Variety (November 1908)

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VARIETY 17 AMERICAN. It would be nice if vaudeville shows would all work off as that at the Amer- ican did Tuesday night. There was not an instant wasted, because two shows were to be given and economy of time was an important factor to be consid- ered. Several of the acts were slightly cut. The most notable case of this was Fatima Miris, who skipped "The Comedy of the Umbrella/' closing in one with her "voiceless tenor bit," after doing the protean sketch, "The Secret of Prosepine." The rest of the bill remained practically intact, and what made it run so nicely was the entire absence of jockeying for applause. The various acts did not acknowledge applause uuless it was real and insistent. Beginning at 8 o'clock the moving pictures were over at 10.37. It's a very entertaining selection under any circumstances. The Boganny Troupe had their acro- batic routine running on greased rollers. The outfit has enough startling material to furnish acts for half a dozen turns. Everyone is a crack tumbler and they have a faculty of rushing into their tricks and getting away in wonderfully short time. One scarcely has time to catch his breath before another startler has robbed him of it again. Daisy Lloyd did very well indeed. She has been particularly fortunate in her se- lection of numbers. The "Fisher Maid" song seems to have worked itself out into the best of the lot, for it has wisely been placed to make the finish of the act. ,"Whistie and I'll Wait for You" is before that and "Paddling" makes a trio of the strongest light numbers that have been observed in a long, long time. "A Night in Egypt" scored toward the middle of the bill. As a straight musical arrangement it measures up with the best of the similiar offerings and has the added virtue of being picturesquely pre- sented. For the election night show the close In "one" was omitted, the finale being in the full stage. The turn should be worked this way wherever possible. The Three Rohrs diu well as a closing number. After the motor cycle sensa- tions, the "loop-the-loop" on the foot- driven machine is not much of a startler, but the process of revolving the saucer- track while the rider is in motion gives it interest, and there was no one in the audience who did not pay strict atten- tion. The early feats were rather tame. There was some changing about of the running order. On the program Miris had the important place, but changed positions with Al H. Weston and Irene Young. The pair won a good per- centage of laughs from their talk and business, and Miss Young's dancing did the rest, setting them down as a highly popular number. Donat Bedini was on "No. 2." His two dogs are among the best trained on the stage. They answer cues with unusual promptness, for the most part apparently doing their tricks without any prompting at all. Harry Corson Clarke and Margaret Dale Owen were "No. 3." The light little sketch has received a touch here and there that improves it and the playing has advanced. The imitation of Jas. A. Herne, which many might object to on the ground that it was out of place, remains the best applause getter. The rest of the affair is light nonsense that amuses and the finish a big laugh. Rush. HAMMERSTEUf'S. The election returns were the big card on Tuesday evening, and interfered with the running of the show. Al Fields, as the reader of "458 districts out of 1,663 in Greater New York give, etc.," ad- mitted receiving more applause than ever before, and Mr. Fields scored nicely with some quiet humor aptly interwoven. There's nothing remarkable or even striking about the Hammerstein program this week. It received a setback when Francesca Redding and Co. in "Honora" (a new comedy sketch hereabouts which could have been well used) and Barry and Wolford disappointed, the first on tech- nical grounds, the team through illness. Their substitutes did not establish any fresh records for amusement or applause, especially the Sharp Brothers and their "Dusky Belles." If the Sharp Brothers don't look out their act will evaporate. There isn't much to it now, and what there is is dragged out until the audience becomes tired, especially through the clos- ing in "one" wholly unnecessary and which might be placed back in the num- ber proper, taking the place of some use- less matter there. Harry B. Lester, the other emergency act, opens with some poor talk, the worst (and it could not be less) when he re- marks: "I will sing you a song entitled 'Take Back Your Heart: I Ordered Liver.'" That little deceased "joke" prob- ably cost Mr. Lester all the applause he didn't receive. Up to 'date impersonations of Richard Carle and Victor Moore (par- ticularly Moore, Lester being the first to attempt him) were rather good with the reverse to be said of the Sam Bernard, while Lester impersonated himself for the close. This might better be dropped along with the talk. Donlin and Hite hold over as the fea- ture, the act scoring big at the dancing finish, when the ball player hands out a few steps to the evident surprise of the audience, although many ball players arc notedly good dancers. The pair present a nice appearance, and Mabel Hite is always a comedienne who can take care of herself or anybody else. Donlin handles himself finely upon the stage. It is the secret of his unexpected success. .Laddie Cliff pulled down' the hit of the show, and the boy has a most commend- able number in the "Scotch" song as sung and played by him. Clayton White and Marie Stuart in "Cherie" with some new bright lines held up the laughs all through the piece. Saona, the impersonator, sprung a surprise with likenesses of Den- man Thompson and Buffalo Bill among others, going ahead of his contemporaries in progressiveness at least. He did very well. Opening the show, Lewis Parshley has placed the duties of a "trap drummer" for an act in vaudeville, but more drumming and less "traps" would help, while the finish in "one" could be cut to a single solo on the xylophone, which might be tuned. The Kysasyas are under New Acts. Avery and Hart also appeared. Sime. Lee Kohlmar, of the La Salle Theatre company, has signed a three years' con- tract with Martin & Emery, Chicago man- agers, and will be starred next season in a musical comedy which is now being written for him. FIFTH AVENUE. The usual good natured holiday crowd was early at the Fifth Avenue election night. As the show ran through they gave the best imitation of an ideal vaude- ville audience one would care to see. Generous to every number on the pro- gram, it remained for Bessie Wynn and Willa Holt Wakefield to carry them even above the general festive atmosphere. Miss Wynn is appearing in New York for the first time this season and she has never shown to better advantage. The "plant" now used for but a verse of a song should be left out of the act en- tirely. Miss Wynn has retained one of her last season songs, "Not for Me." It went very well. "If the Wind Had Only Blown the Other Way," has a very funny lyric. The other two were equally well placed, but it was "Ooh, Ooh, Are You Coming Out Tonight?" at the finale which turned a solid hit into a tumult. Miss Wynn has new and handsome gowns that caused a buzz. Miss Wakefield took bows uncountable and was forced to return to the piano twice after she had apparently finished. Necessity places the turn in "one" this week. With the red plush curtain at her back and the piano that much nearer the audience, it seems to make her ef- forts more effective. Miss Wakefield came into the audience's parlor, took her place at the piano and entertained in her delightful manner for twenty minutes or more. Several new story songs with a snappy line or two made very funny by the clever handling were introduced and each an uproarious success. A pianolog was never designed to cause a riot, and when doing so, it must be far away from the ordinary. Miss Wake- field's was all of that Tuesday night. Charles E. Evans and Co. were the big laughing number of the evening in the next to closing position. "It's Up to You, William" was probably familiar to many in the house, but it was enjoyed as much as though the premiere. Mr. Evans and Charles Hopper are both giv- ing their usual good performances. Agnes Scott and Horace Wright in the pretty singing playlet "The Wall Be- tween" scored strongly, early on the pro- gram. Miss Scott, who has been stock favorite at the Fifth Avenue, received a hearty reception in the way of ap- plause, and something more substantial in a large bouquet. Mr. Wright has a good idea of how an Irish song should be sung, and puts them over in fine style. "Last week, I went into a dry-goods store; it's seldom I go into a dry—" That started them and for the following fif- teen minutes Jim Thornton was one solid laugh. He is looking tip-top, and it has been some time since he delivered his monolog any better. Ida Fuller closed the program with her electrical dancing. Another woman is now used in the "fire dance" in the form of an old witch with whom the dancer has a hand-to-hand struggle before she is enveloped in the flames. Miss Fuller's offering still easily remains the best in its line. Rosso w'a Midgets, Cibelli Bros, and Mareeno, Navaro and Mareeno each did their share toward upholding the gen- eral good impression. Dash* COLONIAL. Due probably to the general interest felt in the election it was a cold and unrespon- sive audience that greeted the artists at the Colonial Monday evening. The bill, al- though not up to the Colonial standard, is not a poor one by any means, but the listlessness of the audience started it on the "tobog" and it kept sliding all the way. There was not an act, with the pos- sible exception of Alice Lloyd, who re- ceived a legitimate bow, and Miss Lloyd was no "riot." The Colonial has been the starting place for not a few of vaude- ville's biggest hits. The time seems just about ripe for someone to jump in there and have their salary boosted into the four figures. It won't take much; a new face or a catchy song may do it. Miss Lloyd, who is also playing the Or- phcum, Brooklyn, this week, has the uvxt to closing position. The appearance in two houses necessitated an entire new wardrobe, the new ones being worn at the Colonial. It would be impossible for anything but a feminine mind to grasp the details of the dainty frocks, but it takes the masculine end to appreciate the general effect. Emmet Devoy and Co. closed the first part with "In Dreamland." The suc- cess of the playlet is entirely due to a trick lighting arrangement. Mr. Devoy in his quest for laughs resorts to all man- ner of clowning, which for the most part cannot be classed as anything but silly. Lucy Milliken as the wife does her share toward pulling the piece down, particu- larly with her voice. Hermine Shone and William Hurst, as "The Daughter of Venus" and "Tommy," respectively, offer a pood performance. Frank Moulan and Maude Lillian Berri did rather well. "The Hair and the Heir- ess" is a light vehicle for a team of "le- gitimate" reputation. Miss Berri contrib- utes all the good things. She looked ex- . tremely well in a clinging gown of the latest corral shade and her singing was responsible for the applause. Mr. Moulan has no opportunity. There is nothing too remindful of his funny characterization in the "Sultan of Zulu." Laughing num- bers are in demand in the varieties, and it would seem that when a comedian from the legitimate enters vaudeville he might bring his laughing producer with him. The Zanzigs are playing their first week in this country after an extended tour • on the other side. The act remains the same as formerly, the "mind reading" con- tinuing to interest and arouse discussion. The McNaughtons, established favorites at the Williams house, were the one good laugh of the evening. There are a few bits here and there that add a touch of freshness. O'Brien-Havel, with a new as- sistant, Bessie Kyle, did fairly well in an early position. Dixon Bros., musical, opened the program. John Hyams and Leila Mclntyre, and Emilie Rose are under New Acts. Dash. Cohan & Harris announce Julian El tinge will be starred by them next season. Baldwin and Shea will present a new act entitled "Higgins, the Clog Dancer." The Spokane Outdoor Amusement Co., Spokane, Wash., recently incorporated for $10,000, will operate amusement parks next summer. The incorporators are Sam Kraus, Joseph Cohen, Jos. C. Raucher.