MAN IN THE BOX SAFE NOW. ~ Comic Opera and Burlesque Queens No Longer Sing to Him.

November 23, 1908

Comic Opera and Burlesque Queens
No Longer Sing to Him.

The burlesque and comic opera queens don't sing to the boxes any more, at least not as much as they used to do. And it's all because the man in the box office complained. And thereby hangs this tale.

Some five or six seasons ago "The Wizard of Oz" came to life. A feature of the show was Anna Laughlin's song "Sammy" which she sang to the men in the boxes. She'd pick out a man, the spot light would be turned on him and she would tell him that "when you come wooing, there's something doing." It made a big hit with everyone but the unfortunate who received the unsought affection.

The next winter every comic opera had a song that was addressed to unfortunate holders of box seats. Then the burlesquers picked it up and two and three years ago, even last year, no burlesque show was complete without a chorus that could be directed to a man in a box. Some of the shows had two, some "queens" went so far as to climb into the boxes and share the spot light with the man who had paid real money to be amused.

Finally the theatergoing men began to shun the boxes. When it came to shows they'd "rather see one than be one." So they refused to buy box seats and often a member of the company had to be sent out to sit in a box and act confused.

The ticket sellers investigated and found why the box seats went begging. Then they called a halt on the songs to the boxes. Nowadays no comic opera amuses the crowd at the expense of one of the audience. Very few burlesque shows show partiality in their "lovey dovey" choruses. When the spot light is turned on the house, it moves fast and no one is singled out as a victim.

And now the box seats are once more in demand.