CHAYA SOPHIA CHAZANOV RUBINSON, aka MADAME RUBINSON, aka CASSANDRA CHASE
Chaya Sophia Chazanov Rubinson, also known as Madame Rubinson, began in the New York theater world as seamstress then set designer Cassandra Chase. She caught the eye of an investor in the 1933 Broadway flop, Mrs. Ida McKinley Gives Her Regards, a one-woman show. Synopsis: the epileptic widow of the fallen president gives a long and excruciating monologue while crocheting slippers as she talks her dead husband, who is in paradise. An avant-garde performance, it climaxed in an abrupt and completely unexpected seizure onstage, bringing down the house, literally, as people left the theater to avoid the “stark, vulgar display of rabid melancholy and unbearably extended, high-pitched, squealing sounds of mourning,” so the Times reproved. Despite rave reviews from a few discerning people in Brooklyn, the show shut down after twenty-four hours (to the relief of the ingenue actress, Sylvie Plato, who reported in an interview that “it was not just my vocal cords that were at stake, my fingers were getting numb from all that crocheting”). Cassandra Chase was in charge of producing the historic slippers Ida kept making until she followed her husband to his (hopefully cozy) grave. At the end of her life, visitors to her home in Canton, Ohio, marveled at how Ida McKinley’s rooms had too many crocheted slippers in them to shake a stick, or even a Krag-Jorgenson rifle, at. Cassandra Chase, on the other hand, married her true love, Hermann Rubinson, in 1934 and lived happily ever after. They had one child, Virginie Ida Rubinson. See Virginie Brasi.