As many know, I met my wife-to-be on a theatrical stage. 31 years ago, we were cast as brother/sister in the show “The Cocktail Hour.” A year later we were toasting to our marital happiness. But we are far from the only stage performers to find a place within our family tree.
At the beginning of the 20th century, George Tennery, my niece’s husband’s first cousin, appeared on Broadway. His first performance was in The Singing Girl by Victor Herbert. It appears he was an understudy as I found a review of his performance online. It reported that “owing to the illness of the tenor, Mr. Richie Ling, the company was at great disadvantage. Mr George Tennery sang Mr. Ling’s parts during the entire week and the best I can say in his favor is that his singing is not so bad as his acting.” Ouch. But nice to know that the backhanded compliment has a long and storied history among theater critics. I once received a review that said something along the lines of “Mr. Ondrasik, though untrained, certainly seems to be enjoying himself.”
But George apparently continued unfazed, as he appeared in two other Broadway shows, The Fisher Maiden in 1903 and Buster Brown in 1905. I could find no other references to his career although in his father’s obituary it is stated that “he was well known as one of the best tenor singers in the musical world.”
Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories through the digitalization of film, videotapes, audio recordings, photos, negatives, and slides. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit our website. And be sure to check out our TEDxEustis talk: https://youtu.be/uYlTTHp_CO8.