Variety (December 1912)

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22 VARIETY and the cast, which had but one or two changes, is excellent. Madeline Delmar, the new Hazel Weston, has a bully idea of what the role means and gets all there is out of it. She makes a dandy looking heroine. Mrs. James with capable support from Helen Wilton and Elwood Bost- wick put over a clean-cut hit. The act is short and crisp. There is no haggling; it goes to the point, and when it gets there turns it off with a fine sharp twist that makes it ring. Odiva was shifted to close the first half, too strong a position for the now well worn tank act. After seeing the Travilla Bros, and their seal the or- dinary diving act looks pretty tame. The Kitamura Japs closed the pro- gram and usually that is all that is said about the Japs, but this is some troupe, and they should have been shifted about with Odiva. The ki- monas and drops alone are enough to interest any audience, and the better the audience the more appreciative. The work throughout is excellent. Only those who had left before they appeared failed to see the Japs. They lost no one after the picture opening. Bixley and Lerner, next to closing, had the rough hoeing. They finished well, but up to the closing got very little. Harry Breen caught "No. 4" and left them in good humor for the followers. Art Bow en and Lordy's Dogs were billed for "1" and "2." Edwin Ford and Co., and Fletcher Norton and Maud Earl, New Acts. Da$h. BAMMUSTEIN'S. (Estimated Cost of Show, $5,000.) Whatever the reason, there was no pre-holiday lack of business at the Vic- toria Monday evening. Standees were two deep around the sides and the back of the house, and the seating spac- es were all occupied. An entertaining all-round bill may have drawn in some of the patronage. An honest-to-good- ness Chinese wedding in the Ching Ling Foo troupe Monday evening was an item of extra interest that had prob- ably drawn a good many people in. The specialty show of the Oriental magician has been considerably shifted about since its first view. It now works with more speed, and the in- terest is held together more satisfac- torily. Ching himself is always a source of surprise. Monday evening he showed a new one in a sawdust trick. He appeared to stuff the sawdust in- to his mouth and then lit it. The explanation is probably to be found in some simple chemical for- mula, but the effect is almost start- ling. Little Miss Chee Toy's sing- ing won the approval of the 42d street "regulars," and the gymnasts filled in their allotted interval most entertain- ingly. The display of the two work- ers on the horizontal bar is most spec- tacular. The Oriental gymnasts have done what might be called the impos- sible by devising a novelty in a field which was considered worked out. They go to the bars in an entirely new way and show a novel routine. The wedding of Monday evening 'rather disrupted the running of the bill. The announcement was made during the Ching Ling Foo act, and two acts intervened before the cere- mony was held. This left it up to Belle Blanche and Harry Fox and the Millership Sisters to hold the interest of an audience whose attention had been sadly disturbed. Both acts got away with their assignment. Miss Blanche gives but a minute or so of each impersonation, and the constant change of numbers permits no wan- dering of attention. Mf. Fox and the Millerships also keep on the move. The trio have a swift by-play of "fast stuff," and their offering takes edded interest from the bubbling youthfulness of the prin- cipals. Fox is one of our very best little audience kidders. In the ex- tremely difficult spot of closing the show the young comedian held the crowd in the best of humor. Lillian Lorraine, in her seconu week, did very nicely. The prominence that has attached to her name on Broadway commands attention, and she has in addition an entertaining se- ries of "sight" numbers. Her third song, a catchy rag, was so good that she had some difficulty in following it. But her "wriggle" at the finish made 'em sit up. Laddie Cliff was on rather early for him. The youthful dancing wonder really had to wake his audience up, and he did that most satisfactorily. Clean specialty material such as Lad- die offers finds ready appreciation with the Hammerstein patrons, so the young Englishman was a solid success. "Honor Among Thieves" is a rather unusual sketch. The dramatic story is full of surprises—indeed, there are so many that the auditor becomes con- fused—but it keeps interest alive at the highest pitch, and the finish puts over a first rate "kick." Among the early numbers were Phina and Her Picks, an -energetic dancer who looked remarkably like Josephine Gassman. Raymond and Caverly with their German conversa- tion were on after intermission. They still live in Watt street, but the audi- ence found the gagging on that subject funny. De Armo, juggler, and John Geiger with his talking violin, were the early numbers. Bobby Matthews and Al Shayne and Yerxa and Adele did not appear Mon- day evening, being taken out of the bill on account of the time taken up for the Chinese wedding. They played the rest of the week. Rush. NEW BUILDINGS. Plans have been filed for a moving picture theatre at Central avenue and Suydam street, Bronx, New York City. The cost will be about $7,000. An- other house of the same character will be located at Rogers avenue and Maple street, Bronx. The Barris Theatre Co. is owner of the latter establishment. Thirteen thousand dollars will be in- vested in a projected picture house on Broad street, Newark, N. J. It is reported that West New York, N. J., is to have a new theatre. Ber- genline avenue is spoken of as the probable location. Preliminary reports name a sum to be invested in excess of $200,000. Osman & Taylor, builders of Hack- ettstown, N. J., are also mentioned in connection with a possible theatre- building project in that city. WINTER GARDEN. The Winter Garden gave a show and a half Sunday night. Three numbers were dropped off the program at the finish, as the intermission did not hap- pen until eleven. Al Jolson arrived before that time and kicked up the usual riot in the theatre that always follows his appear- ance. It's marvelous what Jolson can do or say at the Garden and get away with it. He thinks nothing of remov- ing his coat, collar and tie after having been dragged to the stage. Sunday night he demonstrated his popularity in New York, as did also Melville Ellis. Both sat well down front as the first act of "The Merry Countess" (running forty-six minutes) closed the first half of the program. Jose Collins, while acknowledging the applause with the other members of the "Countess" cast, espied Messrs. Jolson and Ellis. She called upon them to do a little some- thing. Both had heard the plea before and in the same place. They vamped to the rear of the orchestra, but the audience kept on making a noise until Ellis finally capitulated. From the stage he coaxed Jolson to join him. Then, just to show their strength, Mr. Ellis played "The Rosary" and Mr. Jolson sang it. Afterward Mr. Ellis accompanied Mr. Jolson, while the lat- ter sang a new rag ballad, "Back to the Land of Dreams," quite a neat con- ceit in music and story. Meantime Jol- son kidded Max Hoffmann, who was leading the orchestra; Maurice Farkoa, the prop lunch, a dressing gown and anything else that appeared around. This hurrah finale of the first part gave the house sufficient show. Many left during intermission. Gertrude Hoffmann in her "Spring Song" num- ber opened the second part, followed by Pietro on the accordion. Then came the trio and crinoline numbers from "The Red Petticoat," with Grace Field, Helen Lowell, Louise Mink, Donald MacDonald and some of the other girls from that. Charlie Ahearn was to have closed the performance, but Charlie took a chance and didn't make up. The Ska- telles were also among the absentees, while Emil Agoust and Mile. Yvonne, who intended showing their new dance, withdrew through the lateness of the hour. The curtain came down at 11:45. The bill ran very well in the early section. Jack and Violet Kelly in their amazing tricks with bull whips opened the show. Theirs is a much too im- portant act for the spot, but they did very big before the incoming house. The Strolling Players, a couple of mu- sicians who sing, passed away "No. 2." Sunshine did a number from the show. Mr. and Mrs. Bascomb repeated their "Pipp" sketch to fair laughter, though Bascomb won't be able to do anything with this piece until he builds up the finish. Doyle and Dixon, the dancing team with the Hoffmann show, had a walka- way. They are putting over a first rate act with considerable new matter all their own. Sam Mann and Louise Dresser gave the table scene from the Garden's current production doing very well with it, and Barney Bernard fol- lowed them with a new idea in mono* log. Mr. Bernard, straight, told Hebrew character stories, taking for the most part the conversation be- tween Jewish women around a poker table. The talk was written by Mr. Bernard for Variety's Anniversary Number two years ago. It was huge- ly enjoyed by the readers of the paper. Bernard got his points over sharply and pointedly at the Garden. The mat- ter looks good enough to furnish him material for the major portion of a monolog any time he wishes to attempt vaudeville as a single. Joined with him on the billing was Irene Bordoni, who sang a few songs to Mr. Hoff- mann's accompaniment. Bordoni goes back to France this week. She has grown quite popular locally (very lo- cally), but must have dressed in a hurry Sunday evening. With a short soubrct dress that did not become her, Bodoni wore brown stockings that made it worse. After came the "Countess" act, with its parlor set, taken into the Garden the day before. It had to be boxed in on the big stage. Even then the set couldn't show off very well. Bime. UNION SQUARE. (Estimated Cost of Show, $2,175.) It's an ordinary vaudeville show on view at the Union Square this week, with business fairly good Monday night. The latter part of the show was more varied than the first, but none of the acts was voted a riot. Rose Pitonof, the swimmer devoted much time to illustrating the various strokes, crawls, floats and styles of swimming before a mirror. The water looked mighty dark and murky and did not help her act a bit. She still carries an announcer who dwells too long on the "champeen" thing. Luce and Luce opened the bill with instrumental music. They were fol- lowed by the Texas Tommy Dancers, who are still using the "contest" form of working with the audience left to do the judging. The trot stuff down Fourteenth street way has worn out its welcome, and with the novelty gone an early position is the best it deserves. Frank Mullane first reeled off dialect stories, some new and some old, loos- ened considerable laughs and then hit the trail of the "straight" songs. Some thought he was best as a monologist, others liked his songs, and the com- bined applause was sufficient for an encore. After Jack Kennedy and Co. (New Acts), Charlotte Ravenscroft appeared. There seems to be no question that her voice and violin make her a pleas- ing "single." Miss Ravenscroft has a nice stage appearance, which also helps, but she could pay more atten- tion to her makeup. Flanagan and Edwards (New Acts; were followed in their "Off and On" sketch by W. L. Abingdon and Co. in the dramatic playlet, "Honor Is Satis- fied." Excellently acted, it held at- tention. The Big City Four remained too long, but extended themslves perhaps to give the stage hands plenty of time to get ritonof's tank ready. They al- most ran out of songs, but the boys sang well, so the audience didn't mind. It's pretty cold now for the quartet to sing In straw hats. There were no moving pictures. Mark.