Variety (March 1921)

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Friday, March 4, 1921 SHOW REVIEWS 19 JOHN W.RANSONEnndCo. (3). ••Courafls." PlayUt. 18 Mint.; Full Stag*. £3d St. Lewis and Cordon present John •#". Ransone and Co. in "Courage," a comedy playlet with a dash of dramatic Interest Interwoven into the plot. Edwin Burke wrote it. There are three other players in the cast besides Mr. Ransone, a juvenile, ingenue and a mlddlc-aged ma 1. The piece starts with the ingenue •hanging a picture of ,t.he Jala Theo- dore Roosevelt in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the bat- tle of Cienfuegos of the Spanish- American war. Juvenile an.1 in- genue have a lit of dialog anent former waiting to m.irry girl, lead- ing up to planting of the fact that ingenue has written a play which is to be rehearsed. Play treats of girl's father, sup- posedly killed in battle of Cien- fuegos, girl believing him a hero. This belief has been implanted in •»irl by uncle (middle-aged man). A professional ictoi has been en- gage'cl to play . ^rt in girl's play (Ransone). Mr. Ra isone is really the girl's father, who has not been killed, but who was a drunkard. Audience Is m »de aware of this through dialog, out girl dees not di.vern '*. Fnstead of conventional finish with girl and father reunited, father sacrifices desire t^make known his identity and claim daughter. The playlet holds plenty of laughs de- rived from comedy situations oc- curring during rehearsal of play. The sentimental .. jages p.ay 1 to slow music, after fashion of old- time melod: amis, were convincingly handled. Mr. Ran. one makes old aci*»r an into.■*. .lag character, put- ting over comedy and dramatic situation ; and;.- with a sure touch betokening his veteran ex- perience. Three a:M • tin,': p'ayers tndla roles competent!. Turn took several curtains at £3d St. It holds excellent value.: as feature act ~ J v pap hou.. _ *. B^ll PALACE FRED and MARJORiE DALE. Songs, Dances, Music and Talk. 15 Mins.; One. (Special.) 23d St. Fred and Marjorie Dale have a very entertaining specialty. Both are versatile, Mr. Dale playing piano, saxophone and singing and Miss Dale playing sax and dancing. The pa'r have a novelty opening, suggesting the audience is about to witness a sketch. Lights down and voices heard, apparently oft stage. Folds of drop part, forming miniature alcove disclosing team sitting at table with ouija board between them. Talk at opening leads up to double song, Mr. Dale playing accompaniment on grand piano, with both now in one, Miss Dale dancing nimbly. Miss Dale off, and Mr. Dale solos ballad at piano. Miss Dale back after cos- tume change for a double. Cleverl# executed acrobatic dance by Miss Dale, featured with some nifty kicking, and back bending, re- vealing she is contortionist. Mr. Dale singles with saxophone, then some comedy business through Miss Dale interrupting with another sax and couple duetting with opening bars of chorus of series of pop songs, the titles telling a story, such a8 she playing a few bars of "Goodbye Forever" and he replying with "I'm Sorry I Made You Cry." Mr. Dale plays two saxophones at the same time, partner harmon- izing, producing three part effect, with but two persons playing. Rest of act has Mr. Dale playing Russian balalaika, a stringed instrument similar to a mandolin, piano, saxo- . phone and singing alternately and Miss Dale in third costume change playing sax, singing and dancing. Special embroidered drop of dark colored material. With the com- bined talents of the team they can't fail <i >wn. They went over at tin 28d 8t. Bdh PEALSON and WALLACE. Songs and Talk. 16 Mins.; One and Two. Lincoln Square. Along the usual lines mapped out f<»r a mixed team with the comedian doing a BWltchboard operator tor the opening and making a change When the act goes Into "one." Three pongs supply the musical portion of the act wit h the boy han- dling the numii'is in ;i manner that was above b ; s other accomplish- meats. Tin- taiu holds enough com* •dy value to make it acceptable in the Intermediate house" while ihe woman acts as the "straight" for her partner's gags, also combining in tome of the warbling. The pair did exceptionally well on third. Various theories have been ad- vanced from time to time aa proba- ble reasons why the major part of the orchestra seat holders at the Palace have made the practice of "walking out" on the closing act almost a sacred rite. One of the theories has It that the audience is "show weary" by the time the final act gets around. Another, held to be the most logical, was that the deserters were mostly suburbanites, who, because of the necessity of catching trains, were forced to leave the show at about the time the clo«ing act is.scheduled to go on, If that theory is correct, then there must have been an enormous num- ber of commuters who missed their trains Monday night—for the un- usual happened, probably a record for the Palace, all but a mere hand- ful of people sticking throughout the entire performance—that is to say until the very final flicker of the Charlie Chaplin picture, "The Kid." The playing of that at the Palace marked an event in itself, being the first time a 5,400-foot comedy has been part of the bill. Eva Tanguay and Chaplin. That's some combination for any show, and one that resulted in the standee ropes going up at 8 o'clock Monday night, likewise the selling out of all but box seats from 7:30 on. with the whole house sold out, boxes and all, and a veritable mob of standees massed in a solid phalanx behind the orchestra rail by 8:15. There were eight instead of the usual nine acts, the show •tailing at the stroke of 8:00 and running until 11:30, fifteen minutes longer than ordinarily, the Chaplin film closing. Hut Chaplin wasn't alone in grab- bing off honors at the Palace Mon- day night, Eva Tanguay closing the vaudeville section, directly preced- ing "The Kid," running the .screen comic a neck and neck race for the laurel wreath and romping home with a whale of a hit. Miss Tan- guay did' "I'll Cet Famous Yet," "Peter Pan," a number in which she had the audience waving handker- chiefs at her, in response to a lyrical request that those out front return her own handkerchief salutation; "She Gets Away with Murder," an alphabetical number telling what the letters of her name stand for, a paraphrase of the old "Sambo" song done by Miss Tanguay in "The Chaperones." and that evergreen classic. "I -Don't-Oarov." • .« •»- ».< Besides the songs, Miss Tanguay also did two short poems and two speeches of thanks in rhyme, both legitimately called for by the ap- plause. A magnificent green silk drop with a huge lion and a figure astride it, representing the cyclonic one, embroidered on it, and standing out like a bas relief; a fascinating collection of costumes, a pair of Jazz brass instrumentalists in the or- chestra, and Teddy Waldman. a har- monicist. who extracted the weirdest sort of "blues" imaginable from his •'tenement house cornet," were a few of the added incidentals, which, coupled with the Tanguay personal- ity, magnetism, or whatever it is that makes her the unique figure that she is, combine! for one of the most entertaining turns Tanguay has ever offered. She did twenty-four minutes, was accorded a reception when her card was flashed, a second and bigger one when she appeared, and held the way. with* substantial cere appreciation coming over the house for each em all and sln- from all number and EVELYN BERESFORD and Co. (2). Dramatic Sketch. 14 Mins.; Full. Fifth Ave. These three players are English. The sketch is reported to be by E. Phillips Oppenheim and is a long winded talkalogue, with the women trying to persuade the husband not to sign papers which will complete a business amalgamation and wipe out the owner of a rival mill. The mill owner has previously been surprised in the study of the trust former, by the latter's wife. He is on murder bent and stands !>eh1nd the curtains with revolver drawn while the woman pleads for her husband's life. The husband, after advancing the usual arguments, capitulates, and when she asks for the papers as a Xmas gift, the near assassin de- parts. The manuscript contains some well written speeches, but in the hands of the present cast it is im- possible for any kind of vaudeville. Con. PETE CURLEY TRIO. Talk. 16 Mins.; One (Special). 58th St. (Last half). ^Formerly of burlesque, Pete Cur- ley has procured a comedy act that • revolves around his character of a checkroom boy before a drop depict- ing a railroad station. He has a mixed duo as his assistants. There is a bit of tale running through the routine that has to do with the couple having quarreled and then {signed an armistice through Cur- ley's efforts. Using an Irish dialect the come- dian produces enough laughs with his material to keep the act going the route through the thrice dailies. A traveling bag of alligator skin ? ? the main topic of conversation. In support the male character did well, though the girl impressed as being somewhat awkward. A mel- ody by all three provides a suitable finale with a snatch of dancing. The act did nicely on No. 2. FISHER AND HURCT. Skit. 15 Mins. American Roof. Qeorge Fisher was* formerly of F}sh< r nnd Groonv Honey *ufs4 was a single when last at this house. The couple have been out tot son.e time in the present act. A Bib way kiosk prop i;- used by Fisher for his entrance and recalls something In one of his former a s. The prop was nol used except for the entrance. The talk do to Miss Hurst's singing with what sounded like* a new blues number went over only fairly in spite < f Fisher's haul trying. A bit on Washingtc n. i>. C. w.i loo nVtch x- tended Cor real eftc t. There was a dm t for finale, the number being " ►meono Like You." Fisher is still using a diaieet. Miss Hurst was animated) getting her lines over with flour- ish rathei- than finish. On fourth, the turn was receiv d mildly Mon- d.iy night, Ibcc. building"up cumulatively to a grand crescendo for the finale. Franklin. Charles & Co. held over from last week, stopped the show No. 3. They also got a reception on their entrance. An unusual turn this, with comedy, dancing and ac- robatics all blended to a nicety. The Apache dance trffvedty by the two men scored Its regulation riot, and the hand to haul stuff swept the hard-boiled Palace regulars off their feet. It is seldom an acrobatic feat. no matter how difficult, coming at the finish of an act, receives suffi- cient applause to call for an encore Montlay night, however, after the aet had bowed off and the drop low- ered, the clamor was so insistent. that the.two men were forced to do an extra trick before they could get away. The understander is a mar- vel of strength, his lifts and hand- ling of the mounter stamping him as a modern Hercules. Any one that can turn up something new in hand balancing, and this pair have shown hitherto unthought of possi- bilities in that line, are entitled to a world of credit, and they got all of that and more from the audience Monday night. D. D. H., making his Palace de- but, was an added starter, appear- ing fourth and monoioguing himself into a hit that brought him back for a speech. The idea is new in mod- ern vaudeville, although readily enough recognized by those familiar with somewhat similar turns in the old variety and minstrel days. It's a sort of second cousin to the old stump speech as done by . Senator Frank Bell, the late Hughie Dough- erty, and others, years ago. D. IX H. uses a book, which he pounds with a stick to emphasize his points. The old-time stump speakers used an umbrella or gavel, much in the same way as D. D. H. does his stick. His delivery is excellent, speaking with a cultured accent, and using perfect English, marked by an enun- ciation as clear as crystal. His ma- terial, too, is all his own, original in conception and filled with number- less laughing points, which he brings out with a sureness and ar- tistry, minus the aid of clowning, bits, or hoke, and by so doing re- vealing himself as that rara avis of latter day vaudeville—a true mono- logist. He deserved all the applause he received—and that was an ava- lanche. - Speeches and receptions were as common Monday night at the Palace as ticket specs, in the neighborhood of Seventh avenue and Forty-sev- enth street, Tom Wise also being brought back at the conclusion of his sketch, "The old Timer" (New Arts) to spill a little oratory. The Wise act closed the first half. Pres- Sler and Klaiss, programmed fourth. opened the second section, and al- though not speeching. easily could have done so. Mr. PresHle^r Is one of those tall, slender, solemn faced chaps, who is funny to look at aside from the comedy business he intro- duces at the piano. Miss Klaiss has a fresh. resonant singing voice, handling the modern Jan songs with oodles of ginger and singing in the old coon shouting style in a manner to recall the best of that type of vocalists. Placed in the heart of a big show, the team held their own with the bOst of 'em and could have Stretched out their applause for as long as they desired. Uautier Brothers' ponies and dog* opened .and entertained pleasantly. The four ponies are cute little ani- mals, one tiny kicker registering an Individual laughing score every time he raised his heels. Lucy Bruch, the violinist**, second, did nicely with her quiet offering, but was on too early to gain more than passing at- tention. Kiggs nnd Witehie (New Acts) second aft»-r intermission landed solidly. The news weekly was Omitted Monday night. A long show but a nitty one with cj^ept ,<»n■■! en- tertainment values. J^ w li<.U. RIVERSIDE. Are sketches coming into vogue again on big time programs < r was it just an accident that this wick's program at the Riverside contains two of them? And why not two— especially when they are good ones. as in this instance, glvlnr: evidence this form of vaudevil'e is entertain- ing? A suggestion to the management of the Riverside. Walking up tho steps of the balcony from the smok- ing loges while the house is dark- ened for the news weekly at the end of the show one finds difficulty in picking the way. A concealed light on a tew of the slip's "woirid trtase the trail and save a lot of stumbling. The two sketches referred to are Jean Adair and Co. in "Any Home" and Bushman and liayne in "Poor Richman." Both are light in tex- ture, both point morals. "Any Home" shows a natural domestic situation, while "Poor Rich Man" is a satirical comedy that, while far-fetched, is still within the ra,nge of possibility. Both acts are well played and Intelligently produced. There, la sufficient contrasting material in the current week's bill. It opens with Parker Brothers, hand-to-hand balancers, who score strongly with several half twist lifts and an effective dive over an upright piano to a hand-to-hand, with understander flat on his hack for" the catch Then there is Boudini and Bernard, mun and woman piano-accordionists, who play acceptably. Following this noisy instrumentation comes the Adair sketch, dainty light comedy, making a soft spot for Whiting and Burt, the first singing and-conver- sational turn on the bill. As a mat- ter of fact, it happens lo be the only one. Sadie Burt's cute little get-ups, as, for example, her en- trance with a smart hat, shoes and no skirt is compelling and starts the clever couple off to "good effect. Their "Sleepy Head" number is a nice little interlude, but not a genu- ine depiction of a child. Bostock's Hiding School act closed the. first half to the usual roars of laughter, with the applicants for tho prise watch doing their ludicrous stunts with the safety device. "Topics of the Day" during inter- mission and Frank Gaby, ventrilo- quist. Mr. Gaby's English dialect Is atrocious, but he has an excel- lent idea—that of holding duiogs and triologs with imaginary people via the in. ilium of his ventriloquial art. His numerous interruptions during this stunt are excellent, but his characterisations and material are crude. This made an easy spot for Fran- cis X. Bushman and Beverly Bayne with their sketch, which is full of dramatic suspense, although han- dled in a comedy vein. The mun playing the secretary is a splendid legitimate actor and feeds the two stars smoothly. Ed. Gallagher and Joe Rolley then Unbelted a bunch of good nonsense via the medium of good straight feeding for coon character deline- ation. Some of the dialog Is a re- hash of the former Gallagher and Fi-Ids turn, when Joe Fields worked with the present "Dutch." It goes written yesterday part that Miss Connelly endow* with pathos and which seem* d to move her audience by its wlmorr.e appeal. Harry Carroll in closing first \\\\t assisted by Fern Rogers. Harry Laughlin and the Goslyn Twins not forgetting the Six Slick Chicks, opened to a reception, found tho tempo a little confusing between Carroll and the orchestra, but ooon caught on. The act worked with Its accustomed speed, held the audi- ence contented and finished to a rousing finale. Carroll came back and thanked his audience in a speech. The openers, Ryai. and Ryan. • • ori d over the "wsuai opeiiirtg nipi at this house, and this response was due In a great measure to the nov- elty furnished by the team with the'r ski-dancing shoes. This is a real novelty down town. Ryan and llronson won considerable favor in the second position, the song mate- rial succeeding in winning their audience. The piano playing of the pianist is tuneful, hfs voice is equally so. Next to closing first half Avev and O'Nell surprised with the slow- curtain rising revealing two pair of feet, and then disclosing their owners, two white men painted pitch black. It stnrted a laush from the beginning that maintained itself throughout the repartee over their African golf. Both mei.ibers individually shake a wicked pair of feet in their respective dance offer- ings. They finished strong with the smaller member of the team mas- querading the belle nolr. "Seven A. M." came directly after intermission and "Topics." Jack La it's vehicle for Billy Frawley and Edna Louise is rich in sure fire gags. The Aerial De Groffs closed to a merciless exodus. Btep. straight and did just as well as if Sensational Val- enteens (New Acts) closed th show. Jolo. JEFFERSON. The Jefferson on Tuesday night showed excellent patronage for a neighborhood playhouse. The pat- rons were still streaming in when Ryan and Ryan opened. The first half was weak despite the Carroll revue closing intermis- sion, and the second half held the real strength of the show. Juliet in next to closing spot held the stage for just a bit less time than the Carroll turn (43 minutes) and stopped the show. Running over show could have It was somehow three hours the been speeded up. diltlcult to figure ejyepi out the next to closing spot assigned to Newhoff and Phelps. They found themselves in a hard position to follow Juliet, when- the latter seemed to have accomplished all the chaning up any turn could possibly have achieved. Despite that they fought their way through from the start and a second's pause after their Opening song were on friendly terms with the audience. This was materially increased as the routine progressed, The character work in two of tlie final numbers was the valient point. Juriet; between P.i??y PVawleyand Rdna Louise in Jack La it's "Seven A. M," and Mr. Newhoff and Mr. Phelps, opened with the usual par- lor set, and was a pacemaker with the different character studies of soup eating in a public restaurant and Immediately elicited a brisk re- sponse. Her imitations, however, Were in point of appeal even stronger, although In merit they ore of similar calibre. {She Came back and finished with Al Jolson. I a win and Jane Connelly in "The Tale of a Shirt" were strong enough to have been moved down a pi g Instead of in No. 3. The subtlety In Miss Connelly's c ' ion of the Cinderel..< .-launch ess was easily gru j»« <i by the audience. The net, described as a comedy <.t laun- dry life, is a fragment In human vahu i, in which these grown-up- lJke>Top*y children lind themselves posse ss ed of a vision, Clinging to it tirougu all disillusionment. U is a BROADWAY Tuesday, night attendance down- stairs was capacity. The crowd was in early and there were standees shortly after 8 o'clock. Indications are that the dual vaudeville and picture policy has finally converted this house from a straight picture policy. The elimination of reserved • seats helped bring back trade. The J Ehows are a bit higher In grade than (in the fall % and the feature Is of sure drawing power. "Inside the Cup." recently «hovvn at the Cri- terion, was the picture. The bill started off strongly and ran smoothly throughout, with a good measure of scores. It was a show made up almost entirely of standard acts, with most being regu- larly seen in the big houses. James Thornton, master nomolo- gist, held the headline position and turned in the hit of the show. Men- tion of his beverage tastes started real laughter, and from then it was easy for him. Chatter about actors tickled, and the hotel clerk bit was most fruitful. Thornton was right at home at tho Uroadway. It Is so close to his center of tnlngs. Dur- ing the day he strolled to and from the theatre carrying a walking stick. That IS recalled because the Jap workers, who closed the show, asked if any gentleman In the audience had a stick, that they might cho.v the worth of their thumb trick. No one attending the house sported tho article. Ruby Norton, with Clarence Senna as accompanist, followed, next to closing, and cleaned up a hit, there being little difference be- tween her success and Thornton's. After an operatic: aria, "Idla," which sounded like a new ditty, was of- fered, Senna being in on the chorus. Miss Norton's best song effort wns "CJiannini Mia." it drew her a de- mand encore. As always, she w;u tastefully costumed. Melissa Ten Kyck and Max Welly, with their classical dances, made a pretty sight turn in thr middle of the bill. Miss Ten Kyck looked well in an Oriental number that was not stretched to extremes,' bat ended with a fast tempo and dash of There is one supporting dancer, a girl who has a number with VY« ilv. later appearing bare limbed to strew flowers for "The Storm." a Grecian dance number that is still the strongest of the routine. Paul Decker and Co. In I'M win Hurke's "And Son" provided an ex- cellent No. '.1. Tin- house bj fur from ideal for sketches, but this one proved Its worth, and it commanded attention from curtain to curtain. Decker has a role which suits him to a T. His support is far above average. Dcnnam wag,.eapecla \\y well played, the characterization of the father being convincing. Curtis and Fitzgerald, with th*» Odd Idea of dual mimicry adroitly carried out, are coming right along. The men are about ready for regu- lar bookings in the big houses. They have worked up th* cornel-, which will likely grow as strong AS the imitations. A hit anent all Brooklynites wearing glasses won a l)iK laugh. The answer v. as that the red marks above their nosrs are not caused by wearing specs, but fioni drinking home brew cut of fruit jars. Tiny made a diverting No. 4. Bhelton Brooks, with hia heavy- weight tenor assistant, Ollle Powers, tickled 'em In Ihe Ho. 2 station. The men off* red a number, of ltrooks' <»v. ii composition, called "everyone's flOIIIg tO See M.n v Nc.W." the lyric mentioning the hi( of (.'ohan'a Mary" show. Brooks eased him* .. \ ■■ ■ • . itoli i ■ • • 4 .' ••• ' l - '. Ill U