Variety (March 1921)

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^m Friday, March 4, 1921 EDITORIALS it ^c ;r j. KiETY l'r«d*-id*r • .oatarad Publtshrd Werhly by VABIETI lnc SIMB SILVERMAN President 111 Wilt 4«tb Street New York City ■ SUBSCRIPTION Annual II Foreign, SI 8lngl* copies, to cent* !K ;: YWsJJU- ►■SUV^R*! A benefit was held, last SunJ ij, in aid of the Zion-Israel Hospital • of Brooklyn at the Harris theatre. . The acts were drawn from the Keith Exchange with Leo Morrison hand- ling the program. Those that ap- peard were—Vera Cordon, Toto, Ben Bernie, Fields and Gottler, Cecil and Blake, Bartram and Saxton, s^ewhoff and Philipps, Jason and . , Harrigan, Ma rig and Snyder, Gus . Edwarda Trio. Burke and White- side, Marmein Sisters and Schooler, Fa»\P Brien and Wilmer Mahoney. ■ ■ '* Harry 8ak 8 Hechheimer, repre- senting the new owners of "Broad- way Brevities," objects to the view that the retirement of George Le- Maire from the company makes its future problematical. Its business has been satisfactory and the sub- • stantiability of the gentlemen who are taking care of thy enterprise insure its future, he adds, without disclosing the identity of the new managers. Jennie Jacobs' new offices at 114 West Forty-fourth street, will be completed and ready for occupancy in about another week. Fred Falk- ner will have one of the rooms in the suite, in which to take care of the picture department, while Pau- line Cooke will occupy another for her agency handling burlesque and independent vaudeville engagements. Tommy Jackson will act as "flMd man" for Miss Jacobs. ONE "CLOSED SHOP" INSTITUTION The Modern Yiddish theatre (occupying the old Irving Place) was the subject of a bankruptcy a few days ago, and the Jewish Art Theatre in Madison Square ia said to be under financial pressure. Both are in a measure subsidized by well-to-do theatregoers in New York, all anxicua to promote and encourage a native drama in their own tongue. I. R. Samuels, Keith booker, will not resume his duties in the Keith Exchange for the balance of the season. Mr. Samuels appeared on the.'.sixth floor Tuesday, but didn't feel equal to the task of continuing his work for the present. He has been absent from his desk follow- ing a nervous breakdown, for the past four months. Pan Simmons is handling the books during his ab- sence. Mae Buckley, recently leading wo- man for the Shubert Stock Co, at the Fort Pitt theatre, Pittsburgh, will soon be seen in a Broadway production. It is supposed she is to be starred. Miss Buckley is, at present, resting at the Poland Springs resort prepartory to her en- gagement here. Ray and Frank Doran arrived in Saratoga last week with a six-inch roll of money, having been paid in one-case notes at the previous stand. They went to the local bank to shed the aces for X's, and the local police held them up until they explained that they hadn't held up and robbed a cigar store. Frederick E. Goldimith, attorney for Warendorf, the florist, has brought suit against Beverly Bayne for $180, claimed to be due for flowers and floral pieces ordered by the film star. Judgment was taken by default. Willard Coxey who Is connected with the William Morris office has recently completed a trio of one act playlets which he will offer for vaudeville. It would seem such an institution would prosper, but the history of the last ten years in the theatre of the lower East Side of New York has not been one of uninterrupted success, although it has developed splendid talent both In players and writers. Several cf Us stars have earned a place In the American theatre and several of its plays have been adopted to the general English-speaking stage. ► . ■<► >* > ... ft , > ft. ft • S. M. »...!•.> <.!,►>.»» V •»■», •; V V >►> .♦; *l -> • V, V C > -. ft t.-f \ .. \> V >,,«*< »N ft Why, then, aoes it not prosper, when it has these advantages of a ready-made clientele ar.d something to offer that is worthy of that patron- age? It has been suggested that the Jewish theatre is so highly organ- ized Into unions that the institution has become subordinated to its employes and thereby so restricted and hedged about by rules and wage scales that It cannot overcome the burden. FRILLS AND FASHIONS By ALICE MAC Peyton and Lum, the vaudeville team, dissolved partnership after completing a Locw tour at London, Ontario. Lew Peyton, the come- dian, will try independent agenting. Cecil Hiries (May and May/ was granted a divorce from Palmer Mines in Chicago. Feb. 8. The custody of the couple's 9-year-old daughter was given to Mrs. Ilines. • A St. Valentine's ball, attended by numerous professionals, marked the opening of I. Miller's 12-story building at Fifth avenue and 46th street. Lawis Mosley, formerly with the Keith office and later with Jack Henry, has affiliated himsdf ith Jack Lewis, vaudeville agent Graan and LaFell have been booked over the Pantagcs Circuit, opening March 27 by Eddie Riley. The Yiddish theatre has few musical comedies. This may be due to native tastes for serious plays, but It likely is more due to the fact that the Actors' Union all but made musical comedy production impossible by its regulations. For example, a producer, cannot; choose his chorus and, except in the ease of a notable star, .eanjoot be sure that he carii employ the people he wants for his casts. The union practically dictates whom he shall employ and what he shall pay them. Ha does not engage a chorus. He must apply to the Actors' Union to send him one and he must take what he gets. A minimum scale of $35 a week'is set for chorus girls, but a chorister who can sing and who looks attractive does not work for that. She demands and gets up to $50. It is related that when the Jewish Art Theatre was facing serious losses it could not extricate itself from its difficulties by its own action in cutting down the company. It had to apply to the union to come in anc throw out a life preserver. After a good deal of conferring between producer and union officials, it was agreed that the theatre could dispense with one player, if the remaining players would agree to contribute a portion of their salaries to make up the pay of the deleted actor, a mat- ter which did not concern the manager in the least. The control of his own theatre was simply taken out of his hands. Lew Payton and J m Lunn have split. They teamed for three years. The players are only one branch of the Yiddish theatre workers' organization. The ushers, wardrobe people, musicians and all the other people have their own units, and they all act on all matters of their own interest in a body. The producer is, in fact, in their hands, so are the fate and prosperity of his enterprise. WHAT ABOUT THE PUBLIC? For 60 cents the best eggs may be bought in New York. For $3 and up the best shows may be heard in New York. For 85 cents some of the worst pictures produced may be seen in New York—also, once in a while, some good ones. There's no reason that any urban creature can figure why an egg should cost 5 cents, meaning, of course, an egg, ultra-pura. The man who has to ready-up the hens may think diffcreritly. There's a fair reason why people should pay $3-to get in to see certain favorite actors, such as Fred Stone, Marilyn Miller, Leon Enrol, Ethel Barrymore, Barrymore et ah And box office rates are fixed on the star- play value. In the, matter of pictures. They're a big unit in amusement. More potentially big than in reality today. That is, if a standard can be created. But the public is not going to continue paying 85 cents for 20-cent pictures. Broadway picture houses have been mixing things much as a baseball pitcher does—sending 'em over fast, curved, slow— but it can't go on forever. They've either got to regulate their prices as legitimate theatres do, taking profits and losses as per play value, or the most serious self-questioning they will have will be: What about the public? INSIDE STUFF ON VAUDEVILLE Sunday night of last week thieves broke into the dressing rooms of Loew's theatre, Houston, Texas, and got away with costumes valued at $3,000. Acts continued on the tour though several were handicapped on the stage because of their apparel having been stolen. A well known comedian of Celtic ancestry, member of a mixed two act, rated aa one of the wealthiest men In vaudeville, but at the same time enjoying a reputation for the strictest economy in money matters, slipped a nifty over on the wife recently while playing in one of the out- of-town houses. It seems the other half of the sketch wanted a new costume for the act, having her heart on one that figured about $400. Knowing of this desire on the part of tho wife to add to her wardrobe, the comedian framed it with the assistant house manager, stage manager and property man of the theatre in question for each turn to mention how attractive the costume worn in the turn looked on her. The three followed orders, with the result that the wife decided not to buy the new $400 creation, informing the comic of how the three had all agreed the old dress was so becoming. There ought to be an inspiration in the achievement of P. D. H . th*» vaudeville newcomer, unknown and unbacked by any Influence, who has gained a hearing in the Palace, the goal for which every vaudeville act strives,.often, for geara in vain, .p. P 11. Is an amusing entertainer and on that ground he earns a place at the Times Squart variety theatre B t he had something more. There are scores of acts who never get to the top despite they are skillful players. They p'.'iy ahout th*> minor eireuits with an occasional foray into the offices of the big time managers with their pleas for a hearing. Nine times out of ten they succeed only in bringing down on their heads the resentment of the manager by their persistence. p. P. H. took another means. Instead of importuning the managers at their offices, he drew attention to himself by the mystery of his identity and by advertising that in a novel way made himself stand out from the great horde of unknown players ever knocking at the gates of the metropolis. The secret wai that he took a new method of approach. As the com- mercial man would nay. he sold hlnaaelf by means of a novel adver- tising s|ant, something that caught attention, something that made him a. distinctive figure, lit had an aet that the vaudeville fans would like, but so have many others who think thy are not getting a fair showing, and take It out in bitter enmity toward the bookers. "J. P. H. just had ,r.\ effective sales idea. That got him the hearing in tlie first place. It was hot unfit afterward that he made good. Any- body with an attention-fixing a mli'ine can do the same thing. It's all in the manner of "sales approach."' Eva Tanguay, proved herself a hit from start to finish at the Palace Monday matinee, with her dashing green curtain, and bewildering cos- turnes. A new one was .displayed since last seen, and beautiful it was, made tunic effect of Irish lace, white feathers and a large orange bow of net decorating the black. One end of the net was brought across the sh' ulder forming a strap, while down the front six large diamond but- tons' ahohV, add -upon 'id*. ••TftnsrwtfyV Oajconr'lK*>d •^■.•■rms*'/. v/hiia >at rested trimmed with feathers. Miss Tanguay recited several little poem's, one being particularly funny, where she paid a visit to Mattawan, and talking to an inmate told him who she-was, he replying, "Ye Gods! don't speak that name here, or they'll never let you out." Franklyn and Charles Co., held over from last week, proved as big a success as before with their very amusing apache dance and amazing hand-balancing. The young woman is wearing the same attractive gold lace gown. Riggs and Witchie were delightful with their artistic dancing and pretty backgrounds and found no difficulty in winning favor. Miss Witchie, looked like a fairy flitting about In her short tulle dress of pale mauve with its dainty underskirts of pink, with touches of silver and flowers on the skirt. P. 1>. 11.? has always been a curiosity to the writer, wondering who or what it could be, and at last woman's curiosity has been satisfied. lie is a man who enters attired in a frock coat, mortar-board cap, and shell-rim glasses, and from a huge book which he describes as the '•Encyclopedia Salhepatlca" he proceeds to offer one of the cleverest mi<i funniest monologues heard. In the course of his talk he denies that woman came from the rib of man, but from the mulberry tree, and that this life Is made up of bunk, Just the same as his encylopedia. P. P. H.? was not programmed, but, was a welcome surprise. Nila Mac and Tom Wise in his sketch, "The Old Timer,*' wore a neat fiock of turquoise blue crepe de chine, with sash of silver cloth that had the ends hanging at the back edged with fringe, while the front of the skirt was decorated with a panel of lace. Mr. Wise was forced to make a speech in which he stated his young son would soon play there, but had assumed a stage name that of Mclntyre, and at Father's command stood up, In the audience, and he proved to be none other than the comedian Frank Mclntyre. The pink sequin gown worn by Blanche Klaiss (Pressler and Klalss) made up for the unbecoming cloak she wore for her entrance. It hung I adly. The dress in question had the hem falling into points, while at the hips it was wired ever so slightly, trimmed with a garland of tiny tlowers. " This was later changed for a pale blue chiffon *that veiled a foundation of lace. The long wide sleeves were bound with gold tissue that matched the sash which was tied in a bow at the side. EsteUe Sully had the distinction of being the only single act on the bill at the American this week (first half) and ppetty she looked In her frock of lace frills, that had an apron effect In front, flowered with pink roses outlined in pale blue. The woman ^>f Chapelle, Stenette & Co. ia a possessor of a pleasing voice, which she showed to advantage in all her numbers. Her two gowns were well chosen, the first of gold and black sequins, wired at the hips from which hung black net. The hat was crownless with a turred-up brim and decorated with a yellow bird of paradise. The other frock was royal blue taffeta, with the overdress of black net, heavily encrusted with blue and silver sequins. Blue, pink and gray tulle was draped effectively at the side. Orange and gray formed the colors for the dress worn by Miss Fields (Conway and Fields), the gray, making the long walsted top, while the orange gave color to the skirt and sleeves. Artistic indeed was the last act, "The Apollo Trio," In their paint of gold, which covered them from head to foot, they doing various poses, and hand balancing tricks. The dress worn, by Miss Hurst (or Fisher) in the act of that name was bright. The top was a pale green crochet affair edged with a deep band of fringe. It being worn over a foundation of satin, strawberry shade. The hat was large and done in two colors. Tuesday night found the Colonial with a well packed house but very quiet when it came to applause, one will admit up to Intermission there wasn't much to go wild over. The Marmein Sisters, ever delightful, seemed somewhat long, perhaps due to the lateness of the hour, it being nearly 11 o'clock, when they took their final bow, with two more acts to follow. When Pemarest and Collette appeared next not more then three or four'people left. Irene Collette's pink chiffon frock was pretty, with its trimming of silver lace and blue ribbon, but if it had been a trifle shorter it would have looked better. Pcmerest smashed a perfectly-good straw hat during the act, which looked like an accident. It made the orchestra laugh so It must have been new. Anna Chandler's one gown was handsome, made entirely of sequins, steel shade. The model was slightly draped up the side, while folded gracefully around the waist was a sash of green and orange chiffon. This formed the bow at the side, the orange matching the feather cloak she made her entrance In. Whoever designed or choose the gowns for Harry Puck's act showed no great taste. Not one really stood out as being beautiful, although the girls were quite attractive and knew a thing or two about dancing. Jack Kennedy, in a "Golf Proposal," told how the young chap of today can teach the old fellow a few things about the art of making love. It amused. "Mrs. Walsh" wore an evening gown of Jet acquins that be- came her, and was a contrast to the miss attired in pale pink satin that had a deeper shade edging the hem and the short sleeves. Pave Marion's show "Snappy Snaps" at the Columbia, quite equals hit "Land of the Impossible" which play* d there last week. The best of the women, was one whose name did not appear on the program, but wh) delightfully sang three numbers in the ball room scene of the first act. Upon inquiry one found she was May Marvin. She wears a good looking gown of black sequins while in her hand v she carried a blua leather Ian. For the opening of the second act, which was laid in Holland, the plrls were pretty in Putch costumes of blue and white stripe with aprons of a darker blue forming a check pattern. Frankie Niblo was striking on her first appearance in a Jade green velvet dress, made very full, with the high neck, but backless bodice of sequins. Anothei gown worn by Miss Niblo was of yellow satin with litt'e bunches of jet fringe for trimmings, which also decorated the hem. Helen McMahon wore a frock of black net and silver that was dainty. It had wreaths of roses entwined with blue ribbon, placed effectively on the full skirt. Miss McMahon's "Scarecrow Pance" appeared just as Kood as ever. One recognized a piece of business used by Leon Errol in his "Qurst of Honor" sketch, where the butler taps the plate, for him to hear It rin. , breaking it in the end, only in this show they use a vase, instead of he plate. For the number "Early to Bed" the girls wore dainty pink satin sleep- ing suits, piped with pale blue ribbon. This number was <*ung by Lillian Keene attired in rose pink chiffon patterned In the same shade of sequins and hanging in a panel at the back while tied loosely at the waist was a nariow girdle of Jet. >? ) . •