Variety (September 1907)

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VARIETY 17 m Shows of the Week By Sime GRAND OPERA HOUSE. The first "Advanced Vaudeville" pro- gram given under the management of Klaw & Erlanger at the Grand Opera HouHe, Brooklyn, proved a hummer. The Monday night audience applauded from the opening act to the close, each and every number. Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Cohan (New Acts) were held upon the stage for over two minutes by the hand-clap- ping after the house had laughed con- tinuously at their sketch, but James J. Morton, who immediately followed, one before the last, with the same monologue used last season, literally "knocked 'em off the seats" just the same. Other than the Cohans as a feature through their name, Edna Wallace Hop- per was a big card for the box office. It's peculiar, but it is so, that this, the last week Miss Hopper expects to play in vaudeville this season, substituting on the program for NTorah Bayes, she is giv- ing an act which would place her in large demand at all houses for a return en- gagement. The petite singer has never appeared to better advantage, and has never had a more enjoyable routine. One selection, a "story song," is a jewel. Miss Wallace this week is America's "Alice Lloyd." Barnold's Dog and Monkey Pantomime closed the first half, leaving the audience in a riot, of laughter. Mr. Barnold, through the smoothness of his animal act, draws spontaneous outbursts. The house takes hold of the humor and there is a naturalness about the animals' actions which excites admiration as well as laugh- ter. Working with speed, W. C. Fields had the audience all the time. The more seen of Mr. Fields' work, the more dex- terous it is. He leans so much to the comedy, however, that the audience pre- fers to laugh rather than applaud, and the appreciation rightfully his for many of the difficult tricks is not given. The Alexandroff Troupe, replacing the Kurataku Japs, was the lively opening number, winning much applause with their dancing, and giving Brooklyn a sight of foreign multi-colored costumes they have not before had the opportunity of observing, for the Alexandroff is the best dressed Russian act yet showing. The Max Tourbillon Troupe of cycling acrobats closed, while Konorah and Du- mond's Parisian Minstrels are under New Acts. An announcement made relative to the moving pictures said that the series shown at the Grand will not be seen elsewhere. Wm. Slafer conducts the orchestra, in- suring good vaudeville music, and the stage, under the direction of William O'Hara, excepting for an unavoidable wait, was conducted without mishap. Preceding the raising of the curtain, announcement cards on the proscenium arch read "Welcome," which sounds "rubey" and could be accepted for granted since the box office is open, while the first line on the program reading- "By Way of Opening the Festivities" is also antideluvian. ORPHEUM. It is a big bill arranged for the open- ing of the season this week at the Or- pheum, larger on the salary list, prob- ably, than any vaudeville show ever given in Brooklyn. It packed the theatre twice on Labor Day. The performance greatly pleased the Brooklynites. It could not help but do ¬Ľo. "The Song Birds," Victor Herbert's oper- atic piece, was the feature number on the billing and on the stage. There have been some changes in the cast since it last played in vaudeville, but they have no effect on the general value. "The Song Birds" still holds its title as the best number in vaudeville. It carries itself, guided to success partly through the re- markable impersonation of Oscar Ham- merstein by William Burress. "The Pianophiends," the Jesse L. Lasky Co., musical act, is another to undergo changes. The same result as formerly was obtained, although there is a marked loss in the cast through the disappear- ance of the "Gibson Girl." The rearrange- ment of musical numbers atones to a large degree. The act is moving more swiftly than formerly, and is much more musical. One of the girls importantly located in the octet of singers has not the voice to justify the position. Two new songs are sung by Katie Barry, "Bob Me on Your Knee" and a "Good-Bye" selection. The diminutive comedienne was placed far down on the bill, too far for full value, but she gained her usual number of encores, and with Harry Bulger (New Acts) was one of the "names" which made the program attrac- tive to the amusement seeker. Cressy and Dayne played "Town Hall To-Night." The audience found it enjoy- able. One or two new lines have been in- serted. On Monday afternoon the sketch followed Shekla, the Indian conjurer, who closes with the "basket" trick. Mr. Cressy improvised when he audibly remarked to Miss Dayne, "I would like to put you in the basket." It was quite impromptu, even though Miss Dayne did not smile, and removed for the moment the locale of the skit. Shekla is yet in need of some one who can frame up an act for him. He has everything excepting that. The boy does not appear, but "Mrs. Shekla" does. She may be necessary, at least to the "basket" trick, but her personal appearance argues against her presence on the stage. The Rooney Sisters opened the show with dancing and singing. Last season they were known as the daintiest "sis- ter" act in vaudeville, but must now be careful. Josie is not looking as well. Julia excels in dancing, while Miss Josie is growing careless about making up once more. The first two songs should be changed for more melodious and lively ones, while dresses of the same style as worn by these girls last season would give a prettier appearance. Now they are dressed exactly alike, in white, even to bows in the hairs, but the hosiery does not match. It's not important, perhaps, but it's noticeable. The Lavine-Cimaron Trio in the second position won plenty of laughs and ap- plause with comedy acrobatics. Gillette's Animals (New Acts) closed. COLONIAL. Ofttimes an amateur cook discovers that an apple pie to be develops in looks into a pudding. Investigation discloses the up- per crust swollen out of proportion, with the filling solid on the bottom, while the inflation causes a vacuum. The deceptive pie is apropos of the Co- lonial opening bill of this season. Wat- son's Farmyard opening the show is the upper crust; Metzetti Troupe, closing, the lower, with Julius Tannen and Bailey and Austin, in the second half, the meat. In and between is a blank, if Julius Lenz- berg's new march, "The Colonial," "re- spectfully dedicated to Percy G. Will- iams," and played during the intermission, is excepted. The possibility of either or both of two foreign numbers, Dale and O'Malley and Beatrice Lindley (New Acts), scoring an unexpectedly large success was contained in the program, but remained there, the foreigners reversing the expectations. The Five Madcaps (New Acts) another European collection, which may have dented the upper crust, and Valerie Ber- gere, gave no impetus of moment to the program. It may be listed here that the justifica- tion of the Colonial's show this week was found in the Tuesday night attendance. There were some people in the theatre; Julius Tannen discovered that, for he brought laughter. Mr. Tannen combines two able requi- sites in an entertainer. He is a story- teller, entitled to rank in the blue ribbon class, and as an impersonator, in some of his impersonations, holds the only dis- tinction of that color given out in his class. Tannen has divided his act into de- partments or compartments. When he leaves the stage you are mentally unde- cided whether you like the impersonator or the monologist. From the laughter, it is the former; from the applause, the lat- ter. Mr. Tannen guarantees, by his pres- ence before the footlights, returns to the management, and is a valuable act in vaudeville by reason thereof. This week he is using talk not before heard, added to which is his lightning wit at improvi- sation. Mr. Tannen was obliged to offer a short speech for the pacification of a handful of persons in the auditorium, re- maining undiscovered to others on the same program. Bailey and Austin, with their new ideas for the encore, and the varied-sized com- pany, played to appreciation also. The Metzetti Troupe closed the bill with the extraordinary acrobatic feats of Flor- ence, the youngest member, who assumes the burden of the labor at imminent risk of bodily Injury. The youngster is active constantly. Watson's Farmyard is an offering for children with amusing interest for their elders. Mr. Watson gave no especial at- tention to any spot in the backyard. He even wandered to the river side, selecting some porkers from under the shade of the trees, but he clinched his success upon reaching the hennery. Irving Jones, the colored singer, is away from his feed box, for the nonce. The exertion of grimacing which Mr. Jones undertakes seemingly removes the stam- ina from his song writing quill. SHUBERT. The Shubert theatre, Brooklyn, under the management of Klaw & Erlanger, with Lewis Parker in charge, opened ita vaudeville season last Saturday. Noth- ing on the program or about the theatre indicates the management of K. & E. "Advanced Vaudeville" is not mentioned. The Shubert fills the place in that section of Brooklyn left vacant by the conversion of Hyde & Behman's, around the corner, from a policy of vaudeville, established through many long years of profitable existence, to burlesque. In line with this, it may be safely ventured that the Shubert, with a fair list of at- tractions, will establish a clientele of its own at the popular prices charged (up to 50 cents), and this will be based to a con- siderable extent upon the former patrons of Hyde & Behman's. The Shubert audience, judging from the Saturday night house, which was nearly capacity, is an "easy" one. The people laughed most heartily and enjoyed the performance. While the opening bill is not an expensive one, it is well arranged as to programming, containing nearly all comedy acts, and must have left an initial excellent impression. The Shubert is an old theatre. Years ago under the management of the late Col. Sinn, it was known as "The Park," and was, during the Colonel's regime, "the" theatre of Brooklyn, playing the best legitimate attractions. For the second show on Saturday night everything moved smoothly, a slight fault or so, easily capable of correction, crop- ping out in the orchestra. Hope Booth and Company in "The Lit- tle Blonde Lady," by Geo. M. Cohan, head- lined, and were well received just before the intermission. Charles Deland has his former part, doing a great deal for the piece, which contains a mischievous office boy, now played in good manner by Henry Garron. O'Brien-Havel, with Effie Lawrence, ap- peared after the intermission, and al- though employing an office setting, with a "bad" office boy, two noticeable portions of .the previous sketch, "Ticks and Glicks" did not suffer. John Birch, in the flret half, scored a sound laughing hit with his "hat" melo- drama. Mr. Birch is always funny. He does not polish his comedy up, but gives it as it is, and the pleasing effect is greater for this reason. He has been com- pared several times to Geo. Mozart, the English comedian, seen over here last sea- son in a very similar offering. Mr. Mo- zart is somewhat more elaborate; also "finished," but the comparison has never been to Mr. Birch's disadvantage. The Faye Sisters, with their neat looks and music, were well liked, while Allenei, with his "monk" "Peter, the Great," made a laughable closing act to the bill proper, which was followed by moving pictures of the "Head-on Collison" at Brighton Beach a year ago, when two locomotives crashed into each other in the field of the Brighton Beach Race Track, and giving it an excellent start; Josephine Ainsley, who followed, and Healy and Vance, the third number, are under New Act*.