Variety (June 1919)

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'-•V n - -..■:.• • *■•'••. ' . I; • I !•>:• . '' ',>{•;....■.■ P ■ • DRASTIC MEASURE IN ILLINOIS TO DESTR OY AGEN CY BUSINESS Labor Politician Introduces Bill to Limit Gross Commission to Three Per Cent. Chicago Agents Organize to Fight Measure. Would Drive Them Out of Field. Violations to Be a Felony. ■'A'.: .'•'•'.'-■ H ■ !•;*?-'•. • ■;•■■ i K Sfi; Chicago, May 28. Inspired by some mysterious source, a drastic measure threatening to de- stroy the vaudeville artists' agency business in Illinois was introduced in the State Legislature by Frank Ryan, a Chicago politician, not known to have any direct connection • with any theatrical interests. Ryan, however, is closely allied with organized labor moves, and it is likely that this sudden twist was actuated by inside labor ad- visers who took their cue from the surviving remnants of the local White Rats organization. Harry Mount ford was in town last week on a mysterious mission. The proposed bill seeks to limit agents' commission to a gross of three per cent., hanging an extortion charge against violators. Extortion is a felony carrying up to a $500 fine. It was intimated by unauthorized but pre- sumably posted parties hereabouts that this is only the first of a series of bills dealing with vaudeville artists' con- ditions planned for introduction in Il- linois, which will serve as tests, and, if made to "stick," will be used as types for presentation in otheV states. Adolp'h Marx, appointed by Chicago agents to fight the bill introduced by Congressman Frank Ryan at Spring- field May IS relating to "theatrical agents and brokers," says "the chief basis of battle against this bill will be the plea that it is unconstitutional, rep- resenting class legislation, inasmuch as theatrical agents are singled out among all agents for restricted com- mission." ' Marks claims the passage of the bill will damage all agents and absolutely put small agents and ten percenters, out of business. Marks will make his fight in Springfield. The bill as it stands, he says, contains no loophole fqr escape. ' The bill reads in four sections as fol- lows : "Section I: Every person who nego- tiates a' contract for, or on behalf of any performer for services to be ren- dered by such performer in any theatre O! place of amusement, is hereby de- clared to be a theatrical employment broker, and before engaging in any such business or negotiating any such con- tract shall maVe application to the State Bureau of Labor Statistics for a license so to do, and upon the is- suance of said license shall pay a fee of twenty-five dollars. Section 2: Upon receipt of license, such broVer shall be entitled to charge commission upon all contracts nego- tiated by him, but such commission shall under no circumstances exceed three per cent, of the gross amount of salary or earnings of the act to be paid to performer 'under said contract, which sum shall include all payments, charges or gratuities to be received by such broker either before, at the time 0*- subsequent to the securing of such employment. Section 3: Where one or more brok- ers participate in securing employment for, or on behalf of any performers for services to be rendered in any thea- tre or place of amusement, the com- bined fees of all such persons so par- ticipating shall not exceed three per- cent, of the gross amount of salary earned. N Section 4: Any person engaged in such brokerage business without first procuring the license as herein pro- vided for shall be guilty of a misde- meanor and shall be fined a sum not less than fifty dollars nor more than $200 for each offense. And any such broker who shall charge in any form whatsoever a greater commission than herein provided shall be guilty of ex- tortion and be fined a sum not less than $100 nor more than $500 and li- cense shall be forthwith revoked. ACTS RETURN FROM YUCATAN. Seven acts which went to Yucatan early in April are due back in New York this week after having appeared for four weeks in the leading city of Merida. Contracts called for a month's, bookings and passage both ways, all arrangements being carried out as agreed on. The vaudeville policy irf Yucatan was experimental and the sea- son declared finished May 18. J. M. Guerra, the Merida manager, is now planning a 20-week winter sea- son to start in October next, it which time the theatre principals will have been remodeled to properly play vaude- ville. Acts will play a minimum of four weeks and half the bill will change every other week. The cost of the shows will be around $3,000 weekly. COLONIAL MAT REMAIN OPEN. There is a possibility that the Colonial will remain ooen for the entire summer this year, instead of closing as usually durine Tuly and August. I. R. Samuels has booked the shows up to July 1, and this week the advisability of running through the summer was under discus- sion. MORRISEY INCORPORATES. The Will Morrisey Production Co., Inc., capital $50,000. is the next pro- ject of the title holder of the corpor- ation. Associated with him will be Harrv Green. A portion of the stock is to be offered fcr public sale. The intention of the incorporators is to establish themselves in a Broad- way theatre for a series of intimate revues. Mr. Green will appear in them, with the current company of, "The Overseas Revue" ("Toot Sweet") on the 44th Street Roof the remainder of the cast. I CARTOON SHOWS ABROAD. Willie Edelstein has made Gus Hill .. pronosition to show "Mutt and Jeff" and "Bringing Up Father" in London next fall. ■ T. Daniel Frawley wants "Mutt and Jeff" for the Orient, as the Bud Fisher cartoons are running throughout the Far East, even in Chi- nese dailies. SIMON BOYS IN NEW YORK. Chicago, May 27. John Simon is the latest of the agents to ioin the New York summer colonv. His brother, Irving, will join him this week. John will be East until September, and has taken an apart- ment on Riverside Drive. BECK IN CHICAGO. Martin Beck, accompanied hy Mort and Harrv Singer, and Georsre Gottleib. left for Chicago Sunday. They will remain there for about a week. MORRIS HAIR-RAISING FLYER. William Morris is going into the hair restorer business to crown his career. The former vaudeville manager has procured the rights to a lotion brought here from overseas by Major Wallace McCutcheon, introduced first privately at the Lambs Club, where ft is said to have revealed amazing results upon the skulls of numerous theatrical notables, and now to be marketed with a sen- sational advertising campaign by Mor- ris, who grabbed the promotional end. In deference to the club where the budding scalp-fertilizer magnate first met this growing proposition, he has decided to call it Lamtonico. He is now endeavoring to get famous actors to pose for "Before using" pictures, then apply the stuff, then pose for "See what it did in three applications" stills. Morris has used some himself, and says he has had to get two haircuts within three days. William Morris has made a competency as manager for Sir Harry Lauder, one of the baldest stars in the world. He may soon announce a cure for bow legs. BRAY'S WORLD TOUR. , Charles E. and Mrs. Bray arrived in New York last week from Los Angeles, to complete the final arrangements that are necessary for their proposed tour pf INVESTIGATION REPORT The continued verbatim report of the daily hearing! before the Federal Trade Commission in New York City in the matter of the Vaudeville Managers' Protective Association and others appears on pages 24 to 26 and 59 to 64 of this issue. The report will be published weekly in part until the full record will have been printed. the world. They will return to the west coast and start the jaunt from San Fran- cisco. The trip will be a combined one of business and pleasure for the Brays, for the Orpheum representative will keep an eye out for possible vaudeville material while on the tour. COMEDY ON RENT BOOSTING. Laurence Schwab has written a comedy entitled "Any Old Place," which is based on the rent boosting and moving problems that are facine the majority of flat dwel- lers in New York. Frank Sinclair and a company of five people are to appear in it. SAM MEYERS OVERWORKED. Chicago, May 28. Sam H. Meyers may be compelled to resign as manager of the State-Lake because of illness due to overwork. The State-Lake is the biggest theatre proposition ever known to Chicago and a tremendous amount of work was en- tailed since its opening. The bulk of the task fell upon Mr. Meyers. The house is operated upon a double shift arrangement, the opening period each day having an entire change of personnel except the post of man- ager. It was the steady confinement that led Mr. Meyers to the verge of a breakdown last week. Harry Singer, who aided in the State- Lake opening, has returned and will remain until a permanent manager is selected. Present plans calls for Mr. Meyers being sent to the Orpheum, Los Angeles, after taking a rest. Loew Starting in Ottawa. Ottawa, May 27. Construction on the new Marcus Loew theatre will commence next week. SUNDAY "STRAIGHTENING UP." The annual "cleaning up crusade" against Sunday concerts is op. This year the agitation is about a month be- hind that of former years and it may be the late spring deceived the church influences that usually start something around the tail end of the season. , Police tips were quietly given vaude- ville house managers to brush up last Sunday's shows so as to conform, to the blue laws regulating Sabbath concerts, the indication being that warrants would be asked for by self-styled Sun- day censors who were due to take in all Sunday shows. Elimination of blackface, animal turns and hard shoe dancing acts was suggested. This lead to substitutions on almost all the bills in Greater New York. The Loew houses pulled out some 19 acts and an average of two acts per house were re- placed in many of the Keith Exchange houses. The current reform wave is said to have been started by the show given at the "Follies" ball on the Amster- dam Roof and the giving of "Toot Sweet" in total at the Bayes Sunday, May 18. The latter house was closely watched, but only the regular concert was offered. This was decided on be- fore the tip-off, patrons having ex- pressed a desire for vaudeville rather than the straight show. It is understood that a later'tip fol- lowed the first, resulting in very few acts leaving Keith houses. .-2 ■a i ■ ■ - . ...... ..Btt N. V. A. LAY MEMBERSHIP DRIVE. The National Vaudeville Artists' Asso- . ciation is making a drive for a lay mem- bership since the opening of the new dub house. The annual dues are $25 for the lay members, and all the privileges of the club house are accorded them. 1 i TANNEN IN "MAKE-UP." Julius Tannen is going to try present- ing an act in make-up. He is also to be aided and abetted by a map and a cue to point the reason why a fellow doing a monolog gets the laugh. The act was written by J. Harry Connor, and the title of it is to be "The Psychology of Mono- loging." After the current week at Jhe Alhambra, Tarinen will undoubtedly try the new act at the Brighton next wejek. KALIZ WINS SUIT.' Armand Kaliz has obtained a judg- ment against William P. Orr and Jack Welch for $8,750 for breach of con- tiact. Kaliz was engaged by Orr and Welch for the run of 'The Kiss Bur- glar," and discharged before the run was completed. The entire claim was; for $14,400, but in the meantime Kaliz had earned the difference between that amount and the judgment. Nathan Burkan represented Kaliz.' ; ■ ■--. ..-■ " • .- h ■ ■> "'Enri Comes to Wedding" Taken Off. A comedy playlet called 'VEnri- Comes to the Wedding" produced by Lewis and Gordon, has been taken off after a several weeks try-out. It was a cockney type affair. In script the act was regarded as promising and the original plan was to produce it in England and here at the same time. i, Two Theatres for Employee. Syracuse, N. Y., May 27. -j scheme to provide amusement for' employes of the Endicott John- Corporation in Johnson City and Endicott, N. Y., involves the erection of a vaudeville theatre in Johnson City and a picture house in Endicott.'""'■' A the son If you don't advertise in Variety don't advertise L2i- '\ •■- ■■^■MM i