Variety (Aug 1933)

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Taesdiay, August 22, 1933 VAIilE¥¥ HOUSE REVIEWS VARIETY 21 STATE, N. Y. All-colored this week^ a fast E»2- lOlnute staere show belner provide^ hy Mllls-Roclcweirs 'Teah Maii Re- vue/ iwlfh the Mills Bros., Don Red- man's band, flye specialty acts and a brownskln line ojC 12. Consider- ably changed and - vastly Improved 0lnce last caught, according to pre- vious reports on its merits, the unit is Uie best intact Harlem affair: -turned out since thclast Bill Rob- inson-show. . Speed/the necessary requisite tor lUl colored entertaiijihehts, is the essence of this oiie. But not for the usual purpose, in this ciase the speed is combined with continuously punchy entertainmenti It never lets down, from a hot start by the hot ' Redmen to the next-to-closing Mills boys and the flnale with everybody oh, The only, element nOt fully cov- •^r od ia. co me dy. No l augf hs until very late, when Red and Strugge show up, but this team Is of the pantomimic type and. of the light comedy genre. An old-fashioned belly laugh is needed somewhere, although the :pace .of :the unit as it runs from music, to dancing prob-; ably :WlIl help the customers to for- get thC ' cbinedy deficiencies. As now routined, it opehs with the Redman band^ which plays all the music this week, house musicians being out entirely. Two numbers, one hot iihd the other sweet; with the band's baritone isoloist, a Lenox avenue Crosby, even to vocal inflec- tions^ and then the line. They're a dozen fiast steppers, doing four rou- --tines-through the uhtt.. It mayi-be the same dance ail the way, but it's done at a mile-'a-mlnute rate and —grabbed a_hand on ev ery sh owing. Ttie " girls have/ .'foiir .. cobtume changes, all neat, with the garb one of the main reasons, for 'Yeah-Man's' decisive superiority over the aver- a0""oulflt"fr6m u^ ^■ ■A boy buck and winger has the next spot to himselfi with the band remaining iir the background. He can step. Another band nimiber, then the troupe's femme soloist, who wowed this crowd with" two num- bers. She has a sen^ of humor be- ' sides a refreshing style. More dancing, by a trio of clean cut boys in white evening attire< Red flying splits. Boyce and Cooley hoot out one number and are well received. Joyce starts his clown- ing after the dancing team, and keeps it up until' he has to call quits. Bee Hee Rubyatte and Co., Arab whlrlers, give the presentation a strong finish with their cartwheels and front and back somersaults. Audience keeps up the applause un- til after the feature .'Narrow comers' (FN) starts. House capacity downstairs for the first t>erformance Friday. Universal Newd clips and Warner short complete the bill. Call, HOLLYWOOD, 1. A. Hollywood, Aug. .18. Just when the public patted the last spadeful of earth on the grave of m. c's, along comes Teddy Joyce and revives the dead occupation. Joyce has been in this house for nine weeks and has built con- tinually. Now he manages to tie the show in a knot, holding up pro- ceedings for 10 minutes while the audience forees him to clown. It's hard to put a finger on his particular type of 'it.' He's a gopd looking lad, dancesi sings, plays jplano and fiddle, but he's none too good at any of them. .Currently-, he does a yiola solo which is pretty sour,. but his assurance gets him- over. There's nothing boisterous, about Him. Rather he works with an air of eomplete humility. Maybe that's the secret. Show has ^three vaude acts fol- Jo-wed ""~b'y" J oy< Vaude is oke, selling the stage .end of the entertainment for a strong start. Honey Bee, Harry and Nadine open with a. neat routine of hand balancing mixed with adagio. Girls are lookers and the boy sellii a smiling personality. Jane and Katherlne jLee next with their . familiar clowning. Girls are .d-CHng-the -sn ma-act Ithey. .diA_beforfi- their separation two years-- ago. .Jfc -goes^ f or.' .th em .strong-^a nd. has them stopping the show with their hoke singing and dancing. Chatter all depends- oh Janie and her trick delivery. Al Gordon and Ills dogs next land strongly. Act is a pushover for the kids at. mats.' IV.PKontatinn follows. r<'orti.ino Sister., aero danofr.s, set thp D'U'^^, which is fast. CJirls have an ihlri'-ale routine of bends and They dance with their feet, and Strugge follow, mopping as Ufluai, ' ana ■ ' hiay iii ^ iiiio iim Miiw ^ „ * iSrStT. " Thtf traveler islbseff-fb" block' TH^fKl'sSfflfoflum and'hacT^ out the band, leaving the Mills out 'In 'one,* and the boys go to It with- out accompaniment. . They did five numbers; including four, of their : standards, and could have done twlde as inany. ^ ^. Band never leaves the stage, be- ing hidden during the Mills spe- cialty and partially obscured by a ecrim during one of the line's rour tines. The excellence of the Red-: man rhythmi is. as noticeable during accompaniment ais in outright band numbers. With that music in the backgroxmd, it must he a pleasure for any* act on the hoOf.' •The fast tempo of the whole show is ho accident. Every specialist in the company could have, encored, but Redman stepped oh the ap- plause after the second, bow and the next dish came floating right on. It was the fatest hour of stage show the State customers have seen in a long time. 'Stranger's Return' (Metro) the picture. Sound track used for ail the fillers and incidental music be- tween, feature, and ...tagcshowi ..with, the pit orchestra on vacash. ige. Valencia, Baltimore Baltimore, Aug. 18. This is. iKiew's spot atop the ace vaudfilni Century. It occupies what was formerly the Century Roof Garden, When property was taken over by Loew's^-the* gardept. went out ' and thia seats and screen went m. In the early ,days the bouse played firstrrun product and wa.s. a heavy winner. with its 1,2Q0 seats. In the last few years there's , been-a depression around, according to rumors, and business is just-a head- ache up here. But it's cheaper- to keep It open than to close it. Be- sides XiOew'd needs the - spot for a slough house, where it can run piC'^ tures which would be impossible for either Stanley or Century, tiOew's under Bill Saxton/ is mak- ing a determined effort to rehabili- tate the stand. The same goes'for the Stanley, which is erratic at the host, ofllce, despite its choice of the best product of town. Under the plan there has been 'imB(>rtea''fof""the Stanley an orgah.- Ist, Bob West. 'Who' has done much for that house in making it alive. The-p'resence of-a-llvingrTperson-oh- the rostrum relieves the rdonotony of -straight pictures. Besides the. oi-ganist, publicist Herb Morgan has made, tie-ups—\vhereby—^th"e-Stanley drew a-^ fur-^ and 'fafihion-showr a stage wedding, and other items to. bring some breath of life to the theatre. It has alt helped to remove some of that ehilly. atmosphere from the house.- And, what is being done at the gigantic Stanley is being done at the smaller upstairs Valencia, but at the eteyator spot .with , a mental act, Adrlenne . Adrlenne works bot1\ on the stage and ih„the.jobby, and Qn_Jthe^aftier n6.iih y.afigh<L- qgot plenty ^ riun ■ ' '*" lined .up waiting .for . a chancer to. see her in the lobby. . Adrlenne works quickly, does no stalling, answers quickly and to the point. She satis- fled, this. audience With no trouble at all. She Is all alone ' in "^the house, working with' no assistants other than the ushers. and regular staff. Who do the audience go-between. She regularly does about 15 minu- tes; though at the. show caught ran to more than 20 minutes. Adrlenne. evidences an ability to get the femme interest and trade, this house at the afternoon show being 95% women, with business itself better than it has been in some time. Picture was- 'Another . Language' (MG). MICHIGAN, DETROIT Detroit, Aug, 19. Second .week of resumption, of stage shows. So far conflning to straight vaude acts with a sem- blance of production through the spotting of Bob Hope as m.c. and the use of the band on the stage. ShOw would have donia mucbl bettei* by Hope as a straight bill. As is, Hope has his act split uP Into sev- eral parts to flll in stage, waits and scene changes.. So. what has been a great. hoke laugh a,ct is Just a series of gigrgles. ^th' a tough as- slgnmleht likie the chimp Joe. Mendi, Jr.,-to handle on the bill something had to be done. Also showing are Nell kelly, Holland and Knight and the Four Trojans. Joe M,endi is playing stock, at the local ZoQ,_havlng . beein^aoid-by the previous owner to the keeper there. The previous owner got into legal difficulties While the chimp was rentftd to Tgrt TTAaly 'n 'CntTy f^iiilt ' Since at the .Zoo the chimp has learned a lot. Beheflttihg locally by the reams of publicity the papers have given. him, he is bringing a lot of .additional business to the the- atre. 'The real, siirprise on the bill Is Nell Kelly. In comparison to when last seen here, this girl has changed her entire turn and .to'advantage. While before she Was merely a slap- stick hot-cha gal now she goes Ih for impersonations^ Her . song im- personation of (Grreta Garbo la a darb, especially. Bob Hope .offers a nice bunch of poniedy and has what might easily be a sock act. Herej however, due tojt's being split up into many sec- tlon it is 'merely a nucleus to hang the rest: of the show arOund. The Four Trojans offer. acrobatics bt^a^Trery^-high order attd'^dpenlHgr the show- they.-started' things off nicely;' . Jack HoUandl . and June^ dance teamr flU a toiigh 'assignment with a c.ouple"of 7tticeiy done daniii^s. Do- ing their flrst number-in a straight stajge set, the act got over nicely and did better fOr their second num- ber With the band oih "stage. . For the overture dam Benavle did a nice modern hot arrangement of 'Radio Theme Songs.' Picture, 'Three Cornered Moon'' (Par) and biz good. Lee. ^ADEMY^N^^Y ME!T^ BROOKLYN old-time week in Brooklyn. One of those rare combinations of stage, and: ^screen fare, ..with . a strong: draw oh both ends, had the customers. hanging. from. the: raft- ers from the flrst minute,' with a cinch hold-over week acknowl- edged before the end of the flrst day. 'Tpgboat Annie' . (Metro) had plenty of customers lining up with their money and Joe Laurie's 'Memory Lane' rumpus on the stage seemed to mean almost as much. With that combo the rest.of the stage fare doesn't mean much'. Three other acta ^ere tHro>s(rn in jtrst to make sure, all Of them pretty good, but they were lost, in the shuffle in the final eouat'-up.. .. .. Laurie's act is essentially the same one as was used at the Cai>i- tol, N. Y., a couple weeks back Bpes Sargent,* the head of Varibtt^s Auld Lang Syne departihenf,. testl fled as to their authenticity at that time^ All that can be added is that; from a- junior reviewer standpoint it's swell entertainment. With .Laurie are a dozen or jsb of old-time 'names,' all well in their :slxtles--atid- -all --stlll- able :, to- stand up and take It. included are vv-. c. Handy, Dave Geiiaro, Emma Fran- cis, Gus Hill and—well, seemingly, every old-time actor still alive. Turn is trimmed down to 35 min- utes, plenty fast and nicely rou- tined arid timed. Nobody taking extra bows and no stalling, from start to end. To open u p , t he vaUde bill, there Ure ;the Paxlnos7-:nice -WirerwaUd^ turn.. Lep n_Navara, one pM.he first m. c.'^s, Is Th "tHe "deuCc wTth a pianolog. He mixes Chopin' with jaaz arid throws In-an occasional wlisccrack. Cuslpmers semed, t'o 3 ike him, Runaway Four In. the trey, which is t tually noxt to clo.sing on the curi-ent lineup, had an time of it with their lunacies and aa- .sorted mayhem. Kauf. before the song ends they go back to their seats. Production stuff,. When all have taken a turn, they drop the olio and two men do the old snitzeibank idea with a' new version of the chart. Big idea, is that 'Son of the rich' is one of the designs on the chart arid the next is a flea labeled 'Son. of Itch.' Back- ing up on the' song rapidly—^but the gang here didn't seem to tumble. Up to full with the chorus dressed for a cOoch, but not doing it. -Back- ground for a girly contortion dancer with very poor ideas about costumr ing ari.d' hc^ne Whatever about steps. Costume is garish, but she can do the neck disclocation, Which is a gObd trick if they like that sort of thing. Same set is used to intro- duce the hext. turn, also dancing, but this time t.-70 ni^n and a girl in what could be made-a clever bur- lesque adagio. Go into a slow, mo- tion adagio in one, which at least has the merit of newness: Braces, iip the old idea, and almost got a hand. A gbod danbe director might make something out of this trio. Contra: tenor comes, back for a song which he Warbles while he ab- sorbs cigarets until he has six butts pasted oh his tongue. M!uch eating in the style of Chaz Chase and winds up with a burning newspaper. Lacks salesmanship. About this time an audience plant butts in, the only nian in the' show who can slide over a comedy line, and most bf his patter needs shov- ing. Such .bits as 'Tour laundry's back. They wouldn't take it.' With better material t^e chap might get over. Gets a hand as is. Contor- tion dancer back, to do a i^an dance with a full^et of .clothes as they go to: iCuH^^sfageT^with-the-plt-l>oys-for- backing. All oh tor • .the hurrah, which shows a strength of 18. pebple jihd-j:he-curtaihJlo.wn_td: a:.flat_flfiPi. ; Milton Douglas, the m.c., might ,Wase it over- a bit but he just walks through, probably a look, at the scattered^few Out front discourages him. It's .about the' Worst smack "the Aeademy has beisn handed in a long stretch of months. . . .. ■ . Film feature is: ?Th.e- Devil's in Love (Fox). Chic.. MILLION DOLLAR, L.A. Los Angeles, Aug: 15. Vaude at this downtown grind Just so-so currently, with little qtt view to make the pay customer? get up and shout. At that, the show is put on in oldtime vaude style^. and while routining naay not alwaya be of.'the best there's ; no scrimp^ ing on quantity, even if quality is not^always provided; House is the only ; one of the three remaining straight! vaude stands doWntoWn . that, .books an extra slngfle to flli in stage waits where costume changes are necessary'ia a feature, turn. Currently, the ex-.- tra turn is Esther Campbell, femmei whistler^ who performs her act while John and .Harriett Grrifllth, ballroom dancers, are changinjs from evening 'clothes to" Argentine garb.' At 16 tariff, up to 6 p;m., house draws heavily from the mid-Tday ahopptng crowds, a nd- w it en caug l] :.: "One of the' reasons: for the- idugli business' at the. A,cademy may pos- sibly be found in the in and but booking of this dbwntoWn house, It has to take what is sent and as a. sample bf What It gets/ the .mid-, week space , last, week was-fllled-ln with a tab, while, for contrast, N.T.G.'s undraped, but stunning girls, come In this midweek. The contrast is too strong. It's Gran^ lund's eighth date within a year, :and the: patrons know too much to be sold , a 'Jig Saw Revelsi' They' were advised'to 'see it flrst—before Broadway.' If the Jiggers ever hit Broadway it will, be about the time they move the subway to the house-, tops. 'Jig Saw Revels' Is '.apparently what's left of a troupe which start-- ed from Los Angeled to clean up the Coasts towns supposedly hankering for flesh. They were going to do a Billy Rose In the western sticks. But the sticks snapj^ed and they trimmed down to picture house pro- portions. With 18 people, it looks like an outflt^ but It's the sort of turkey which used to put cotton stockings on the chorus before they, took -them off altogether and abol- ished that classiflcation.. -^If . the show ever ^ad any Bmarthesib or claim .to talent consideration. It has been lost on the long trek in from the sun-kissed Paciflc. Poor dialogi worse staging, not a bar of intriguing new music, nbt a new idea, it is difficult to see how the outflt ever got shoved into the Academy. It's strictly for those small towus which have no standard of comparison; DoTibtfur even'tbefe Opens with a, slit drop whicii Is so small It has to be masked in by house, draped to flll the rather large proscenium opening: here. Eight girls of assorted sizes come through the openings and go Into the Usual doggerel recitativ^. Fbur men come on and patter for a- moment and then, the girls go into a dance. There are various hefts, but .m9st bf therin run- to^ the lightwelgjht class. ,^ith fpUr about two pounds the other side of the scrawny classificatioh. Dancing is ordinary., A njan and a ^irLdo-^^a-Jittle JjetteiC-.then-drop- files lo snow a school -room set,, or - all thlngig. Milton Douglas, the m.c, breezes in to pla,y teacher and a run of jokes Dave Posner used to use in his school skit at the Globe museum 30 years ago. At least, they're clean- most of., them, and of the mental type type of 'Teacher, what, makes a balloon go tip?' 'Hot air.' 'Then wliatls.jSording.Tybu ..dowhY'. One of the girls does an'imitation of ^jimYny-DOTaiitir and ^cir^^^ life preserver is waterlogged. Doesn't draw a hand* Just a false nose, and a Durante sOng, but no imitation. Others in turn do brief Ijlts, one of the gpms being a warble by a con- tra tenor. As he starts to sing two of the ghorus come up, then twO- more, and then the others. They^ stand there doing nothing and just' PARAMOUNT, L. A. Los Angeles/ 17. Current; Par stage was awiy overboard on talent arid 1 5ShgMiir_;3BiiSdia^ ty s k i f Tij^' on presentation had F&M. giving the customers'fiarV too much, par- ticularly in :the face of the oyer flow--mob on- hand-for DeMilIe'.8. 'This Day and .Age.*- It- -was-the- biggest .'opening mat croWd house has had in several years. ■ Customary routine, opening, with band concealed . behind screen, and girls on in front for their usual tap work. Femhies garbed in attractive brown short ballet outflts, with gold paKcake hats. At end of dance, band is revealed in a tropical set- ting, garbed in White yachting unir forms, and the femmes carrying oh Rube Wolf,- m.c., using small, brown pariasols to represent the wheels of a huge chariot. Forsyth, Seaman and Farrell, cbmiedy trio, on for One of the big- gest'sock acts house has had . in a- long time. Forsyth works straight, and-vocalizes both tenor iand bass, while his two femme partriiers carry the comedy. Heftier of the duo is a natural comic, and soon had the mob howling. Other femme, a more reserved comedienne, does some nifty dancing, introducing, a lot Of steps that are nbt Worked to death; Trip is 'hot' and'de^ei-ves a better spot than, opening. „ Wolf then sends the bknd into a riiedley of bldtime tunes, with the m.c. asking for applause, which might well be eliminated'. Several of the band boys vocalized in com- edy bits and the number was dragged considerably, attempt being made to'crowd too mubh stuff - into th'e. turn;. Baby Alice, eight-year-old imper- sonator of Mae West,- doesia clever bit, and winds tip with a Frankle and Johnnie song version. . Another band number, 'Valley of .the Moon,' features Max Lerner, house tenor, and the line, girls in a creepy sort of Oriental routine. Then a clog and. buck and: :w.rng routine by Scotty Weston, Who while dancing oke dbes not seem, to fit ipto the show at all. Wolf .surprised the customers!by some snappy hoofing .ai.Qn!g:..with. Wegton.-. -Arrother souk act . Is"'"th'e at' first .show tbday was comfort-;, ably filled by 1:30. Second run feai- ture, -Gambling Ship*^^ (Par); and * load of short subjects added to the seven, vaude acts, provides plenty of entertainment. Operiihg. has Gene Sheck,. hOOp. manipulator and hand and-head .bal- . ancer, for three rininutes of snappy stuff. In the deuce, spot, is Shaw and: . Farley, man. With a ^ix or seven-year femme (Peggy, Farley), as a dancing: and gagging partner^ Both hoof oke. With the juve'a rbutine along the usual lines of the several kiddle Schools ih this ter- ritory.. Their best effect is a fast steppiner finish. • :.^:Shpragiel-ifljnai_Blanko_ .(im) -fol-- iQW, Blahka vocalizing' in grand opera style, revealing a satisfying teno r voic e, and Shprajrel :doins._a_ ipiahb soib .Tthat puts TilnrTii a clasQ With tho best' of .:'em. Blanco warbles both in Italian and English- and. handled his numbers oke. — Fourth acti'trio of risley. and head and hand 'Stahders, is '■not prb- grammed; though deserving recogiil- tibn. Boys worlc hard and wind up with some mighty fast tumbling* Next are> Lou Archer and J^acksOn, former piahz type comic with Jack* son working straight, and tenoriz- Ing after a gag.. routine. Archer icloWhs about innbculously. and then Jbins in for some .harmonizing with; his partner, all of which is favor- ably received. '0»®_SrifflthSj_^ brother and BiateTjl! rLvft" t1ig-""fi[1FiTiV.- npfiT' • rfi'vgn.ftTlJg'iHrHi an lntFk>ate<Jiallrbbm daAee-^ou^hW-^ Miss. Campbell fills in. for the ward?_... robe ' change with" "her Ihlmitabe whistling, and the Griffliths wind up the proceedings With a sort of - Argentine -number dexterously done, A <class act. With house^going out ot " - its,way to provide'a tasty full stage setting. EdtoH. Radio Rogues, with their Impres slons of. outstanding ether, names, and their comedy.Interjections. Boys mopped with a .:vengeance. Show .should have ended right here, but in.stead Cropley and -Violet, adagio roping novelty and, brought on.for a (lr.aggy .routine, which under more propitious circumstances xnlght have aacLecnto a . prjesientatlb^j 'idea. Line girls are on In- dude ranch riiore hoofing, and then the Cropley and ,Violet act back for the-windup with all on, arid the usual dancing Screen also had 'Tarzan' serlaj and Par news. Absolute capacity at opening show, with holdouts all over house and at the m,iln cat^ lOflind. FOX, BRdpiCLYN Now that Fanchon & Marco is'go- ing to book the Paramountr reopen- ing Friday (25), this picture house Will have to. depend more and more .: : on its stage shows. Fally Markua^ indie, the Fo^, ..sending over flve. acts eabh Week and when the Par opens will be that much more -limited in talent in case he should want^ the attractions. . F&M also .want. Fanchon & Marco fornierly sup- plied the acts used a't this housei in front- of a stage band, the policy which continues 'to prevail.,—It'a modeled- after the old Roxy,. N. Y., idea. When the Brooklyn Par, a- stone's throw away, bpehs its doors it will also be playing a policy along lines ot^the Seventh avenue-Roxy>. Staging' its own shows, the Par ' will also have a stage band but promises a weekly allotment of eight acts as against Fox's flve. Par Will be playing Par pictures in op- position to Fox, Universal and mis- cellaneous pictures, including indies, used here^ Since the. big" Publiz de- luxer has been closed,'Par product has-been divided between the; Al- bee and Metropolitan, which has left It at. three stage houses struggling, tor the lion's, share of the summer busine'ss. tinder its .35c; top, from which the Fox recently came back to 65c, the house biillt up something of a fol- lowing, giving a. lot. of show, for a. small, price.- '.Iridtcatibns a!re- that , the theatre is hol'ding its clierttel|6. pretty'.well In tow and, on the re- opening bf the^Par, shotild be giv- ing, that house considerable opposi- tion; : . ."Mort Shea , will .be oilerating the - TiTre^'i^Brotjrkiyn-PaiT^-^ by receivers, with Sydney Cohen in an advisory capacity *to> the re- ceivers. This week's stage show, Ih supr port of. 'The Big Brain' (RKO),, which started the' week but.strongly,; is not among the best the house has played but fills requirements ade- quately. From tlie stage th'ecqmedy_^ eieriient Is "'the "Weakest,, but with: Sylvia Froos and Bus'ter Shaver!a mWgct.'rheadlng^he-billrdeficicnciea— in the laugh direction are more than amply mode up:-ior^ In I.iill: Aaronsohj,; further strength la lent the stage platforrini. Other two acts, are .Mack and LaRue, mixed roller skating duo, and, Jed I>obI(;y. as.slstod by Muriel Evans, i a holcc musical, rope-spinning .^Continued on- page 39)