Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Dolores Vallecita

Who was Dolores Vallecita? That's what I'd like to know. Here's what I do know:

The Library of Congress photo archives includes the above photo of her in 1906, and the University of Washington library collection includes the below photo of her captioned "Dolores Vallecita, Vaudeville Entertainer".

There are references that mention her trained-leopard circus act being performed in a number of venues, including Coney Island's Luna Park.

Apparently she sometimes did her act as simply "Vallecita", and other times "Mademoiselle Vallecita". (Mademoiselle? According to an article index for Bandwagon magazine, Vallecita was from Spain.)

A book by Joe Laurie, Jr. called Vaudeville From The Honky Tonks To The Palace mentions her in passing:

But there were really some swell cat acts, like Adgie & Her Lions. She once put mirrors around the big cage to make the setting prettier, and it did, but she didn't rehearse the lions with the mirrors, so when they got into the cage and got a gander at themselves in the glass, they went wild. They had to remove the mirrors before the act could go on. There were Marck's Lions, Bert Nelson and His Lioness, Princess Pat, a very fierce animal (if she had been at that door in Germantown instead of the other one, I wouldn't be writing you now), Arnaldo's Leopard and Panthers, Furtell's Jungle Lions, Richard Herman's Jungle Kings, Dolores Vallecita's Leopards, and Captain Proske's Tigers. When me and Aggie worked on a bill with anything bigger than white mice, we called it "nervous weeks."

I'm intrigued by Dolores, and must know more....

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