Variety (December 1907)

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VARIETY • ARTISTS OBJECT TO SHIFTING OF DATES Protests Against United's Revision of Routes III-Advised According to Opinion of Legal Authorities, Who Counsel Against Resistance. Due to the many Klaw & Erlanger acts which have been provided for by the United Booking Offices, considerable shift- ing about of schedules of its own bills by the United has followed during the past couple of weeks. This has brought about dissatisfaction in several cases, and seems to be particu- larly objected to by foreign artists, al- though some native acts have claimed the United did not possess the right under its contract to change the playing place on the route sheet at will. The United maintains that it has the power to place an act at any point on its circuit, provided the extra cost of trans- portation, if any, is paid by the booking agency to the act. The opinion as expressed at the United Offices by the managers and agents seems to concur in that the artists should not attempt to hinder the booking agency in its attempts to straighten out the present tangle caused by the receipt of the many unlooked for numbers it must now play. The artists affected, when objecting to a shift, have said the business arrange- ment between Klaw & Erlanger and the United did not bear upon their contract. Thoughtful artists believe that under the present conditions an act should ac- cept any assignment of time, if not obliged to "lay off," for, it is pointed out, did the United cancel or refuse to play an act for declining to accept a transfer of a date, there could only follow a law- suit for the act to establish its possible rights, a costly proceeding both in time and money. An act playing Providence last week is said to have refused to go to Keith's, Philadelphia, this week, insisting that it play in Boston, where originally booked. Another in Washington flatly declined to go to Norfolk, a shorter "jump" than list- ed for it this week. A shift of dates from Albany to Atlanta was "turned down" by another act, although in the latter case full transportation both ways was to be provided the act. The difference in fare is also said to have been tendered the act which refused the Philadelphia en- gagement. Maurice Goodman, attorney for the United Offices, was seen this week by a Variety representative, and asked his opinion on the matter. Mr. Goodman said: "There is no question as to the right of the United under its contract to select the place the act shall play, and more especially so when there is no hard- ship to the artist occasioned by reason thereof. "In my opinion, the artist is heedlessly placing himself at a disadvantage by tak- ing a stand contrary to his contract with- out full knowledge of what he is doing, or legal advice. "It is a position the United Booking Offices does not want him- in. It is sim- ply trying to arrange its bills most ex- peditiously, and were the artists to look at the condition in the proper light, the result would be much more pleasant and agreeable to everyone." In support of his statement of the United's right to shift acts, Mr. Goodman called attention to a clause in the contract reading "At such theatres or other places as the party of the first part (Keith- Proctor) shall require." The lawyer then turned in the law books to the suit of Phebe Howard against Augustin Daly, which he said was recognized as the leading case on the sub- ject in New York State, the decision hav- ing been handed down by the Court of Appeals, and in use as a precedent all over the country. Miss Howard sued the late Augustin Daly for breach of contract. It was proven at the trial that Mr. Daly would not al- low her to rehearse after her contract had been signed. The court held, however, that Miss Howard could have been directed by Daly to engage in similar work elsewhere, and, failing in that, it was her duty, in order to mitigate the possible damage sustained, to immediately attempt to secure employ- ment for the time she was idle. The court also said that the offer by the manager to place Miss Howard in another position where the remuneration would have been the same absolved him from liabilitv under his contract upon her refusal to ac- cept the proffered work. GILLINGWATER WILL—IF. Charles Gillingwater will enter vaude- ville if bookings are forthcoming after the close of the season with the Fritzi Scheff organization. He has placed him- self in the hands of M. S. Bentham. If the vaudeville venture is successful Mr. Gillingwater will remain in the varieties all next season at least. "K. & E. ACT" HEADLINER. Chicago, 111., Dec. G. Henry Lee, a "K. & E. Act," is the hcadliner of the Olympic bill this week. Other "shifted" acts on it are Al Shean and Company and Mills and Morris. There are three "K. & E. acts" on the Majestic program also. The Musical Cuttys, Ralph Johnstone and Tress Eld- ridge. Harry Houdini, "the jail breaker," tops the Majestic show. Hardeen, the "K. & E. 'jailbreaker,'" was kept out of the Auditorium, Chicago, it is said, by A. L. Erlanger at the personal request of Martin Reck, who did not wish the edge taken off Houdini's showing here. "The Six American Dancers," a new act, playing New York at the 125th street house for the first time next week, have been booked solid for the remainder of the season. CHURCH AGAINST PICTURE SHOWS. Montreal, Dec. 6. There is trouble in store for the mov- ing picture establishments in Montreal. The Catholic clergy has been a-crusading against Sunday performances, but the climax came last Sunday when the Bilbop of the Catholic diocese warned his parishioners against attending these per- formances. There have never been Sunday perform- ances in the regular theatres of Montreal, either vaudeville or legitimate. These shows are expressly prohibited by law, but the picture establishments have been open on the seventh day and have done a thriv- ing business. In the Catholic community the bishop's word is final, and although the effect of his pronouncement has not yet had time to be felt, it is expected that the Sunday shows of the nickelodeons will shortly be a thing or the past. The Bishop excepted S'ohmer Park in hia remarks, that establishment being listed as a zoological garden, by virtue of a stuffed monkey and an anaemic alli- gator, and under a special act of the Pro- vincial Parliament i* permitted to keep its gates open on Sunday, and even oper- ate its bar. LLOYD TAKING SHOW OVER. "Happy Hooligan," the grotesquely pic- turesque "tramp," made famous in cartoon and play, will be exported to England next season by Herbert Lloyd, the misnamed juggler. Mr. Lloyd leaves next week, having en- gaged a number of people for the humorous piece. It will be played in the English provinces where there exists an especial fondness for the "Knights of the Road." In the present vaudeville despondency, Mr. Lloyd has determined to return to the land where his catch-line, "No Good, Napoleon," is a by-word. Mr. Lloyd re- turned to his home, and the presumption was he had remained a juggler, but his comedy act, which defies analysis, brought him forth not as a juggler, but pure com- edian, with an offering requiring an in- tellect equal to it for the fun to be fully grasped. MOORE CROWING. Rochester, Dec. G. "Advanced Vaudeville" had barely left the Baker Theatre last Saturday night for the finish, when the Sunday papers came out with a flaring advertisement for the program this week at J. II. Moore's Cook's Opera House, the United theatre here. In one corner of the "ad," perfectly prominent, was a picture of a e.owing rooster labeled "Real Vaudeville" standing proudly erect over a dead chicken called "Advanced Vaudeville." The caption was "Licked." This is the second time the same pic- ture has been employed by Cook's against Klaw & Erlanger. The previous use made of it was when the Lyceum closed last summer. There are a number of other pertinent remarks in the advertisement, which proudly boasts of the bill this week, say- ing: "Could you ever see any better vaude-> ville than this?" The hcadliner at Cook's is Lillian Shaw. NELSON LEWIS DEAD. The sudden death of Nelson Lewis, of Nelson Lewis and Julia Kingsley, oc- curred at Sharon Springs, N. Y., last Tuesday. Mr. Lewis died of acute Br.ght's dis- ease. He has played in vaudeville for about five years with Miss Kingsley, hav- ing entered the variety branch from the legitimate. HOWARD BAKER DEAD. London, Nov. 20. Howard Raker, popular with Americans, and father of Tom I learn, "the lazy jug- gler," died on Nov. 10 from a chill con- tracted during the recent music hall strike. JOHN RAYNOR DIES. John Raynor, general manager for Harry Bryant's burlesque show, died very suddenly in his home in New York Wednesday morning. He was threatened with pneumonia a week or so ago, and did not leave the city with Bryant's Ex- travaganza Company. Few of Raynor's friends knew of his illness, and his sudden death was a shock to the profession. He had been engaged in the burlesque and general show busi- ness for a good many years and was popular. WILL BURY PAPINTA IN CALIFORNIA. The body of Papinta, the mirror dancer, who died in Dusseldorf, Germany, was brought to this country on the "Kron- prinzessin Cecilie," which arrived from Hamburg Tuesday. Papinta's brother accompanied the body which started Wednesday on its journey across the continent to a last resting place on the estate of the dead dancer in California. Dusseldorf, Nov. 23. Papinta, the well-known American dancer, died here the 21st of this month, under circumstances both tragic and pa- thetic. She had just finished her number at the Apollo Theatre and laughingly chatted with her brother, who left her at the door of her dressing room. Papinta's dress had been removed, when suddenly, without a murmur, she fell heavily against her maid, both fall- ing to the floor. The maid hastily summoned Geo. W. Hippie, her brother and manager. They attempted to revive her, thinking it a fainting spell. A doctor was quickly called, pronounced life extinct and heart disease the cause. Papinta arrived in Europe August 17, accompanied by her brother. Her late husband, W. J. Halpin, died two years ago this month of heart disease also. Papinta was thirty-eight years old and one of America's best known dancers for the past fifteen vears. I _J DIDN'T SUICIDE. Paris, Nov. 2X E. E. Gifford, the one-legged cyclist, re- ported to have committed suicide in Ger- many, is still alive. He has gone to Buenos Ayres to fulfill dates on the Seguin tour in South America. Leo St. Elmo is playing as a single act although looking upon a partnership in prospect with favor. The Four Holloways, wire act, which played during the Summer with the Ring- ling Cir«us, have returned to vaudeville.