Variety (February 1914)

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8 VARIETY SHOULD BELONG TO THE RATS. Dealing with the subject of what the White Rats Actors' Union of America has accomplished, and is ac- complishing, for the artist, on this page last week there appeared an ar- ticle calling attention to the fact that many reputable vaudeville circuits in this country are at present using a contract which carries the printed line: "Approved and published by The White Rats of America." Just how the use of these contracts help the W. R. A. U. as ail organization and the members individually is indicated by an example which has come to the attention of the executive heads of the White Rats within the past few days. J. A. Jones, manager of the Empress, Pensacola, Fla., has written the White Rats complaining that the Milton-Rog- ers Comedy Co., presenting musical tabloids, after having signed an ap- proved White Rat contract to appear at the Empress, failed to live up to the terms of the contract. The company cancelled the contract, in violation of me terms of the agreement, and the Empress people were put to consider- able expense to secure another attrac- tion for the house. The letter to the Whi«e Rats in New York City was written in the hope that the White Rats might be able to assist the Em- press people in collecting reasonable damages for the cancellation. Investigation, upon receipt of the Pensacola manager's letter, has shown that Milton and Rogers, the perform- ers who broke their contract, are not members of the W. R. A. U. For this reason, therefore, the White Rats have no jurisdiction over them, not even in the sense that the organiza- tion might be able to persuade them by argument that such contract-break- ing was injurious to the interests of the profession at large and therefore injurious to them. Had Milton and Rogers been mem- bers of the W. R. A. U. such pressure as was possible would have been brought to bear upon them to compel their respecting the terms of a con- tract which their organization has been fighting for years to have adopted by representative raudeville circuits. Had Milton and Rogers been members of the organization and the manage- ment of the Empress, Pensacola, taken advantage of the oportunity for piotection in such cases as this offered by the White Rats, the organization would have either compelled the de- faulting performers to pay the dam- ages agreed upon or would have paid such damages out of its own treasury. The theatre manager's opportunity for (.•rotection is offered in the White Rats' willingness at all times to ex- change liability bonds with any man- ager who will use a White Rat con- tract and agree to submit to a board of arbitration all differences which may arise between the theatre man- agement and any member of the White Rats in good standing. A number of important booking cir- cuits in the country operate under this protective arrangement with the White Rats. The C. K. Williams Theatrical Agency, in Mobile, Ala., engaged the Milton and Rogers company to ap- pear at the Empress in Pensacola. That the management of the Em- press, as far away as Pensacola, and the directing head of the Williams a^'cncy in Mobile recognize the White Rats as the reasonable place to appeal for equity and justice in the affairs of employer and employee in the theatri- cal world is indicated by the fact that the letter of complaint was written. FRED WYCKOFF DEAD. \\ hile walking from the New York Central station in Lyons, N. Y., Sun- day morning, F. J. Wyckoff fell dead in the arms of Edward M. Gross, his son-in-law. Wyckoff was a comedian with the Rehman Burlesque company. He had completed a week's engagement in Al- bany and ran up to Lyons to spend Sunday with his mother and daughter. He had been troubled with heart dis- ease and death was attributed to that. He was forty-one years old and had been a burlesque comedian for eight- ten years. He was a member of the White Rats Actors' Union of Amercia. WHITE RATS LEND AID. An entertainment, reception and dance was given on Tuesday, Feb. 3, by the Visitation and Aid Committee GOOD MEALS IN GRILL Members of ^hc W. R. A. U. who early acquired the habit of dining in the White Rats grill at every possible opportunity while they were in New York City are rejoicing in the great improvements which have been made in this branch of the service around the clubhouse within the past few days. There was a time when a chap with an appetite that called for any- ihing more than a sandwich and a cup of coffee had to look elsewhere for his "fodder," but now one can dine as well in the White Rats grill as in the average restaurant in New York City —and a lot more inexpensively. The original plan of the new build- ing did not call for the operation of a restaurant, but when the pretty Dutch grill room was substituted for the bowling alleys at first contemplated, a place for a small gas range was gouged in the wall and the member who did rot care to leave the building for •something to eat was given the oppor- tunity of purchasing sandwiches, ce- reals, etc. From the very start the prtronage accorded the grill was such a;^ to disprove the theory that restaur- ants in clubhouses are always con- WHITE RATS NEWS (The matter on this page has been furnished VARIETY by the White Rats Actors* Union of America, and is Touched for by that organlxatlon. VARIETY, In Its editorial policy. Is not responsible for it.) of the Chicago Musical Club at their beautiful club house, at 175 West Washington street, Chicago. It cer- tainly was a fine affair, and great credit should be given to the commit- tee of arrangement. The following White Rats volun- teered their services: Tom Wilson, Andy McCloud, Wood and Lawson, and Joe Birnes. Among others on the bill were Joe Garramoni and Louise Craig and the Chicago favorite come- dienne, Bessie Kaplan. ACT GETS DAMAGES. Lewis and Green have been returned the victors in the action for liquidated damages brought against them by the Bijou Amusement Co., of Racine. The case was tried in Detroit. Attorney George W. Bates appeared for Lewis and Green in behalf of the White Rats Actors' Union of America, of which the defendant actors are members. TROUBLE WITH EXPRESS CO. Numerous complaints have been lodged with the Chicago office of the White Rats Actors' Union of America against the treatment afford- ed members of the profession by the Fields Express Co., of that city. In- quiries made at the office of the Fields Express Co. for information, it is said, are met with insolent and curt re- sponses. The conduct of those in charge of the express company's office in a number of instances is said to have been such that no artist who ex- pects the treatment that he is entitled tc should care to do business with them. ducted at a financial loss and, although rhere has never been any great amount of profit in the grill, it has been found possible by the directing executives of the club to keep constantly adding to the comforts of the members by pro- viding a wider selection of foods. Not long ago, in order to make room for the additional help requipred to give the right kind of service, altera- tions on the basement floor plan of these alterations completed, there has been provided a kitchen large enough to prepare quite a diversified menu. Just to show what it is now possible for members to buy in the grill, at prices which are conceded to be quite moderate, one might quote from a menu card on the tables Tuesday of this week. There was potato soup, boiled beef cooked with new tomatoes, breast of veal, stuffed, with green gages; Irish stew, Dublin style; Vien- na schnitzel; Vienna schnitzel, with asparagus; roast beef, jardiniere; Spanish omelette; French pancake; sirloin steak, with onions and with mushrooms; tenderloin steak, with onions and with mushrooms; lamb chops; cabbage, stewed corn, aspara- gus, French peas, string beans, green gages, French fried, hashed brown, and German fried potatoes; rice pud- ding, peach pie, apple pie, lemon meringue pie, coffee, tea and milk. An experienced man directly super- vises the conduct of the grill and the service is conceded to be particularly gratifying to the patrons and the eco- nomical conduct especially satisfying to the general management of the or- ganization. "fmm RAT ROOM." It will be of general interest to mem- bers of the White Rats Actors' Union of America to know that, as the result of plans which are now on foot, the clay will soon be at hand when the White Rat who finds himself tempo* rarily ill and destitute in New York City will have a place to go where he can secure all necessary treatment and comforts without submitting to the humiliation of becoming a "charity patient" in a public institution. The plan which is being worked out calls for the establishment in one of the best and most ideally located hospitals iii New York of a "White Rat Room." Interested in the plan is a well known banker in New York City who is also interested in humanitarian work and is president of the hospital in ques- tion. This gentleman is showing a special interest in the affairs of the White Rats, and the influences ^Yhich he is able to wield are likely to prove helpful in more ways than one. When the room is established any member of the organization in good standing who needs temporary help in the way of the comforts provided by a first-class hospital will be able to re- ceive it in such a manner that he can feel that he is not being a charge in any sense upon people upon whom he has no direct claim. White Rats who have trouped the country over and have come in con- tact with any of the corps of worthy physicians and surgeons who repre- sent the W. R. A. U. in the various cities have come to regard the cour- teous treatment and attention which they receive from these medical officers as one of the most splendid benefits connected with the organization. There are incidents almost without number which prove that the medical officers of the W. R. A. U. are invari- ably the truest kind of friends to the sick and destitute White Rat when mis- fortune has overtaken him. FRED KOLA DIES. Fred Kola, of Kola 'Brothers, con- tortionists, in private life Frederick W. Riebling, died Wednesday evening of last week at Roosevelt hospital. New York City, after a long illness from tuberculosis of the kidneys. Deceased was 32 years of age and had been in the theatrical profession for a number of years. His father, mother and two brothers survive him. Funeral services were held at Mr. Kola's home, 28 Hogan's place, Win- field, L. L, Sunday afternoon, inter- ment being made at the Lutheran cem- etery in Brooklyn. Mr. Kola was a member of the White Rats Actors' Union of America. ELLA WILSON DEAD. Chicago, Feb. 11. Ella Wilson, a member of the Asso- ciated Actresses of America, died at the American hospital, this city, Satur- day, Jan. 31, after fiye months' illness. Miss Wilson's father in New York had the Chicago lodge of Elks look after all arrangements for the shipment of the body cast for burial. If you don't advartlae In VABIBTY, don't ndvortlM nt alL