Variety (January 1914)

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VARIETY 21 GAY NEW YORKERS *' Will Fox and Harry Stewart, who toured for some years in "Following the Ponies," after Yorke and Adams, head the Columbia Wheel organization, operating under the name of Jake Goldenberg, Inc. For their vehicle they have a two-act piece, called "Madame, Who Are You?", "realized and staged by Jack Mason," as the program has it. Really, it is an ex- tended version of the old afterpiece, called "The Diamond Palace," which the Burke Bros, and innumerable others have employed. A somewhat different twist is given the subject by introducing a department store instead of a hotel. The plot, however, happily disappears soon after the show starts, and* does not seriously hamper the comedians in their ad lib. funmaking. Fox and Stewart play two Hebrews of identical appearance, an arrange- ment that works out into good comedy values. In several instances they put over good laughing bits that have not been worn out in burlesque. One of these was a scene in an office early in the proceedings, and another was the exchange of cables from Paris in the second act James J. Lake receives the distinc- tion of display type and does the ac- cepted sort of "straight." Eddie Nel- son has a "nut" comedy role until late in the entertainment and then blos- soms out as a second "straight" with a singing specialty, aided by Julia May. This was really only a duet, but the pair drew down One of the hits with it on the strength of the singing. Nel- son is a capital worker and does much for the comedy end of the show. The organization is well provided with principal women. Carol Schroe- der and Rose De Young are likeable soubrets, with more than an average of good looks and pleasing voices. Beatrice Loftus is principal boy. That is, she starts out early to display her figure in purple tights, but subsequent- ly falls back into minor characters and does not appear prominently again. Miss Schroeder wore the tights there- after and made a highly satisfactory picture. Carrie and Dorothy Raymond offered a conventional "sister" specialty about midway of the first act and then faded from view, perhaps joining the line. The numbers are all nicely staged. The chorus evolutions frequently get away from the conventional formations and the girls work with a good deal of life. The most pretentious number occurs as the finale of the first act. The fact is worked into the dialog that everybody is going to Paris A special drop, showing a railroad station, is lowered in "one," and after a moment of "stalling" for the change Tim Mc- Mahon's mechanical treadmill effect is disclosed, with the chorus aboard the train singing a "Good-bye" number and Fox and Stewart racing to catch the train. The numbers are liberally scattered through the two acts, mostly published songs of current popularity. The show cams classification as a fair average of Wheel entertainment. Rush. . If too don't advertise In VARIETY, fen't advertise at nil. COLONIAL The show was much better than the crowd at the Colonial Tuesday even- ing. In this holiday week the Colonial should have had a far greater attend- ance with even a poor bill. The program ran well and was easi- ly bolstered up by the insertion of two sketches, both comedy, and one in each half. "Myrtle Clayton, or Wrong From the Start" closed the first part. This is a strong comedy number, and the melodramatic travesty in it gets started early. Since first shown many touches have been placed in the skit, with some more roughness to insure laughs. "Myrtle' 'is so enjoy- able it may be seen more than twice. But the "Myrtle Clayton" billing alone is deceptive. Too much like a "single" for outside purposes. The other comedy act was Sam Mann and Co., in "The New Leader," a well played sketch that is kept per- ennially youthful by the playing. Each member of the company gave an Al performance Tuesday night. Mr. Mann and Harry F. Gilbert seemed especially on their mettle. Mann, in the orchestra pit, does his role of the new leader so unassumingly the house dislikes the idea of the playlet coming to an end. Aaron Hoffman turned out a good one when he wrote it and the selection of Mr. Mann to head was just as happy. The woman "single" was Bessie Wynn, with a new wardrobe and some songs that were not as glittering as Miss Wynn should be possessed of. One "kid" number should not be done at all by her. Another song, "Getting Even on Stephen" was more suited to her style. A "plant" in the upper box at the finish did not work out as well as might have been expected. She was shifted in position from next to clos- ing to just before the Mann act which got that place. The male single was Jack Gardiner, the musical comedy one. Both he and Miss Wynn made liberal use of the spotlight, something that both of them could well dispense with for excellent reasons. Mr. Gardiner can get his material over, with the help of his per- sonality. He did a new recitation very well, without the story containing any great strength. A couple of new stories told by him should have gotten more. Gardiner can derive more from the Englishman-Frisco tale by working up to the point more quickly. "No. 3" held 'LeRoy, Talma and Bosco. a foreign magical turn that is well set but badly dressed. Some of the work is highly entertaining and mysti- fying, but there arc periods when only one of the three people is working. This might be altered excepting when Miss Talma does her neat palming. It is seldom a woman is seen in this line and Miss Talma docs it well. There is also too much time given to the audi- ence business. A little of this might be sufficient. It was* pretty early to put the act on. A couple of the illus- sions or disappearances should be made much of, and with less talk, also less comedy, the act would become more important on its magical side alone. In these days of mediocre illusionists who want to play vaudeville because they can't get money elsewhere, these UNION SQUARE Nine acts take up an even two hours. The show has no drawing attraction and is notably light on. features. It does furnish fairly interesting diver- sion, however. The Monday night r.udience was the poorest seen to date, less than a third of capacity. The Farber Girls were moved from "No. 7" to "No. 3" and Freeman and Dunham shifted from "No. 5" to next to closing. Belle Onra opened with a simple trapeze turn. She is an unusu- ally neat little woman and works with speed through an interesting routine, notable for its strenuousness. There is no parade nor stalling. Jed and Ethel Dooley are best in their dances. The talk is not amusing. Jed an- nounces his imitation of Dave Mont- gomery's lariat dance, but the virtual impersonation of Will Rogers is per- mitted to pass unnoted. The Farber Girls were one of the four turns who tried to get a laugh with the "Ichkabibble" phrase. Other- wise the funmaking of the pair was worth while. The combination of straight girl and comic in a sister com- bination works out most satisfactorily in their case, and for good measure they have a dainty bit of stepping. Kid Gabriel's posing act is rather thin entertainment. Monday night his pony was a little unmanageable and the pictures lost some of their interest. The announcer of this turn is a model of well handled talk. Arthur Dunn and Katherine Nelson offered their familiar act. Lee Harrison and Harry Kelly walked off with the comedy hit of the program. Harrison makes an accept- able straight feeder and Kelly does a rube constable with a new slant. The pair have an extremely funny line of talk, the best of it involving a freak dog. Kelly's travesty dance is a sure enough "scream." The pair delivered 12 minutes of droll talk without a pun or a gag, all of it amusing and not a line that belongs in the "released" di- vision. They have a valuable piece of property. Freeman and Dunham sing agree- ably, but their attempt to make their dance to "The Parisian Ball" funny failed. The ragtime selections did nicely, but the "soft stuff" involved in a ballad about "Mother"—such as rolled-up eyes and bared heads—was out of order. The talk didn't matter either way, but the singing got them over safely. The Two Alfreds in hand-to-hand and head-to-head balances made a neat closing number. The two men work smoothly and gracefully through a well devised routine. Jtuah. foreigners loom up as customers for high honors. Were they to remain here for a long stay, llwy could make it. It's a well known international act. The Gardiner Trio (New Acts), opened " after intermission. Three Shelvey Boys closed. The Grazers were "No. 1" and Walter Dc Leon and "Muggins" Davies, "No. 2." Julius had his inning at intermis- sion. It looks as though Julius has become the permanent attraction at the Colonial W»»f. AMERICAN Mikado's Royal Japanese Gladiators, a troupe of 16, make a really excep- tional turn for a bill in the class of the American. On the strength of its numbers alone it is an immense flash. In addition to which it is a real novelty. Opening with a capital series of jiu j'tsu holds and violent throws by a little woman, half a dozen of the quick- footed men give a demonstration of the art. The finish is a whirlwind bout of the big, half-naked wrestlers. This is the act that made up a display number for the Barnum-Bailey Circus last season. It is the feature of the American bill for the whole week. The rest of the program was accept- able light entertainment, typical of the American. The comedy hit went i tb Wormwood's Animals. The familiar routine is full of first rate bits of train- ing, with surprise following surprise in v varied act that never halts for an in- stant. Billie Scaton was featured, but with a simple "single" turn started nothing. She sang three songs and departed with only a casual demonstration of enthusiasm on the part of the house. Close Bros, opened the show with an interesting routine of hand-to-hand acrobatics and some tumbling. Their feats are nicely worked, but they offer nothing sensational in straight gym- nastics. Dow and Dow sang parodies and delivered cross-fire talk in the char- acter of Hebrew men o' war, using a special drop of New York bay. The parodies got the usual return, although they were not particularly bright. Bob and May Kemp (colored) did uncom- monly well with talk, dancing and a ?ong or two. Sampson and Douglas have a sprightly offering. The woman gets some returns at the opening with a i ovel entrance, holds the act up with some "nut" comedy and goes to a good whirlwind finish with a spirited dance. J C. Booth and Co. closed with a familiar bicycle turn, featuring a climb up steps to an eight-foot pedestal and a drop to the floor. A comedy assistant helped somewhat. Charles Deland and Mary Carr and Co. furnished the comedy sketch "The Fire Escape" (New Acts). Rv*h. PARIS PLAY CHANGES. {Special Cable to Variety.) Paris, Dec. 31. To terminate his season at the Renaissance, which will soon come to an end, Tarride proposes to mount for 40 days a new play by Pierre Weber, "Pascaud et fils," with Mmes. Dastry, Despres, and the actor-manager Tar- ride. At the Porte Saint-Martin a comedy "Madame" by Alfred Savoir and Abel Hcrmant, will be shown in January, Jeanne Granier, Monna Delza, Jeanne Provost, Felix Huguenot and Signoret holding parts. This is a big cast. "La Croisicre," by Maurice Donnay. will probably follow the revival of "Samson," which is having a successful run. Baron Henri dc Rothschild's "Le Caducec" will be seen at the Odeon. A French version of Hermann Bahr's "The Concert" will be given at the Theatre Rejane, while Francois de Curd's "Dansc devant Ic Miroir" may frllow "Raffles" at the Ambigu.