Sunday, October 16, 2005

64 East 34th Street

Manhattan > Midtown > East 34th Street

Bert Savoy [born Everett McKenzie in 1888, Boston, MA] polished his performance persona in Alaska, warming up along the Yukon Trail. When Savoy arrived in The Big Apple, he teamed up with witty Jay Brennan, a chorus dancer. Their vaudeville act consisted of Savoy, bejeweled and lavishly gowned, dispensing witty, girlish gossip about a fictional friend named "Margie" while Brennan played the straight man.
* * One of his taglines was: "You must come over!"
Savoy and Brennan headlined at the Palace and also did a few star turns in John Murray Anderson's Greenwich Village Follies [1920-23]. Savoy's exaggerated mannerisms and suggestive humor were widely imitated, and his provocative, hip-swaying walk was borrowed by Mae West when she made it to Broadway during the later 1920s.
On June 26th, 1923, as the 35-year-old Savoy was strolling with friends in Long Beach, a clap of thunder caused him to exclaim: "Ain't Miss God cutting up something awful?" Seconds later, a dramatic bolt of lightning had struck him dead.
In 1923, at the height of his fame, Bert Savoy was living at 64 East 34th Street, a rundown relic topped with an observatory, a former mansion. His ghost haunts the premises. Source:
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