Variety (March 1921)

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18 NEW ACTS THIS WEEK Friday, March 4, 1921 ■ ■ ■ i " i iSSSMB I TOM WISE and Co. (3), M Tno Old Tinea.** Playl t. 25 Mins.; Full Stage. Palace. Tom Wise is back in vaudeville with a sugary little comedy playlet entitled M Th« Old Times." by Roy liriant. The act probably was written especially as a vehicle for Mr. Wise, or with a comedian like bim vimind, .H anY.^ate the cen- tral role, that ot a benevolent out actor, retired as a wealthy iotcl keeper with an all consuming in- clination to make every body happy Ills Mr. Wise like the proverbial glove. Assisting Mr. Wise and fea- tured on the program billing is Nila Mac, a pretty and efficient ingenuj, a juvenile and character man, the latter two unprogrammed. The story of the playlet is of the ultra-conventional sort, with the finish obvious and anticipated a few minutes after the action gets under way. There is a thread of sentiment interwoven in the plot, which while not deeply convincing serves nicely as a contrast for the lighter pas- sages, which take up the better part ot the playlet. The story concerns a pair of youthful actors (Miss Mac and 4he juvenile) who are stranded. The woman has given the man the money to pay the hotel bill, but he gambles it away, and is in the act of leaving her fiat, when she dis covers him. The hotel proprietor (Mr. Wise) happens along, engages the young man In conversation, learns of his difficulties, and offers him a job in the hotel. The youth accepts and decides to be a "regu- lar." Incidentally the youth is to work out a $240 board bill at the rate of 13 a week, with the prospect of working 80 weeks before the del it is cancelled. For such a benevolent old chap as Mr. Wise makes the hotel keeper ippear to be that $3 a week proposi- tion didn't quite seem to chord with his apparently generous nature. Meeting the girl, Mr. Wise discovers she is the daughter of an old sweet- heart of his early acting days. Men- tion is made of "The Lady of Lyons" as one of the plays the old actor and now hotel keeper has registered his greatest success in, with a short scene from the play enacted by Mr. Wise and Miss Mac following. This makes an enter- taining interlude, Mr. Wise reading the lines of the old classic with the perfect diction and conception that comes of his years of training and comprehensive experience as an actor. Miss Mac also stands out in the "Lady of Lyons" scene, playing with ease and repression. The juvenile makes his role, a contributory one, important through competent handling and the charac- ter man does a butler, as it should be done in this instance, unob- trusively, but in a manner that denotes he Is an actor of ability and not a supernumerary. Joseph Hart sponsors the production. Mr. Wise can swing around the circuit and more than give satisfaction with • The Old Timer," despite its con- ventionality. His ability and per- sonality and the supporting cast will cosily make up for any deficien- • i« m of the playlet, which, although of mechanical construction, con- tains much that is interesting and entertaining. The act closed the first half at the Palace. At the finish of the playlet Mow- day ni^ht Mr. Wisp was accorded live or s'x curtain calls, responding with a short impromptu speech of thanks. Jsrtl. FOUR MARX BROS. & CO. (11) "On The Mezzanine Floor." 45 Mins.; One and "Full" (Special Setting). Coliseum. Herman Timberg is billed as, tin- producer. Talk along Broadway is to the effect that he is also one of the owners in partnership with Charlie Leonard, brother of the HfhjtwejftH ch^mpion^ The cham- pion's boxing receipts have proo- ably been hit to clothe this aggrega- tion, for the company consists of six girls, one man and the quartet of Marx Brothers. The clothing of the men was not senational, but the costumes worn by the girls were right to the minute in style and class. In the opening section the one lone man is seated in "one" as a theatrical manager awaiting an- swers to an advertisement inserted In a local paper. The qt.artet of brothers apply for the position in- dividually, each offering a brief sample of his ability, followed by the appearance of Hattie Darling, the featured won an. This action is more or less introductory, leading immediately after to Miss Darling's appearance. The full stage action brings the balance of the girls into play. Prop- erly speaking, the girls, aside from the featured one, do nothing but sport trunks full of costumes, al- though each does an imitation of a noted dancer at the conclusion of the offering. During one section of the turn, one of the brothers plays the char- acter of father in order to acquire some insurance money. This bit brought frequent outburts of laughter. The new presentation is rather long with the time allotted to the Marx brothers for their individual musical offerings being insufficient for the best effect. In all the talk is good, vith the quartet of broth< rs doing their share but the girls* con- tribution could be built up. RIGGS and WITCHIE. Dances. 23 Mins.; Full Strgc. (Cpscial). Palace. Ralph Riggl and Kathcrine Witehie aro assisted by Muck Pouch, a violinist playing In the pit, and when not soloing, directing the orchestra. The act is termed "Dance idylls" and consists of a series of singles and doubles, with character * v cdstuhio 'change*' arid "a' change of scene for the numbers. The stage is set with a blue eye. which, parting in the middle, dis- closes Kiggs and Witehie arrayed in carnival costumes blowing huge bubbles on a raised platform. Step- ping down from the platform the couple go into a double. Miss Witehie introducing effective too dancing and both stepping along the lines of the Italian ballet school, with lifts, postures, etc. Preceding this Mr. Pooch played a violin se- lection from the pit, the orchestra filling in after the carnival costumed number with Mr. Ponch directing. Following Mr. Kiggs was on in sailor garb, executing a hornpipe as a single. Another change of scene had the eye. parting and revealing a suggestion of a Parisian shop, with Miss Kiggs as a fetching French girl at the window. Flirta- tion dance by the couple next, an- other violin solo by Mr. Ponch, a boudoir scene with another double "THE CREOLE COCKTAIL" (7) Jazz Songs. Dance and Band. 16 Mint.; Full. Cyc. Columbia, (Feb. 27) This is an all-colored aggregation which includes two women and five men. Six of the members play in- struments with the two girls vocalizing. One of the women Is possesed of personality and is complete mistress of the shivery technique erupting into a* shimmy oh'several occasion* and stopping the proceedings each time. This eirl opens the act in "one" with a brief prolog describing the ingredients of the "Creole Cocktail." The turn then goes to full stage the curtain discovering a mixed quartet standing at the piano. The prolog girl steps on and; leads them in a popular number well handled vocally. 0 An instrumental number follows consisting of piano, cornet, trom- bone and drum led by the other girl PANTZER and OYLVIA. « "Nut" Comedy and Acrobatics. 8 Mini.; One. American Roof (Fab. 24)., Comic "nut" type. Opens aTono with comedy song prefaced by comedy titles mostly familiars. A monolog of old gags follows, with an "interruption" bit pulled by partner in.orchestra aisle, attired as policeman. The latter it* supposedly looking fp? «P me . 9 ne wno "beat" the gate. After some crossfire the cop climbs upon the stage w'ltveupon the "nut" flashes a badge of his own. The copper salutes and they discover they are old pals from the A. E. F. and were together in France. Acrobatics follow with the co "do gaging continually from the forma- tions and between tricks which in- clude a slow lift to a hand to hanu, and a two high lift from a foot grip. Seated on the understander's ■ shoulders, the top-mounted tells tie playing a *«aphone all f^ biass .,, and .* ek|n .. gj l||e muted with everything delivered in ^ lMl f jazz manner. The drummer work- ing the traps for comedy effects. A piano solo. "Mocking Bird.' - with variations is followed by a vocal solo delivered in a strong cultivated soprano by one of the women. The personality miss is next with a jazz rong accompained by the band. She has another becoming costume and stops the act with a ETHEL PYNE and CO. (2). for a jazz dance with another mem- j ^ Danci her jazzing it up for a riotous} » " F»- - RULOFF AND RULOWA (4) Russian Ballet Dancers. 10 Mins.; Full. Spec. Drapes American Roof. (Feb. 24) The principals in thH dancing turn an- a man and woman. They are assisted by four girls dancing mostly hare lecurcd in ballet dance* pores, Egyptian dance and later, with slipperf on, in a legmania ballet. rne piftfclpaTi solo ftr* between, opening with a graceful double, the girl in ballet costume doing "toe" work with the male posing her in acrobatic bending postures. Following the next ensemble ballet dance the man does a solo of near buck steps faking the "break" and interpolating "hoch" steps, A Russian dance by the four girls in hoots and native attire is next With the principals similarly at- tired joining them with "hoch" steps topped off by a body swing, the man supporting the girl l.y gripping her wrist and ankle. All ar) finished dancers and While nothing new Is offered the dances aro technically perfect and gracefully executed. On the Root the turn didn't use special Stage draping but it carries quite a pro- duction I s was reported. The act can follow many of the dancing turns of this nature on any of the bill* Con. MAX FORD REVUE (7). Dances and Songs. 17 Mine; Full Stags (Special Hangings). Fifth Ave. The Four Fords were a mixed dancing four, Max being one of the original quartet. His new revue is largely a dance offering, with sev- eral songs in the routine. Four girls, two dancing boys and a pianist make up the support. The. Astor Sisters, the Southern Sisters, the Stanley Twins and Roy liarton as accompanist are billed with the turn. Ford opens* with a lyric which tells of having sought abroad for new steps, providing a chance for the introduction of the girls singly as representatives of foreign lands. Bach dances a bit with Ford. The lyric ends with the opinion that "most every step that has any pep comes from Broadway," and the girl who darned that bit wa.s easily the best looker and the best dancer in support. Two of the girls sang Eddie Leon- ard's song rather well, with the boys and the other two girls following in a soft shoe dance. Barton then had a chance and he told in a novel way the reason for tho pianist. He explained: "You'll find another pianist like me in every dancing turn, for while they are changing estumes I have to entertain you. Perhaps you and the critics think I am a pest; just the same I arr. the boss of ihe act and I'll prove it." by i and Witehie, more violin- Uhimmy, also trading places with ing by Mr. Ponch while the couple t! were changing to ragged Gypsy vel- veteens for a combination whirlwind and acrobatic double. Miss Witehie was minus stockings in this, pre- senting a decidedly attractive ap- pearance in the abbreviated Gypsy garb. There is a pretty castle scene for this, featured with un- usually, soft and mellow lighting, starting with a night effect and gradually dissolving inip day. Both are expert dancers, all of them land- ing for substantial applause re- turns. The act has been produced liko a Broadway show. Mr. Ponch Is an exceptional violinist, scoring individually with his solos. The act entertained all the way and went over for several bows at the finish at the Palace. It's a big timer of the modern school. Bell. i finish. The opening is novel and strong enough to be followed by original dialogue. The comedian has no trouble getting laughs and the un- derstander is also there with the chatter. They would go up like rockets with, bright, new aterial and could hold down an early spot on any of the big time bills. Con. finish. An encore numoer lead by the "trick trombonist" put them away to wild acclaim. All are excellent musicians and the turn shapes up as about the strongest colored combination wit- nessed around. The personality of the girl referred to above is* a big factor. The jazz could stand a little toning down for the higger bills, but it is in shape to step in anywhere. Con. FLYING RUSSELL and CO. (1). Trapeze, Singing and Dancing. 10 Mins.; Full Stage. (Special). 23d 8t. Man and woman. Woman opens turn with song, sitting on lower AL FIELD8 (2). Comedy Talk. 16 Mint.; One. Special Drop. Al Fields has discarded his "single" offering, "The Last Barten- der," and, assisted by Con Roddy, who does straight is offering a talk- ing idea in "one" backed by a spe- cial drop. The drop shows an Atlantic City boardwalk scene. Fields makes an entrance pushing Roddy out in a rolling chair. Roddy, attired in a "tux," is desirous of imbibing, whereupon Al informs him that he has been riding in the "Volstead Ex- press" and proceeds to transform the chair into a miniature bar with foot rail, towel, and wet props. Some clever crossfire with Fields relating his experiences as former bartender, follows, with both par- taking of the refreshments. At set- tle-up time Fields demands $8.80, and Roddy objects on the ground Fields drank with him each time. Fields explains that he did that to protect him (Roddy) from being poisoned. The talk blends into a business proposition in which Roddy oro- 14 Mine.; One and Three (Special). 58th St. Assisteo by the Gormley Brothers, who take care of the "hoofing," Miss Pyne stepped forth, in the opening spot to deliver a quartet of melodies of which two held up the action to the extent of crippling the efforts of her partners to provide speed with their foot work. The act opens before a special drop In "one," producing the effect of miniatures placed on a dressing table. Thence it goes into "three," backed by blue hangings, with a piano placed appropriately. The girl makes a number of changes, all ot which look good, with the boys dof- ting their butler get-ups for "tucks." As to its sight angle, the turn is o. k. The trio combine for the final song number, followed by a dance which, bar of "two high" trapeze. Ropes of trapeze are flowered, and blue I took them away in an average man-. satin full stage cyc makes pretty | ner> but Mh}s Pyne might do weU tai background. Mr. Russell, who has apparently been concealed at top of upper trapeze, a border hiding lUm from view of audience, is sud- denly disclosed sitting on bar of upper trapeze. This constitutes novel and effective entrance. Rou- tine of real thrillers in way of fly- ing stunts by Mr. Russell follows. Woman contributes bit of stepping that fills in nicely, making costume change from dress to knickers. Closing trick has man hanging head downward from top trapeze, lower one having been removed, and holding contrivance by means of strap around neck, in which woman does upside down dance, making dance taps on wooden flooring of arrangement. Mr. Rus- sell, in addition to being a daring aerlaltst, cutting a/1 of the simpler tricks and performing the most difficult ones with speed and show- manship, adds value to the act through his neat appearance in white shirt and black trousers. licll. abandon the slow numbers and sub- stitute something that approaches the "pop" variety. The act would thus be aided by added speed. As it stands there doesn't seera much hope of the turn getting be* yond the intermediate houses. motes Fields. It has to do with 20 He then called Max out to do his I beautlful models, and is on a par ■ingle. The bit by Barton amused With the proceeding humor and looked better than anything he might; have offered by way of a solo. Ford's single was a soft shoe number, the dancer having his hands in h's pockets throughout. A sextet soft shoe dance was next in 1in«\ Utaliig wHHdte ct'mpur.-;ftrThe girls looked very nice in soubret lent delivery, frocks of gold cloth. Ford then went iuto a hard shoe number, that style being the best of the old Four Fords turn. His company hummed "Mammy" for a time, but Ford's stepping was ex- tended, and it drew the best re! urns of the offering. All line up for the finale. The Max Ford revue should easily win big time bookings. Ibce. Fields wears his old red vest, derby hat and |00#e trousers. It is diverting talking skit and should have no trouble arousing the mirth of the big time spectators. Roddy is an excellent foil, and Fields gets hlf portion over with a fine knowl- edge Of • cvmedy values and excel- C'OH. LIZZIE WILSON. Songs and Talk. 8 Mins.; One. 23rd Street. Lizzie Wilson is an entertainer of the old tcbcoi, doing a routine of Jewish stories and comic s»>n ^y. She has some material not so new, hut it seems to please the 23rd street people, The act is for the lesser bouses. SENSATIONAL VALENTEENS. Aerialists. 6 Mins.; Full Stage. Riverside. Mixed couple in white tights and green silk trunks. When the front drop is raised they are already seated on a double trapeze and im- mediately go into action. The young woman has lots of style and is full Of "pep." He hangs head down, supporting her for teeth spin. Up to this point routine is conventional, hut then they go Into a special ap- paratus which is on the same prin- ciple as Delmorc and Let's break- away ladder, only it is in the form of circles six feet in diameter They stand inside the circles and balance until time to whirl around for the finish. It is an effective and novel closing turn. LAZAR and DALE. Comedy. 12 Mine.; One. Fifth Ave. This team is still in blackface, their routine still having a dab of the musical. Some of the older stuff is present, but the men have tried for fresher material. They bill the ac,t as "The Bagooma Hunt- ers." The title, comes after their en- trance, Which is irom back stage, .each man having a low-powered L auto lamp on his chest. Walking toward the footlights the impres- sion of an arriving automobile is aimed for. For the entrance the curtain is up on a dark stage, the balance of the turn being down in "one." They carry a shot-gun, with the "bagoomas" being mentioned as their quarry. There is betting on the ability to hit the bird, which finally falls after the gun is accidentally discharged Straight up in the air. While the entrance probably takes the place of the former piano hit, the routine of talk still holds some of their old matter, the Nero bit, for instance. The musical portion with violin and trombone was rather shot ami resulted in little. The comedy chatter is the act's real strength. On fourth the team was liked. Ibce. ELWIN-S RAG - O - MARIMBA BAND (5). 12 Mins. Full Stage American Roof. Two instruments are used, there being a quintet of players, one Si woman. The operating of th#i marimba does not appear any dif« ferent from that of the xylophonej and the instruments used did not appear much varied from the latter. The men opened the turn, throsj working together on one marimba* the number being a medley. ThO girl followed, soloing with "Tho Rosary," using the dual mallet sys- tem effectively. From then on all five played together. The kidding of a long haired player was the comedy try. Request numbers were asked. Either the band has been in fhe woods or it played favorites, for the repeated request for several num- bers now in high popular favor were not produced. One of the men finally stated they would have to get busy and ready up more numbers. The act did well enough but had it de- livered tho main requests it might have scored heavily. The request idea for the xylophone is* not new, Sig. Friscoe specializing on that angle. ibce. DARRELL and VAN. Songs and Piano. 15 Mint.; One. 23d St. Mabel Darrell comedienne, she is an eccentrfg is tall and slen- der, working throughout on tho "nut" style. Mr. Van plays Miss Darrell'i accompaniments. The turn consists of a routine of pop Bongs sung by .Miss Darrell, with likeable clowning interpolated. She keeps the laughs coming breez- ily, handling low comedy in a. rough and ready, good natured fashion that registers. Mr. Van assists In the laugh get- ting by doing straight for a bit of talk here and there. They landed at the 23d St. Bell.