Variety (April 1932)

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Tuesday, April 26, 1932 FILM UOUSEJIEVIEWS PARAMOUNT, N. Y. New York, April 22. Show this week appears, to he dedicated to one of the new Par- amount heads—Wrleley — starting oft auspiciously with a bunch of Al- bertina Rasch. etrls In. what the uroeram style? 'Fandango,' hut which suggests a colicky angleworm in Its slithering undulations. Not the regulation cobch. nor kindred dances, save in spots. Mostly they ripple from the ankles up, with three or four waves In action at once. It nuzzled the audieriqe, but It was liked. Nicely gfOwhed In prismatic colors, with nothing above the waist- line but fllniy brassiieresi and with the skirts slit in front to the waist-r band. -It's out of the 'Follies' via the Palace.; . Followed by Evelyn Hoey in two Bongs.and more wriggling instead of gestures. Miss Hoey IS going to take her voice tp the hospital lires- ently if she persists in overstraining It it brought her the applause here, thoiigb she was a bit to(> iioisy for the n^ore conservative. She should pick a more dramatic 66hg than 'Kicklnjf the Gong' If she wants to spread it thick. . . The girls come back for a nonde- script number which seems to have been started for . somewhere and 1 gotten discouraged, on the way. General idea Is that the girls read fan maBazines and the various stars appear from behind ah album. But 'it curled before it was properly forked out. . Neat costuming. They go oft to. let Leo Carrlllo on, and he made the g:rade in spite of .a delivery too rapid for so large an auditorium. He was saved by the new public address system, which -took his Jokes farther back than quips used .to travel, and most of ;them got laughs. I ..liine. back to .do a .straight ballet J number against a drop, with two huge swaiis. Ohe of the girls solos neatly and. they dance in decorous .'contrast to the wild abandon of -their first number. The soloist exits, .but the girls stay on to ba'ck Ta- mara Geva, highly effective in her ' hip dislocating style of dance. An odd and finished perforniance that deserved the hand It got. ' ■, Garrillo, making a faint stab at -m. c.'ing, returns for his baseball .game In Italian dialect, which got qver the better because most of It ■ was more evenly timed for laughs. The comedian worked hard, and he gets results, though It Is a moot question vhether he would not have done even better one time at .bat and telling it all in that stanza. Production, which ran for a total of 47 minutes, ends up -with Frank Jtnd Milt Britton's spasm, which would have had many in the audi- ence rolling on, the floor had there been room. It made for a better closing than the Par has held in some time. Jesse Crawford, all alone oh the . stage, plays ^Paradise' straight and In varied tempo, with various or- chestral stops feg-tured and the pedal organ soloing with the orches- tra, A brief newsreel and a slx- mlnute swim in 'Romantic Rivers' with Rubinolf, who, of course, winds' ■up with 'Old Man River.' Got three bows, which he shared with the band. Violin solo, naturally, this time 'By the River St. Marie.' Film feature :"Sky Bride' (Par.). Excellent house at the first night .Bhow Friday. LEIMERt, L. A. (NEW) f. Los. Angeles, April 21. Importance of a theatre opening In Los Angeles can always be de- termined by which ."Studio supplies the generators and lights for the opening ballyhoo. Otto K.. Olsen, commercial electrician, furnished them for the Leiniert's birth. Located in the center of Leimert Pai-kj a recent real estate develop- ment, the Leimert Is a good example of neighborhood theatre construc- tion. Less than $1*6,000 was spent on the house, but it Was expended wisely and well. Theatre. , was built bV Walter H, leimert and originally leased to the Ill-fated Hughes-Franklin Theatres. "When H-F folded, David Bershoh, C. W. Koernier and J. H. Goldberg, H-F officials, formed the Westland Theatre Corp. ahd took over several ■of the houses. The Leimert, then in the process of construction, was in- cluded in the-deal. Harry Wobdeh, until recently Metropolitan division manager for Fox Thealtres In New York, Is mianager. Capacity is 1,200,'all on one floor. Seats are wide and rows well ^aced, Pecoiratlons are what has become known, as 'moderne theatre' but are not garish. Color scheme throughout is pale blue with other narmonlzing cblbrs used sparingly. Wghting of 1 he . auditorium is re- ceived through Kcon tubes behind concentric ovals suspended in series irom the Auditorium Is oval shaped. Only flash in the house is an al- {fBorical mural of Samson and De- uiah by . Andre Durencoau, French *"|st. Painting Is • in the robust style of cont<impoi'ary Mexican artists who are currently re- ''m-lnp acclaim In this country. - Jibuse Is soalfed at 30 oent.s for the evening performances and 15 cents for Wednesday, Saturday and Sun- day mats. Opening night saw several stars In attendance and a number of lesser picture names. ■ Monte Blue and Johh P. Medbury ringmastered the dedicatory program and presented Roscoe Ates, Anita Page, John Mil- jan, Han-y Gibbon, Helen Mann, Barney Oldfleld and othiers, includ- ing several civic big wigs. Screen , program consisted of 'Ladies of the Jury' (Radio) as the feature, with 'Speed of the Gay Nineties' Bennett , comedy, Mickey Mouse, John T. Medbury'S 'Travelr laf£' and Hearst news clips round- ing but the bill; Eva Ollvotti, local radio saprano, soloed three numbers. House was capacity for the open- ing, with the regular prices admit- tin&. For product the Leinieri: . has Metro, Warner, Radio, Universal and Columbia contracts. • Despite the absence of a gridiron, the theatre .riiay Install vaude if the three changes weekly policy doesn't prove a sufllclerit dr&,x<r. :. Call. ROXY, N. Y. New York, April 22. Stage shovi this week falls down badly, but against Us weakness the screen holds better possibilities than with Beveral recent . features.. Weiighed as a whole, the full .session is a disappointment. While the feature, .'Amateur Daddy' (Fox), has its gbod points as entertairinient, it will reflect better business ait the boxofflce than it will audience sat- isfaction/ . . . . • \: Stage end Is made up of. four units, two In full stage, the Les (3elles acrobatic act in one and the ftoxyettes in position No. 3, Clark Robihson is staging the shows up here, with offlcially in control of the Class A stockholders. First unit oh stage is a long pro- ductibn melange that gives the show a. bad limp. It's in the nature of a gypsy romance, billed a^ 'Amarilla,' the name- of the girl whose heart cracks up when her prince b, f. adds ozone to the llres he's stirred -with- in her. Thd whole presentation, running a total of 20 minutes flat; struggles along at a snail's pace. Patricia Bowman, the dancer, Is again up against the irqn gates. Around her 'Amarilla' is probably the poorest that's ever been worked out on the Roxy stage. One obvious fault Is the length^ of the presenta- tion and the attempt' to elaborate It beyond Its stretching point. Opening in a gypsy double with 'Alexander Gravrilov that is nowhere near exciting, the prince (Douglas Stanbury)' appears on the scene. Definitely on the make, he sings, a love song to Miss Bowman as the "stage is cleared, action switching to full for setting representing garden of his palace. It's here that the ballet girls, mehibers of the vOcal grbups and others, clutter up the surroundings with somnolence, all finally sitting down to see a show themselves. Nicholas Mathey does a violin solo, and four ballet girls do .a very bad specialty, number, displaying poor teamwork; The same violinist provides accompaniment for another dance double by Bowman and Ga- grilov, during which the girl nearly breaks down over the cold should'er from the now stiffened-up prince. He tosses his purse to her as he arrogantly ti'ots off with a grand lady for the desired finish. The same drop of two lanes of heavily foliaged trees running up- stage that was here a few weeks ago serves as a background for the garden setting. Los Gelles follow in their slick I hand-to-hand, risley and acrobatic routine, with clever handling of- the midget member for a strong finish. Talk has no place in the routine, even if itwas good. ' 'Mood Exotique' is what the 32 Roxyettes are this week. They're in a hovel routine, well lit and staged, but make less of an impression-than they ordinarily do. Wearing black one7picce outfits of bathing suit cut on a blacky dressed stage, the green light on their leg.s, face and arms sets, them ott strikingly as they, per- form on a V-shaped set of istalrs. Last .stanza of the stage show, 'Exodiis,' of a biblical nature ana veering toward the operatic, Is quite impressive and fitting in line with Passover, but has been badly staged. It is also longer than might, halve been effective in view of Its entire content being singing, with lyan Ivanstzbff leading the Roxy chorus. Effect-of the parting of the sea Is attempted^ but was not as well managed Friday night as such things usually are at this house. Admittedly a difficult task to at- tempt,-it. might have been better to try some method other than the stercbpticbn effpct from the booth, covering the wliole .screen, with the. middle blocked out from booth as_ j.curtaln open.s to. divide . the .<5ea.' I When enemies try, to venture ] through the canyon b^twepn the two ' sea walls, and the water closes In on them, It is fcettfr: handled. 1 Fred Warinpr .currAntly condii'-'ts the pit of 46 places .in a colorloss overture, 'Finlandla.' Fox-MovMb?!* Xftirs and a .short of '.'•'trr;r;;r<i as Tt Prims'' ncvif!' fT') rounds out. Char. ' STATE, L. a; Los Angeles, April 18. About the best Fanchon & Marco unit to breeze through here in many a lunar episode Is ,'Trixie Friganza and Her. Discoveries.' Stripped of prbduction decoration a.nd ideas, this Is straight vaudeville, depend- ing oh the talent of the compara- tively young performers who spread their stuft over the stage.' .M»s§ Friganza opens; anhbuhces and does a short specialty, but. it Is the eight other acts that lift the production to. the top class.. Cum ■ laude honors can be divided between the Stadler Rose Trio and Mark Pepper. Latter is a local foot- baller, wellrmuscled, g-ood looking and a Whale of a baritone, who brought the house down about his ears ' when he finished tearing, through 'Thatis Why Darkies Were Born.' Still a novice on the stage, young Pepper needs , control^ .} re- straint, a finer knowledge of nu- ances, and, above all, pace; but the material Is there. Stadler Rose Trio are adagiolsts, but do, their stuff. Neat and shbwmanly, they have entirely es- caped tbe ruts. Their second num- ber, a waltz, will be doubly effective when dohe before a production back- ground Instead of the night-club setting of this act. ; Paiil Howard, by the grace of his limber bend in the back, still does the same routine as seen here- six;' yeai'rs ago, even uhto' the uncalled- for stallirig between tricks and the patent request to the audience for a hand; which he invariably gets. Buhriy Bronsbh, a sweet little dancer ; Keene Twins, girl acrobats who opened strongly; Kent Syner, swift table-top tappist, and Moro and Yaconelll, with their comedy in- strumental work, weire all up to the usual F&M standard.. . Ruth Layne, local girl warbler, did nicely with a single solo; Miss Friganza's philosophical opening chant anent -her constant youthfulness was followed, on her part, by the introductions and her tiring comment after each turn of 'Ain't that sumpin', which was neither original nor. particularly bright, Little excuse for her parody, 'When , My Moon Comes Over the ^fountain,' or the soiled beaded cos- tume that accompanied the number. Finale was slow and not up to the rest of the act and should be changed for something more rapid- fire. Single setting was an Oriental exterior, vi^ith a canopy over the bandsmen, who were spotted on- stage without a specialty. Staged by Fanchon, this unit runs 45 minutes. Feature, 'Mata Hari' (Metrb) and second run, having played the Chinese here, at $1.60 top. Business a bit off. Routine programs at the "Traris- beauts, first excuse being one's lux and Embassj' this week which have, a marked similarity in cover- age and a sameness in subjects. Both theatres have Mussolini re- claimirig Rome's wastelands; aquar planing; French colonials riding in Paris; Yankee-Athletics game in New York -with Ruth making the Jiome plate;- Boston marathon; auto and plane racing in Paris; Mayor Walker's attack on Seabury at the opening of hew Allen street; Span- ish fete; Cdlumbus building dis- aster; arrival in England of Am,- bassador Mellon; religious festival at Loire. Embassy. Specials Embassy got a scoop oh, Detroit coast guard activities in one of tlie most unusual grohpcd boat pictures .taught. This shows the.guard cut- ters in flying wedge formation. The Fox people used better Judgment in placing this clip in the lead position than the Luxer \yhich opened with the ball game. Program at the'Embassy -\vas un- usually slow moving. Chief cause Is directly; up to the editing, CHps like Grovei:" Whalen's plea for the Pa- triotic Scroll are way overlong. Enibassy; also,, gave a couple of yards too many to the opening, of new Allen street while the Luxor held this down to the pithy part of Walker's attack on Seabury. Bar- nard girls dahcirtg was still another clip which could have been chopped in half. Zlegfeld must, have hooked up with the Fp¥ people. This is the second consecutive week for his belief that college girls are homely and the current one bcihg. that col- . lege girls are just ns aitrafiive aa l^ss educated . Embassy worked ih the . Jariinioa track; French and Italian soccer teams; nautical students being en- tertalned by Al Smith; Berlin danc- ers; a three-year-old. adagoist; charity ball gowns; and Ruth Nich- ols preparirig to take off on Her good -vvlU trip for the National Coun- cil of Women: ' ' The - - presidential, election was' touched on by introducing Senatbr Dickinson as the Republican leader for Iowa ahd Senator Barkley as the. Democratic spokesman for .Ken- tucky. Luxer Solos At the .Luxer scored • a scoop on. another Shanghai inci- dent. This was the wind-up of the peace conference, and a few words by the conferees. Pathe's Florida cameraman quit the beaches.lohg enough to get In- teresting views of a large lumber plant fire In Jacksonville. The bhly laugh at both theatres this week is Pathe's rich beggar contribution at the Luxer. . There is a ho\yl -when the mendicant says he choked his wife now and then as: * pastime. '.Holiday views,, of. Palestine . are . found at the Luxer as well as Bar- hey Berlinger vaulting and a flfteen- year-old gymnast; skeleton of the airship, Macon; sea elephant; Shar- key boasting airain and Florida kid broadcasters. Waly. MASTBAUM Philadelphia, April 26. With , Paul Whiteman'a name out front there was a crowded house for the very first show with Indica- tions that it would stay crbwded the rest of the engagement. The audi- ence was sold on Whiteman from the start, a wave of enthusiasm run- ning thi'ough the house with, the ap- pearance of each performer.. White- man lives up to his reputation of giving a good show with a peppy* compact offering of real distinction. To one who has seen Whiteman on every appearance here, the pres- ent audience response was especial- ly Interesting. The radio has made the customers familiar with every member of his cbmpany and with every number offered. The audience -knows just what to expect and is. in the theatre because It wants those favorites. Heretofore, while Whiteman had his personal follow- ing, the individual artists were not known by name and there was no supplementary personality following such as Mildred Bailey or the'Jes- ters, now coriimand. This is one in- stance where radio has focused at- tention on the component parts of a national organization, The whole show Is Whlteman's j deal on memory, a hark back to a CHICAGO Chicago,,April 22. Regular F&M layout on the stage this week is supplemented by the personal appearance of Jackie Cooper, kid screen player; who caihe in behind a well-placed and han^ died advance campaign, designed to attract attention from the school kid element. It's not -very often that a stage attraction tops the film end here to the extent of grabbing two-thirds of the space in the open- ing day's newspaper layouts. But the Cooper kid was- awarded that distinction through B&K's anticipa- tion of a big order at the boxffice this week. Sinart booking in view of school vacation all week. This is the kid's second week put, with St. Louis, his first stopover, not netting very encouraginj? re- sults. That is surprising in vi'isw of all the ballyhoo the child has re- ceived. The St. Louis date may be alibied, but they werenft breaking down the doors at the Chicago Fri- day morning, and from aU advance doping it didn't, look an overwhelm- ing week, with some of the money justly expected from the Barbara Stanwyck, name on the screen. Jackie Cooper . (New Acts) Is doing what is expected of him on the stage. Spotting the kid on the tail end of the show, following evei'ythlng from the overture to close of the stage unit, was gbod showmanship. Audience- interest was biiilt up all the . way; -with • a roUsIng reception greeting the lad on his entrance. Frank Jenks, m.c. of the F&M unit, 'Five Races,' made a conventional Introduction for the film child, and then let him stand oh his own. Jenks' work in the unit is out- standing. This boy Is an original F&M development and a coast product. Coming up from a trom- bone seat In a band, ,Jenks has developed into a comedian worthy of attention on any stage. He can sing, dance, ad. lib and deliver ma- terial. That's plenty. Right now Jenks is a little short on. the proper material.. He is dcpehding a good this week and the only work the ballet can do Is in an attractive of- fering. In which it conibines with the Mastbaum orchestra for 'The Dance of the Hours.' 'There i§ neat staging, with the girls wearing light pastel .shades. Their dancing - Is gracefully done. Bill Dollar does a solo with some effective toe dancing and both the ballet and the orches- tra rated salvos. Milton Charles also gets himself ia big share of applause by his soiig- fest ih which he revives all the old- timers, such as 'Let Me Call You Sweetheart' and .''Till \We Meet Again:' Everybody ; singes In ; this- house. - ' In the. Whitemah presentatloh, Jack Fulton, Jr„ scored with '.Syl-' via.' The expected fooling with Goldle got ai. big .share of .ap-, as did the.xylpphone offer- ing, hut- the blefgest hit was regis- tered by Mildred Bailey, that plump songstress whose 'rockin' Chair' is her trade-mark. She was recalled variety of standard comedy acts May or may not be known to most audiences,- but for Jenks.'personally It would mean a lot If his niatcrlal was his own, just as his delivery and style is. included in the Show are T^bor and Greene, blackface comedy song team,--around , for years and still pood. Oriental acrobatic troupe, sister act and an Indian chief com- plete the Idea of the five races- white, bro\yn, red, black and yel- low. .{Show. Is well paced and runs smoothly. With a:n augmented pit :orchestra Hugo Rlesenfeld, guest conductor, is dealing out some musical high- lights, which for his isecond week In the house Is receiving compli- mentary comment and attention. Rlesenfeld'.s showmanship is no .secret, and his musical ability has never been - queslibncd. . ■ Arrange- ment of this overture was excep- tionally weH blendnd, .Stuart Barrle time and time again. The Selbys ! *t the organ put a.slde his. popular f lo.s£-d the act with their whirlwind doncihg. Whiteman certainly .seems proud of his loHH In -v^i-eight and has e\-ery- body talking about it. On the .screen, 'I'lay Girl' (WB). Waters. ' refrains for a morti classical mood, but still proves himHf;lf an nca con- sollst. Usual tr.'illfrs arid novysrpols around '.So I'.lg'. f\VU), .wIth hiz jpst bflow- cupafity oh the. flr.«t show I and no holdbiiis. Span. CAPITOL, N Yv New York, April 22. Johnny Weissmuller, the torso kid, is doing heavy trade with, the Joune fllles at the Capltbl this week. Nep- tune's gift to the flappers \ylll rate most of the credit for the draw, f6* they're not. listening especially to 'Are You Listening?' (Halhes). The formula tipofC on the Capitol, that of adding a comedy twln-reeler for cihematic sustenance, was not resorted to, although a Thelma Tbdd-ZaSu Pitts domedy was pro- grammed. Stage show's lengtlt probably figured. Welssmuiler's stage debut proved wholly engaging. . For a guy who stroked his way from a swimming pool to the footlights, "ixe does well, because he's retained an. invaluable naievete which is. probably hla greatest claim to: showmanship. If natural, it's okay; if studiously as- sumed, it's oke all the more, for then he's really a showman. On making his entrance from un- der a prop elephant to the accom- paniment of a synchronized jungle cry; a la the- 'Tarzan' film, Weiss- muller, in leopard-skin get-up, im- presses . with his modest shyness, boyishly , shaking his head to the ao- companimeht of a few words that all one had to do to break into pic< tures is to run .100 yards in 10 sec- onds flat or something like that. This implies hie athletic prowess, which, however, had been gener- ously ballyhooed by Loew's on Welssmuiler's personal app tour. With a crack that he's going to change his clothes, the 'Dive In' presentation get."* under way, utiliz- ing a very small tank which was a real handicap. Weissmuller couldn't demonstrate his ballyhooed 'famous American crawl,' doing nothing more than travel under water. All the while he was getting more out of It than the announcer, as he sarcas- tically thumbed In the spieler's di- rection. Latter's ballyhoo was quite extravagant and at best uninterest- ing; WcLssmuller is in white swim- ming suit for the aquatic portion. While making the chahge, four mermaids in red and Madeline Berlo, in the featured diving, got in their Innings'. Mis.s Berlo: pulled a nifty high dive from a. trapeze into the shallow tank, which Was quits a Jbc Smith and Charley Dale, with Mario and Lazarlri assisting, harked back to .the old Avon Comedy days with their quartet flnaleing which they haveh't done for' some, time. All that was missing were the paro- dies. Their skit was the Dr. Kronk- ' hlte scene, with a bit more Yiddish ad llbitums than heretofore. Hal Stanton tenored and the Rio Bros! registered with colleei nonsense; Their panto and stepping especially' oke. . - Chester Ilale girls per usual ef- fective. A flash scene of a feminine head, with the chbrus in front, could just as well have bcch held over for a more appropriate sequence. It seemed -dragged Ip, The gold- againstrgpld background, as in the opening orange against^- orange drapes, was a poor color contrast. Arthur Kriorr .staged under Louis K. Sidney's direction, per usual. The presentation,, save for Smith and Dale, mattered little outside of Wel.s.smuller. Metro is wise in furThlng him out tb its Locw'affiliate ff)r personal apps to rash in on (Continued on page 32)