Variety (Apr 1942)

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52 -Wednesday, April 29, 1942 Literati London Newsman In Jam War Department In Washington has ordered Walter (Jack) Farr, writer for the London Daily Mail, stripped of his credentials as a war' corres- pondent. Action, first of its kind by any United Nations country* in this war, was taken as a result of Farr's sensational yarn early in March of American convoys crossing the Pa- cific to launch a Japanese offensive. Though a reciprocal arrangement with the British War Ministry, Farr also automatically becomes ineligible to hold English credentials. He's now in Hawaii. Fan was-, formerly correspondent In Washington for the Daily Mail, where he. had gained some little rep- utation for 'scoops' over U. S. writ- ers. Biggest was the meeting of Roosevelt and Churchill at sea last summer, when papers in this country learned of tKe confab through cables from Lo'hdon quoting Farr's story from Washington. Actually it now appears that the story for which Farr is being so drastically censured wasn't far from wrong, although It was highly sen- sationalized.. Farr's principal 'crime' appears to have been dateljning it 'At Sea, Friday'; when it was actually transmitted from Hawaii. Joint Army and Navy Correspondent Credentials Committee,' which took the action against Farr, dieclared the story was no^ only distorted but that it con- cerned a region he had not visited. That, however, Is not unusual for correspondents. Greatest danger in Farr's story, it appears, would be the tipofT to the Japsi inasmuch as convoys were probably still en route when it was published. However, the yarn was passed by military censors .in Hawaii, so the writer would seem to be ab- solved of that blame. Farr's story, speaking, of the convoys, stated: These massive forces will not only help to defend Australia. They are taking with them iarge quantities of materials to be used to build the foundations for a great offensive against the Japanese. Every ship in every convoy is a load of concen- -bated hitting power. They are carjy- Icg Hundreds of the' finest pilots America can produce, powerful units trained in lapding operations, hardy infantrymen from the American plains.' Thomas declai ed, was the subsequent development thai Miss Samp 'was not engaged on a production opera- tion and could not, therefore, have either impeded or Increased defense production' and also that she had denied her original cha.'ges. No story at a.l, UAW prcxy added, was given a few days later to the award of a Navy E (for excellence Ir production' to the plant in which Miss Samp .worked and to its em- ployees. Pearson and ..VUen had their ad set up exactly lik • that i^f Thomas and headed it 'Is This Fail, Mr. Labor Leader?' They reproduced what was apparently an inter-oft.ce War De- partment lump upholding their original statemenl. They then quoted Miss Samp's attorney to the effect that the denial of her charge was forced from her, partially by pres- sure on'her mother and father. 'It was only after all this,' P. & A. stated; 'that Miss Samp issued her statement denying the facts stated above in 'the Army report. So per- haps the newspapers were right, Mr. Thomai, in the play they gave to Miss 'Samp's ^ enial.' Jnst the Tost' Soon? Streamlining of the Saturday Eve ning Post which the publishers have been planning since the mag came imder the editorship of Ben Hibbs a month or so ago ii. said tJ include a change in handling of the title. There will be'a gradual rjle-empha- sizing, it is understood, of the 'Satur- day Evening'"il|Ortion of the handle and a playing up of the 'Post.' Idea is to gradually get the mag to . be knowi^ only ta the Post^ with the same emphasis given that one word on the cover and in promotion ad vertising as the Luce publications give Life. Other streamlining which had been previously announced is a cut- ting down in length of stories, with a maximum of around 3,000 words. Plenty of hypo, it is felt is needed, particularly with all the bad pub- licity the mag recently got on the Milton Mayer article, to get it over the new 10c price hump, although prepaid circulation hypos, at the oIS SEP rate, has - sent prepaid sub- scriptions to d new high. Wesley W. Stout, th^former editor, on whom the Post carefully placed all responsibility .for the Mayer piece In recent newspaper ads, is ap parently anathema to present Post editors. His final two atories in the last two lssue'°s had a phoney by-line and another, abot.t narrow-igauge railroads, in the current issue, has no by-line at all D. C. Newshawks Active Maxine Cook retires from the drama desk of the Washington Daily News to await a djmestic event. Critic is the. wife nf Lieut. Jack Hartley of the Navy. Helen Buch- alter fills in temporarily but is slated to take up a post soon with Look magazine. Don. Craig, regular News critic and former ''Variety' correspondent in Washington, is in the service, at- tached to Camp Lee Traveler in nearby Peterst)urgh. Craig was re- cently promoted and "-.ow wears, a sergeant's stripes. Edward de S. lelcher, who left the drama desk of the Washington Star for a Hollyyvood writing job, has been elevated to a sergeancy in the". Army. He ,is attached to the provost marshal's- 'lice and soon qualifies for an officer's training schodL Luvie'Pearson, second string critic of the Washington Tinjes-Herald, resigned that post when her hus- band, Drew-Pearson, of the Pearson- Allen column, developed a feud with Cissie Patterson. Post is now filled by Elizabeth Kennedy, daughter of Joseph P. Kennedy, former Am- bassador to Great Britain. Those Boys, Again ' Drew Pearson and Robert S. Allen •Washington Merry-Go-Round' columnists, and A. 3. Thomas, presi- dent of United Auto Workers, CIO, engaged in ai unusual duel in full page ads In Editor and Publisher the past two weeks. Thomas' ad, first to appear, was headed 'Is This' Fair Play, Mr. Publisher?' It pointed out that P. & A., in one of their Sunday night broadcasts stated that Genevieve Samp, a De- troit worker, had -been fired upon insistence of her union because she 'was producing faster than other em ployees in the same plant. This story, Thomas declared, was picked up and played on page -one across the'coui.try the following day. How ever, given only a stick inside, lilTEBATI OBITS Louis B. Ward, 94, publicity man formerly associated with Father Coughlin, dropped dead April 21, In a railway station In Syracuse. He was under subpoena to appear be- fore the grand jury In Washington investigating the Social Justice Ma- gazine. Ward was twice an unsuc- cessful candidate for- the U, S. Senate with the backing of Social Justice. He wrote a biography of Father Coughlin. Joseph Seacrest, 77, publisher of the Nebraska State Journal for 42 years, died in - Lincoln, Neb., April 21. George T. Hargraves, 70, with the Hearst newspapers for over • 25 years, and for the last seven years business manager of King Features Syndicate, died in Tenafly, N. J., April 22. John M. Harris; 64, publisher of the Tamaqua Courier, Pa., died there April 22. William (J. Crnser, 87, former edi- tor and publisher of the Montrose Democrat,'Montrose, Pa., died there April 22. John M. Hants, publisher of the Tamaqua (Pa.) Evening' Courier, died April 22 in the State Hospital, Coaldale, Pa. Mrs. Ewan MacDonald, 67, author of 'Anne of Green Gables' as well as more than 20 other books, died in Toronto April 24. 'Anne of Green Gables' was made into a silent film -and talker, both versions being money makers. Theodore Fink, 86, Australian writer and publicist, died in Mel- bourne April 26. Isom Shepard, 61,, veteran news- paperman, died in San Fraaclsco from a heart -attack. Recently he had been compiling San Francisco journalism history for MHPA Writers' project K. C. Jonmal StafTs New Jobs Several members of the now de- funct Kansas City Journal's editorial staff are already at work on new jobs in other cities less than a month aftei: the Journal folded. Two staff members who handled amusements are preparing for service with the armed forces. Bill Kelliher, film re- viewer, joins the air corps May 13; Lowell Lawrence, legit reviewer ana columnist, is prepplng for. a post with the naval reserve. Brewster Campbell, managing edi- tor, has joined NEA in Cleveland, Dan Kelliher, city editor, and Jack Moorhead, desk man, are now with the N. Y. Herald Tribune. Ray Runnion has landed with the St Louis Star Times as editorial writer. Eddie Meisberger is with the Mlnne apolis Star. Millard Hunsley and Bill Sechrist have joined the Wash- ington Post Abbie Amrine, woman's department, is in a similar post with Ponca City, Oklahoma, daily. Parke Carroll, longtime sports editor, has taken to professional baseball as business manager of the Minneapolis Millers of the American Association. Dixie Dallies Hike Prices Few 'Dixie dailies have upped ad- vertising rates since the war, but vir- tually all of them have hiked price to public. Included In price upswing are Spartanburg (S. C.) Herald-Journal, AsheviUe (N. C.) ' Citizen-Times, Charleston (S. C.) News and Courier, Augusta (Ga.) Herald, Hendferson- ville (N. C.) Times News, Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle and Colimibia (S. C.) State and Record. Increases range from a nickel to a dime - a week on subscriptions. Lait, .Jr.-Mortlmer for King 'Hollywood-Broadway* column by Jack Lait, Jr., and Lee Mortimer, film reviewer of N. Y. Mirror, has been bought by King Features Syn- dicate from Press Alliance. Daily column, devoted to news and gossip of the two coasts, will at once dou- ble the outlets through the King Features deal. Lait, Jr., signed the contract in Hollywood. CRATTEB Willis Chapman, vet San Francisco newspaperman, ran second best in the race tor city clerk of suburban Burlingame. - - Robert W. Chandler, former San Francisco Chronicle staffman, be- comes Montana manager for United Press, headquartering in Helena. G. .O. Robinson, Jr., Washington biu'eau man for The' Memphis Com- mercial Appeal, has resigned to join the war department. Agnes Underwood, on the repor- torial staff of Los Angeles Herald & Express, was named southern Cali- fornia's outstanding woman journal- ist by Theta Sigma Phi, women's journalist sorority. Leonard' . Lee's story, 'Channel Port,' recently bought by Paramount for production in England, has been sold to Liberty- inag as a serial titled ■Tide of 'Victory.' Jo Pagano, scripter at Paramount studio, pacted by Random House to write three books, first of which is an anti-Fasclst novel to be published in autumn. Alden Stevens, director of research for Lowell MeUett's bffice of Co- ordinator of Government Films, has an article 'Arms of the People,' in current Harper's. Army-Navy Show now legendary, that convoys passing in mid-Atlantic signal to eadh other the glories of the Stage Door Can- teen, N. Y., was .demonstrated In flashing lights in Morse from one balcony to another. Topper was a platoon of Marines marching faultlessly in the limita- tions of the stage and going through the manual of arms to the chant of the lieutenant In charge. One of the niunerous thrills of the evening was when the plqtoon, facing rear at the back of the stage, responded with a click to theiorder 'Fix bayonets." An- other bark aild the men swung around, bayonets flashing ahead of them, and on the crouch slowly ad- vanced on the audience as the band swung Into 'Semper Fldelis.' Army's portion showed full evi- dence of the hands of the many pro- fessionals In the forces. Musical part—and there was plenty of it- was particularly strong, with the whole presentation backfed by two orchs on the stage in a mock battle of the bands. On one side was the Fort bix outfit, 'coaxed' by Sgt Herbie Fields, and on the other the Camp Upton unit, 'dragged' by Zinn Arthur. Both are amazingly good jive combos that could take their place in technique, arrangements and general results on any pro stage. In addition, there was a 32-man orch in the .pit imder Corp. Milton Rosen- stock,- that was a clicko. The three bands combined the cream of Broad; way's pre-draft muslc^makers. Band numbers and' accompanying stage entertainment was spaced with a 'Jap spy' in one box sendin'g 'by radio' his reports to a "Nazi sub co^m- mander' and an Italian assistant'on the other side of the hoUse. One of their best gags was-the report by the Jap secret agent that he would be doing better if he didn't have such trouble decoding one of his most im- portant sources of Information—'Va- riety.* 'My Springfield,' a tribute to a sol- dier's ri^e in the form of a ballet by a dozen huskies in uniform, was top comedy bit .Another was 'Six Jerks in a Jeep'—with what turned out to be a screwball hot sextet arriving on the stage in a jeep and in wigs. - Otherwise there were- vocals by Sgt Jack Leonard (Fort Dix, nee Tommy Dorsey), sleight-of-hand by Corp. John Mendes,' barltoning by Private Nelson Rae, and lots more. It was an evening to be remem- bered. Certaintly an inspiration to the people of the ttieatre to go out and do even more, if that's possible. Herb. Current Road Shows (April 29-Mav B) ;SS Continued from page 3;^^ Metropolitan Opera House to the topmost gallery for the show which began at 11 p.m. and didn't wind up until after 2 a.m. First half-hour was occupied by N,ew York Police, Fire and Sanitation Departments* bands and glee clubs, led from the pit by Hizzoner Fiorella H. LaGiiardia him- self. He at least looked like he knew what he was doing. And no one can deny he conducted with authority,. Servicemen's contribution, staged with strong productional effects by Staff Sergeant Ezra Stone and his cohorts in the Second Corps Area Theatre Section, combined an exhi- bition of military tactics, music and comedy. It was divided into two parts, first by Navy, Marines and Coast Guard and -second by the Army, using members of the Special Service (morale) staffs from the various posts in the Corps Area. Hiram Sherman, who had the same day been upped from Apprentice Seaman. to Seaman 2d Class, was m.c. of the seagoing portion of the show. Sherman ('the Alfred Lunt of South Brpoklyn,' he billed himself), was the'saving grace of that half of the entertainment with nifty ad libbing in the stage waits. In addi- tion to comic modeling various parts of his uniform, he introduced Artie Shaw, who earlier in the day had himself fitted for bell-bottoms. Navy and Coast Guardsmen sig- nalled their thanks with flags for the entertainment those in the audience have been providing for them. Stoiy, 'Angel Street' (2d Co.)—Harris, Chi (29-9). 'Arienio -and Old Laoa' (2d Co.)— Walnut, PhUa. (29-9). 'Blithe Spirit' (2d Co.)—Selwyn, Chi (29-9). "Blossom Time'—Shubert Boston (29-2); Playhouse, Wilmington (4-6); Shubert, New Haven (7-9). 'Candle In Uie Wind'-Majestic, Ft Worth (29); Melba, Dallas (30-1); Aud., Shreveport, I«. (2); Robinson Aud, Little Rock, Ark'. (4); Shrine Aud., Oklahoma City (9); Conven- tion Hall, Tulsa (6); Forum, Wichita, Kans. (7); Munlc-Aud., Kaiisas City (8-9). 'ClandU' (2d Co.)—WUbur, Boston (29-9). 'Claadia' (8d Co.)—Cass,-Detroit (29-9). 'Com Ii Green'—JiTixon, Pitt (29< 2); Colonial, Boston (4-9). 'George Washington Slept Here'— Lafayette, Detroit (29-9). 'Good Night Ladles'—Blackstone, Chi (29-9). 'Hellcapoppin'—Ford's, Balto (29 2). 'High Kickers'—National, Wash. (29-2); Nixon, Pitt (4-9). 'Life With Father' (2d Co.)— Geary, S. F. (29-9). 'Life With Father' (3d Co.)—Mu- sic Box, H'wobd (29-9). •Macbeth'—Erlanger, Chi (29-9). 'My Sister Eileen' (2d Co.)—Cur^ ran, S. F. (29-9). 'My Sister EUeen* (3d Co.)—Lo cust, Philai' (29-9). 'Native Son'—Fla.tbush, B'klyn (29-3); Windsor, Bronx, N. Y. (5-9). •Pal Joey'—Windsor, Bronx, N. Y. (29-3); Flatbush, B'klyn (5-9). •Panama Battle'—Forrest, Phila. (29-2). .'Panch and Julia'-National, Wash. (4-9). "Watch on the Bhlne'—American, St L. (29-2); Coronado, Rockford, m, (4); Parkway, Madison, Wis. (5); Davidsbn, Milwaukee (6-9). 'Withoot Love'-Metropolitan, Providence (29); Shubert, New Haven (30-2); Hanna, Cleve. (4-9). Plays Out of Town sContlnned from pace se- The Walking Gentlemen mood of Impending horror, while the second scene, a play rehearsal, not only sustains the mood but is Inter- esting In Its revelations o'f the tech- nical side of a theatrical production. ■Hie second act, full of unimportant small talk, drags. The third act picks up speed for a novel finish. Briefly the plot has to do with a Jekyll and Hyde stage star who keeps both the police and the morgue ' keeper busy. His ex-wife warns him the law is on h'ls trail and it's pretty certain he wiU try and add her to his list of victims when he learns that she Is betrothed to the doctor who cured her of a mental Illness. A novel denouement saves everyone but the murderer. 'While generally well constructed, "The Walking Gentleman' suffers from stilted dialog and<9ome incon- gruous situations. The cast Is large and generally ex- cellent The play introduces 'Victor Francen, French stage star, to Amer- ican audiences, and he has a field day as the psychopathic slayer. He gives an outstanding"characteriza- tion despite the complexities of the role. Richard Gaines is at a disad- vantage in the colorless role of the doctor, while Arlene Francis is emo- tionally and pictorially .effective as the ex-wife. Clay Clement plays the detective in the approved City Hall manner, and Arnold Korff, Margery Maude, Jose Ruben, Minnie Dupree and Lew Hearn get the most -out of minor roles. Marion Gering, the co-producer, did a gocid staging joj), while Harry . HomePs settings and Feder'a Ught- ing effects help create the melodra- matic atmosphere. Klep/er. »♦♦♦♦♦♦»*<»*♦>'»♦>♦♦«♦♦♦« » College Show ♦ ♦ ♦ 4 ♦ » THE THREE BEARS (BBOWN UNIVEBSiTT) Providence, April 23. Annual musloal inMntad by Brown- broken In tno Bota, 16 acones: produced by Rubye Jo Staeoban; teualc, Sid Marka, Jane O'Brien, Alan Marciiia, George 'Walker. Dlclc Palmer; lyrica, Jo Bheehan, Ra* Brent; danpes ataged by JuiUne Tyrell; mualo director. Sidney Marka; akit direc- tor, Bernard Lubaraky; aettlngs t>y Norman Roaa. Preaanted at Faanca-Konae tbealre. Brown Unlveralty, week of April IK. '42. The Jap attack at Pe^rl Harbor changed the plans of a lot of people In t\3a countiT, and those of Brown- brokers were no exception. Thev had planned a political satire but, with war, the board of strategy felt the grcoip should go in for something in a lighter vein. They came up with a modem fairytale combine which brought together features of Goldilocks, The Three Bears and Cinderella. Had Bro'wnbrokers more time to real^ whip the script, music and numerous other detalU into shape, we feel that a much more creditable performance might have been given. But with headaches attendant with shortened vacations, extra-curricular - duties and condensed school terms, there Is some excuse for the gen- erally loose production, spotty ma- terial qnd lack ol spontaneity. Though not outstanding, music is pleasant to listen to, aiiS several of the dance numbers are easy to watch.,. Some chalTenge routines by Mary Lou Hutchinson, Grace Hepburn and Florence Ruyflelaere are well pre- sented, and a fluorescent-lighted chorus number was cleverly staged. . Also sprinkled about are refer- ences to draft boards, sugar ration- ing, and tire shortages, 'with a draft board' member roaming through various scenei to bring closer to home the fact that many of the musical's male members will soon be meethig their draft boards In real life. . . Cindylocks (Jane Meyer) has her adventure with The Three Bears in the opening scene, and through their intercession is turned'into a glamor gal and goes to the Junior-Prom, where she meets and dances with her Duke WoU (Wallace Karutz), loses her slipper, and exits from the baU. The happy ending takes ^lace in a shoe store In the second act. All in alL Brownbrokers had a nice idea with which to work and needed orily a little more time to iron It out. 1/toXo. Kate Smith ; Continned from page 1: him resulted in new sales for some of his past works and in all he sold somewhere between 900,000 and 1,000,000 discs the first quarter of *42. Compared to hl« 110,000 sale during the like period of '41, his comeback is nothing short of amazing. Harry James sold, according to hu handlers, between 1,300,000 and 1,400,000 recordings the flrst three months of 1042 as compared against a total of approximately 325,000 the same period of 1941.