Variety (Feb 1941)

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Wednesday, February 5» 1941 MISCELLANY 3 :'.-'■' Boston, Feb;- 4/-. Local licensing authorities and blue-nose agencies Addled while Lois Andrews and the Club Versailles management burned last week as front-page publicity added five years to her age and,then subtracted it the next day, Result of the big-space fanfare in the prese was that George Jewel's bride was cancelled at the Versailles after playing iOur days of an intended two week^' engagement: Miss Andrews was doing all right until last Wednesday (29) when someone suggested that the Boston Licensing Commission and the State Department of tabor check up on her age. there's a law prohibiting employment . of a . girl under 21 after 10 p.m., and another regulation against employing a girl under 18 in an establishment serving liquor. When officials challenged her on her age Miss Andrews boasted that she was'21, going on 22,' The Thursday morning papers broke out in a front page rash about her sudden age in- crease over .the previously . touted •child bride' figure of 16. . Mean- while, the'interested officials checked /'With. Los Angeles, the birthplace. Of Katherine Lorraine- Gourley -(Miss Andrews); and the vital statistics disclosed her birthdate as 1924 and . that she would be 17 on March 24 of this year, .The clamps were, ap- plied on the Versailles; Friday af- . ternoon (31) and . their floor show atar was. yanked. Then. her age bounced back to 16 in the ensuing editions. . Court "procedures on the alleged Infractions of state law loomed as ' possibilities as the Boston Licensing Commission mulled the advisability of suspending the Versailles' license, and the State Department of Labor . applied, for complaints against. the ' club management and Miss Andrews' (Continued from'page 12) ■ REPORT 3 FROM SHOW BRAS WAR FATALITIES Private advices from) England re- port the death . of three profession- als, two being bomb casualties. John Gillespie, who was manager of Gil- bert Miller's St; James theatre, Lon- don, is missing in Africa; where the British routed the Italians, and it is believed he is dead. His father, R. H. Gillespie, was long the manager of the London Hippodrome. Walter Williams, a musical comedy .Juvenile, was killed by a bomb. Harry Sylvester, general manager for Thomas Arnold, English producer, was another bomb victim.. He went . to Windsor to escape the London air raids> but was killed in the latter town. ■ John Harwood, rather well known oifthis side, wag! badly injured when a bomb destroyed the Green Room Club London.. He was the , only member there when the raid was on and is since reported to have recov- ered. Among the musical shows that Harwood staged on Broadway were Rita'and'Tip Toes/ • mrning v . Charlotte, N. C, Feb. 4. Katharine Hepburn crossed swords w"h Don Kerr, WBT's Hollywood "eporter, here Tuesday (28), when V»e former was In town with a Wad-showing of 'Philadelphia Story,* ■na local citizens are still trying to ngure which one got the best of it. Miss Hepburn had refused to grant Press, or radio interviews here. Kerr gave her a panning in his afternoon Broadcast. THtF. Whole town buzzed w.Uh excitement, wondering what the star would do about, She, too, had apparently heard ■ the broadcast and rosejo the occasion by inviting Kerr »na his wife backstage after the per- S ri Tu a . nqe ' the onlv two locals grant- ed thi s privilege. After an icicle-burdened 'howja- ■«w, Miss. Hepburn just stared at *\ err ?n neck-burnirig silence for five. 11^4 1 he described as the most un- comfortable minutes of his'lif*. Jessel-Manii ■ '>..-;••.' Boston, Feb. 4. Local nitery ops have appar- ently gone nuts over the. current week's date of George jessel at . the Mayfair Club. ;.First,, the : Versailles booked ' Lois An- drews Jessel as opposition"; then: ? -the Latin Quarter burst out with newspaper ads quoting Jessel as . saying its, Harry Spear, / Is: the 'greatest master of. cere- monies' in the business, etc. Mickey Alpert," orch" leader and 'm.c. at the Cqcoanut Grove, fol- lowed lip with a lobby easel not- ing that 'Jessel thinks I'm greats too!' While the Fox & Hounds , club, had no floor show to tie in with , the screwy : epidemic,' it ; : promptly exploited a -'Jessel T-. Bone Steak.' ; Monte Proser's Beachcomber . named its line.'The Jesselettes;* Incidentally, child labor laws nixed Mrs. Jessel's p.a. ^ly Rart^ffl Fail For Fair? This Summer, Then Go Very Dramatic Minneapolis, Feb.. 4.. • Haying had- her initiation in play acting at strawhat theatres and on tour in 'Rain,' and now classifying herself as. an actres as well as a dancer, Sally Rand says her present ambition is to become a Shake- spearean star.. She plans to produce 'Merchant of Venice' first; with her- self in the role of.. Portia. Prior thereto, : however, this summer, for the, first time, she'll do her fan and bubble dances , at Canadian and American fairs to provide the where-, withal for the Bard of Avon. en- deavors; , : The tour of fairs will involve ap- pearances by Miss Hand before the grandstand arid with her revue under canvas on the midways. Already 17 weeks have : been booked starting June 20 with the Toronto Exposi- tion, Miss Rand said'during her Min- nesota theatre' engagement here last 'week. •. 'VARIETY'S' TAX SERVICE GETS AN EARLY START Due to the probable great increase in the number of returns, this year because of lower exemptions, Variety's federal income tax service is under way now, a couple of weeks ahead of past years. H. Wayne Pier- son arid Edward Rigney, general dep- uty U. S. tax oollectors, have- again been assigned to Vahiett's office ■ in New York by Collector Joseph T. Higgins to assist showfolks in mak- ing out their returns. They are on duty daily between 10 e.m;, and 6 p.m., including Saturday. ._-.'-. Personal exemptions for 1940 're- turns have been lowered. Single, persons whose gross income is $800 or more must file a return, as must niarried persons, with or without, der . Continued on page 18) ^rbad way Producers Smarter Than Other Racketeers, He Says* Because They Don't Go to Jail for Bilk- ing Suckers— Points to $1,000,000 iii Flops This '.- Season/. 'FATHER* BONANZA JOHN 00RED'S EXPLOITS Daring Newsreeler 'Cameraman Without a Country' ' John Bored, 'the cameraman with-! out a. country,' this week returned safely to U. Sy. after : h-eking wars and disasters over'the World for 20 years. He reached N.vY, just three days' before bis passport expired and was able to-reach 1 a. safe haven because Paramount . newsreel, for Which he has worked for years, thought, enough of. its ace photog- rapher to lay out nearly $5,000 .for hini to get to America .via the cir- cuitous route which;' took him through Turkey, India and Singa- (Continued on page 53) • By HOBE MORRISON 'The Broadway theatre is a racket. No wonder they: call: it the legitimate theatre. It's a legitimate racket. The difference between a legitimate, rack- et and a plain racket is that one is. legal and the other isn't; Broadway- is .legitimate.': ■ - ■ ;;. The speaker is Qscar .Seriin. As producer .of 'Life with Father,' Ser- iin is a serene man these days. After years in the. theatre: in various ca- pacities, . he!is now a recognized suc- cess. His original company of 'Father' is now in its^secQrid.jreaj^aJt, the Empire, N. Y., : still at virtual capacity," while road companies of the' Howard Lihdsay-Russel Crouse comedy are mopping up iri Chicago arid Boston. Yes, Seriin is a »uc- cess, in neon capital letters. 'Broadway producers are smarter than other racketeers,' Serlhi went (Continued ori page 48) WILLIE HOWARD ■Willie. Howard, currently starring in 'Crazy With the Heat,' at the 44th Street, N. Y., is the plaintiff in a claim being, pushed by the Amer- ican . Federation of Radio Artists' against Kated Corp:, producer of the Kate Smith program. Case is being mediated by the American Arbitra-- tion Assn., as specified by the AFRA-network:■ • commercial code. Hearing will be held Monday (10) . Amount involved is between 5 $7,-. 500 and $10,000. Howard claims his contract for a series of appearances on ' the. Kate Smith program was broken. He filled several dates on the show, but is alleged to have been replaced last spring when CBS officials. refused to let him do a script based ori a comedy French ac- cent. It was about the time of the fall of France, and network execs were understood to be leery about possible public : reaction to such /a broadcast. ■ Howard asserted he had insuf* flcierit time • to. prepare substitute material,; ' but Ted Cbllins, ' Miss Smith's partner arid: the show's pro- ducer): contradicts . that -statement with the claim that Howard: had ample time to obtain another script. Collins Is Expected to base his can- cellation of the/contract, on dissatis- faction with Howard, as a writer, since :the .pact specified .a pe.rforinerr writer setup. ■ ■ .Under the AFRArules, a; straight performer contract . would call for payment regardless -of whether a; performance is. given. . .. fGamby's Concert D4es - Maria Gambarelli, whilom picture house ballerina mote recently with the Metropolitan Opera, has taken a dance group .of. five on tour', under Arthur Judson management. Will be on tour three months, Opened in London, Ontario, Jan. 30. Ottawa arid Montreal follow. Will play 41 dates in all • ■ ' FDR's Br Just a Whistle-Stop? .. .Washington, Feb. 4. Civic pride of Hollywood was taken down a peg Wednesday (29), When' the Dept. of Com- merce announced that the Census Bureau sees.the film capital 'in.a different, light* from 'millions of motion picturegoers and radio listeners.' . :: - [.'y- Hollywood does not even ap- pear iri the population records, the statement declared, and 'is merely the local name given to . an unincorporated area which lies partly within Los Angeles City and partly iri Beverly Hills Township.' Added insult to in- jury by explaining, that, 'the mo- tion picture industry section (of Hollywood) is located . in the township across the street from. Los Angeles,' VGargantuan Art (Hearst); Bargain .Biggest ; show;, iri , New York this week Isn't on Broadway, but down on 33d street; It's, a^full-floor lay- out at Girribel Bros, departrhent Store of just about 1,000,001 things collected in a half century., of col- lecting by William Randolph Hearst. Stuff - is all on sale as though it were so much yard goods—with price tags ranging .up to $199,894 for 16th century Flemish tapestry—-and yok- els and millionaires alike are pour- ing in to. have a look. ■ '.;.■ Like a -Broadway legiter,' the big show • had three : previews last. week arid its official public opening on Monday <3). Previews—which were supposed to be private—drew 7,000 people the first night, 7,000 the sec- (Continued on page 55) GEO. ABBOTT DUE BACK AT RKO THIS SPRING George Abbott, whose 'Pal Joey' production appears solidly set for a run at the Barrymore,. N. Y.,. t will go to Hollywood this spring for an-. Other . producer-director stint at RKO. Date of his going Is indef- inite, as he is considering production of a legit comedy; script, of tfcire- vealed authorship and title.. If he doesn't do the play he will probably go to the Coast late in March or early in April. He has ho picture , in mind, but will consider story suggestions of studio heads. His decision whether or; Hot to do the play depends on satisfactory revi- sions, but the author, is understood to be reluctant to make any changes unless Abbott options the script; But haying been burned several times by not getting suitable revision? after taking on option. .Abbott is refusing to repeat that procedure. : ASCAP BY THE SEA Music ~ Men Vamp Until Feace— ,'. Marks of BMI There, Too ; Miami Beach, . Feb. 4. Number of music men are hiber- nating hereabouts, literally vampin' 'til ready,., because of . the ASCAP situation;, intruding publishers like Ja,ck Robbins, Jack Mills, Lester Santiy, Reg Connelly, - Jimmy Canpp- belii Bobby Crawford, Murray Baker, etc. At the drop of a bluet note the meeting of the minds on what's what with ASCAP, BMI, etc. becomes a major huddle; •Edward B.. .Marks, who made . a deal with BMI, just arrived ;here/ Even when . the w-.k. Miami sun shines, his advent casts a'shadow for the other vehemently pro-ASCAP j men. ■ ' : i. Washington,: Feb. 4.;: . Credit for making it a memorable January in Washington, both at the Inaugural gala; and birthday balls, largely goes to Nick and Joe Schenck, latter operating in Holly- wood to round up celebrities. Nick Schenck produced, and paid all .the expenses for Mickey. Rponey'g ^ tourage, Nelson Eddy's frip. Rise Stevens of the Metropolitan, besides inducing Charlie Chaplin to attend and recite his 'Dictator' speech. Carter Barron was the real director of the inaugural gala, the Loew di- vision manager staging the .party under Mr; Schenck's direction. ' :• . For the, birthday balls and .White House gayety, Joe Schenck produced Deariria Durbin, Lana Turner, Wal- lace Beery and his daughter; Carol Ann; Preston / Foster, Sterling \ Hay- den, Constance Moore, Tony Martin, Helen Vinson,; Kay . Aldridge, Char- lotte .Greenwood, Maureen p'Hara, little Carolyn Lee, Clifton Fadiman, Jay C. Flippen, Jean! Hershblt,- George Raft, Al Ritz and Red Shelr ton. Schenck's Washington contact was Jock Lawrence of the. Hays office, who worked with .the local cotrimittee. President's. Hat for Charity . The Holly wood stars at the Presi- dent and. Mrs. Roosevelt luncheon turned the tables and had the Chief Executive sign autographs. Fort.i- (Coritiriued on page 18) LULU BELLE AND SCOTTY BACK TO HOLLYWOOD .Cincinnati, Feb. 4. Ltilu Belle and Scotty, vocal team, starred on WLW's hillbilly Boone County Jamboree, have signed to ap- pear in two more pictures to be pro- duced by Republic. They were in 'Village Barn Dance' which Repub- lic released late in M939. First of the new films is 'Country Fair.' Shooting of it is to start March 15. Production work on the second picture is scheduled to begin July 7. Trado Mark Reglitered FOUNDED BT SIME SILVERMAN Pabllnhed Weeklf by VAK1EIT. In«. Sid' Bllverihan, Praaldent 164 West <6th Street, New York. N. T. SUBSCRIPTION Annual..;.'... |10 Forelcn. |l] Slnitle Coplei .21 Cent* Vol. 141 ISO No. » INDEX Band Reviews.....'.. ; Bills..;.,.:..;..... ... Chatter ....... Exploitation .,.. . /. Film Booking Chart:. Film Reviews..... .. .' Forum v ........ . V.,-. House Reviews ...... Inside—Legit Inside—Music ...... ; Inside—Radio ,:. '..... International News..... Legitimate ...... Literati . .. Music .. ....;/,'.. New Acts ..'.... .Night Clubs ; . . Night Club Review;.., ■ Obituary: ; ;, .; r.... ' Pictiires ..'...V.v.... Radio .. ........... .. Rad ior-i-lhtern "libria 1. Radio .Market';.'; : : Radio Reviews . . . Unit Review., i.....'.... Vaudeville . ......,.:. .. 48 .,56 .. 61 .;. 8 ... 22 .. 12 ... 63. ... 54 ;.. 58 .,49 .. 40 ... 13 , : . 57 . ...60 ;..'47 ...50 . :. 51 ...50 ... 62 ..V '4 ...24 ...38 ; . . 44. ,.,"41 ... 50 .. 51 VABIICTV RAIHO IIIRKCTORT ■i XI'uUHsheii' In. N T' annually) ' IS per copy-• daIi.v VARirrr (Pultl|nlifcl Iri l(i»llywoixt. by Dally Variety.. tM.). lit i year—III (orelxn