Variety (December 1912)

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VARIETY "MAKING PROCTOR THE QOAT" HAS ANOT HER CHA PTER PUT ON Fifth Avenue Loses its Headliner for this Week. Will Appear at the Colonial Next Week. The Case of Mrs. Curtis Burnley* Debutante in Vaudeville. What E. F. Albee Barked. Mrs. Curtis Burnley, an entertainer to New York's "400," will make her first vaudeville appearance next week at B. F. Keith's Colonial, New York. She was engaged and billed to play F. F. Proctor's Fifth Avenue this week, but Monday she did not appear. The whys and wherefores of the non- appearance at the Proctor house and the debut at the Keith iieatre are said to constitute another chapter in the affairs of the United Booking Offices under the caption of "Making Proctor the Goat." There is no contradiction the Proctor house first had Mrs. Curtis Burnley under agreement, and entered a "slip" in the U. B. O. three weeks before the Keith people discovered they wanted her. Previously the Keith crowd had turned a cold shoulder to offers of Mrs. Curtis Burnley's services. £. F. Albee, general manager for Keith and of the U. B. O., is living at the Plaza Hotel over the winter. The hotel's manager is Alfred Railing, who is also Mrs. Curtis Burnley's husband. Follow- ing the usual maneuvers incident to a vaudeville booking for a debutante Mr. Railing, according to the story, ap- proached Mr. Albee in the hotel lobby and thanked him for placing his wife in vaudeville. "Don't know anything about it," barked Albee. "Where is she going to play?" "At Keith's Fifth Avenue thea- tre" replied Mr. Railing. "There is no Keith's Fifth Avenue theatre" Albee is said to have barked once more, "and if she does appear there, you can make up your mind she is through with vaudeville," although the U. B. O.'s general manager must know Mr. Proctor is the vice president of the United Booking Offices and books his houses through that agency. Mr. Railing is reported to have sought his agent, and was met with a reply the engagement for the Fifth Avenue would have to be kept, regardless of any con- sequences. Following the conversation of Albee with the manager of the Plaza, the Keith faction in the U. B. O. sud- denly discovered it intended giving a "Society Week" (later abandoned) at the Colonial, and that Mrs. Curtis Burnley was necessary to the elite program. What happened afterward is shadowy. The Fifth Avenue had Mrs. Curtis Burn- ley's name out for ten days preceding the date of her announced appearance. A few days before she was due, the Proctor management was informed no selection had been made from her repertoire of 300 numbers for an act requiring four or five selections, and insufficient time was left to make a choice. Mrs. Curtis Burnley found herself unable to open at the Fifth Avenue. The Proctor's had by that time become aware of the Colonial date for the society entertainer. The fact that the Proctor "slip" for her had been filed nearly three weeks be- fore was duly brought to the attention of those who should know, but it is said F. F. Proctor decided he would not make his stand upon this case, and at the last moment held over "Madame ?" at the Fifth Avenue for this week. The currently agitated talk among the vaudeville managers and agents at present is not how long Proctor can afford to stand for the things he has been handed in the U. B. O. since defeating his former partner, Keith, in the courts, but how long he will stand for it. Each time an occurrence like the Curtis-Burnley matter becomes known, rumors again crop up of a Proctor and Poli combi- nation among the U. B. O. circuits. S. Z. Poli has been in New York sev- eral times within the past month. He is reported worried over his big time vaude- ville houses in New England, which are not at present experiencing the prosperity that has attended them in past seasons. MAKES CHING PROPOSITION. It was reported about early in the week that the United Booking Offices officials are to have Ching Ling Foo open at the Colonial instead of at Hammerstein's, offering to take the act under the personal direction of one of the "Keith men" in the office, provided the direction of Ching's tour over here be given entirely into his hands. It is well known among the vaude- ville managers that Hammerstein's has a contract for twenty-five weeks with Ching. The Colonial and Hammer- stein's are both booked through the U. B. O. BERT LESLIE RUNNING. Owing to a later decision reached that a lay member cannot hold active office in the Vaudeville Comedy Club, Jos. M. Schenck withdrew from the ticket he was petitioned to head for the election of officers for 1913. Sunday afternoon at the special meeting of the Board of Control there was presented a ticket, led by Bert Leslie, the present incumbent of the office of president. Mr. Leslie con- sented to run again for the office, after much pressure had been brought to bear upon him to do so. Francis Morey is named as secretary on the Leslie ricket. The hearing on the charges preferred against the editor of Variety- through the Board of Control, for publishing an article detrimental to the welfare of the club, was held Sunday after- noon. The accused appeared and gave testimony. The charges were dis- missed, with a resolution of censure. HARRY TIGHE ON SMALL TIME. Another "big time" vaudeville act slipped over to the "small time" Mon- day, when Harry Tighe and Edith Clif- ford opened at the American Music Hall, booked by the Sullivan-Consi- dine-Loew agency. NEW VAUDEVILLE CO. A new vaudeville theatre holding and booking company was formed this week. In it are interested John J. Col- lins, Joe Sullivan and William D. Eppstein, a western man of wealth. The company is starting operations with the Monticello theatre, Jersey City, the now building Hippodrome (seating 2,500) at Perth Amboy, and have about closed for the possession of a theatre in Newark, also another in Philadelphia. The new Franklin theatre, in the Harlem section, when completed, will be added to the books of the com- pany. The concern has been titled the John J. Colons Amusement Co. It will be a general agency, booking theatres wherever located, with Mr. Collins its president and general manager, Mr. Sullivan vice-president, Mr. Eppstein secretary and treasurer. Mr. Collins was connected with the Fred C. Whitney Producing Co. until the present proposition presented itself, when he decided the theatre-booking company more advantageous. The Producing Co. will be dissolved. The Collins Amusement Co. has its offices on the tenth floor of the Fitzgerald Building. The Monticello starts Dec. 9 with vaudeville, under the direction of the Amusement Co., with a bill booked from its office. TAYLOR'S HALF MILLION CO. Philadelphia, Dec. 4. A company was formed this week, to be called the General Amusement Co., and have a capital stock of $500,000. It is for another theatre proposition M. W. Taylor has in view. Mr. Taylor will be vice-president anl general manager of the corporation, when organized. "BLACKLIST" RUMORS. Rumors were about this week that the United Booking Offices was on the eve of issuing "blacklist" orders against small time. Nothing definite had been done by the agency for the big time vaudeville houses up Wednesday other than its usual objec- tion against acts playing in houses not booked by it. The story seems to have had its foundation in ,a foreign act playing under an assumed name in a New York small timer last week being informed unless it discontinued the engage meat immediately, its route in the bigger houses would be canceled. The act came over here to appear in the west While waiting for the opening date, h accepted contracts in a couple of small time houses. There doesn't seem to be much doubt left in the minds of the vaudeville peo- ple that the U. B. O. will issue "black- list" instructions very shortly, either making them pronounced or doing so sub rosa. The agency is driven to it as a last resort, it is said. The offi- cials of the U. B. O. are blaming the small timers for the meagreness of the patronage in the Keith New York vau- deville theatres. This, with the spreading growth and strength of the "small time," has made bigger book- ing men somewhat finicky, if not really cranky. The new Audubon theatre of Will-' iam Fox has met with tremendous suc- cess since its recent opening, contrary to the expectations even of the man- agement. The Academy of Music is also doing a large business, while its Sunday concert (booked direct list Sunday) filled the big Academy to ca- pacity the tame as when the Sunday bills were secured through the U. B. O. At the Academy for the last half of this week are Herman Lieb & Co, Hart and Johnson, Bell Boy Trio, Pringle and Allen, Creighton Sis- ters, 3 Gamons, Williams and Weston. Redway and Lawrence, Jenks, Rotb and White. It is reported about also that the* Loew and Fox Circuits are prepared to present a solid front to the big agency if acts playing for them are "blacklisted." It is also said that the smaller circuits in that event will take the offensive in the fight that must follow. EDNA LUBY Ah featured at the Majestic Theatre, Chi- cago, after a remarkably successful tour of the orphfum Circuit. This wrek. heading Poll's Theatre, Washing- ton. P. C. TROUBLE WITH COLORED CO. New Orleans, Dec. 4. J. A. Brown, manager of the Temple, was arraigned yesterday before the federal authorities, charged with using the mails illegally. He furnished a !><>nd for trial. The complainant is John Rucker, manager of the Rucker Musical Com- edy Co., a colored troupe, who alleges that he was lured here by Brown on the understanding that $260 had been deposited in a New Orleans bank as I guarantee for the company's salaries The Rucker troupe played four weeks at the Temple. The management con- tends Rucker was advanced $75, be- sides a remittance of $300 to bring the organization here from Philadelphia, and that on arriving two of the prin- cipals were missing.