Variety (September 1907)

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VARIETY Klaw & Erlanger Enter Vaudeville Successfully. Reports From All Over the "Advanced Vaudeville" Circuit Give Favorable Expression to the Enter- tainment Offered by the Vaudeville Opposition. ; J M : ■ i I « J t ' On Labor Day Klaw & Erlanger ac- complished the almost marvellous task of throwing open a vaudeville circuit of seventeen theatres without a hitch. It has no parallel in theatrical history, and in the reports printed below from various points along the circuit's line not an un- favorable comment is entered against the quality of the entertainment offered. The bills as laid out and printed in Variety last Saturday, with four excep- tions, were played, a remarkable record when tho number of houses engaged is considered. Nearly all the openings occurred on Labor Day, a point in their favor for suc- cess in attendance at the initial perform- ances, and in the East the weather condi- tions were conducive to good patronage. In the West, where some of the houses opened on Sunday, the weather was the warmest of the season. The Klaw & Erlanger headquarters in the New York Theatre on Monday even- ing resembled a political gathering of can- didates on election night. Wire returns from the different theatres were con- tinually reaching the office, giving par- ticulars of the performances and receipts at both shows, while the long distance telephones were kept busily in use. Neither A. L. Erlanger nor Marc Klaw were present. Mr. Erlanger spent the Sunday in Atlantic City, and Mr. Klaw rested at his New Rochelle home. Louis F. Werba, the general manager of the cir- cuit, and William Morris, who booked the bills, were elated over the successful out- come of the first performances, and both remarked that a great strain had been lifted. To Messrs. Werba and Morris is due the entire credit for successfully starting on its career a high class vaudeville cir- cuit of seventeen houses on the day ap- pointed with the bills advertised, a her- culean task, too stupendous to be realized by any one not concerned. Following the holiday, on Tuesday, business dropped off in the natural course of events, since last Tuesday was prob- ably the worst theatrical day for pat- ronage of vaudeville shows ever known. On Wednesday the box office told a bet- ter story, and Mr. Werba expressed him- self as fully satisfied with the result, stat- ing that while it seemed almost incredible the indications were that the first week of "Advanced Vaudeville" would bring a net profit to its promoters. V Boston, Sept. 6. Without exception every dramatic critic in Boston gives high praise to the first specimen of Klaw & Erlanger's "Advanced Vaudeville," seen here at the opening of the Tremont Theatre under their auspices on Monday. The Herald says: "If the bill presented yesterday is typical of Klaw & Erlanger's 'Advanced Vaude- ville,' theatre-goers may confidently an- ticipate many pleasant feasts this sea- son. The program was of high excel- lence." The Globe says: "Very many came out of curiosity to see what the new policy was like, and it is almost needless to say that they remained until the close of the performance, departing in a happy frame of mind, and convinced that Manager Schoeffel and the K. k E. combination deserved success." The Post says: "Each act was of both in- terest and merit. The Tremont starts out on its new career most auspiciously." The American says: "There is nothing new in this brand of 'Advanced Vaude- ville.' Every act but one has been seen here before, but the secret of the success is the fact that every act is a star act— there are no 'supper bills/ no frothy or lightweight acts. There is something that interests every person in the house, whether he is a 'high brow' or a low brow.'" The opening performances at the three vaudeville houses here indicates that Bos- ton really wants good vaudeville, and the opinion is freely expressed that the city can support three such houses, provided they put up good shows. Philadelphia, Sept. 0. Klaw & Erlanger opened the new For- rest Theatre here on Monday and gave to Philadelphia one of the handsomest theatres in America as the new home for "Advanced Vaudeville," which was intro- duced in Philadelphia at the Chestnut Street Opera House, April 22 of the pres- ent year. The inaugural bill was specially ar- ranged to give a first class, evenly bal- anced entertainment and in this respect it came up to expectations. The Forrest is a model in theatrical construction and the thousands who have inspected the house are a unit in pronouncing it a beautiful playhouse of modern pattern. The house opened to capacity Monday night (Labor Day) and the show met with general approval. Hartford, Sept. 6. Klaw & Erlanger occupies Parson's Theatre here for this week with "Ad- vanced Vaudeville." Big houses greeted the opening performances, and Poli's was treated the same. Vaudeville is not a permanent institu- tion at Parson's, although it may be played there whenever open time from legitimate attractions affords the oppor- tunity. Hartford is concededly a good show town, and the belief is that two houses here could succeed. Pittsburg, Sept. 6. "Advanced Vaudeville" has again en- tered Pittsburg, this time at the Du- quesne Theatre. The house has been re- decorated and renovated, presenting an inviting appearance. While the capacity is not as large, prob- ably, as the management would like, busi- ness was big at the opening shows, which were threatened with a delay at one time through legal proceedings. The Grand Opera House during the week has done its usual business, which at all times tests the capacity of the theatre. Kansas City, Sept. 6. The Klaw & Erlanger vaudeville played at the Sam S. Shubert last Sunday for the first time. It opposes in this city the Orpheum Theatre, under the management of the Orpheum Circuit Company. The Kansas City "Star" had the fol- lowing to say about the show on Monday: "Advance vaudeville made Its first appear- ance in Kansas City last night at the Shubert Theatre and a large audience enjoyed It In spite of the heat. The performance developed the fact that advanced vaudeville In a gen era! way is little different from the vaudeville Kansas City is accustomed to. Only one act on the week's bill is different from the gen- eral run of vaudevine performance. This is the short performance of the 'Romany Opera Company/ a troupe of most efficient alngers. which appears handsomely costumed In an attractive stage setting. The entertainment this company affords is of distinctly high class order, but nearly all of the other per- formers on the bill are ones who have been here before and have nothing new nor better than vaudeville audiences have seen here for many seasons. However, the performance Is an excellent one and was thoroughly enjoyed last night" St. Louis, Sept. 6. With the mercury last Sunday hitting the figures in the tube at "91," no one was concerned in vaudeville or any other amusement given inside a theatre, but even with the weather conditions against an auspicious opening for Klaw & Er- langer's vaudeville at the Garrick Theatre, a fair crowd turned out to witness the first performance, and the theatre held what might be considered a large attend- ance in view of the weather conditions. The show pleased immensely. With the temperature regulated to suit the public, the Garrick will draw business if the standard of the present bill is maintained. Middleton & Tate, managers of the Co- lumbia, the opposition vaudeville house here, profess not to be alarmed over the competition, but good vaudeville in one theatre will mean good vaudeville in both, something St. Louis will stand without murmuring. Both sides went into newspaper adver- tising extensively, and the prevailing topic of theatrical talk has to do with vaudeville opposition. Public interest is aroused, and the fight will be followed closely by the theatre going public. Milwaukee, Sept. 6. Klaw A Erlanger's "Advanced Vaude- ville" entered Milwaukee last Sunday at the Shubert Theatre. Despite that it was one of the warmest days of the sum- mer, with the public favoring outdoor at- tractions, and another new theatre (Gay- ety, Eastern Burlesque Wheel) also open- ing, the Shubert held good crowds at both performances. The local press gave good praise to the opening bill. One paper said: "Klaw & Erlanger's gigantic new vaude- ville enterprise received Its Milwaukee in- auguration at the Shubert Theatre yesterday, and if the initial bill may be taken as an example of the Intentions of the world's most powerful theatrical firm, this city is sure of a series of vaudeville entertainments that will satisfy the most cantlons devotee of the spe- cialty stage." Willy Zimmerman, the impersonator, booked on the opening bill, did not ar- rive until Tuesday, owing to a wreck at Shoemaker, Col. Mr. Zimmerman's bag- gage was lost, and he went on to Chicago. Buffalo, Sept. 6. This city had its first vision of ad- vanced vaudeville Sept. 2, and if the open- ing program at the Teck is a criterion to judge by, it will be a big success. The patronage on Labor Day was capacity. Shea's did not suffer by the opposition, and no doubt Buffalo can take care of two houses. Springfield, Sept. 6. "Advanced Vaudeville" hit Springfield with a bang. Eleven acts besides the pictures are now on the bill. They kept coming up to Tuesday, and the result is the Nelson has a big show for a town of this size. Charles T. Aldrich was billed to appear on the K. & E. program, but through, it is said, a conflict in telegrams, be did not arrive. The Gaudschmidti and Girard and Gardner came on instead- Jewell's Manikins were also added, and on Tues- day the "Golden Graces/ 1 who did not play the opening show, put in an appear- ance. Charles E. Evans is the headliner at Poli's, the opposition, with Carroll John- son as the extra attraction. In Brooklyn on Monday Klaw & Er- langer operated two vaudeville theatres. The Grand Opera House opened Monday afternoon to a three-quarter house, but in the evening had a 'capacity attendance. P. G. Williams' Orpheum held the oppo- sition bill, and did full business at both performances. Mr. Williams' show was estimated at $5,800 for the week, while the program at the K. & E. Grand Opera House was re- ported to have cost $4,800. The Shubert, the other K. & E. theatre, commenced Saturday last, and played to good houses. At the Tuesday matinee at the Grand Opera House, a count of tho house is said to have shown 47 people in the orchestra, 38 in the balcony and (J in the gallery, but the evening performance again brought out a good-sized crowd. Tuesday was disastrous for theatres in New York. It followed the holiday with the usual |om of business. Hammerstein's had the small- est attendance on the roof of the season, the New York Theatre suffered likewise, pii'i the Colonial held but a bare handful. Both the established Keith-Proctor in- stitution and the newly opened Klaw & Erlanger house in Newark, N. J., were sold out Labor Day. The firm conviction prevailing among the local showmen, based on the first few days' showing of the rival vaudeville enterprises, is that with the standard of entertainment kept up New- ark will support two vaudeville theatres at a profit. ETHEL LEVEY OUT OF BILL. Boston, Sept. 6. Ethel Levey, one of the headliners at Keith's this week, had such a severe eoM that she was compelled to close after Tuesday night and left at once for New York for medical treatment.