Variety (April 1932)

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30 VARIETY VAIIDE HOUSE REVIEWS Tuesday, April 26, 1932 JACKIE COOPER Talk and: 3ongs 8 Mins.;° Three Chicago, Chicago just another personal appearance of screen <uve name that Is per- haps ^thc best known today. IVlth no previous stage, experience Jackiie eooper Is still trying to find his way around, With thie aid of his mother both on the stage and from the wings, iIrs. . G6ojf)ier, is Mabel Leonard, formerly and for a num- ber of years in vaude; That shouldn't hurt her bflfspring any^ although the mother is shying clear of th6 son, perhaps for fear of di- recting attention a,way from Hlni. This is the kid's second week but, ■with St. Louis his break-in stand Nervousness was yyith the lad on his bpehing sjiow, and In a big house. Further handicapping him was the eiTor of faulty, mike place- ments through the theatre, re- straining the kid's voice tiiiite a bit.; Possibly a better routine could have been mapped out for yoiing Cooper's Initial stage Jaunt. With a itnakeshii^t' turn there Is always the i-isk of disiUusionlzihg the pub- lic. What the act consists of now is mainly the child's own and ar- resting perspftallty. Thbse two song numbers he does, with his mother at the piano, must be built up, as In that end he's not^so strong. Preferably the songS, If they're to stay In, should be spe- cial Instiead of pop numbers. . As might be expected the lad Is doing a cduple of bita from his screen parts. One from 'The Big House' and 'another from 'Sklppy.' Both are brief and just a memory flash for the. audience. Another Item that shouldn't be overlooked . is the lighting on the stage. Here ^It was too dim and further than •■.the ilrat 10 rows dlffloujt to dis- tinguish the boy's features. That's important, considering everyone win want to. get close to his face and personality^ • • With a little revamping this act win stand up as sufliciently enter- taining from a screen kid of whom extemporaneous stuff •and stage showtnanship is not expected. ■ ' Span, COL. STOOPNAGLE and BUD Comedy, Songs .' 14 Mins,; One Penn, Pittsburgh Hadio name act that has good stage pbsslblUtles. Too many com- edy turns to spring ihtb. prominence through tVii ether lack effective personalities for this medium, but Stbopnagle ahd Bud are exceptions. Stobphagle -has a comedy pan, wears a good hoke get-up; Bud plays straight, a swell foil for the goofy Colonel. Their present act Is virtually the s..nie In time, arid con- tent as their twicer weekly hour for the Procter & Gamble people and the: boys sell it as well here as: they do bn the air, , Opens with voices coming thfbugh mike from behind curtains, Stoop- riagle coming up on the organ and Biid bn the stage. ..Thejr chatter Is sharp and amuplng, with a tew satirical thrusts at McNamee and Huslng describing a football game, which later deVelbps Into basket- ball; and '\vinding' up with the star of the game .(Stoopnagle) saying a few" words to the horiie town folk. High spot of the turn Is their Certified Candidates program, •with Bud.doing a kidding announcement and Stoopnagle imnersbnatlhg Coo- Ifdge arid Smith making campaign speeches. A sWell bit of buffoonery and should have closed the act in- stead .of the impersonations that followed; "with Biid sblb doing Cros- by and Stoopnagle coming on again to close ■with an Ambs 'n' Andy impression. Impersonatlbns are all right, though not. too faithful, but should be spotted earlier if at all. 'That Coolldge-Smith bit is a natural for a finish. Stoopnagle and iBud is an air act that can deliver on the stage as well.. They liked them here and boys. probably won a flock of addi- tional air fans from the non-lis- teners in. Cohen. MILLS, KIRK and MARTIN (4) Comiftdy, Instrumental 11 Mins.; One Palace, N. Y. ^Knockabout trio's robust clown- ing ■was riotously i-eceived at the Palace. Reopenlng> after the siesta, the Palaceites went for the rough- andrready hokum of the trio which clalmax;ed into wow. proportions with the introduction of a bald- headed panze, probably the funniest nance stooge extant He was good for sonie of the sock finale laffs, plus a strong routine encore bow-off. . The trio's corporal punishment administered on one another is somewhat original in its style of eye gouging, nasal assault and the like. Its studious nonchalance evl dences the boys have been around although "Variety's' files disclose no record. Act might be an evolution of a smaller partnership. Boys have a tag, 'Tizzle See,' which is their billing. It comes In for healthy returns ■with similar lln gulstlc calisthenics. Mills, KIrfc and Martin played like a sample of that good bld-fashloned brand of vaude- ville that used to g6 the customers before Wall St. got vaudeville. Aiet BRENCK'S INDIAN REVELS (11) Band, Posing, Dancing, Singing 15 Mine.; ,Full (Special) Hippodrome P'oses in brbnze^by a woman and horse, latter in best demonstra- tion of its . klrid yt, deliver the punch of Brenck's Indian Revels. When a series of the posesi in cir- cus fashion, lift the novelty revue to a. ° high point for the. finish, it should call it qUits there instead of returning for an encbre that lets the act down, a.3 here when caught. The special arrangement of 'St. Louis Blues' for the band, with song bit by the femme leader and dance by Princess Little Elk, cbuld as easily be nioved ahead if to stay in. Band, decliared to contain full- blooded Indians, all of whom -with leader are college grads, includes eight , men. They ar.e costumed as chiefs; one stepping but for bari- tone 'Work of better than average excellence. As a Bpeclalty dancer. Princess Little Slk doesn't reach that rating. Leader's ''Minnie, the Moocher' and an Indian lullaby are passably entertaining.' Char. . DAVE GOULD'S GIRLS AND BOYS (14) Song and Dance SO Mins.^ One and three Palace, N. Y. Dave .Gould, prlnjarliy a' darice staiger, has a company of 14 youngs ters (10 girls, and four boys) in a dance flash Interspersed with s. and d. specialties by Will Cowan, Muriel Moran and Marjorle (Terry) Green who'are featured. The act's, 20 m,lnutes\ running time tells the story on hbw much it's overboard, especially for an opener as at the Palace here Plenty of room for chopping, al though Gould probably figured on every minute for schooling purposes, The line of eight cbriiprlses very young people, the two cutles at the right end especially looking as if just out of grammar school. None the less they have stage presence. In their concerted stuff. The three spe- cialists are averagely satisfactory, Miss Moran evidencing the most sea sonlng. Terry Green's forte was acro-slepplng. Cowan is the juVe he should learn to sriille more. Just, one of those a<Jts which Is In at the Palace as just one of those funny Palace bookings. Undoubt edly the nue.stion of economics fig ured chieny in the date. Ahel SMITH, ROGERS and EDDY Dancing, Comedy 11 Mins.; One . Academy, N. Y. The urge for stooging, spills, etc., has found Its way Into a dance rou- tine in this case quite effectively. Though the . trio, two men a:nd a woman, prove themselves agile, with their toes, it's the clowning, falls arid other present-day tomfoolery that puts the act O'ver. For No. 2 spots In major neighborhood corti- binatlonSi strictly okay. Male team apparently have come up f rorii the acrobatic ranks. They mix much of the technique of the acrobatic worker Into their daricing and comedy. The girl, a looker, stays- pi'etty much away from this, sticking to straight hoofing. She's aces In a buck, tap single. A challenge with a laugh touch closes, and as an encore one of the muggs does a bit, flopping on the floor, his partners walking oft with show of disgust. Over nicely here. Chdr. (3). BERNIE GREEN and Co. Comedy 17 Mins.; One 86th Street, N. Y, This Green man must have ..been around; he's got a plenty capable stage presence and; assurance, though some material wouldn't hurt. Works dead pa:n and. big clothes, with his .ttyle a strange conglomer atlon of Eddie Cantor and Harry Langdon, though chatter is more a-la-Bert Lahr. Alma Payne, as sweet a little blonde as anyone could ask for works In for comedy bits plus an extra neat tap. Gone Gary . does straight and a laugh plant helps the merriment along. Too much comedy In the turn to be nii.'ced up with som^ o£ the awful PALACE . Another long show at the Pal- ace, another frolic full Of references to' fannies and business with parisles, another repetition of the same familiar faces, but with it all a not bad entertainment Biz bad. It's a good yaude show, however. With kneading and prunliig it'll play even better. : Lots of laffs, at^flook of tnlent, ^ith a succession of sock punctuations to the proceedings, even its general sameness couldn't off sol the basic qualities; But the repetition of Benny. Rubin and Jack-Haleyi Ethel .Mermitn and Eddie Leonard is having its poi- sonous eiffect at the box office. Tiiey've. seen 'em .too: often.. Haley : arid Rubin as the dual m.c.'s were the collective life of the party. 'Their nonsense high-lighted the show throughout, further forti- fied by some strong contributory factors. The headllner, Ethel Mer- man, marklrig her first Palace re- turn since 'Scandals,' was a show- stopper. But Lou Forman's orches- tra and her two pianists, Rbger Edans arid Jack Carroll, should get together as to who will play , the Scandals' medley.'. Forman's pit band is billed" as dolnig the same thing in honor of Miss Merman's return; That's a good send-off. so the twin plainists should switch. Eddie Leonard's act is now of the radio type seen around. Eddie Leon- ard, Jr., is sub-billed. He is Cther- wise one of the mlprophone .trio. Leonard, Jr., does a Yiddish number which, somehow, sounds as a cheap bid to conform with the gag that If you're not of the faith you can't play the Palace. Between Haley and Rubin's . Irish-Tid nonsense— and that, too. was cverboard, despite its consistent effectiveness—there was enough dialectic stuff in the show. Not to inentiori Diave Apol- lon's own contribution toward the end of the show. . . Haley had an ally in Patsy Kelly's act The hoydenlsh comedienne registered strongly, although a bit too brief considerinjg everything else going for all it was worth. It was in Miss Kelly's act that thei request for a 'fanny' theme song crbpped up as part of the business. Looks like comedians: will never learn where and'when to stop; They're not miss- ing a thing at the Palace this week. Two New, Acts currently, .-Dave Gould's dlrls and Boys, and Mills, Kirk and Martlii,.respectively, open- ing arid opening after Intermish. Burns and Klssen prograriimed were substituted by Morgan and Stone, likeable youngsters ping-panging banjos. The same comriient goes as four years, ago; it's their earnest youthfulness which figures as a big asset The boys should send their white trousers to the. cleaners. Benny Rubin and Jack Haley started from the trey groove Intro- ducing Eddie Leonard who, de- spite an ad lib by. one of the m.c.'s that they'll learn about bowing from the minstrel man, dld'nt outwear his welcome. Highlight was the Palace debut of Eddie Leonard, Jr., a like- able enough yourig singer who be- comes one of the Three Radio Singers (a better! billing wouldn't be out of order) when Leonard, Sr., Is doing his stuff. Juriior did 'Machree,' a Neapolitan air and a Yiddish song in solo. The vet min- strel clicked nicely on his own. Ethel Merman closed the first half In effective climatic manner. Her own style of vocal delivery is one of the few new things that have come along In recent theatrical months, and the Palace mob was' -prorie to recogriize it generously. Haley and Riibln each had their own ^olb oppbrtunlties in each half. Haley sells a pop song with the best of 'em and Rubin's dialectisms were nicely topped oft by his eccentric stepolbgy in his sesslbn.' Dave Apollon's act, despite the lateness, ■ held 'em plenty. The Russe comedian packs a lot of wal- lop with the stuff he purveys. Danzi Goodell was generously remembered on. her entrance and generally acr claimed with her eccentric dance number. Nora Williams Is a new blues songstress whose interlude was likewise okay. Her style of vocalizing and whistling suggests Itself favorably for ralke purposes. Agnes antf Adeline ■were a decora- tive terp sister team, and the Mexi- can band.balcked up Apollon's string Instrumentation In great style. That Mex stooge Iriterrupter almost stole the show with the cariny .dialog as~ slgnments accorded him by Apollon. At all times, the iself-styled vodka entertainer paced everything at~ a fast tempo, working hard through- out and delivering a miniature va- ■ r rlety revue that fits into any type of show^. Show's length eliminated the pro'- grammed afterpiece. Haley and Rubin came on In dressing gowns to tell the customers to 'go home.' Abel. STATE, N. Y. Took a little time to warni up'the audience during, the early show Sat- urday, with the first few acts suf- fering, as the result Five-act lay- out running to a full hour builds to a strong finish \vith 'Songwriters on Parade,' . featured, despite earlier slow moments. 'Songwriters on Parade,' closing turn, preserited in a ehbwmarily fashion and the strongest: act bn the bill. Turri Is. good big-time calibre. Seven sbrigwrlters compbse the act, consisting of Charlie To- bias, Vincent Rose, Al Sherman, Al Lewis, Sidney Clare) Murray Mencher and Pbrcy Weririch. For- riier three, do the ■warbling, ■while the latter four are spotted around the stage at pianos for solo and group work. Tobias lis the main cbg, having had morc'^stage. experi- ence than the rest, and for a sbng- wrlter surprises with bis stage abil- ity.' Medleys , of i tunes written by each member of the. turn follow In rapid succession, being warbled and pbtinded out on the planoS.. Audi- ence recognized each song and ac- corded each writer a' nice. recepr. tlori. Big hand for the. finish, and deservedly so. Opener was Erma Ward arid girls, acrobatic group. Miss Ward came on for the finish for a series of orie-armed swings suspended in midair froni the flies. Announced as the world's champion at one- armed swings, and at this show did .about 90 turnovers. Preceding tiriie is occupied by the acrobatics of five girls, ■working fast and with a snappy set of routines.. Dick Henderson deuced and^found it tough riding the firi9t few rito- ments, the audience still being somewhat cool. Henderson's swift line of comedy patter and punch style, however, warmed them up toward the finish, and he bowed off with a fair hand. This rotund vet has been spieling practically, the same line of patter for a long time and can stand some new material. Many oi his gags are antiquated, which doesn't do the act.any good. Trey spot was filled by Miss Va- nessi and the Biltmore Boys iri an act that looks'the money for scenic effects, having three background changes. Miss Vanessi is a charm- ing dancer, being graceful, adept and possessing a plenty eye-filling form. Has three numbers, the first being a series of easily delivered high kicks, second a sort of iriter- pretatlve. number, wearing a gb^wn with a large trailer vari-colored, and last a rumba darice in ■which some cooch work Is Injected, The Biltmore Boys are a trio of vocal harmonists and dancers, pleasing at both. Boys lend good support to Miss Vanessi. Ordinarly this turn would shape up as a closing act, but on this bill any. act following 'Parade' would be under a handicap. Artie Lewis and Peggy Ames, next to closing, handed out beau- Coup laUghs with smart crossfire. Lewis' hoke delivery and familiar style with the. audience got over. Miss Ames makes an able foil for Lewis. Quite a number of worthy gags in the crossfire, despite a few haying whiskers. For finish the duo bring on an elongated youth, standing well over seven feet, who Was, announced as Daye Ballard. Some gag antics with the long drink of water followed and closed nicely. Metro's 'Hell's Divers' featured and commenced. to pack them in shortly after the nobnday hour. buresque bits. There's the seltzer bottle, the slapstick and all the old gadgets. Plus some very funny bits. Somewhere albng the act, Green fools 'em by playing a violin for a spell, and playing it very well. Kauf. ORPHEUM, DENVER Denver, April 20. Charlie Melson headlines the vaude bin at the Qrph and opens with a river song, suhg before a river scene ■with a steamboat mov- ing slowly down the stream. Goes into a fast line of chatter and In- troduces Miss. Irmanette, a specialty daricer and violinist. She liriibers Aip her fiddle and then does a few faft Steps. Melson's ace is his screen test, in which he- directs, bawls out and argues with himself on the screen. He directs the affair and everything Is nicely timed—the image on the screen obeying like a trained dbg. Teck Murdock and hid group of five occupy the deuce spot to good advantage. Girls do solo dances of various sorts with dialog with Mur- dock between. Lee, Lee, Lee and Lee, four pan- tomlmlsts, clown butterfly, Russian and Egyptian dances, and on^: of them doubles at the piano*, not ex- actly to play, but to help out In a ■comedy act. FoUr Casting Stars open the stage show on their two perches aind net. ..Mostly a standard circus act with! a noVelty ; arid difficult dose where one of the men throws another oVer a perch arid catches him on the way down. Earl Kaye and his orchestra pre- sent one of their most enjoyable overtures and Earl plays a pleasing 'violin solo. Earl should do more of. this as the audience highly ap- I predated it. HOLLYWOOD, N. Y. With this third arid final bill th* Warner-Lou Holtz straight vaude ville venture at the Broadway Hoi lywood closes at the end of thla week. Decision to hold was mad* before this bill was booked, and tha layout shows it The punch of tha first, two Shows Isn't present be^ cause the material isn't there. Warners suffered no great loss in provlnjg one thing: that there la room for another big timer on Broadway besides the Pailace. Whlclt make's this a sort bf noble experi^ ment in behalf bf the vaudevllla business. " The. rUb here was the necessity of returning to Holtz .enough on a percentage split'to equal the salary he rates elsetfhere, chiefly the Palv ace. .He spurned $6,000 a week at the BKO oppQsish to double as a business man at the Hollywood Two .strong opening bills drew enough business to pay off the av- erage bill and theatre overhead, but the hboK-up would not permit a $6,000 return to "Holtz. Taking a small share of the $16,000. stage sal, ary portion, which drew. the first riioney In the box offlce, and then splitting with Warners on every- thing over expenses, he averaged between $2,500 and $3,000 a week on the first two bills. A drop in business will cut Holtz* percentage share,. It any, during the final two weeks, although he might be drawing more regular salary un- less the $15,000 guarantee is cut For this sho^w looks considerably less expensive than its predecessors; If not, if should be. The pre-lritermish section hbld^. sufficient variety and reaches-a Cres- cendo with, the Borah Minnevltch harmonica troupe. And the show is literally over at smbking time. Part Two has less merit than the aver-^ age picture house presentatlori, be- ing basically similar .through . the preponderance of specialty people and lacking a legitimate variety act It needs more than the classical spe- cial hill-billy lyric,, credited to Ar- thur Llppman and Manning Sher- win, by Holtz and Jack Benny, which stands far above anything around it Excepting the hill-billy bit, which is 76% material and 25% delivery, Benny &nd Holtz are not a happy combiriatton. The Benny Is a better monologlst and solo m.c. thaii tearii'-mate for a. comic of the Holtz type. A regulation and healthy start la provided by Adler and Bradford, adagio bpener of four people. Much use has killed , off all the ■ novelty once possessed by- quartets tossing work, but through the sensational- ism of their tricks Adler and Brad* ford manage to make their work look different. : The bill sticks to reliable vaudeville in the deuce with the Buster Shaver midget turn; giv- ing the layout a one-two start that's hard to follow. Holtz makes his first appearance at this point for his two pairs of pants story. The audi- ence knew the answer. Blossom Seeley arid Benny Fields, the show's second Important money turn outside of Benny and Holtz, are straight singing now with two pian- ists as background. Apparently in- fiuenced by : radio, and providing that by Fields' offstage use of the mike to accompany his partner* they have dropped some of the manner- Isriis and vocal tricks that always distinguished a Seeley-FIelds sing- ing act. The change is not for the better, although under any condi- tions' the singing albne of this cou- ple can be depended upon to sellt Holtz and Benny doUble up here for a 'nance' bit, using a handkerchief switch on the love poppy from the good old Mutual wheel, Lucille Page, out of 'Vanities,' has a 'one' set to herself for her acro- batic-contortion routine, an Inter- esting specialty by a nice looking girl. She has another spot later, as one of the second section's three specialty slrigles. Minnevltch, .as the first, part closer, is fiashlng an improved turn without changing style, using the pantoriilmic ■ ability of the midge merirber.of the harmonica line for stronger comedy results than for- merly. . More heat in the arrange- riients and selections is also riotice- able. From applause for the Mln- nevltch turn,-the half-filled orches-. tra fioor sounded like capiaclty. Holtz, Benny arid the former's stooge, Benny Baker, picked a. per- fect spot for their second part bpen- Irig bit, a checker game with a kibit- zer angle and a double-crosS for the finish. With Benny ias the klb and Holtz getting the double-x, It's an Intelligently played bit of nonesCnse. A nut yarn, 'Sam the Grier,' by Holtz, as us$^d here and sounding brarid new, riee.ds only a finish to become a sure-'fire three br four minutes. It's about a championship crying bout , arid runs like the description of a boxing match,, with Sam 16 tears behind or four ahead at vari- ous stages. Martha Raye, singing' girl, ■whose devotlbn to the Cab Calloway style is okay just now, but may prove a hindrance to progress later on, has a two-number chance, while Holtz stands by and builds It up. Besfde| Miss Page's return, another second (Continued on page 32)