Variety (April 1912)

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16 ii VARIETY aaai NEW ACTS NEXT WEEK Initial Presentation, First Appearance or Reappearance In or Around New York Mabel Taliaferro and Co., Fifth Ave. Eugene O'Rourke, Nellie Eltlnge and Go. (New Act), Hammerstein's. "Hazel Weston,** Fifth Aye. Tom Lowis and Co. "The Man From the Metropole** (Com- edy). 10 Mlns.; Five (Interior). Ham ment eln's. "The Man From the Metropole" seems to have arrived too soon. Even with Tom Lewis, an intense favorite In the Times Square- district, more time should have been taken "break- ing in" the act before showing it at Hammerstein's. Monday Mr. Lewis, his people and sketch were loudly ac- claimed before and after, but the piece isn't right yet. It lacks ballast, espe- cially in the center and finish. The basic Idea is somewhat similar to the breakfast scene in "The Girl in the Taxi," and its lamented offspring, "Modest Suzanne," but localised. Lewis plays an ex-waiter from the Metropole Hotel, who accepts a posi- tion in a private family. Both man and wife, unbeknown to the other, had a "devil of a time" at the Metropole and fear that the former employe may "snitch," as Lewis calls it. They pet and pamper him until finding out he knows nothing. Then he puts on his hat and walks out. 'For an "en- core" Lewis does a one-minute mono- log In his individual style without fin- ishing a single sentence. This is brok- en by the man who plays the husband leading him off by the arm. Burrell Barbaretto and Bessie Skeer have the two "feeding" parts, thankless roles. Mr. Lewis may build up the skit. His is a personality that has stamped itself upon the right side of New York the- atregoers, and they will accept him cheerfully in almost anything. Yet Mr. Lewis will hardly be satisfied with "The Man From the Metropole" until It is in accordance with all the rules. Jolo. Lew Brlce and i^hhmi Gonne. Singing and Dancing. 18 Mlns.; One. Colonial. This youthful pair are graduates from Ous Edwards' acts. On "No. 2," the young couple filled that spot nicely and can safely be relied upon to fill the same position on any vaude- ville program. They open with a "Dutch" duet and a little wooden shoe stepping. Then Brice does his imitation of Bert Williams' singing "Constantly." Miss Oonne follows with her song "Sweetey Sweet," after which Brlce does an eccentric dance dressed in Eton clothes, suggesting Laddie Cliff. The pair finish with a duet of "Dramatic Rags," Lillian at- tired in cute little "pantalets." For an encore they have "Brass Band Ephrlam Jones." The principal fault is that the pair cannot speak lines. But viewing them from the standpoint of precocious youngsters, not to be taken seriously or their work too closely analyzed, they will fit in nicely. Jolo, Theodore Roberts and Co. (4) ••The Sheriff of Shasta" (Comedy Drama). 80 Mlns.; Full Stage (Special Set). Palace, Chicago. Occasionally some legitimate star tackles vaudeville with something worth while besides his reputation but as a general rule they figure the reputation sufficient. Theodore Rob- erts Is an exception. In "The Sher- iff of Shasta," he brings to vaudeville a melodramatic vehicle quite as wholesome as it Is melodramatic. The skit is set off with a special set show- ing a cabin and barn somewhere up in the Shasta Ridge. The cabin is the home of a man who has never experi- enced a touch of love at the hands of his wife. She longs for things be- tyond the Shastas, things that her. husband cannot provide. An acrobat comes Into her life by way of a pur- suit, in which he is the pursued. He murdered a man back in the valley. The sheriff is on his trail. Handsome, the lonely wife falls In love with him. When the sheriff is heard she hides him in the hay-mow. The sheriff, comes and good natnredly but very openly tells her how good and sweet she Is. Her husband becomes Jealous of the sheriff; night comes on and the officers decide to camp at the cabin. During the night the sheriff, who has taken a drop too much, awakens, and stumbles out into the yard in time to see the woman about to elope with the acrobat. The hus- band imagines she Is going with the sheriff and fires at him, but the gun is not loaded properly and only the wad takes effect. However, the acro- bat takes a shot at the officer, break- ing his leg, after which he and the woman ride away on the sheriff's horse. The latter's assistant catches up with them and after killing the acrobat, brings the woman back to her husband. Roberts Is carrying an excellent company and has staged the offering so that a reason is offered for everything. His individual work Is excellent and called for an occasional outburst of applause. "The Sheriff of Shasta" is decidedly melodramatic, but It's the best sketch that has visited here this season. Wj/nn. Shenk Brothers. Hand Balancers. 7 Mlns.; Full Stage. Hammerstein's. The brothers Shenk have a most sensationally effective act of its kind. Not only do their new and original tricks appeal, but it is all clean-cut and effective work. They work in modern garb, without giving the slightest appearance of making un- due effort. The ordinary routine of hand-to-hand and head-to-head bal- ancing seems like marbles to them. But when the understander seats him- self at a table, resting his elbow thereon, and sustains the top mounter In a single hand-to-hand balance, then rises and raises the mounter, walking about with him, balanced by one hand, the act moves beyond its contempo- raries. Jolo. "Bean Regiment," Etc. 5 Short Plays. Grand Gulgnol, Paris. A new program was presented at the Grand Gulgnol, Paris, March 24. Two sketches were of the kind to make the blood curdle, the other three somewhat broad farces. "Le Beau Regiment" by R. Francheville, passes in the infirmary of a German Uhlan corps, in which an epidemic of small- pox has broken out. The entire regi- ment is to be vaccinated, some tubes of vaccine having just been received for that purpose. In the laboratory are some tubes of hydrophobia virus with which the doctors have been ex- perimenting. A recruit, who has been ill-treated, changes the tubes, with the result that the regiment is inoculated with rabies. When this fiendish act is discovered, the criminal is told he will be treated like hydrophobia patients in Germany—stifled under a mattress. But the Colonel knows that soon every man inoculated will be raving mad, and orders all to be shot before they can break lose into the city, he himself insisting on being the first victim. For those who like this kind of entertainment, it is Just the kind. Another horror, "L'Obsede," by T. Lascarls, is of the same category. A son, knowing his father has been a lunatic, Imagines he is suffering from hereditary madness. The mother to save his reason, confesses a fault, and assures him he is not the son of the man whose name he bears. He be- lieves this to be a lie, to set his mind at rest, and persisting in his idea of insanity, blows out his brains. "Une nuit d'Amour," by M. Hennequin and S. Basset, is hardly novel. Burglars enter an apartment where two clandes- tine lovers are, and after robbing the guilty pair, bind them to prevent them giving an alarm. In this condition the husband discovers them when, he re- turns home. "Le Carnaval de Puce et Plock" is an amusing sketch by Morlss and Bernard, portraying two beggars who accldently enter a fancy dress ball. "Les Ingrats" by J. Martet, Is a good farce of a married couple, so worried by their respective parents, that they decide to disappear and live free of all family ties. Ken. William J. Coleman. Monologist. 14 Mlns.; One. American Roof. Coleman is a young monologist who shows unbounded talent. The big timers are going to hear from this college educated young man before many more moons have dipped their peekaboo colors in the far horizon. Despite a cold, he put his stories over with bully effect Tuesday night. Coleman sticks more to the Irish jokes and puns and he has some dan- dies. A few bear an ancient label and a few have been told by some of the big boys around here, yet he has some that are brand new and genu- inely funny. Coleman is somewhat stout but has a pleasant manner and a good speaking voice. Mark, NEW SHOWS NEXT WEEK Initial Presentation of Legitimate Attractions In New York Theatres. "The Wall Street Girl" (Blanche Ring), Cohan's. "Dear Old Charlie" (Chas. Hawtrey), Maxine Elliott. Valletta's Leopards (4). 10 Mlns.; Pall Stage. Special Setting. Colonial. Mile. Dolores Vallecita, with her quartet of Indian leopards, has gone several steps beyond all other animal trainers with her present offering. First putting this quick, alert, treach- erous and hence dangerous bunch of carnivorous mammals through a rou- tine that is in itself awe-inspiring if not altogether unfamiliar, she offers a new idea in grouping the animals about an upright piano, two on top, one at her side and still another be- hind her back, throws down her whip, sits at the instrument and plays her own music, while the ferocious beasts accompany her on bells, taking their cues merely on the call of their re- spective names. It is a direct viola- tion of the primal rule of animal sub- jugation, undoubtedly requiring ex- treme care and patience. With all other animal acts, ferocious or do- mestic, the orchestra leads while the trainer stands, whip in hand, direct- ing or cuing the animals when to play. The tricks preceding this, con- sisting of bicycle riding, see-saw, jumping through hoops, etc., seem trivial by comparison, so marvelous is the piano stunt. Mile. Vallecita can rest on her laurels with her present offering. During her lifetime she will probably have no serious competi- tor. This act is so unique it is here recorded, notwithstanding Mile. Vallecita does not primarily come un- der the heading of New Acts. Jolo. Five Melody Maids and a Man. Pianos and Songs. 16 Mlns.; Poor (Interior). Fifth Avenue. Nellie Wood, who tickles the ivories alone near the close of the act, is the only member of the quintet pro- gramed. Tom Penfold and Hazel Wil- bur, who do most of the solo work and sandwich in the "Turkey Trot" now and then, should be on the billing, as their work is more conspicuous than the "melody maids" at the pianos. Four pianos are used, including Miss Wood's, which seemed out of tune Monday night, when the four were "melodizing," but Nellie's single num- ber got over. The girls are hand- somely gowned, and the semi-circle of some very attractive creations of the modiste's art gave the act a back- ground that looked good. Penfold was right at home, and although he has been doing Cabaret work at Shan- ley's and Miss Wilbur has been work- ing a similar trick at Maxim's, the singers acquitted themselves credita- bly. The act will pass on its merits, and, incidentally, may go a long way toward making one music Arm's num- bers popular. While the Idea isn't new, nor anything out of the ordinary Is Introduced, the Five Melody Maids and a Man (Penfold may not always be In the act) will fill in nicely. Mark.