Variety (February 1914)

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16 VARIETY NEW ACTS NEXT WEEK Initial PresenUtion, First Appearance or Reappearance In or Around tiew York Versatile Trio, Fifth Avenue. Brooks and Bowne, Fifth Avenue. The Peers, Fifth Avenue. "CeUuloid Sara," Palace. Milt Collins, Colonial. Lowell and Esther Drew. "At the Drug Store" (.Songs and Talk). 15 Mins.; Full SUge (Special Set). Fifth Avenue. Lowell and Ksthcr Drew have a skit for a two-act at the Fifth Avenue this week that could stand much better playing than they arc able to give it. A i^ood looking, bright setting that would furnish an excellent background for a light comedian of the flip kind, and a lively soubret, is about all that holds attention to this turn. The set is a drug store interior with the clerk waiting upon a young woman cus- tomer, one of those flirtatious acts that is elastic enough to allow of any quantity of matter. Mr. and Miss Lowell talk and sing, doing neither overwell, and both seem to lack the necessary experience to place the act in the big time class. The act itself is there. If these players can reach its grade they will make the best time, otherwise will have to be content in the lower division of vaudeville. 8 hue. Camber and Naldy. "Strong Man" Act iS Mins.; Two (Black Curtains). Bronx O. H. (Feb. 1.) One man gives an exhibition of his . uscular development on a pedestal within the black curtained interior. The folds arc dropped, there's a stage wait of several minutes, the young man steps to the lights and announces that his partner has met with an accident dnd that he has gotten a young man from around the corner to go on. The "plant" walks through the audience. He's dressed as an Italian. After talk closely resembling that of Clark and Verdi, the "strong arm" boy then as- sumes a bridge position and upholds a piano with two men on each side of it. The turn lacks showmanship, but as it standi, will pass the pop timers. Mark. "The Dutch Courtship." Operetta. 17 Mins.; Special Set. 23d Street. "The Dutch Courtship" is a story in song, covering a mixed quartet of two men and two women. One couple have good voices, the other pair could improve theirs. The scene is a Dutch sitting room, and the company are all in costumes to correspond. The music is pretty, mostly taken from well- known melodies, with tellinf,' lyrics written to tlicni. Considering there was a small orchestra to assist, the singing was excellent. With a more clal)oratc setting and two better voices, there is no reason why this act should not he on the big time. It's neat and nice, and, in its way, a vaude- ville novelty. Mary. advertise at all. Gertrude Hoffmann and Co. Revue. 1 Hr., 6 Mins.; One and Full Stage. Majestic, Chicago. Gertrude Hoffmann's latest vaude- ville revue, carrying 12 scenic changes, innumerable costumes, a circle of nov- elties and imitations, satires, songs and dances, and the necessary score or more assistants, principals, attendants and stage hands, from a mechanical angle is a stupendous proposition; in length, breadth, grandeur and impor- tance, a startling success. Artistically, the verdict varies, the ensemble bits running a trifle ahead of the solos, the general opinion on the individual scenes running a gamut of adjectives that alternate between dull and daring, poor and powerful. The opener is merely an introductory affair, climaxed with a routine of impersonations by Miss Hoffmann containing bits from Tna Claire's "Quaker Girl," Eddie Foy's familiar delivery and Ethel Barrymore's over-imitated "There isn't any more" among others. A scene in "two," de- picting the entrance to a subway sta- tion, won the novelty honors, with a signboard covered with living adver- tisements of domestic necessities, all bound round with a witty string of dialog. Anna Held is next honored, or dishonored, according to one's indi- vidual opinion, and then comes a spec- tacular affair with a pantomimed plot and a Hoffmann dance, after which a flock of imported Arabs tumble and spin to the usual applause. Harry Lauder i.'- next introduced by proxy, followed by a travesty on Gaby Deslys which is reminiscent of Hoffmann's satire on Valeska Suratt's style. A Geisha num- ber with a novel finish is introduced by the chorus exclusively to allow the star an opportunity to prepare for the Bessie McCoy impress'on, shown with the appropriate props and scenes. Then to the orchestra pit, where Miss Hoff- mann handles the snare drum and the thousand and one other musical con- coctions that go with it; back to the stage to see the girls in a bell numbei which employs every section of their anatomy, and the finale, the Isadora Duncan dance. Sixty-six minutes the Ingersoll registers, and every single second utilized, the speed at times well gauged with accompanying class, and then occasionally bearing the signs of indifferent regulation. And when it's all over, the average auditor is liable to wonder what it was all about. The chorus seems long on looks and short on song, a conspicuous exposition of someone's negligence. The impersona- tions, particularly those of Held and Lauder, were a considerable distance away from expectations, although allotted a favored spot on the program. Both were overdone and failed notice- ably. The Gaby satire was a laugh- able hit, well portrayed by the entire cast, which incidentally suggests that one Julia Carle, a pretty brunet, who played chief support to Miss Hoffmann in this and other scenes, be honorably mentioned. "The Subway Tango" pro- vided a novel departure from the beat- en path, and the Bessie McCoy section was a valuable member. And through it all. Gertrude Hoffmann was perpetu- ally active, now in "one" with her imi- trtions, and a second later prancing around tlic full stage as the life of an impromptu ballet. Wffnn. A. Baldwin Sloan and Grace Field. Ball Room Dances. 10 Mint.; Pull SUge. Hammentcin't. A. Baldwin Sloan and Grace Field compose one of the best dancing teams seen in a long time. Each is of refined, classy appearance that does as much for them as the dancing. They carry a five-piece orchestra of colored musi- cians, probably from Reisenweber's, where this couple dance professionally. They open with a Tango, introducing a few new steps; a waltz follows, with a Maxixe for the finish. It was a relief not to sec a rag trot in the routine. The Hammcrstcin audience was surprisingly enthusiastic, consider- ing they have witnessed so much ball room dancing of late. The couple took several bows at the finish and could easily have given an encore. Mary. Dunn and Dean. Imiutiona, Singing, InstnimentaL 16 Mini.; Interior. 125th Street. One of those "It's too late for thea- tre, let's have a little vaudeville here." She sits at piado while man imitates with mouth the Hawaiian zither in- strument. Then in story form, relating his visit to country, he imitates auto horn, railroad whistle, horses's neigh, dog's bark, jewsharp, hen's cluck, rooster, pig's grunt, phonograph, child singing, cat's meowing, mandolin. She does a Spanish dance and they finish with the inevitable baby crying. Good three-a-dayers. Jolo. Dixon Tria Dancea. 11 Mina.; Full SUge. Hamilton. This trio of two girls and a young man offer the best dance (Russian) in their repertoire at the opening. They don't do much of the raggedy rag stuff essential in working the right kind of a stage "trot." For the finish the three do a "waltz." The Dixons dance well but have not framed for the best re- sults. Good act for the pop houses. Mark. Harry B^aty. Dancer. 11 Mint.; One. American. Harry Besty walks out in smart eve- ning regalia and starts out as though he's going to surprise you with his little single. He sings and hits some old boys the street organs have nearly all discarded and then goes into dancing He's a nifty little stepper. The fashion plate duds are thrown in to make it look classier. Besty will pass with his dancing. There's no telling where that immaculate shirt front and the Beau Brummcl trimmings are liable to land him. Mark. NEW SHOWS NEXT WEEK Initial PrasMtatioB of LagitimaU Attractions in Now Yorii "Othello" (WoL Faverahmm)— Lyric (Feb. 9). "Help Wanted"— Elliott (Feb. 11). Norine Carman and Her Merry Min- Btrela (9). Minatrel Firat Part. 18 Mina.; Full Stage (Special Set). Columbia (Feb. 1). "Different from the rest" is what will likely bring the Norine Carman Min- strels a big time route. There arc nine of them, with one, a handsome blonde of the statuesque type, the interlocutor. Two end men in the blackface crew have some jokes of their own, and they also dance as a team. There is solo and concerted singing, the latter by the Astor Quartet. The solo vocal work is a yodeling song that gets away over. At the finale the company spreads through the house, using small hand-electrics in the darkened theatre while singing "Hands Up." This looks like an excellent vaudeville minstrel troupe, of the real kind for the twice- daily. A number of these before that were hastily built did not last. The Carman people fit into the semi-circle and very nice setting. For their 18 minutes on the stage, they do a min- strel show. That's something vaude- ville will always stand for if it is done right, as this one is. 8im9. Crawford and Halligan. Songi. 8 Mins.; One. Bronx Opera House (Feb. 1). A singing duo with the man doing the better work. At the Bronx a noisy first row of youngster! had the young woman "whipped" on her solo and she was palpably nervous for the conversa- tional number at the close. The team need new song material. The woman might also avoid a contrast in colors, for instance, she had a green parasol with a black and white coat with a fawn-colored dress for the closing. Pop act at best. Mark. Frank Coombs. Songs. 13 Mins.; One. 125th Street Nice tenor voice and easy, graceful stage presence. Has a unique number exposing all the songs taken from Men- delsohn's "Spring Song." Finishes with old ballads .«uch as "When You and I Were Young Maggie" and "Sil- ver Threads," making the turn sure fire big small time. Jf)lo. Musical Dixon. 12 Mins.; Two (Special Drop; Exte- rior). American Roof. Musical Dixon opened the show on the American Roof Tuesday. He car- ries a drop showing an exterior scene in Holland with his makeup of a sort of exaggerated low Dutch that is often seen in the newspaper comic sheets. Dixon plays several instruments but secures the best returns with his con- certina. He sits at a table and plays the various dishes set before him, each having a little reed horn attached. Dix- on isn't a comedian, and for that rea- son should stick solely to his music. Act of small time classification. Mwtk. O'Neil and Walmsley. Talk and Songs. 12 Mins.; One. Grand O. H. (Feb. 1.) Two men, straight and eccentric. Comedian is a small time roar with a violent activity as constant as St. Vitus. Excising such old gags as "bliz- zard—inside of a chicken," the act is a sure-fire three-a-day offering, /olo..