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The London gaiety girls: their arrival in New York, performing arts poster, 1891

The London gaiety girls: their arrival in New York. Promotional poster for the performance, copyright by the Donaldson Lithographing Co., Cincinnati, 1891.


Gaiety Girls were the chorus girls in Edwardian musical comedies, beginning in the 1890s at the Gaiety Theatre, London, in the shows produced by George Edwardes. The popularity of this genre of musical theatre depended, in part, on the beautiful dancing corps of "Gaiety Girls" appearing onstage in bathing attire and in the latest fashions. The 1890s Gaiety Girls were respectable, elegant young ladies, unlike the corseted actresses from London's earlier musical burlesques.


The gaiety girls included Lily Elsie and Cicely Courtneidge. Cicely might be best remembered today for singing the version of "Take Me Back to Dear Old Blighty" that opens the Smiths' "The Queen Is Dead".


From the Performing Arts Poster Collection at the U.S. Library of Congress.

More prints by the Donaldson Lithographing Co. | More performing arts posters

[PD] This picture is in the public domain.

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Taken sometime in 1891