Variety (November 1914)

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18 VARIETY A PERFECT LADY. The ice treatment has been received by so many $2 shows in New York this season that the new Rose Stahl piece, at the Hudson, where it opened last week, is almost a novelty because it has a chance—not for New York, but on the road, and another because Miss Stahl is with it. The reviewers on the dailies went to this Channing Pollock-Rennold Wolf piece rather hard. They were justified in but little of what they said, but even so, "A Perfect Lady" is not big enough nor fast enough for a Metropolitan run. While Miss Stahl may be able to quicken the tempo in the playing, she can't revamp the piece for New York, and might just as well get out on the road right away, unless there is an- other manuscript in sight. "A Perfect Lady" tells of a burlesque star, who settles down in Sycamore, Kans, refusing to go with the troupe ("The Merry Maids") to the next stand, Jefferson, where her kid sister is at- tending college, supported by the bur- lesque queen's earnings. Dancing is a crime in Sycamore, but Lucille Le Jambon (Miss Stahl), who has resumed her own name, Lucille Higgins, after- ward admits she brought New York improvements to the tank, neglecting only to build a subway. She taught the town the turkey trot, her sister, who had left school to live with her, married the town's wealthiest citizen's son. and Lucille became the wife of the manly minister (Harry C. Browne), while Flossie Day, the soubret of the bur- lesque, who had quit with Lucille, mar- ried Bertie Snyder, the "musical di- rector" with the company. Flos had respect for Bertie. She told him how to write music and said that with his memory there was no reason why he shouldn't become a great composer. To New Yorkers the dialog, of the sure-hit, cross-fire sort, isn't unfamiliar. It starts off with Bill Cressy's "there's nothing I ain't" and takes in all the other tested laugh producers, but as pieced together in this play, they would be extremely funny in trie rural dis- tricts. Beatrice Noyes was Flossie in a "fatter" role than that Miss Stahl played. Ned A. Sparks as the musical- director-piano player also had a part that played itself, but to which he lent commendable assistance. Miss Stahl. as the repentant burles- qucr. who reformed the rube reformers, took hold from the commencement and never let go, even in the "soft" scenes between herself and the clergyman. Several "bits" were well taken care by a long cast, that did not include enough extra people to make the "Jar- din de Danse" scene realistic. The opening scene. Sycamore Junction at five a. m.. is particularly well made, but the final setting, the church and the rec- tory, received more applause at the rise of the curtain. That always is as it is. "A Perfect Lady" is in four acts. short ones, really sketches by them- selves. Miss Stahl in the center of each. Outside of this wise town, there should he more lau;:hs drawn by 'A Perfect* Lady" than anything Rose Stahl ha» yt-t append in. It is hilled as a com- edy— the cuntry likes comedy, and it is a comedy. Simf. WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS. Chicago, No. 4. This is a melodrama in four acts of police life, showing the good and bad in the organizations that are hired to protect life and property in large cities. It is adroitly put together for the pur- pose of stirring, and it is a sure applause winner from the start. Edward £. Rose, an expert at this sort of thing, is the author, and it is well acted by a cast headed by Frank Sheridan, and very ably assisted by Rodney Ranous, Jessie Glendenning, Walter F. Jones, Grace Guilders, Mat- tie Ferguson, Georgie Edwards, Harold Hartscll and others. The story concerns the efforts of a big politician in the east to capture a Jewish immigrant girl for whom the politician conceived a violent liking. The girl became wise to his intentions and ran away from New York to Chi- cago where her brother was earning a living as a peddler. She took with her a photograph of the politician with his autograph, and to avoid a scandal, the man sent one of his New York detec- tives to recapture the girl and save him from disgrace. Ellis Denby, the detec- tive (Harold Hartsell) in his efforts to get the girl runs up against Chief Coleman of Chicago (Frank Sheridan), who is a policeman after the new order of things. He believes people need friendly aid more than punishment. The detective also runs up against Dan Nolan, an honest patrolman (Rod- ney Ranous), whom he attempts to bribe, and later attempts to kill through his gang of imported gunmen. Eileen Coleman, daughter of the chief (Jessie Glendenning), falls in love with the pa- trolman, and there is a love story in which Patsy (Grace Childers), a news- girl, and Charles Nolan (Douglas Law- rence,) an embryo prize fighter, figure more or less. The play is full of action. The production is adequate. Row- land & Clifford, Chicago producers, are sponsors for the attraction, and it is being given at the Auditorium for the annual benefit of the Policemen's Ben- evolent fund. PALACE. At the Palace this week is one of the classiest vaudeville shows around New York in some time. Irene Frank- lin and Burton (Burton—special Palace hilling) Green are topping with two other acts acting as runner-ups for the first money. The latter are Mae Mur- ray and John Jarott and Henry Dixey. Someone on the bill is drawing the ii 11 dress element. Monday night there were several dozen white-bosomed »\irts gleaming in the first half dozen tows. The night before Election the Palace was not packed, but there was eiot! K h business to till all of the upper fii iffs and the orchestra with the ex- c < ption of the side boxes. The bill was one that would enter- •ain at any one of the four corners of the earth, and a switch in the running order which was made improved the « *-ening performance. At the matinee M'-nry F. Dixey was in the position text to closing. For the evening show he was movejl up one, changing places with the Franklin-Green offering. The latter turn was easily the hit of the bill. Miss Franklin held the stage .35 minutes with her song offerings, and at the conclusion of this time she broke all bow records at the house since Bernhardt appeared there. Three min- utes of solid applause, interspersed with cries for the old favorites, forced the little strawberry comedienne to shatter the edict in regard to the num- ber of bows permitted an act by the management. Miss Franklin sang four new songs, and she made each a classic in characterization. Opening with a number entitled "These Are the Good Old Days," she quickly changed costume and presented "The Police- woman," a gentle satire on the suf- fragette. Her third was "Nobody's Baby," a kid number, but it was her fourth that was the hit of her reper- toire. It«s entitled "All Wrong" and is a classic in slang. Clad in an up- to-the-minute costume that would be labeled "smart" by the Claridge crowd. Miss Franklin delivers a plaint regard- ing the efforts to help a boob slip the elastic on his cabbage, but he wouldn't slip and therefore was "all wrong." Her last was "The Chorus Lady's De- but," one of the numbers that she formerly presented, but with the Palace crowd it was as popular as ever. Miss Franklin is playing the Palace this week for the first time. Newhouse, Snyder and Co. with their cycling novelty started the vaudeville portion. The trio have worked out a series of flashy tricks that are genuine applause winners, and the audience liked their efforts. Being a hit open- ing the bill at the Palace lets an act in for a spot on any vaudeville bill throughout the country, and this act was a hit. Bill Pruitt (New Acts), the cowboy singer, was a near-riot. "No. 2." Cressy and Dayne in the next spot in "The Man Who Remembered" held the at- tention with the comedy at the open- ing but sagged toward the end when the old-fashioned and very apparent theatrical tug at the heart strings was made. Billy Gould and Belle Ashlyn filled in next to closing the first part. Mr. Gould, is as debonair in appearance as ever, and Miss Ashlyn is developing into one of the best "nut" come- diennes. The act has progressed so that Gould has but little to do except fill the picture while the lady grabs off the laughs. Closing the first part were Mae Murray and John Jarott (New Acts). Mullen.and Coogan went to the au- dience hook, line and sinker after the intermission and pulled a lot of laughs. The stepping of the smaller member got no end of applause, and at the fin- ish the act got away with three well- earned bows. Henry E. Dixey, an actor par excellence, in the next spot, had his chance. He related in blank- verse the things that arc vaudeville's curse. He showed us the parts type actors have to play today, and at the finish was paid with applause that made him make a speech that was a peach. Closing the show Maria Lo with her company present a series of life repro- ductions of the masterpieces of Dres- den and other china art. which com- prise in ensemble one of the daintiest sight acts extant. The turn held the audience in and received applause on each picture shown. JEFFERSON. So much doing outside Election night the crowds did not flock to the Jeffer- son as would be expected in such a thickly populated section. The biggest hit of the evening was made by assist- ant manager Richmond, who read the election returns from the stage. A good show, consisting of ten acts, several mixed doubles, each with a dif- ferent bit of art to show. Several of the names on the program were prob- ably fictitious. The* show opened with Predrichs and Venita, who have a regu- lar circus slack wire act. The man and woman both show that they have ex- ceptionally strong molars with their holding of each other on the wire by their teeth. The act went very well. The second spot was filled by a couple calling themselves Smith and Harvey. That name has been used around so much by every sort of an act that it might be better to use a number instead. Smith and Harvey in this instance were a man and woman who sang with the male member play- ing the piano. Some of the girl's com- edy remarks have been much abused, and such remarks when talking on tele- phone as "Will you marry me?" "Yes!" "Who are you," and others just as cruel should be eliminated from an act calling themselves Smith and Harvey. A magical act, Barclay and Forrest, was "No. 3." Probably an assumed name, as the act does not fit it exactly. The magical work attempted is well carried out and had the Fourteenth streeters baffled. The act was well costumed and was easily one of the best of its kind ever at the house. Tulio and Perima furnished music with accordions in the next spot. The two men have not selected the best of numbers for their playing, and it is not till the last, when they began some popular songs, the audience took very kindly to their offering. The solo work by each seemed to please as much as when they played together. William Sisto was the hit of the show. The comedy was in the lingo that they understand and went over like a riot. The mouth organ work pleased mightily. A dancing couple, calling themselves Olga and Sidney, did the usual pranc- ing, but with the addition of a bit of classic stuff by the girl and a fancy costume number by the two. A fair dancing pair and the girl's bare legs pleased the boys. _Another nice hit was made by the Faden O'Brien Trio with their picture travesty and shop talk sketch. The Four Harts, a male quartet, with rhc usual routine, had the next to clos- spot and were able to bring the audience around to appreciate their singing. The closing spot of an all-around qood bill was given to Unicycle Hayes. Why this man should use all the space on the boards with his name is hard to see as he has a capable woman partner vho does more than fill her end of the bill. The two worked rather listlessly Tuesday night, probably tired from the number of shows on the holiday. The Jefferson has eliminated its fea- trre pictures and instead has inaugu- rated a special event for each night. A silly sketch was presented by Leona Leigh and Co.