McAvoy performed in a half dozen plays 1901-1906. He played the lead role as Mr.
Bluebeard on Broadway. Harry Gillfoil picked up the part when Mr. Bluebeard went
on the road to Chicago. McAvoy was also a composer and lyricist. He adapted his tune, “The
Beer That Made Milwaukee Famous,” promoting Schlitz beer, for Mr. Bluebeard.
products and advertising was common in musical comedies and vaudeville. In
addition to beer, Mr. Bluebeard hawked cereal and medicines.
The Schlitz brand was in its heydays in the early 1900s. In 1902 it produced
more beer than Pabst and by 1934, with Prohibition ended, Schlitz became the top-selling
beer. Its popularity had grown since 1871 when the Great Chicago fire destroyed
many Chicago breweries. Schlitz sent wagons full of beer from
Wisconsin to Chicago, creating a large fan base in the Windy City.
McAvoy's performance in Mr. Bluebeard
on Broadway was so poorly reviewed that he was replaced by Harry Gilfoil when the show
went on the road. He married actress Jessie May Kibbler (b. 1872) in 1890. She
died in 1901, leaving nothing to her husband who reportedly cheated her
out of her earnings held in a joint account. McAvoy stopped performing in 1905
after suffering a stroke that left one side of his body paralyzed and cripled. In Nov 1908
fellow performers held a benefit at the Majestic Theatre in New York to raise
money for him. Dan died of heart disease in his home
at 1690 Broadway, Oct 1909.