Back in 1893, a
group of four sisters – the Cherry Sisters they called themselves – made their
stage debut in Cedar Rapids in a skit they wrote themselves. For three years,
the Cherry Sisters performed to packed theaters throughout the Midwest. People
came to see them to find out if they were as bad as they had heard. Their unbelievably
atrocious acting enraged critics and provoked the audience to throw vegetables
at the would-be actresses. Wisely, the sisters traveled with an iron screen
they would place in front of the stage in self-defense.
Amazingly, in 1896
the girls were offered a thousand dollars a week to perform on Broadway – not
because they were so good, but because they were so unbelievably bad. Seven
years later, after the Cherry Sisters had earned what in that day was a respectable
fortune of $200,000, they retired from the stage for the peaceful life back
on the farm. Oddly enough, these successful Broadway “stars” remained
convinced to the end that they were truly the most talented actresses ever to
grace the American stage. They never had a clue as to how bad they truly were!
Lee Griess, Taking
The Risk Out Of Dying
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