May 12, 1861|
|Died||March 4, 1926
Amityville, New York
Alfred Asher Klein (May 12, 1861 – February 21, 1904) was an English-born stage actor, singer and comedian who appeared in operettas and musical theatre in America in the late 19th century.
Life and career
Klein was born in Norwich, England in 1861, and emigrated to the United States as a young man. He had five brothers: the dramatist Charles, the composer Manuel, the music critic Herman, the violinist Max, and Philip. They had a sister, Adelaide. His first appearances on stage included Sir Joseph in a juvenile production of H.M.S. Pinafore in 1879, and a role with the traveling company of Only a Farmer's Daughter around 1881.
Small in stature, Klein's notable roles included Buttons in The Rajah in 1883, where he had fall into a tank of water in the third act. In 1891, he appeared in the musical Wang with DeWolf Hopper, and in 1896 in the operetta El Capitan.
- Only a Farmer's Daughter (c. 1881)
- The Rajah as Buttons (1883)
- Wang as Pepat (1891)
- El Capitan as Señor Amabile Pozzo (1896)
- Record of Current Events, The American Monthly Review of Reviews, p. 414 (April 1904)
- 1871 and 1881 England Census, available on Ancestry.com.
- Ganzl, Kurt. The encyclopedia of the musical theatre, Volume 2, 1100 (2001)
- (3 November 1895). At The Theatres, The Salt Lake Herald, p. 11, col. 2 (anecdote about Hopper and Klein, "the midget of the company," betting on a horse race at Sheepshead Bay Race Track)
- Wolf, Rennold. The Man Who Ran Away From Too Much Success, The Green Book Magazine (June 1913), p. 950 ("Who, for instance, does not recall the immensely funny antics of litter Alfred Klein as DeWolf Hopper's foil in 'Wang?'")
- (6 August 1898). The Stage Names of Player Folk, The Deseret News
- Leavitt, Michael Bennett. Fifty Years in Theatrical Management, p. 586 (1912)
- (30 May 1902). In Gay New York, The Virginia Enterprise ("Alfred Klein, who has long been a familiar figure in comic opera, is now an inmate of an asylum in Amityville, where he was taken some weeks ago by his brother, Charles Klein, the dramatist. His condition is said to be serious.")
- (23 February 1904). Death of Alfred Klein. Diminutive Comedian Who Played for a Long Time with De Wolf Hopper, The New York Times
- (20 August 1916). Mrs. Klein Settles Suit, New York Tribune, p. 2, col. 2 (reporting that Klein's widow Rachel had settled a claim against Charles Klein's estate for $2000)
- (30 August 1913). Getting a raise, The Evening World, p. 9, col. 6 bottom (short anecdote about Klein seeking a raise from producer John A. McCaull during Falka)
- (28 July 1889). How Alfred Klein Earned a Dollar, Sacramento Sunday Union, p. 1, col. 7 (anecdote about how Klein believed Tom Sayers a better fighter than John Morrissey)