Inside facts of stage and screen (January 3, 1931)

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Page Six INSIDE FACTS OF STAGE AND SCREEN Saturday, Janury 3, 1931 .y.VAW.%V.V.VWWVWimV.V.*AVAVAV%Vl%W» B .W Merchanized Entertainment By Ted Price AVAVAVVAV.VV.V.V.VAV^ViVA^WAV.V.V.VVV;” Remember back when Dad and Mother hustled us kids over to Aunt Dessie’s and grabbed the milk train for the near metropo- lis to see Richard Mansfield and Peter Daley? That was the day when this nation began to voice a real need for wider distribution of high class talent. Those of the bustle and corset era fortunate enough to see the New York production with the original cast were no less than tin gods in the eyes of us forced to- stay at home. The best we could afford was a sterioptican lecture on the wonders of Niagara Falls. Did we envy those who had saved enough out of the but- ter and egg money to trek it the steam way to where the elite of the kerosene circuit did their stuff? The answer is in the question. I’ll never forget the hour I spent with a guy who had actually seen and heard none other than Oscar Wilde, in the flesh. Maybe I was wrong but I thought he was the cookies. From that »day I nursed a smouldering disgruntlement over a scheme of things that permitted only a favored few to soak in the scintillations and brilliance of the top liners. I was not alone. There -wasn’t a dirty-eared brat in the town who didn’t feel the same way about it. Then a smart feller invented a machine that projected those self-same stars’ and a-carryin’ on as real as life on a w r hite sheet right before you; eross my heart. It wasn’t long before every town that boasted a population big enough to afford a fire en- gine could see them. Right at that period in the history of this country, gears and toggles and cams and steel shafting operated by a hand crank began to fulfill that universal demand for stars at close range. Machinery had the answer. Not long ago I had the pleasure of working with and writing for one of the future screen stars and I prophesied that machinery, powered by electricity would not only make it possible for the hicks in the sticks to see and hear the finest entertainment in the world, thsi same machinery would so concentrate talent that we would be out of a job. The next Christmas we split a cold ham sandwich for dinner. We tried to compromise on a herring, but after all, you know, it was Christmas. As we ate we dwelt sadly upon the fall and decline of the Empire of tabloid, burlesque, vaudeville and legit. Where, we speculated, was the future supply of Chattertons, Errols Arlisses, Hortons, Hardings, Carrols and Dresslers coming, from? Would the machine that had reduced their training school to a mere semblance of its former efficiency somehow contrive a synthetic substitute for the ex- perience the theatre had given them? This situation annoys not only the actor. It torments every waking hour of talent scout and casting director in Hollywood. Many believe that the atmo- sphere and extra players will ab- sorb enough experience from ob- servation and an occasional bit thrown them to qualify a spot closer to the mike and camera. Scouts are searching the faces and delivery of the thinning ranks of vaudeville, revue and burlesque. Stock and the little theatre is occasionally scanned for timber that qualifies a test. The dra- matic schools continue to drill and coaeh the ambitious and the hopeless, and every mother’s son and daughter who thinks, with or without encouagement, that he or she is the logical successor to Rogers and Gaynor are wearing out the carpet in front of the mirrors. With all of this energy and am- bition concentrated toward help- ing the casting director the prob- lem should easily solve itself. Production has been completed on “Making Good,” which stars Joe Benner, the .stuttering comic, in his first two-reel Vitaphone Va- rieties comedy. Reviews— San Francisco FOX OAKLAND Oakland Reviewed Dec. 23. Three thousand seats and every one filled. A lobby full of cus- tomers. A long lineup of ticket buy..ers outside, hat Twas the Sunday night business on “Light- nin’ ” at this ace Oakland theatre. Due to leave for an eight week Seattle engagement Hermi King, for a farwell week, conducted the concert orchestra in "Anchor Aweigh,” which Clarence Kaull ar- ranged in A-l style. Overture pre- sented “Anchors” as done in Ger- many, Russia, Scotland and here with King contributing a pip of a piano solo in the Russ sequence. Billy Knox was at the organ. On stage was F. and M.’s “Moonlite Revels,” staged by Lar- ry Ceballos and featuring George Broadhurst in comedy work; Charles*- Brugge in more comely stuff; Curry and Brown, hoofers; Helen Petch, aero dancer and the Three Melvin Brothers, one of whom is evidently one of the or- iginal milkman. FOX CALIFORNIA San Jose Reviewed Dec. 23 A flock of customers at this Christmas night show to get a load c-f Peggy O’Neill stage show with Jack Souders as m. c. Souders and orchestra contribut- ed a pair of numbers, the first a trombone solo by the m. c. “Cav- alleria Rusticana,” and the second a novelty number played almost entirely on toy instruments. Both clicked heavily. Harry Van Foster, blackface ■comedian, Inez and Wynne and Jay Bird Trio, mixed group of hoofers, built up the show. Del- mar and Frankie, two O’Neill proteges, .got over with their spec- ialties and Sally Karlin and Vel- ma Berry stepped cut of the line for specialties. Harold Rheo officiated at the Wurlitzer for community singing. Harry Weber BARON HARTSOUGH AT THE WURLITZER WISHES YOU A HAPPY NEW YEAR 54 Weeks—Loew’s Warfield—San Francisco Now 58th Week—Fox T. & D.—Oakland GOOD WISHES TO ALL Buck Tticall Scenic Artist CAPITOL THEATRE SAN FRANCISCO JACK SPR 1 GG MUSICAL DIRECTOR R-K-O ORPHEUM SAN FRANCISCO HIRSCH-ARNOLD BALLET MISTRESS created and costumed all dance numbers now en tour Fox Circuit with F. & M.’s “Brunettes” Idea. STUDIO—54S SUTTER ST. SAN FRANCISCO Holiday Greetings from EARL KEATE FOX-WEST COAST THEATRES ’^AVwuwiAV\rt^wy%^vvwvvwwvywwvwvvwvvwwwwwvvvvvvw^ MAHLON MERRICK g Joe Zohn Walter Beban Gilbert Green Edison Gilham AND HIS VAGABONDS Vernon Ferry George Hall Tony Freeman Ray Harrington Mart Grauenhorst A1 Zohn Fred Heward Jack Meakin Don Renfrew \t NATIONAL BROADCASTING CO- SAN FRANCISCO ■VWJWUVWWWVMWWtfWWWWWWWgWS^^