Pauline Hall


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(1860–1919), singer. One of the most popular turn-of-the-century prima donnas, she began her career as a dancer in her native Cincinnati in 1875. Shortly thereafter she joined the Alice Oates Opera Company, leaving it to spend time touring in straight plays with Mary Anderson. By 1880 she was working for E. E. Rice, who cast her in several of his musical productions, giving her, among others, the trouser role of the hero Gabriel in a revival that year of Evangeline. Her shapely figure allowed her to take men's parts, as she did most notably in the title role of Ixion (1885). However, her greatest success came when she played the title role in the first American production of Erminie (1886). In 1892 she portrayed the hero Earl Trevelyan in a comic opera written especially for her, Puritania. In all, she played in over two dozen Broadway operettas. Her last appearance came just before her death, when she created the role of the impoverished old prima donna in The Gold Diggers (1919).

From The Oxford Companion to American Theatre in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Theatre.

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