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Houdini at the Orpheum!

July 6, 2009 |  4:00 am

July 6, 1899, Star Gazing

July 6, 1899: The Times reminds tourists to watch out for pickpockets.

July 6, 1899, Houdini

July 6, 1899: Look who's playing at the Orpheum. It's Houdini, with his wife, doing the Oregon boot routine.

There's also a female impersonator named Tacianu. On May 30, 1897, The Times said: "Taciano is a phenomenal male soprano after the style of Stuart, the male Patti. He is reputed to be a real artist in the matter of female impersonations and the possessor of a sweet, rarely beautiful voice located high on the upper register, on the plane usually monopolized by prima donnas.

On June 1, 1897, The Times said: "[Alexander] Tacianu is a wonder. He not only sings with a soprano that is sweet and round and rich in tone, but changes it to a melodious baritone that is sufficiently good voice in itself for any man to travel on. We have had female impersonators of all grades and varieties, and usually they have been of the sort that combines the falsetto of the guinea hen with a certain offensiveness of personality that is difficult of description. But not so with Tacianu. His singing is a finished performance, a work of the voice that shows quality of tone and a liberal amount of expression that could only result from good training and his personality while a simulation of the feminine is wholly without coarseness or offense of any sort. He is one of the very best features yet exploited by the Orpheum management."

Very little appears to have been written about Tacianu except that he flourished from 1897 to 1899 and performed in the U.S. and Europe. He predates Julian Eltinge by a few years.