Variety (Apr 1942)

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50 LEGITIMATE Wednesday, April 22, 1942 • ► T ^ 1942 Strawhat Lineup 7 ************************ * *********************** Summer theatres which have announced plans for the coming season, or that are reported likely to operate, are listed below. They are arranged in alphabetical order according to location, totth name of theatre or com' panv, and management. Most pro/essional companies are bonded by Eqvitv. but some without Equity franchise claim professional rating. Equity status of each spot is indicated, where known. Martha's Vineyard (Mass.) play- house; Matunuck, R. I. (Theatre-by- the-Sea); Nantucket (Mass.) players; Skaneateles (N. Y.) playhouse; Sut- fern, N. Y. (County theatre); Tam- worth, N. H. (Barnstormers); White- field, N. H, (Chase Barn playhouse). Ablncdon, Va. (Barter theatre).— Robert Portfleld has announced plans for \the summer. (Okayed by Equity.) Add Arbor, Mich. (Ann l.Arbor Drama festival). — Valentine B. Windt will again direct the early- summer season. (Equity-frahchised.) Beverly Shores, Wis.—L. Newell Tarrant and Julielma Daves an- nounce plans for this new spot. (Equity status not Indicated.) BUnvelt, N. T. (Blauvelt play- house).—Thomas Eldershaw listed as planning a schedule. (Non- Equity.) Boothbay, Me. (Boothbay play- house).—Sherwood Keith will direct. (Non-Equity.) Boston, Mass. (Undisclosed Shu- bert house)—^Nate Beers, with offices In the Sardi building, N. Y., planning a season. (Probably Equity.) Brantord, Conn. (Montowese play- house).—Mrs. Beulah Wile and Hor- ton Foote wfll have this location. (Equity.) Brldgehampton, L. I. (Hampton Summer theatre).—Charles O. Carey scheduled to open June 29 and will also take his troupe to Southampton, Shelter Island and 'Westhampton. (Equity'Status not indicated.) Canibrldite. Mass. (Brattle Hall).— John Huntingdon has announced a May H opening, with an 18-week season. (Equity.) Cape.May, N. J. (Cape theatre).— T. C. Upham announces a 17-week or 18-week season, starting May 27. (Equity.) Chatbam, Mass. (Monomoy thea- tre).—Mary B. Winslow opens, her schedule July 6. (Equity.) Cohasset, Mass. (South Shore players).—Mrs. Alexander Dean and Fred Btirleigh will again manage the spot. ■ (Equity.) Dallas, Texas. (Fair Park casino). —^The Shuberts are reported opening June 27 tor a season of operetta. Del Monte,' Cat. (Del Monte thea- tre).—Georges V. Banyai has an- nounced a July 1 opening. (Equity status not indicated.) Dennis, Mass. (Cape playhouse).— With producer. Richard. Aldrlch in the Navy, Arthur Sircom will direct. The season opens July 3. (Equity.) Denver (Elltch Gardens).—A. B. Gurtler will again manage and George Somnes will direct (Equity.) Ellleott City, Md. (HUItop theatre). —Don Swanfi,' Jr, to have the spot again. (Equity.) Essex, N. T. (Champlain players). —Frynne Hamden and Thomas Craven plan a season. (Nop-Equity.) Excelsior, Minn. (Log tiieatre).— Robert L. Aden announce:, a sched- ule of revivals for this new location. (Equity status not indicated.) Fitchbnrf, Mass. (Lake Whalom theatre).—Guy Palmerton reopens in mid-June for his ninth season, with • 12-week schedule. (Equity.) FItchb'nrr, Mass. (Lyric theatre).— William Friedlander, 'formerly as- sociated with the" Jutland (N. J.) strawhat, opened Monday (20) for a spring season of guest-star revivals. (Equity.) Gloaeester, Mass. (Bass Rocks theatre).—Martin Manulis expected to relight this stand. (Non-Equity.) Goshen, Conn. (Country theatre). —Herbert Gellendre will manage the spot (Non-Equity.) • Holyoke, Mass. (Mt. Tom theatre). —Lauren Gilbert is planning a sea- son,.. (Equity status not indicated-) Ivoryton, Conn. (Ivbryton play- house).—Milton Stiefel is returning for his 13th season at this key stand. (Equity.) Jenoerstown, (Mountain play- house).—James Stoughton is re- ported planni.ig to return here. (Equity.) Keene, N. H.. (Faragut players).- Freeman Hammond due to continue . another season. (Equity.) -< Lake Pleasant, N. Y. (Tamarack playhouse).—Malcolm Atterbury will probably be back at the spot. (Equity.) Lonlsvllle, Ky. (Iroquois Park amphitheatre). — Fred de Cordova ' .will produce-direct an operetta sea- son from July 6 through Aug. 15. (Equity.) Maplewood, N. 3. (Maplewood theatre). — Cheryl . Crawford and John J. Wlldberg have unofficially revealed plans for hnot'.er season to open May 30, but the situation is said to be nnt completely settled. (Equity.) Marblehead, Mass. (North Shore players). — William Judd and John Washburn .reported returning to the spot. (Equity.) Mlllborn, N. J. (Paper MIU play- house).—Frank Carrington expected back for another season. (Equity.) Mlneola, L. I. (County Fair the- atre).—David Lowe is reported plan- ning a season. (Equity status not'in- dicated.) Moylan, Pa. (Hedgerow theatre).— Jasper Deeter remains In charge of this repertory group, which operates year-'around; (Non-Equity.) Mt Gretna, Pa. (Gretna theatre). —Margaret Mansfield is expected to relight the spot. (Equity.) New Hope, Pa. (Bucks County playhouse).—Kenyon Nicholson and Theron Bamberger return for their third season at this key house. (Equity.) New Milford, Conn. (Theatre-in- the-Dale). — Louis Townsend will probably relight the place. (Equity.) Newport, R. I. (Casino theatre).— Eleanor Farrington and Mary Massey are due for another season. (Equity.) Otnnqolt Me. (Ogunqult play- house).—Mrs. Walter Hartwig starts a 10-week season June 29 at this long-established spot. (Equity.) OlB^y, Md. (Roadside ttieatre).— Steve Cochrane reported plannjng a season. (Equity.) Pawlinr, N. T. (SUrllght theatre). —Teddy Jones will, operate this stand, also touring to Poughkeepsle, Danbury and Mt. Kisco. (Equity.) ' Peak's Island, He. (Greenwood playhouse).—Richard Osborne opens June 24 for 10 weeks. (Non-Equity.) Peterboroosb, N. H. (Peterborough players).—Edith Bond Steams Is ex- pected to return. (Non-Equity.) Beading, Pa. (Green Hills play- house).—William Boyer due for an- other season. (Non-Equity.) . Saratoga, N. Y. (Spa theatre).— Ted Hammerstein reported' planning to take over operation of this, spas- modically-active spot (Equity status not Indicated.) Sayvllle, L. L (Sayville play- house).—Edith Gordon and Walter Drey are returning for another sea- son. (Equity.) Shorewood, Wis. (Shorewood the- atre).-Morton Da Costa, formerly at Port Washington, Wis., has moved nearer Milwaukee. (Status not in- dicated.) Skowhegan, Me. (Lakewood the- atre).—Herbert L. Swett, manager, and Melville Burke, director, are re- ported uncertain about relighting this stand, one of the oldest in the country. (Equity.) St LpDia (Forest Park).—Richard Berger will start his" Muny Opera season June "4 and continue through Aug. 30. (Equity.) Stookbrldge, Mass. . (Berkshire playhouse).—William B. Miles op^ns his regular schedule June 29. (Equity.) Stony Creek, Conn. (Stony. Creek players).-Ronald T. Hammond will again direct the season. (Equity.) Toronto (Royal Alexandra the- atre).—Frank McCoy Is planning to continue this summer. (Equity.) . Westboro, Mass. (Red Barn).—Rose Dresser reported planning another season. (Equity.) Westboro, Mass. (Town Hall play- house).—Edna Holstrom will man- age, in the absence of.Alan Gray Holmes, who is in the arrrjy. Dann Malloy will direct Season opens June 27. (Equity.) Westport, Conn. (County play- house).—John C. Wilson will be as- sociated in the management of this standard spot again. (Equity.) White Plains, N. Y, (Ridgeway theatre).—Dorothy and Julian Olney planning another season. .(Equity.) Woodstock, N. Y. (Woodstock play- house).—Robert Elwyn to relight the spot again. (Equity.) .Yardley, Pa. (Yardley theatre).— Nat Burns will again direct. (Equity.) Number of other spots vvhich had been active in former summers, but not expected to relight this season include: Arden, Del. (Robin Hood theatre); Clinton (Conn.) theatre; Eagles Mere (Pa.) playhouse; Great Neck, L. I. (Chapel theatre); Guil- ford, Conn. (Chapel playhouse); Harrison, Me. (Deertrees theatre); Holyoke, Mass. (Mountain Park ca- sino); Indianapolis (Keith's theatre); Kennebunkport (Me.) playhouse; Plays on Broadway J WHAT BIG EARS Farce romedy In three acts prcicntod nt the WlndBor. N. T., April 20. ''12, by U Daolel Blank k David Sllberman: written by Joe Rlalnger and Judson O'Donnell: atased by Arthur Pleraon; aetttnga by Horace Armlatead; $3.30 top. Jean Martin... Ruth Weaton Joey Smithera Edwin PMIlpa Qabby Mnrtin Taylor Holmea Lucaa Owen &fnrtln Betty Loeda Mnrllyn Ersklne Knirofd Ralph Bunker McCall Owen Lnmont The Profeaaor Reynolds Bvane Huldoon QeorKr Churcti Police Lieutenant Herbert DuRy Olympe OroKpn Ethel Morrison Dr. Trondle Hnna Roborta Brewater BYederlck Howard And Mildred Todil, XlcK- Dannie. Slerllni; Moce, Pitt Herbert. Royal Rompel, Louts Cnirlea, Warren Goddard, Tom Daly. 'What Big Ears' is plenty mediocre. It is a farce comedy with foolish characters and has a Hollywood background that doesn't help. It was lau|hless except for an audience mi- nority on opening night and has no chance on 'Broadway. / Play has plenty of faults, but It was not shof-stringed, there being three sets supplied by a new man- agerial team. The error was In se- lecting a weak script just like quite a few well-known managers did this in-and-out season. As for casting, that department might have been better handled, too, but It's doubtful if that would have been a solution. Enough actors are wasted anyhow. Gabby Martin, a pitchman, and 'fais mate, Jean, find themselves flat In Hollywood, along with Joey Smlthers, a youth who shUIs as an old woman when they sell their miracle medi- cine to. the hicks. They hadn't in- tended staying around, but tarried because, their truck was being re- paired. After considerable arguing Joey consents to take a studio job as . an aJc dame. Sappy producer thinks he has a find. "Grandma Smithers' is signed and starred as 'Whistler's Mother.' That should have put the wah- derers on easy street^but Gabby Is an inveterate horse player and owes a chunk to the bookie. The Martins attempt to take It on the lam, but sinister guys from the bookie inter- fere yet all hands go to New York for the film's premiere. Final act In a. hotel room has most of the play's -action. Some flrst-nichters laughed, but others were too disappointed by that time and wouldn't have giggled even If It were funny. It Is here that the usual farcical situations occur, as the connivers at- tempt to hide their nhopey grandma. There Is much confusion leading up to the disclosure and then the al- leged picture people see an out In- tending to annoimce to the public that the grandmother part was played by a youth. They blandly figure that It will be regarded as a sensational studio stunt That's how nutty the story Is. Taylor Holmes, as Gabby, and Ruth Weston, as Jean, work hard enough but get mild results. Edwin Phillips Is the masquerading old dame and ithnresslon Is (hot he doesn't think it funny. Ralph Bunker is a curious type of picture oroducer. and most of the others stnb at their narts without success, although Ethel Mor- rison drew some laughs as a boozy hotel maid. Some real camera and - studio equipment Is U!;ed at ore nolnt. but the play is a phoney. Blame it on '(Parley's Aunt.' ^ Ibee. YESTERDAY'S MAGIC Comody-dramn In threo nets (six Bcenen)* by Emiyn WllUamfl. Stars Paul Muni; features Jettslca Tandy, A1fr«d Drake. Staffed by Reginald'Denham; setting by Watoon Barmtt. Presented by Theatre Oulld. at OulUI theatre, N. Y., April 14, '42: 41.1.30 top ($4.40 opening). Mrs. Banner Brenda Forbes Bnrty Patrick O'Moore Fan : Cathlcen Oordell Bevnn • James Monks .Maddoo Tromns • Paul Munt Cattrln • Jefli^len Tandy Hobert Alfred Drake Mrs. Lothian Margaret Douglass Inside Stuff-Legit Abrupt folding of "Banjo Eyes,' ceased by Eddie Cantor's indisposi- tion, resulted In any nimiber of diflicultles among the Warners' Holly, wood, N. Y., boxoflice staff. Several groups from Virginia expressed keen disappointment, saying they came north especially to see Cantor, and a bunch of women from Passaic, N. J., was irate when they turned up at the theatre Monday (13) last week and found the house closed. They bought tickets a number of weeks In advance and threatened *plenty of letter-writing* if the comedian was on his weekly radio broadcast Cantor was on the program in two blts'ftom his hospital bed. Couple of people also from Jersey wanted the boxoSice to give 'em their fare in addition to the ticket refund. Two others from Jersey, who were to see the show on the cuff, also wanted their fares. Cost of running lines to Cantor's hospital room Was ^roiind $1,000. He gagged with Baker, first refused. $64 for subbing, but accepted when Cantor offered the same pay he gave guests. Cantor was sup- posed to sign a check for $64, but got a pain and called for the doctor instead. Another bit had Cantor squawking because at least 16 internes came into the room to look him over. A change of pace didn't work out for Max Llebman, who turned legit producer for one week. He was doing ahright in a quiet way coUabing on material with Sylvia Fine from Danny Kaye. Then somebody steamed him up over a dour melodrama, 'Autumn Hill,' which opened and closed at the Booth, N. Y., last week. Llebman presented the play, an activity which he discerned was offside when the notices appeared. Instead of trying to blame the critics, Lleb- man composed a series of 'punch lines' 'which were Inserted atop the show's ads in the failles, which read: 'Left Me Limp'—The Producer; 'Gripping'—The SUge .Hands; 'Electrifying'—The Switchboard Man, 'Had Us In the Aisles'—Ushers. Play closed Saturday (16) after near zero receipts and on that day the new manager sent out mourning cards to the critics 'which, under the title of the show read: 'Bom April 13, 1042. Died the same night Deep- est gratitude for your message.'. That line was his only known expres- sion of a squawk.' That romantic love all good actors have for the theatre has led Emlyn Williams, author of 'Night Must Fall' and "The Corn Is Green,' to write a greasepaint play, Yesterday's Magic' Under its original title, 'The Light of Heart,' it ran 700 performances in London, witii Conwajr Tearle and then Williams himself in the leading part. It seems shallow and too sen- timental for exacting playgoers, especially in these turbulent times, and it will probably have only a mild run here, not much more than called for by the Theatre Guild's subscription commitment. It isn't likely to pay back the investment, but offers likely possibilities for film adaptation. Although the play's flaws and lim- itations are obvious, it is written from a genuine affection for the stage and its people. It Is a kindly and generally disarming work, If hardly a penetrating or vital one. . < . 1 ,1 11T < I 1 J a -c 1- >. I-1 'Commodore' Barnet Moss, pop of Moss and Bernie Hart, returned from Florida with a lyric he wrote, but it isn't about shows his sons are inter- ested, in. Old boy has a patriotic rhyme and Is seeking a publisher. He was probably inspired by the Influx of army men into Miami He was vacated from four hotels, taken over successively by the eoi^, and then came north. Will amble to Grosshiger's, his summer stamping grounds. The senior Hart has seen 'Junior Miss,' which' Moss staged at the Lyceum, several times. Says it has more laughs than 'You Can't Take It With You,' the Hart and Kaufman cleanup comedy. That is a partial conces- sion from him for, after he saw 'Can't' he said 'it stinks' Moss Hart is also 'back from the south where he went after months of complicated dental treatments. It was a first time perhaps for a drama reviewer to cover the circus, as did Brooks Atkinson In the N. Y, Times when he devoted his Sunday (19)'column to the Rlngling show at Madison Square Garden. Little doubt he took on the extraneous assignment because of the blending of the stage and the circus in the presentation'of the big top's spectacles through such directors as' John Murray Anderson, Norm'an Bel Geddes and George Balanchlne. Atkinson was rather meticulous In the ^overage from the menagerie to the performance itself. He arrived at the opinion that the circus lives up to the 'greatest show' billing, which is something from a guy Who doesn't pull punches, or not often anyway. For the second time friends of the late Louis Ohms carried a page in the Treasurers Club ball program of the' event which was held at the Waldorf-Astoria, N. Y., Sunday (12) last week. Many of those who con- tributed to the memorial are in ticket agencies. Their payments totaled $267, although the regular ad page rate is $100. Other pages paid for by friends of club leaders also considerably topped the regular rate. Ohms .was former treasurer of the Empire and thereafter was In the boxoffice of Henry Miller's. Another change in inanagement of 'Of 'V We Sing,' a little revue hid- den away on 58th street at the Concert theatre, has been made. Alex H. Cohen, yoimg showman, withdrew, leaving Lennie Hatten holding the bag. Latter is also a kid manager. Show was slated for the Leventhal neighborhood houses and summer spots, but such bookings are not definite. It closes Saturday (25). Peggy Wood's book, 'How Young You Look,' Is attracting considerable attention.. 'Volume, which has been on the stands for several weeks, quotes her mother, who had a flair for" contriving crisp - sayings. Miss Wood is featured in 'Blithe Spirit' Morosco, N. Y. Her mother is deceased. Because of fire regulations, 27 seats have been removed from the mezza- nine at the Imperial, N. Y., where 'Let's Face It' is playing. Removal was ordered because of a cross-over, but it is possible they may be replaced. Means about $500 less weekly in possible gross, tickets tor those locations being $3.30 at night and $2.20 iii the afternoons.' Dorothy Bryant, former executive secretary of Chorus Equity and for a brief period with the American Guild of Variety Artists in-the same capacity, has rented her Connecticut home and aims to return to show biz union activities. She was on crutches for some time, having fractured a bone in her foot after shpping on the floor at home. But it is sincere, warm-hearted and at times both amusing and moving. It is weakened in certain respects by the casting, but it contains some honest actmg and is competently produced. If the plot weren't already pretty obvious from the opening curtain, the program's list of six scenes would be the tipoff. The leading character, a former star, is shown at the start'as drinking himself out of even the job of department store Santa Cl^us, And as the program indicates that all the action takes glace in ^he t>ame jhabby theatrical oarding house, it's immediately ap- parent that his attempted' stage comeback wont take him far. So when he has clicked in a small part and is about to play King Lear for C. B. Cochran at Covent Garden, the audience knows he'll get soused just before the premiere. In addition to Jiese shortcomings the play is miscast particularly in the vital leading part It's a diifi- cult role in any .-^.se, since the char- acter is a boozey, self-pitying weak- ling and failure. Paul Muni gives a thoughtfully conceived and carefully detailed performancr, but he lacks the personal magnetism, the inherent gaiety and the sense of humor lor which .the part,^ and .the play Itself, cry aloud. Jessica Tandy, on the other hand, is fortuitously cast as the actor's lame, seU-sacrlfldng daughter, and she gives a glowing, believable per- formance, she avoids seeming self- conscious about the girl's lameness, sets up the other actors in her scenes with them, and skillfully projects the heroine's warmth and intensity. Her voice, which in :he past has tended to become shrill in emotional scenes, is admirably controlled. Alfred Drake is persuasive and at- tractive as the girl's musician-sweet- heart; Brenda Forbes Is^expertly comic as a numbskull landlady, and Margaret Douglass is plausible as the star's devoted fan. Cathleen Cor- dell, Patrick O'Moore and James Monks are acceptable in smaller parts. Reginald Denham's sympa- thetic staging is theatrically direct and there is occasional, though too infrequent, ttse of offstage music for mood and atmosphere. Watson Bar- ratt's setting suggests the proper .shabblness of impoverished actor lodgings, Kobe. . 1 i: