Variety (September 1907)

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16 VARIETY Shows of the Week By Rush FIFTY-EIGHTH STREET. Standard acta with the exception of 'The Mystic Pool" and Sam Williams (New Acts) go into the makeup of a capital vaudeville entertainment for the purposes of the Fifty-eighth Street house this week. The presence of Dia- mond and Smith, who make a rather cloying appeal to sentiment, might be es- teemed to detract jsomewhat from the "c'ass" of the show, but the evening was one of uninterrupted enjoyment for the East Side audience. The Willy Pantzer Troupe is a capital acrobatic offering, full of novelty and with an uncommonly happy arrangement of clean dressing and amusing incidental business. Several of the hand-to-hand feats would be impossible with a top- mounter of greater weight than that of the midget, .but they are spectacular in makeup and remarkably smooth in execu- tion. Belle Blanche delivers eighteen minutes of solid entertainment with her clever mimicry. She has chosen her subjects with a good deal of originality, being guided in her selection by the well under- stood principle among cartoonists that the easier the lifelike reproduction. Every noted stage favorite has certain marks by which he or she is recognized, and greater the oddity of the subject the Miss Blanche has managed to catch in each case this eccentricity to an extreme degree of fidelity. Her Eva Tanguay was best liked. There is a good deal of rough enter- tainment in "Aunty's Visit," by Master Gabriel and company, to which George Ali, as the dog "Spike" contributes more than his per capita share. Ali makes the dumb role exceedingly funny. He and Gabriel work together skillfully, and it is due to their handling of the comedy that the sketch goes. The other four members of the cast are purely "fillers," although they support their pale parts capably. There is very little real humor to the sketch itself, and scarcely a bright line has anyone but Gabriel The Piroscoffis, jugglers, closed the bill. The quintet make a lot of fast parade out of very little material that is tech- nically good. Their feats are all simple and take their impressiveness more from the number of people and speed than from the excellence of the work they do. The dressing is another point in their favor and a third is the charming presence of the two women. Diamond and Smith have switched their repertoire of songs about somewhat, im- proved the quality of .their moving picture films, and added a new comic "coon" song at the opening. They work up a tre- mendous volume of "thank you" applause fret through the "Fireman" number and then with a patriotic song at the finish. Diamond and Smith spread their sentiment and patriotism on pretty thick, but the audience seem to like it that way.. Rooney and Bent were in the next-to- cloMng place. They hold to their estab- lished act pretty closely and make little effort to introduce new matter, except during the close in "one," when they de- velop an unbelievable amount of im- promptu comedy that scores a high aver- age of bullseyes. UNION SQUARE. The Rain Dears, with Louise Mon- trose in the principal position, is the head- liner. The old Wayburn production, now sponsored by Joseph Hart, has undergone no change since its original presentation on the New York Roof. Even some of the girls in the dancing and singing octet that backs up Miss Montrose's efforts are the same. The present cast is a first rate organization and the novelty of the vari- ous stage arrangements, makes it a swiftly moving panorama, with a high degree of variety and a good average of clean attractive entertainment. Miss Montrose is a wholesome looking young person with the faculty of wearing her clothes gracefully, and makes an accept- able leader for the act. It is an almost entirely revised and edited Ray Cox that appears this week. The opening is altogether changed to the immense improvement of the offering. There is a flash of humor in her early talk and it is dropped at just the right point. r i he stories about "Jeff" are still in use, and some of the other tales are pretty familiar. Miss Cox was liked in an im- portant and difficult position. Gracie Emmett has been busy this sum- mer "fattening" up the dialogue of "Mrs. Murphy's Second Husband," and even for those of us who have watched the capital sketch innumerable times there are quan- tities of fresh laughs. Miss Emmett makes an altogether refreshing and de- lightful Irishwoman. Her characterization is free from the common fault of broad caricature and still is rich with the meat of native humor. Walter O. Hill is new I .> the part of hubby No. 2, but handles the role quite as successfully as did his I redecessor. Clifford and Burke retain their familiar blackface talking sketch. The pair are billed as singers and dancers, but the comedian could lay undisputed claim to the additional title of humorist. Few of the blackface funmakers have a better method for pursuing the shy and elusive laugh. The straight man works to. him skillfully, and the pair form one of the best matched teams in their line of work. Snyder and Buckley were a solid hit in their comedy musical act with its unique finish in "one" and Clark, Bergman and Mahoney, one of the first of last summer's batch of Henderson's new acts, scored with a sprightly dancing and singing act. Among the early numbers there was a d*»arth of comedy. Daly and Devere, with their Irish sketch "The Janitress," were practically the only laughing number. Daly plays the Irishwoman with commen- dable restraint for the most part, al- though he is led at times into roughnesses. The Parson Sisters are an ordinary team of girls. They work with a small amount of animation and dance not at all. Their only show of life is displayed in a march. The singing was of rather low quality, too, and the act could scarcely be said to have passed. The others were Frederick the Great, McNamee and Harriet Jones, a staid and sedate young person, who featured a blue feather boa and delivered an unbroken series of sentimental songs without relief of any kind. ALHAMBRA. An unusually heavy bill is offered for the Alhambra's opening week. The Ved- mars were billed to open the show in their acrobatic offering, but did not ap- pear. No one was substituted and the intermission was cut down, but even with this economy of time the show ran until 5:20 the first performance. In the billing, Aubrey Boucicault and company (New Acts) and the Ward Brothers and company receive the fea- turing. The show is pretty much made up of numbers strange to the city, the other new comers being Gilbert G'irard, Irene Franklin and Burt Green and Loney Haskell. Of the others "A Night in a Rathskel- ler" has played but two weeks in the city, leaving Mr. and Mrs. Mark Murphy, in "The Coal Strike," and George Felix and Lydia Barry as the only familiar items on the program. "A Night in a Rathskeller" has under- gone a fumigating process. There are numerous minor indications of an at- tempt to revise it into such shape that it will make acceptable entertainment. The picture is a true one, true to a point of photographic fidelity, and displays a good deal of cleverness in staging and ar- rangement. George Whiteing is a light singing comedian and there is a good vocal average in the company. Charles Boyde makes a really funny "souse," and supplies a relieving touch of humor to the ensemble. Mr. and Mrs. Murphy and Felix and Barry give their old sketches unchanged. The attendance taxed the seating ca- pacity of the house. Standers were lined up five deep along the orchestra rail and even after that applicants for admittance were turned away. SAW AGNES SORELL. You must be "wise" to carry around New Yerk City a reputation as a foreign agent, especially when in the company of managers. There is nothing which ever happened across the pond unknown to Clifford C. Fischer. He says so himself, but some- times, with so many dates in his mind, one goes awry. This happened the other night. At the Hotel Astor were assembled around a large table Percy G. Williams, Martin Beck, John J. Murdock, Manny Warner, Arthur Prince, Al Sutherland, a couple of "legitimate" people—and Fischer. "Well, Fischer," said Mr. Williams, "You may have seen all the acts abroad, but why, then, did you not book Agnes Sorell?" "Didn't like her," replied Fischer. "Sfce's refined, and all that, but wouldn't do over here." Some maliciously inclined person at the round table inadvertently remarked at this juncture that Miss Sorell, after some years on earth, departed this sphere a century or so ago, leaving a record of royal historical associations behind. Mr. Fischer, unabashed, claimed he was "kidding," too. But he wasn't. MODEL VAUDEVILLE THEATRE. S. M. Oppenheimer, of Oppenheimer Bros., St. Louis, who are erecting the American Theatre in that city, which will be devoted to the vaudeville style of en- tertainment, with attractions booked through the Morris office, waa in the city last week. The house can not be completed much before Dec. 1, says Mr. Oppenheimer, al- though the opening date was set for Oc- tober. The usual annoying details at- tendant upon the building of a large struc- ture cause the delay. Mr. Oppenheimer brought with him a large print of the exterior of the new theatre. It is contained in a twelve-story building, occupying the first four floors. The seating capacity will be 2,200, the auditorium will be lighted by 2,700 elec- trics. A new idea in flooring and orchestra chairs will be introduced. A spongy sub- stance called "Asbestolite" will cover the aisles and there will be no carpet in the theatre. Asbestolite is an imitation of carpet, requiring oiling for cleaning pur- poses once monthly. Mr. Oppenheimer stated the dressing rooms would be super- ior to those of any theatre in the country. The makeup tables for women will be counterparts of the usual piece of furni- ture holding toilet articles in boudoirs, and a washstand, with three water fau- cets (hot, cold and ice) will be in each, while bathrooms for artists alone have been provided for. The orchestra chairs have a sixteen-inch oval back, for the purpose of supporting the person seated in it by reaching the shoulder blade. This has been designed for the comfort of women. A steel cur- tain takes the place of the usual asbestos, and Mr. Oppenheimer says when the the- atre is open for inspection a torch may he applied to any part of it with perfect safety. The front is of white glazed terra cotta and the interior decorations carry out the description conveyed by the name. A hotel with 263 rooms will occupy the remainder of the building. LITTLE TRAVELLING DURING SEASON. It is probable that the "Wine, Woman and Song" "No. 1" company will not play in more than five of the principal Ameri- can cities this vear, and it was for this reason that a No. 2 organization was put in the field. An engagement of 10 weeks has been laid out for the principal com- pany's Chicago visit. Return engagements to Boston, Brook- lyn and Philadelphia will occupy twenty weeks more and this, in addition to the time originally booked, will consume the season. The No. 2 company will play the large cities entirely, taking only week and three-day stands. The opening of Weber & Rush's Orpheum Theatre at Atlanta, Ga., playing vaudeville booked through the United offices, is announced for September 16. The initial bill has not been given out, although the enterprise has been lavishly advertised. The house is still in the hands of the decorators who are working under the eye of Ben Kahn, the local manager.