October 13 – Babes in Toyland, Strange Days (indeed!)


An operetta by US composer Victor Herbert (his first major hit) called Babes in Toyland opens in Broadway’s Majestic Theatre.The songs Toyland (popular as a lullaby) and March of the Toys are still frequently heard. The title has been recycled since for a number of films (including a 1934 Laurel & Hardy film and a 1961 Disney film).

Babes is a follow-up to the major success (293 performances) of Paul Tietjens‘ (now nearly forgotten) 1902 The Wizard of Oz stage musical. Also hosted at the Majestic, it replaced Toto with a cow named Imogene.

Herbert was also a filmscore pioneer. Some of his music for 1905 operatta Mlle. Modiste is reprised (after his 1924 death) in 1931 film Kiss Me Again and much-recorded.

1995 (20 years)

The Johnny Mnemonic-like sci-fi, cyberpunk Kathryn Bigelow film Strange Days is released.

Cop turned street-hustler accidentally uncovers a police conspiracy in 1999 Los Angeles. The plot includes SQUID recorders (which also appear in Neal Stephenson book Snow Crash). Alas, the $40M film makes $8M.

The of-the-day soundtrack includes tracks by Brit rockers Skunk Anansie, strange Belgian techno band Lords of Acid and Tricky.