburgh Library System
Archives & Special Collections
Website: library.pitt.edu/archives-special-collections
412-648-3232 (ASC) | 412-648-8190 (Hillman)
Contact Us: www.library.pitt.edu/ask-archivist

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright

Ralph G. Allen controls publication and performance rights.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Ralph G. Allen in 1972.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Curtis Theatre Collection Staff in 1972. Collection inventory re-engineered by Colleen Reilly in February 2007.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • University of Pittsburgh.

Genre(s)

  • Audiotapes

Geographic Name(s)

  • Boston (Mass.)
  • Pittsburgh (Pa.)

Occupation(s)

  • Actors

Personal Name(s)

  • Allen, Ralph G.
  • Coyle, Jack
  • Foster, Billy
  • Hagan, Billy
  • Hallicy, Floyd
  • Harman, Irving
  • Mack, Jess
  • Silk, Frank X.
  • Ulrich, John

Subject(s)

  • Burlesques
  • Performing arts -- United States
  • Theater
  • Theater -- United States
  • Vaudeville

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Previous Citation

Ralph G. Allen Burlesque Collection, ca. 1905-1962, CTC.1972.02, Curtis Theatre Collection, Special Collections Department, University of Pittsburgh

Ralph G. Allen Burlesque Collection, ca. 1905-1962, CTC.01, Curtis Theatre Collection, Special Collections Department, University of Pittsburgh

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Collection Inventory

Series  I. Burlesque Skits 

Scope and Content Notes

Series I contains a collection of burlesque skits compiled from the personal records of Jess Mack of Boston, an agent and former Burlesque Performer. Some of the skits have multiple copies or different versions within the same folder.

  BoxFolder
Egg in the hat 11
  Folder
In Mexico 2
  Folder
Oriental bit in one watch and money 3
  Folder
Quaker girl 4
  Folder
The race 6
  Folder
Radio bit 7
  Folder
Radio material 8
  Folder
Radio scene 9
  Folder
Rag time duel 10
  Folder
Ragged coat bit 11
  Folder
The raid 12
  Folder
Recitation 13
  Folder
Red and green traffic light scene 14
  Folder
Red rose bit 15
  Folder
Reform 16
  Folder
Renting a room 17
  Folder
Renting half an office 18
  Folder
Restaurant scene 19
  Folder
The returned soldier 20
  Folder
Room 202 21
  Folder
The rose 22
  Folder
Rubber plant 23
  Folder
Rubber scene 24
  Folder
Russian Bolshevik scene 25
  Folder
S.A. 26
  Folder
Safety deposit vault 27
  Folder
Sailor scene 28
  Folder
Sailors return 29
  Folder
Salesman 30
  Folder
Sally don't live in our alley no more and Why don't you marry 31
  Folder
Saloon scene 32
  Folder
Sarah the snake 33
  Folder
Saratoga Springs 34
  Folder
School days 35
  Folder
Scotch blood blackout 36
  Folder
Scrutinizing scene 37
  Folder
Selling a theatre 38
  Folder
Selling clothes 39
  Folder
72nd Street 40
  Folder
Sherlock Holmes detective agency 41
  Folder
The sheik 42
  Folder
Shimmy scene 43
  Folder
Shirt back to back bit 44
  Folder
Shoe store 45
  Folder
Silverware 46
  Folder
Six feet in bed 47
  Folder
A slight mistake 48
  Folder
Slogan wise 49
  Folder
Smith baby scene 50
  Folder
So young and innocent scene 51
  Folder
A social inconvenience 52
  Folder
Soft and loud scene 53
  Folder
Soldier Bill 54
  Folder
Song and dance troupe 55
  Folder
Spanish bullfight 56
  Folder
Spanish version 57
  Folder
Speech kissing bit 58
  Folder
Spot bit 59
  Folder
Stage door bit in one 60
  Folder
Stage door scene 61
  Folder
Stand in scene 62
  Folder
Standing on my feet 63
  Folder
States recitations 64
  Folder
Static bit 65
  Folder
Street cleaner cart 66
  Folder
Street cleaning bit 67
  Folder
Street walker 68
  Folder
Subway scene 69
  Folder
Suffragette 70
  Folder
Suicide scene 71
  Folder
Swat the fly 72
  Folder
Sweet singer 73
  Folder
Syncopated entrance for two comics 74
  Folder
System kiss bit 75
  BoxFolder
Table scene 21
  Folder
Tailor bootlegger bit 2
  Folder
Take em to the door blues 3
  Folder
Take off my pants 4
  Folder
Take out the deuces and trays 5
  Folder
Talkative salesman 6
  Folder
Teasie weasie 7
  Folder
Telegram scene 8
  Folder
Telephone bit 9
  Folder
Telephone booth 10
  Folder
That's my wife 11
  Folder
Theatre bit 12
  Folder
Theatre box office 13
  Folder
Third degree 14
  Folder
3 A.M. or taking a sweetheart home 15
  Folder
Three detectives 16
  Folder
Three drunks 17
  Folder
Three people act 18
  Folder
Three suitcase scene 19
  Folder
Three waiters 20
  Folder
Title bit 21
  Folder
Tongue and cheese sandwich scene 22
  Folder
Tony the spider 23
  Folder
Topics bit 24
  Folder
Tough bit 25
  Folder
Traffic cop 26
  Folder
Train hold up 27
  Folder
Train scene 28
  Folder
The traveling salesman 29
  Folder
Travesty scene 30
  Folder
Trim scene 31
  Folder
Trying to get arrested 32
  Folder
Two cop scene 33
  Folder
Two gilters from Boston 34
  Folder
Two of the four hundred 35
  Folder
Under the table 36
  Folder
Upside down business 37
  Folder
Upstairs 38
  Folder
Vacuum cleaner scene 39
  Folder
The vagabond lovers 40
  Folder
Valencia 41
  Folder
The vampire 42
  Folder
Vanishing scene 43
  Folder
Vaudeville hokem dance art 44
  Folder
Waiter strike bit 45
  Folder
War debt 46
  Folder
Wardrobe or kitchen scene 47
  Folder
Westfall murder case 48
  Folder
Where is Nellie? 49
  Folder
Whiskey in club bit 50
  Folder
Whiskey taster bit 51
  Folder
White seal 52
  Folder
Whiz & wham 53
  Folder
Who died first 54
  Folder
The widow and the bachelor 55
  Folder
Widow scene 56
  Folder
Wild cat wild 57
  Folder
Winter scene - old jaw bone 58
  Folder
Wise child court 59
  Folder
Wise guy 60
  Folder
Wishing book 61
  Folder
Within the law 62
  Folder
The woman I've been going with for the past three years 63
  Folder
Woman scene 64
  Folder
The woman who pays 65
  Folder
Women court room scene 66
  Folder
The wrestlers 67
  Folder
Wrinkles scene 68
  Folder
The wrong flat 69
  Folder
Yes sir, that's my baby 70
  Folder
You ain't got it 71
  Folder
You got to have it in Hollywood 72
  Folder
You hit the spot; stormy weather 73
  Folder
You're standing on my feet 74
  Folder
You're a liar bit 75

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Series  II. Audio Tapes 

Scope and Content Notes

Series II contains audio recordings of burlesque performances of Billy Hagan, Frank X. Silk, Lou Browne, Floyd Hallicy and interviews with Billy Hagan, Billy Foster, Irving Harman, and Jack Coyle.

  BoxItem
Interview with Billy Hagan, May 8, 1962    9.0 items 31-2
("Interview with Billy Hagan," online pending)
  Item
Interviews with Billy Hagan, Billy Foster, Irving Harman, and Jack Coyle Wheel #1, May 7, 1962 3
("Interviews with Billy Hagan, Billy Foster, Irving Harman, and Jack Coyle Wheel #1," online pending)
  Item
Interviews with Billy Hagan, Jack Coyle, Irving Harman, and Billy Foster, April 11, 1962 4
("Interviews with Billy Hagan, Jack Coyle, Irving Harman, and Billy Foster," online pending)
  Item
Interviews with Billy Hagan, Ralph and Harriet Allen, Irving Harman, and Larry V Heller, May 9, 1962 5
("Interviews with Billy Hagan, Ralph and Harriet Allen, Irving Harman, and Larry V Heller," online pending)
  Item
Interviews with Irving Harman, Billy Hagan, Billy Foster, and Jack Coyle, May 9, 1962 6
("Interviews with Irving Harman, Billy Hagan, Billy Foster, and Jack Coyle," online pending)
  Item
Interviews with Billy Hagan, Billy Foster, and Joe Bock, May 10, 1962 7
("Interviews with Billy Hagan, Billy Foster, and Joe Bock," online pending)
  Item
Burlesque show at Lyric Theatre in Allentown, PA, Jan 16, 1960 8
("Burlesque show at Lyric Theatre in Allentown, PA," online pending)
  Item
Interviews with Irving Harman, Billy Hagan, Billy Foster, and Jack Coyle (Reel 2), May 11, 1962 9
("Interviews with Irving Harman, Billy Hagan, Billy Foster, and Jack Coyle (Reel 2)," online pending)

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