Variety (December 1907)

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VARIETY V\R1ETY A Variety Paper lor Variety People. Published erery Saturday by THE VARIETY PUBLISHING CO. Knickerbocker Theatre Building, 1403 Broadway, New York City. Telephone 1 402 J Q23 | 38th St. BIKE J. SILVERMAN, Editor and Proprietor. Entered as second-class matter December 22, 1905, at the Post Office at New York, N. Y., under the act of Congress of March 3, 1879. CHICAGO OFFICE, Chicago Opera Home Block (Phone, Main 4880). FRANK WIE8BERO. Representative. SAN FRANCISCO OFFICE, 1115 Van Nets Ave, (Room 118). W. ALFRED WILSON, Representative. LONDON REPRESENTATIVE, C. C. BARTRAJC, 49 Rupert St., W. PARIS REPRESENTATIVE, 0. M. 8EIBT. ADVERTISEMENTS. 15 cents an agate line, $2.10 an Inch. One page, $100; one-half page, $50; one-quarter page, $25. Charges for portraits furnished on application. Special rate by the month for professional card under heading "Representative Artists." Advertising copy should be received by Thurs- day at noon to insure publication in current Issue. ^L gggg-gjgg& ^ TRAD Esl u ^?! < jCOUWC lL> 89 \y *^ SUBSCRIPTION RATES. Annual $4 Foreign 5 Six and three months In proportion. Single copies ten cents. VARIETY will be mailed to a permanent ad- dress or as per route as desired. VARIETY may be had abroad at INTERNATIONAL NEWS CO.'S OFFICES Breams Building, Chancery Lane, LONDON, E. C. ENGLAND. Advertisements forwarded by mall must be ac- companied by remittance, made payable to Variety Publishing Co. Copyright, 1907, by Variety Publishing Co. Vol. VIII. DHCEMBBR 7. No. 13. The failure of Supreme Court Judge O'Gorman this week to confirm the opin- ion of Referee ex-Judge Donaghue in the action of the city to revoke the license of Ilammerstein's Theatre for lfKX) strikes a serious blow at the vaudeville managers of New York. Judge O'Gorman based his opinion upon the law and there is no ap- peal excepting to the State Legislature. With the closing of the theatres on Sun- day will come the evidence in the police dockets, criminal courts and hospital rec- ords of the evil wrought, but the law takes no cognisance of this phase. The statute has been made and it intended there should 1k» no public amusement offered on the Sabbath. Judge O'Gorman so construes the section and his decision stands as an impassable barrier until another statute has been enacted which will remove restric- tions and define the rights of the amuse- ment seeking populace on a Sunday. Only the bigoted or fanatical will pre- suppose for a moment that the community at large can be benefited by the closing of respectable and reputable theatres, draw- ing its patronage from all walks. It loaves Open avenues of vice on the one day each week thousands of people seek the Sunday concert as their amusement. It drives the young men into saloons, cheap billiard rooms (often embryo criminal academies) and young women to spend the time as best they can instead of comfortably en- joying a wholesome performance. There is no end to the hardships the strict observance of the "Sunday Law" will cause in cosmopolitan New York, where Sunday is regarded as much of a day of recreation as of worship. The Church is strong and its mission the most noble, but unfortunately there are contained under the clerical cloth no- toriety seeking demagogues who have for- gotten their chosen profession of adminis- tering the Gospel in their second choice of correcting the world for the purpose of bringing to themselves the attention of the world. "The enforcement of the law" i» a solid footing for anyone to proceed on. It is the pose nearly always assumed by the minister, not sufficiently satiated with the adulation of his flock, when branching into new fields by converting himself into a "reformer" and a self-appointed dictator of public morals. Any attempt by the theatrical managers to have the Legislature enact privileges for Sunday will meet with the opposition of*the Church, but with the aid of the press and public that opposition should be meagre from the lower part of New York State. The up-state legislator will oppose it as he always has, but there is not a man in the editorial rooms of any Jaily published in this country who does not realize that pure enjoyment on Sunday is the healthiest sort of recreation, whether obtained physically or in the theatre. The opening of the coming session of the legislature at Albany is near at hand. The manager may attempt to evade the "Sunday law" through collusion or other- wise, but it would be far better and more beneficial to appeal to the State's govern- ing body for a more liberal enactment, re- iving upon the New York public and press to secure it. The public will demand it and the press, if it is honest, will sup- port it. The (losing of the theatres on Sunday will have a telling effect upon the vaude- ville artist, who has been the chief amuse- ment provider on that day. The manager will tint consider a week's services for si\ days' engagement as valuable as when fourteen shows are played, even though outside this city in many towns the same salary is received by the artist for twelve shows as he receives in New York for playing twice daily for seven days. The artist who has been depending upon. Sun- day performances in New York will be the greatest sufferer for the present, but that the managers will make a decided move for the legal right to open their houses on Sunday will be the outcome, and Judge O'Gorman's decision may yet prove to be the most valuable happening which could have occurred. With a statute on the law books of the State defining exactly what m:iy be offered for Sunday amusement, the manager will rest easy and be delighted to obey it. It is the general opinion that any im- mediate relief afTorded by the New York ( ity Board of Aldermen will be but tem- porary. The up-State legislators will consider such an action an Usurpation of their authority, and combat it rigorously. It would seem best in any event for the theatrical managers to take their case directly to the State capital and have their position defined once and for all. Sooner or later it will be found necessary. In the news columns is an account of the reported dissatisfaction of artists under contract to the United Rooking Offices over the change in their route sheet by the agency without their consent. The trend of the article is that the United has the legal right to make this change in playing time under its contracts, but regardless of the legality of the proceeding it is, in our opinion, poor business judgment upon the part of any artist with a desire to play out his contracted time to offer a serious ob- jection to a change in route if the United meets him with a fair proposition. Granting that the United has no right to do this, which we believe it has in equity and common sense, if not in law, the act is jeopardizing its time through a declina- tion to accede. There is no power which can compel the United to play an act. If it cannot technically cancel it may refuse admission to the stage of its theatres, and in this way an act would be barred from playing. The recourse left open is law, i slow, tiresome and expensive litigation to recover damages which would have to be proven, for the point of good faith in the United standing ready to supply other time than that laid out at the same salary might be legal grounds for the court to throw out the artist's suit. Neither are we of the opinion that the present is an opportune moment for an artist to ask an increase in pay (not transportation) to accept a "shifted" date. The present condition of the bookings in the United Offices should l>o fully appre- ciated by a vaudeville artist engaged by it. No one will believe the United managers relish the position they are now in. They would not inconvenience their own acts could they do otherwise and it does, not tend to promote L r,,< »d feeling for artists to take an arbitrary stand at this time. In justice to the managers it may be said they have enough to worry over just now without having their plans for shows disarranged through artists erroneously supposing they are being imposed upon. The artist should not suppose that for his own protection and he should not under any circumstances, if he wishes to play out his time, place himself in a position where the United or the individual manager could take advantage of him. This applies in equal measure to an art- i-i declining to accept his allotted position on a bill. Unless expressly stipulated In ih<- contract to the contrary, there is not the slightest doubt the manager has a per- v- legal right to arrange his program ;i< !i"-t suits hint. The artist may object, and his Objection not being favorably re- ceived, he should not decline to play in the belief that one week only will be lost un- less he stands ready to forfeit his entire time. A breach of any condition of a contract covering a stated period will nul- lify that contract for the entire time, and it is unquestionably a breach to refuse to appear in a bill where placed by the man- ager. Within the past month an act was can- celled for the remaining thirty weeks of a United contract through its decision not to open a show in a nearby theatre. If re- port is true, the United managers are pressed for open spaces on their bills, with plenty of material waiting to be placed. Artists holding, contracts to play should observe faithfully all the conditions unless they are indifferent to a cancella- tion. Liane D'Lve is in her third week at the New York, having been heid over at the last moment, after being billed for the Tremont, P.oston. Fred Niblo and Josephine Cohan com- mence playing under their Klaw & Er- langer contract next Monday at Philadel- phia. Louis Harris, the manager of Weber & Rush's "Parisian Widows," was forced by illness to retire temporarily last week. Charles Abbott took his place. Among the European importations booked for American appearance this month by the Marinelli agency are Little Cliff, who sails from London on the "Pal- tic" Dec. 12, and Nellie Wallace, the Eng- lish soubrette. Mi>s Wallace sails on the "Adriatic" from London Dec. 18, and opens here at the Colonial Dec. 30. The Ritchie Duo cancelled at Kecney's this week, caused by illness. La Belle and St. Clair replaced them on the program. "The World's Comedy Four" lias dis- banded by mutual agreement. James F. Haves and Wilbur Dolbs remain with Miner's "Americans." Il.ui v Perry, of Vardon, Perrv and Wil- bur, "Those Three Boys," lost his voice for three days last week while playing in Albany. Mr. Perry found it again this week in Brooklyn. Joe r.,ok. "The Juggling Kid," who lias been playing alone since the dissolution oi the Cook Brothers, is preparing a new offering for his comedy juggling. He will carry three special drops and set. pieces, and carry an assistant. The scene will represent the interior of a railway sta« li"ti. >, Kemey and Mollis join "The Cham- pagne dirk" in Albany week of Dec. 10, taking the place of M< Farland arid Mur- ray, who leave the organization. Hertie flerron should be at Keith's. Philadelphia., tfiH .\ m ' I til n cold pre* vented. La-d week Mis* Merron played at both the I ire and 125th Street nd. an c reed trek's rest fol- lowed.