Variety (August 1913)

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VARIETY WILD WEST SHOW DISBANDED; SOME PER FORME RS STRANDED Attachment of $60,000 Followed by Others. Two Bills* Outfit does Out of Business. Pawnee Bill Leaves Den- ver in Midst of Trouble, Buffalo Bill Remaining Until Matters Straighten Out. Sheriff Advises Immediate Sale of Property. Denver, July 30. As predicted in last week's Variety, the Two Bills' Show (Buffalo Bill and Pawnee Bill), embarrassed by numer- ous attachments filed against the outfit for moneys due on lithograph accounts and loans, together with the meagre receipts of an exceptionally bad season, found sledding too rough for continua- tion, and under the watchful eyes of a score of sheriff's deputies pulled Up the tent stakes and disbanded for the cur- rent year, after cancelling all dates ahead and confirming the report that every available piece of property be- longing to the show, including adver- tising cars and live stock, had been attached. The crisis came with the arrival here of Adolph Marks, attorney for the United States Printing and Lithograph- ing Co. Marks, after investigating con- ditions, attached the outfit for the $60,- 000 due his company, which, it is claimed, had not received one penny on account, although Major Gordon Lillie (Pawnee Bill) had made several promises to liquidate the debt. It is understood Mr. Marks has also begun attachment proceedings against some of Lillie's property in Oklahoma and elsewhere to cover endorsements and accounts Lillie is personally responsible for. In the disbanding of the show many performers were stranded. The work- ing men were cared for by the sheriff, and the cook tent was kept open for that purpose. Of the 114 Indians, all but two have been sent back to the Pine Ridge Reservation. The two ex- ceptions are held as government wit- nesses against men, who it is claimed, sold them liquor. The feature acts left town for the east, many having pro- cured engagements with other shows. Ringling's Circus, which played here last week, engaged a number of the working men and drivers. There has been 250 suits, more or less, started against the Bill shows by attorneys for salaries due. Pawnee Bill promised repeatedly he would properly care for those to whom he owed salaries, but when the blow-off came he left town without doing so. Thomas Smyth, of Tarrytown, Pa., now claims he is the owner of half the plant and that he purchased Major Lil- lie's other half since the attachment was made. Smyth has filed suit for $50,000 in the Federal Court against the Sheriff of Denver. The U. S. Tent Co., of Chicago, has replevined the canopy tent, claiming it is the owner of it. William P. Hall, of Lancaster, Mo., is represented here by an attorney, through whom he claims the four elephants, now housed at the Sells-Floto winter quarters, where all the other animals are being carefully looked after. Sideshow Manager Harry G. Wilson alleges he owns all the wild animals in the side show. The sheriff has requested the district court to make a speedy sale of all the circus property. Three advertising cars are being held under garnishments at Portland, Ore. Major Burke was in Boise, Idaho, when the trouble broke and immediate- ly returned to Denver. Louis Cooke is now in Portland. Col. Cody (Buffalo Bill) will remain here for some time, perhaps until the difficulties have been ironed out. Last season Col. Cody made capital out of the announcement it would be his last in the saddle, billing the tour accordingly as a farewell trip. This season the ex-scout appeared regular- ly at each performance and in a leng- thy speech announced that while it was in fact his last in the saddle, he would remain in the business tent to see that the public got their money's worth, at the same time introducing his suc- cessor and business partner, Major Gordon Lillie, who, after a few gal- lops around the ring, also bowed out to count up the house. Aside from the opening, nothing was seen of either Lillie or Cody in the regular perform- ance. The idea of sending the show into Birmingham and Atlanta in June, en- tirely out of season, especially with the Southern railroad's excessive rates proved a fatal blow to the Two Bills outfit, for the railroad fares amounted to an average of $1,000 daily, totaling up the complete expense in the neigh- borhood of $4,000 per day. The Chi- cago date hardly averaged $1,500 daily which proved another financial setback. Aside from this, poor routing is given as part cause of the blow-off. It is said that Cody and Lillie held a conference with Edward Arlington before the season opened with a view to coming to some routing arrange* ment, but as the "101 Ranch" had al- ready beat the Two Bills aggregations into Washington and Baltimore, the latter show had nothing to offer and the expected working agreement failed to materialize. The "101 Ranch" is running along nicely to large profits averaging around $25,000 weekly gross. It costs about $12,000 a week to operate the Miller Bros, and Arlington outfit. Trenton, July 30. D. Clinton Cooke has been named by Samuel D. Oliphant, referee in bankruptcy, as receiver for the Two Bills' Show. He will file ancillary pro-, ceedings in Denver and take charge of the entire property. Three buffaloes and several wagons, now held at Tully- town, Pa., are within the jurisdiction of the U. S. Court for this district. COURT UPHOLDS BOYCOTT. Judge Goff, in the Supreme Court Tuesday, handed down a decision in tne application of Modeste Altschuler against the Musical Mutual Protec- tive Union and others, for an injunc- tion restraining the various unions from interfering with him in the pur- suit of his occupation as a musician and from issuing orders to their re- spective members prohibiting their playing in any orchestra where he may be engaged as a player. Plaintiff also asks for a revocation of the resolution expelling him, and for restoration to membership. Justice GofFs decision, a very lengthy one, is, in part, as follows: For many years plaintiff has been a member of the Musical Union, an incorporated society, which is affili- ated with the American Federation of Musicians. In 1910, 1911 and 1912 plaintiff managed the Russian Sym- phony, an orchestra of sixty mu- sicians. He met with financial re- verses which prevented him from discharging his liabilities to two members of the orchestra, amount- ing to $532.57. These members com- plained to the union and as a result he was under its by-laws expelled. In August, 1912, while he was play- ing in an orchestra, the other musi- cians were informed by defendants of such expulsion, and they there- upon refused to play unless he was discharged. Indeed, there is no question raised as to the regularity of the proceeding, nor is there dis- pute of the facts on which it was founded. In assuming the obliga- tions of membership he acquired also its advantages. Were he a stranger, a question of abuse of power in de- priving a man of the means of earn- ing a livelihood might arise, but when he joined the union and sub- scribed to its constitution and by- laws, he helped to build up the power which now oppresses him. For years he enjoyed the safety and bene- fit of its protection, and now that through his own actions he is made to feel its weight, his cry for relief cannot be heard in a court of equity. Injunction should be denied. HAGENBACK-WALLACE INC. Peru, Ind., July 30. Articles of incorporation of the Carl Hagenbeck and Great Wallace shows have been filed with the Miami County Recorder, the company being capital- ized for $300,000 with 2,000 shares of common stock at $100 and 1,000 shares of preferred stock at $100 the pre- ferred stock to pay six per cent, in- terest per annum. Three names are mentioned in the papers, John Talbot of Denver, Chas. Corey of Peru, and Edward Ballard of West Baden; but it is understood three others play prominent parts in the transaction. Chas. Hagaman, the show's "fixer," R. M. Harvey, a Daven- port hotel man and the show's agent, and a Mr. Rice are said to be in on the deal. Five directors are named in the articles of incorporation. John B. Warren is one of them. MARINELLI FREE LANCING. The H. B. Marinelli New York agency commenced free lancing in its bookings this week, having stopped its exclusive dealings for vaudeville acts with the United Booking Offices, as re- ported in last week's Varibtt. There was a general feeling of satis- faction along Broadway when Mari- nelli's decisive step became known. Managers and circuits having occasion to use foreign acts seemed quite pleased over the foreign agent's open door proclamation. The talk over the affair drove the U. B. O. into Issuing a statement Mon- day, announcing it would allow all foreign agents to book with it and did not intend to take dictation from Ma- rinelli. The statement was a very silly one to those who understood, and sounded foolish enough to have been drawn up by Walter Kingsley, without assistance. All foreign agents, excepting Richard Pitrot, have had access to the U. B. O. for years, but, like Marinelli, found the big time agency merely a time waster through its stalling tactics. Percy G. Williams was the single United manager who would do business properly for turns from the other side. It has been the practice of the U. B. O. or its principal officers, those who are interested in an "outside" book- ing agency, to attempt the theft of acts imported here by or through foreign agents. These were generally stolen for the benefit of the "agency down- stairs" (now in the Palace theatre building). A recent instance was the Evelyn Nesbit Thaw case. Miss Thaw cabled Albee, Weber & Evans if they did not stop using her name in their business dealings, she would hold them for damages. That agency announced itself as the exclusive American repre- sentative for Miss Nesbitt. Marinelli booked the act at Hanmerstein's and represents her here and abroad. An- other instance of act-stealing was that of Doris Wilson and Co., an American turn handled by the Marinelli agency, taken away from it last week. Other than big time vaudeville, the Marinelli agency reaches into the small time circuses and has been mainly instrumental in bringing over the sev- eral attractions that have appeared in musical comedy on this side. The U. B. O. may attempt to form a foreign connection, despite its state- ment, but this will be very difficult for it to obtain anywhere near the service Marinelli furnished. BUCKLEY WITH THOMPSON. Buffalo, July 30. Dr. E. L. Buckley, for 17 years em- ployed by F. C. Bostock, remaining with the animal king up to the time of his death last October, has made con- nections with the L. A. Thompson Scenic Railway Co. here, and has as- sumed personal charge of their big plant at Carnival Court. GERMAN CIRCUIT NOW 14. A. H. Woods received a cablegram this week from L. J. Goldsoll, his part- ner in the German circuit of pop vau- deville theatres, stating a house in Breslau had been added to the chain, giving the Woods-Goldsoll firm 14 houses in Germany.