Variety (November 1908)

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VARIETY 15 The SUfpoolet (4). "A Ciaiy Caddie* (Comedy Acrobatics). 11 Mia*; Full Stage. Lincoln Square. The Stagpooles are the latest Australian act to show in the big city. Lilcethe other acts imported from that country during the past season it ranks well up in its class. "A Crazy Caddie/' the title, means nothing. The one descriptive part of the title, however, was the "Crazy" for the Stagpoole as the caddie, who has some eccentric tumbling of an exceptional na- ture. He has worked out several new acrobatio tricks in falls that are entirely his own. Each fall in turn brought ap- plause. The three others do little else but play "straight" for the comedian. Possibly the one mistake in the act is that they talk at all. There isn't much of it, but even that is unnecessary. The com- edy would be doubly effective if worked in pantomime. A fast finish is secured through a chase and diving through the windows and walls of a house. In second position at the Lincoln Square, the act did exceedingly well Monday night. Daah. Trovolo. Ventriloquist. 17 Mine.; Full Stage (ia); Close in One (5). Alhambra. This week at the Alhambra Trovolo is showing an almost entirely new act, although it is framed up around his old hotel office setting. One of the best items of the new material is the use of a funny burlesque on George McManus* "Newlyweds," a cartoon series running in a New York evening paper. Mrs. New- lywed and the baby, "Napoleon," appear, the mother being a rather nice-looking girl with a curious and not altogether agreeable method of enunciation, and the baby being of course a "dummy." Tro- volo got a whole lot of effective fun out of the doll, in combination with a dummy which appeared every half minute at a side window with interruptions. The bit closes with a novel exit for Mrs. Newly- wed and the doll. A "prop" taxicab is sent through the side entrance, stops in the centre of the stage and the girl takes her place within. Then it scoots off through the hotel office. The song of the old negro waiter and the G. A. R. veteran follow after an interval, filled in for no apparent purpose by a silhouette of a woman removing her hat and fixing her hair. The back of the hotel office is cut out to show what may be taken for a window in the house across the street. The shade is down and the silhouette appeared against it. The audi- ence supposed that this proceeding would lead to something, but it did not. Unless it is developed into something of interest it might be dropped. The capital finish in "one" with a pretty collie and "dummy" (dressed as a traffic policeman) on its back is retained. A laughable line of talk follows between Trovolo and the cop. At all times the ventriloquist has his voice throwing under perfect control. There is no perceptible movement of the lips and the illusion of talking ""dummies" is splendidly carried out. Rush. Frandnl Olloma and Page. Juggling. Hand and Head Balancing and Musical. 14 Mine.; Four (Palace). Colonial This is the first appearance in America of Francini Olloms and Page. The "page" is a youth, and may be so termed from his bell-boy uniform. Olloms is not old* either, reminding one somewhat of Henri French in his style of work and looks. The number is called a "novelty act," and it is, in the diversity of the work. Jug- gling while the pair are doing head and hand-stands takes place, but the juggling is simple even in these positions, while there are acrobatics jumbled up with music, Mr. Olloms playing the "William Tell Overture" on the xylophone, and afterwards the "Fantasie from Faust" on two concertinas, one in either hand, concluding the performance with turning twenty-four side-wheelers (or whatever they are called) while playing a single concertina. Page is not prominent in the latter part of the act, but the boy is a very considerable portion of it. He is a remarkable acrobat in his own line, having some new head spins which have never been shown before over here, and there are one or two new acrobatic tricks. Olloms' main contribution is the music. There is nothing novel in the "Tell Overture." In fact, it is the last thing one wants to hear, but Francini has placed some unconscious comedy in it by working like a truck-horse while playing, including a few fancy swings of the hands, perhaps to indicate "deftness* of touch." It's laughable even though hard work. The finish with the acro- batics while playing proved strong, and the act went very big, but Mr. Olloms shouldn't make any mistake about that boy. He's a real card. Though he's only the page at present, there's a good chance of his being the boss later—so good that the "page" end of the billing might be dropped for a regular name. It is a peculiarly framed-up number, and will be generally liked. Sime. Astrella Sisters and Jas. Duval. "Scenes in a Booking Office" (Comedy). 17 Mins.; Full Stage. Keeney's. The Astrella Sisters and Jas. Duval have just missed fire in their new act "Scenes in a Booking Office. The idea and foundation are there for success, but it will require re-writing and working out to make it a go. Besides the trio named, an office boy is employed for comedy. He becomes an important factor. The boy (name not given) has a good conception of comedy and goes after it properly. A little coaching will make an excellent comedian out of the little fellow. The Astrella Sisters are introduced separately as artistes seeking engagements. Through this their specialties are brought out. The sisters make a snappy looking pair of soubrettes. They dress extremely well, and could almost get on by appearance alone. The dancing is of the right sort, and the singing, although rather light, is accept- able. Duval is the booking agent in the opening, and reading his line acceptably. Later he makes a change and joins the girls in a song and dance. The finish needs attention. A good stage manager should be able to do something with the tut. Dath. Long, Gotten and Co. (1). <l Ihe Banker and the Thief (Dramatic). 17 Mine.; Five (Parlor). A new sketch, The Banker and the Thief" written by Ullie Akerstrom. ia- played by Nick Long and Idalene Cotton. There are two points of interest standing out most prominently. One is a very strong dramatic scene, and the other Miss Cotton's dual role. Henry Glarkson (Mr. Long) is a banker with a young wife whom he has neglected for business. At the opening of the piece his bank is at the brink of failure. Unless a large sum of money can be raised it cannot open on the morrow, and Clarkson has exhausted his resources, living upon a bare hope that one Robertson may be able to raise the amount.* If Robertson does Clarkson will be informed over the telephone at eleven that night. Mrs. Clarkson (Miss Cotton) enters the parlor, upbraids her husband for his neglect, mentioning a youth is showing assiduous attention to her. The husband in the ensuing argument over the shallowness of "love" and woman's fond* ness for vain show, forgets to inform his wife of the predicament he is in. She leaves for a ball; the clock strikes eleven and the telephone bell does not ring. The banker decides to commit suicide. Dur- ing a momentary dark scene a woman has stealthily entered the room through a window, removing some silver from the sideboard. The return of Clarkson causes her to run behind a screen. He prepares a draught of poison, speaking aloud his views of this empty world, and as the banker is about to swallow the death- dealer the woman coughs. Called from her hiding place by the banker, the woman pleads for mercy,, stating it is her first offense, committed to save "her Joe," ill at home and who she loves; loves so des- perately she has become a criminal to prolong his life, and says she would die to save him. This is the phase of life and love Clarkson had no faith in. Believing an opportunity has presented itself to test the rumors of "true love," he hands the woman a roll of bills, telling her if she will drink the poisoned draught (which she knows he had prepared) the money will be hers and before dying two hours will elapse, allowing sufficient time for her to return to Joe. The woman hesi- tates—is laughed at by the banker for thinking her love for a man beyond the cost of her life, when after causing him. to swear by the memory of his dead son she will live two hours before the poison ends her life, swallows the mixture. The explanation the other glass of water on the table had been given her finally reaches her excited mind as the telephone rings and Robertson informs Clarkson he has at last succeeded in raising the money. The finale is a brief lecture by the woman to the banker on his treatment of his wife. Miss Cotton gives a decisive per- formance in the two characters, trans- forming herself from the society wife to the street thief to deceive anyone and is specially strong in the big scene. Mr. Long is made up faithfully for a sedate man of business and plays the role cap- ably. The company is Ella Harper as a servant. "The Banker and the Thief" contains an object lesson and a moral, implied and expressed. In these times of "dramatic pieces" it has for its main scene what would be classed as a "big situation" on Broadway. Sime. Herbert Wilke and Leona Watson. "Love Laughs Last* so Mine.; Full Stage. Keeney's. "Love Laughs Last" is Leak's "Love Walts," or to go further back, bits from "The Merry Widow," 'The Walts Dream" and anything else containing a touch of the waits craze. The story la not un- familar. Two people of noble birth are betrothed without having met. They meet and fall in love with each other, neither knowing the other's identity. Upon find- ing out the real situation, they are natu- rally "tickled to death." This allows of a quantity of rather silly by-play between the pair hardly in keeping with the sur- roundings. Four or five musical numbers showed the principals to be rather well equipped in the voice department, but there is nothing that is commendable in any of the selection!.'* It-was- -dp ta the music to save the act. When this fell, It was all over. Dean. Tracy McDermott and Dorothy Raymond. Singing and Talking. 15 Mint.; Two. American. A man and a girl, both young and of agreeable appearance, make up the team. It's a pity they do not offer any dancing to vary the routine. It would give the turn a touch of sprightliness that is ab- sent in the present arrangement. They open with a pretty ballad, to which Mr. McDermott's clear voice is admirably adapted. Talk of the lightest kind fol- lows and a "conversation" song makes the close. A "flirtation" song brought ap- plause. The pair have a pretty but light number. Ruthm OUT or TOWN William Jerome and Jean Schwartz. Songs. Shea's, Buffalo, N. Y. Without preliminary advertising, Will- iam Jerome and Jean Schwartz, the song writers, appeared at Shea's here Wednes- day. Their reception was enthusiastic at both performances. Mr. Jerome was even called upon for a curtain speech. The pair work in a parlor set, with Mr. Schwartz at the piano. They have a scries of extremely clever parodies on their own songs, including "Mother Hasn't Spoke to Father Since" and "Marching With Gcorgie." Mr. Schwarta is a skillful accompanist and both deliver their numbers smoothly. It is the opinion here that Wednesday's debut starts them off on a successful veijture in. the varieties. Dickaon. Maud Nugent. Songs. 10 Mins.; One. Shea's, Buffalo, N. Y. Maud Nugent is one of the hits on a headline bill. Appearing j n the middle of the program. Custurned in a delicate dress of blue, she makes a pretty stage picture. Her dainty singing of topical songs brought a number of curtain calls. After singing three, Miss Nugent had to respond with others. Dainty Maud ia all to the good. Dickion. (Contititird on page 18.)