20 February 2021

Isaac Willis, The Great Boomsky, in Halifax Today

From the February 14th article "Remember This? When Isaac met Blanche" by Margaret Steele in Halifax Today:

At age twenty-five, Isaac Willis – The Great Boomsky – was already a renowned magician. That night he was playing a block away at the Academy of Music with Richards & Pringles Famous Georgia Minstrels.

By 1905, Isaac had already been touring for nearly half of his life. He had started as a teen apprentice with the legendary magician Herrmann the Great, playing the assistant character “Boomsky.” Now he was a star in his own right.

With ads foretelling “A Gleeful Comingling of Joviality” and “A Coalition of Mirth, Vivacity and Gaity,” America’s premiere Black minstrel company packed theaters everywhere they went. The group’s fifty men lived and traveled on a private Pullman railcar. Their 1905 summer tour would play eighteen Nova Scotia towns in three weeks, including a three-day stand in Halifax.

That evening Blanche jostled her way to her seat at the Academy of Music. The capacity crowd howled at the opening comedy skits then tapped their feet and clapped along to the band’s rousing ragtime tunes.

Read more.

No comments:

Post a Comment