The Duncan Sisters: Sources Consulted
This essay is based in great part on contemporary newspaper accounts of the various runs of Topsy and Eva. Like most web projects it is a work in process. Listed below by city, by year of performance and by date of publication are articles that informed this essay.
San Francisco 1923

Buford Gordon Bennett, "Duncan Sisters And Big Company In 'Topsy And Eva' To Open At Alcazar," San Francisco Examiner, 8 July, 1923, E, 2, 4.

Thomas Nunan, "Brilliant Opening Night At The Alcazar," San Francisco Examiner, 9 July, 1923, 9.

Catherine E. Cushing, "Producing 'Topsy And Eva' Mostly Fun," San Francisco Examiner, 9 July1923, 9.

Redfern Mason, "'Topsy' Music Gives Critic Sheer Delight," San Francisco Examiner, 10 July 1923, 11

"Rivers," "Topsy and Eva," Variety, New York, 19 July 192, 18.

Thomas Nunan, "The Duncan Sisters Soon May Have A Theatre Of Their Own In New York," San Francisco Examiner, 28 Oct. 1923, E, 3.

____________, "White Sisters Appear In Topsy And Eva," San Francisco Examiner, 29 Oct. 1923, 9.


Los Angeles 1923

"Duncans Are Back In Cast," Los Angeles Times, 25 Nov. 1923, 38.

Grace Kingsley, "Tinny Piano Turns Trick," Los Angeles Times, 9 Dec. 1923, part 3, 29-30.


Chicago 1923-24

Frederick Donaghey, "Anyway, the Duncans Are Still in Tune and That's the Good News of 'Topsy and Eva,'" Chicago Tribune, 31 Dec. 1923, 3.

"Cicero Cops Clubbed Her, Actress Says," Chicago Tribune, 5 July 1924, 1.

Maureen McKernan, "Rosetta Fined, Harold, Too, For Cicero Shindig," Chicago Tribune, 16 July 1924, 9.

Advertisement for the farewell performance, Chicago Tribune, 16 Nov. 1924, part 10, 2.


New York 1924-25

"W.R.," (Wells Root), "At The Sam H. Harris Theatre," New York World, 24 Dec. 1924, 9.

"'Topsy and Eva' Appear," New York Times, 24 Dec. 1924, 11.

R.W, "Duncan Sisters Score In 'Topsy and Eva,'" New York Herald Tribune, 24 Dec. 1924, 13.

"Con," "Topsy and Eva," Variety, New York, 31 Dec. 1924, 19-20.

"Rosetta - The Duncan Sisters - Vivian," New York Times, 4 Jan. 1925, VII, 1.

Arthur Hornblow, "Topsy and Eva," Theatre Magazine, 20 Aug. 1925


Boston 1925

"Duncan Sisters at the Colonial," Boston Daily Globe, 12 May 1925, 8.

"Rosetta Bathes Herself in Black," Boston Sunday Advertiser, 31 May 1925, E5.

"No Ice Flows Worrying This Modern Eliza," Boston Daily Advertiser, 11 June 1925, 15.


Chicago 1925

"The Misses Duncan," Chicago Tribune, 28 June 1925, part 8, 2.

Advertisement for the final performance, Chicago Tribune, 13 Sept. 1925, part 8, 2.


Louisville 1925

Boyd Martin, "The Critic On The Hearth," Louisville Courier Journal, 15 Nov. 1925, III, 1.


Washington D.C. 1925-26

"'Uncle Tom' In New Form At National," Washington Post, 27 Dec. 1925, Amusements and Features, 1.


Philadelphia 1926

"Forrest - "Topsy and Eva,'" Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, 5 Jan. 1926, 11.


Denver 1926

"Duncan Sisters to Appear in Musical Classic at Broadway," Rocky Mountain News, 1 Ap. 1926, 13.

"Duncan Sisters A Real Hit in 'Topsy and Eva," Denver Post, 13 Ap. 1926, 25.

Helen Black, "Duncan Sisters Reveal Thrift Tendencies and Imbue Company," Rocky Mountain News, 14 Ap. 1926, 25.

__________, "Duncan Sisters Disprove Theory of "Tin Pan Alley' Girls Can't Write Songs," Rocky Mountain News, 16 Ap. 1926, 9.

_________, "'Topsy and Eva' Close One Week's Run Today," Rocky Mountain News, 17 Ap. 1926, 11.


The Movie 1927

Louella G. Parsons, "Duncan Sisters Brilliant Triumph at Gala Egyptian Premiere, Los Angeles Examiner, 17 June, 1927, II, 5.

Edwin Schallert, "Duncan Score Personal Hit," Los Angeles Times, 18 June 1927, II, 7.

"Topsy and Eva," Variety, New York, 22 June 1927,

"Ton of Burnt Cork Used in 'Topsy' Role," Los Angeles Times, 25 June 1927, 7.

"The Duncan Sisters," New York Times, 7 Aug. 1927, X, 5.

"Topsy And Eva," New York Times, 8 Aug. 1927, 10.

"On The Screen," New York Herald Tribune, 9 Aug. 1927, 4.

Roy Chartier, "Topsy and Eva," Billboard, 20 Aug. 1927, 33.

May Tinee, "Topsy and Eva Do Their Stuff to Joy of Kids, Chicago Tribune, 20 Sept. 1927, III, 1.


London, England 1928

"High Court of Justice, Chancery Division, The Duncan Sisters and a Song," London Times, 3 Nov. 1928, 4.

"High Court of Justice, Chancery Division, The Duncan Sisters and a Song," London Times, 10 Nov. 1928, 4.


Los Angeles 1931

Alma Whitaker, "Real Reason For Revival," Los Angeles Times, 22 Nov. 1931, III, 12.

Philip K. Scheuer, "Topsy And Eva: Real Sensation," Los Angeles Times, 24 Nov. 1931, III, 9.

"Topsy And Eva 'Broke;' File Bankruptcy Plea," Los Angeles Times, 8 Dec. 1931, 1-2.

"Duncan Sisters Go Into Bankruptcy," New York Times, 8 Dec. 1931, 32.


Chicago 1933-34

Charles Collins, "Duncan Sisters in New Staging of 'Topsy and Eva,'" Chicago Tribune, 27 Dec. 1933, 13.

"Topsy And Eva," Variety, New York, 9 Jan. 1934, 46.


Los Angeles 1942

Edwin Schallert, "'Topsy and Eva' Revival Wins Music Box Audience," Los Angeles Times, 28 Oct. 142, II, 10.


Contemporary Accounts In Periodicals and Essays

Mary B. Mullett, "Two Girls Who Laughed Their Way To Fame," The American Magazine, Aug. 1925, 19, 143-47.

Dorothy Spensley, "The Song and Patter Kids," Photoplay, Sept. 1927, 35, 129-30.

Ashton Stevens, "The Duncan Sisters and Royalty," Actorviews, Chicago: Covvi-McGee Co. 1923, 69-74.

Edward Wagenknecht, "The Duncan Sisters," Stars of the Silents. Metuchen, N.J. & London: The Scarecrow Press. 1987. 76-82.


Biographical, Bibliographical and Critical Essays

Joe Franklin, Joe Franklin's Encyclopedia of Comedians. Secaucus, N.J.: Citadel Press, 1979, 118-20.

Richard Lamparski, "Vivian Duncan," Whatever Became of...? third series. N.Y. NY: Crown Publishers, third printing, 1971, 158-9.

Linda Martin and Kerry Segrave, Women in Comedy. Secaucus, N.J.: Citadel Press, 1986, 136-39.

Brian Rust with Allen G. Debus, The Complete Entertainment Discography, from the mid-1890s to 1942. New Rochelle, N.Y.: Arlington House, 1973, 228-31.

Anthony Slide, "The Duncan Sisters," Eccentrics of Comedy. Lanham, Md. & London: The Scarecrow Press, 1998, 47-56.

Michelle Wallace, "Uncle Tom's Cabin: Before and After the Jim Crow Era," The Drama Review 44:1 (2000) 137-56.

Stephen Zito, "The Black Film Experience," The American Film Heritage, Impressions from the American Film Institute Archives Washington D.C.: Acropolis Books Ltd., 1972, 61-70.



BACK TO EXHIBIT