Today is the birthday of Adolph Amrein, a.k.a Ade Duval (1898-1965). He began his vaudeville career in the early twenties with Andrew Blaeser in an act billed as the Duval Brothers. When the team broke up, Duval developed his signature niche, which was “Rhapsody in Silk”, a number of illusions involving silk fabric. His other popular tricks included “the Vanishing Cocktail Shaker Full of Milk” and “Smoking from the Thumb.” His wife was his assistant and musical director. When she passed away in 1955, he retired.
Here’s a 1932 clip of Rhasopdy in Silk:
To find out more about the variety arts past and present, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.
And don’t miss my new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc