Newspaper Page Text
THE WASHINGTON HERALD
* I \ WASHINGTON. D. C.. SUNDAY. NOVEMBER 23, 1919. A COLUMN OF THEATER GOSSIP By EARLK DORSEY Ol' Doc Exl Wynn, erstwhile possessor of the world's most versa tile sombrero and still owner, in fee simple, of the world's most inane tad convulsive giggle, will file an answer, at 8:15 o'clock tomorrow Bight at the National, to the query that has been reiterated in prist at least a score of times since the actors' strike: What is Ed Wynn doing for a living? Mr.?that is. Doctor?Wynn found himself with a >omewhat un certain future before him at the time the recent Broadway armistice Was signed. He was out of a job. temporarily, and he was far too facile a comedian to cast his lot with any old show that might be clamoring for his services. It it manifest that the doctor did a bit of thinking as to the future of any comedian in these mad, mad days, tad it is not unnatural that the successful independent careers map ped out for themselves by fun-merchants like Jolson, Bayes, Hitchcock and a few other ribald headliners suddenly possessed a new lure for this truly eminent dispenser of merriment In the meantime Broadway was asking and answering its own questions concerning Wynn, but only within the past few weeks has the comedian himself seen fit to meet this curiosity with a state Went. The answer, of course, is the first edition of the Ed Wynn Carnival, a musical revue which, by its numerically qualifying phrase, teems destined for annual revision and freshening from now on, pro vided Doc Wynn has not lost his cunning for comic diagnosis amid the trials of a producer's life. It rannot bo contended that Wynn l? other than one of the foremost ot *11 American fun-makers. His humor has a deprecatory personality, a trenchant. Incisive quality that stamps its output as based on the d*e|?-?t originality. The mere record of the shows in which this eomodisn hna been headlined for years is sufficient earnest alone to remove all doubt as to his standing, and when one considers that Itltcheock. Uayes and Jolson have long been reaping harvests at the head of their own shews. And when even sublimated chorus men in these amusement-crazy times can throw together concoctions of Jazz that draw the shekels, one feois but trifling anxiety for the outcome of J*r. Wynn'fl effort, which bursts forth at the National tomorrow night. It seems a rather striking coincidence that another comedian of fame should also select Washington this week to launch out a new Held of entertainment endeavor. This other comedian is Clifton Craw ford. who slings as mean an accent and enunciation on "Gunga Din" as vaudeville ever heard, and in this particular case Mr. Crawford has doserted variety to head a farce-comedy cast called "My I>ady Friends" It Is a production that advance agents have elucidated in a rather vague and hazy way. though it is altogether likely that "My l,ady Friends." In common with the average .farce-comedy, relies more upon the snap piness and the 2.75 per cent naughtiness of its lines for effect than upon any solid plot structure. Nevertheless, it is a new offering and Washington has fallen into the habit of expecting its offerings to be new. It will open at the liclascu tonight, according to announcements, and one wishes Mr. Craw ford success in his effort. This wish draws a double ditillatlon of sin cerity from the fact that one's Puritan conscience, long since supposed extinct, occasionally rebels and something worth-while is necessary to soothe it. The Garrick offers a play now to Washington, though it has already enjoyed a long run in New York. It is a melodrama?one of the frankly 100 per cent proof Own Davis variety?and its chief ingredients, we gather, are mystery, -marriage and murder, a trinity of theme that should possess "kick" m abundanco. Poll's offers another visit of that perennial pair. Potash and Perlmutter, in "Business Before Pleasure," the same being an account of the adventures of these bitter friends in the "11 Hum" business. Temporarily turning away from attractions current, it is a pleasure to record that The Son-Daughter," Mr. Belasco's latest offering, with Lenore Ulric as star, which showed its wares to Washington a week ago. has passed the critical New York entrance examination and is safely anchored for a run at the Belasco. Mr. Broun, of the Tribune, easily one of the most exacting of the newspaper professors of the drama, has seen fit to laud it with mod eration. which is high praise, coming from Mr. Broun. A portion of fais remarks anent the production follow: After seeing the first performance of "The Son-Daughter** at the Belasco Theater last night we are inclined to believe that David Belasco deserves his title of wizard. Give him a silk hat. even though it be worn a little shiny here and there, and he can invariably thrust in his hand and pull out a pair of white rabbits, or start him off with a few carrot slips and he will conjure up for you a bowl of goldfish. The only trouble with all this clever trickery is that there is a singular lack of character and variety in both rabbits and goldfish. You know, after all. that there isn't really any gold in goldfish, not an ounce more than in carrots. Nothing much is gained by the experiment except a little superficial glitter. I>ast night Mr. Belasco took a middling good sentimental-comedy melodrama. by George Scarborough and himself, stuffed it into the rusty s?lk hat. Jabbed about a bit with a wand, uttered a few magic words like "rosebuds," "lily blosoms." "great Joss" and "honorable ancestors." and finally pulled out a play of new China which, at times, attained the stature of vital, moving drama almost entirely from the skill and imagination with which it was staged. However, part of th? triek lay in the fact that before Mr. Belasco put in his hand and said "Presto!" he dropped Lenore Ulric, Albert Bruning. Harry Mcstayer. Kdmond I-owe and several other excellent players into the old silk hat and stirred them up a bit. When James Montgomery's "Irene" burst on the Capital the same week Mr. Belasco's play premiered, nearly all present were sure "Irene" was ready for Manhattan. Mr. Montgomery, probably thinking the same thing himself, ushered "Irene" past Manhattan Transfer and found her quarters at the Vanderbilt Theater, where she has since lived up to her title by becoming the village queen of musical comedies. The fol lowing remarks of the New York Herald seem to echo the representative New York sentiment regarding the show, which proves, of course, that Washington can frequently pick them accurately: Give the blue ribbon to "Irene." Judge; she's the sweetest filly of the lot. The musical comedy of that name, presented last night at the Vanderbilt Theater, is a tuneful, tickling triumph, and Miss ttdith Day?first entry a_s a star?sparkled and sang and sparkled. The only thing of conspicuous prominence Miss Day has done before was to sing and dance "The Tickle Toe" and otherwise cavort a trifle in "Going Up" two years ago. She is still going up. Miss Pay displayed versatility as an entertainer and much genuine charm last night. James Montgomery wrote a light plot with some real sentimental appeal for "Irene;" Harry Tierney wrote a score that it will take an able composer indeed to hurdle over, and Joe McCarthy came out of a past of varied maiden scribblings to write some real lyrics. Pardon the mixed metaphors, but the man at the next desk is writing some thing about the horse show. Yes; and in the corner someone else is tearing off reams about the prince. Well, one feels certain that tbe prince would enjoy "Irene." Who does not remember Charlotte Greenwood, who .was ridicu lously funny in "So Long. Letty"? Charlotte was so funny in that piece, in point of fact, that a solid protest against the title of that piece was voiced by casting Charlotte in another piece of drollery called "Linger Longer, Letty." Charlotte showed her new?j>iece to Broadway the other night, and the verdict follows:' Long-legged Letty returned to town last night, after an overlong absence and was welcomed at the Fulton Theater, the play being ? Linger Longer. Letty." in which Miss Charlotte Greenwood stars in one of her attenuated comedy roles. This musical comedy is a lineal descendant of "So Long, Letty," in which Miss Greenwood said au revoir some time ago before leav ing to lift a frolicsome slipper over the Rocky Mountains and points West. Miss Greenwood has handsomed up considerably, and Is not quite so riotous as of yore. She had no need to kick about her shape, us the lines of the play made her, and she was in very shapely com pany. The shapely company was ii\ the form, or forms, cf a sizeable troupe of chorus girls. Somewhat unexpected they were, as the play started in like a comedy, with Incidental songs. They crowded the kitchen scene a bit, and many a comely leg was kicking around among the pots and pans. j[ HARRY'S FIRST AMIABLE ALIAS It la riot pleasant to have to answer to two names. That Is the predica ment of Harry Kirst. who plays Mawruss Perlmutter in "Business Be fore l'li-usure" at Poll's Theater this week. lie has been playing the role (if Mawruss for six year* and In ho tel lobbies, restaurants and on the street, he is often greeted with the words: -llello, Mawruss." y ??Do 1 mind being called that?" .*k*d Mr. First. "No. because I rather like the stage MaWruss, al though he is a different character than J. The stage Mawruss Is a Quarrelsome man. while I am really vary shy and quieL I guess the rea son I like the part so wall is because It Is so different from my real self." Mr First is an oldtimer in one sense: that Is. he has been in vaude ville for many years, those years back when vaudeville was known as variety. But when the first Potash and Perlmutter plays were Introduc ed. in 1913, Harry then became Maw russ and Mawruss he has been ever since. Charles Ray. supported by Wini fred Wjsatover, has now almost fin ished his current picture?"Watch Out, William." In order to finish up in schedule time it was oeceasary for Mr. Ray and his cast to put in a couple of nights of overtime In addi Bab. ia Uieir dally tasks. i Attractions at tt>e XSPasfyington O^eaters Dr/rtkusaAer Aufhtjr of /IbmJiajv^ Xj^ccln Cont/rto /1/exS li/eeL . G&rnck. . Cr*uZ%rcL 4 wr^^A^l , Ket/dJ in N BuS/ness Before. PledLSure " PoJ/j M/y/ux. 1 tn. </yK/r MthombL fot-Hook- /6ejfk. Burton^^ HoLtrt&S Ma.t/on&L Ta-niqh-f~ / ^Cas+/e "The IfiU/Sjb/c. tfond "fkiishburfi ^eUfs fo Jt/erf/se" V PdJ<Lce |HI L-Orusfence. /a./rruLafae. /tCTTje t/crtvouj l/ds*-) W/J R-La.Ho yrk/m ?ujselL >n '\fdslM/<irc/: //o " CrinJaJ/s Mfi.iropo/i THE YORK MAKES ITS BOW Announcement was made yester day by Harry M. Crandall, owner of the chain of Crandall theaters in the Capital, that the York Theater, occupying the entire square between Princeton and Quebec streets on Georgia avenue northwest, and con stituting the eighth house in the Crandall circuit, will be opened to the public on Wednesday night. No vember 26. The York represents the most modern design of photoplay theater, the seating arrangements being en tirely on one floor with a comfort able capacity of 1.000. The front of the building is of tapestry brick, trimmed with white atone and mar ble. The spacious lobby is artistical ly arranged and of unusual height, insuring perfect ventilation at all times. The auditorium proper is especially handsome, a novel treat ment having been given the pros cenium arch by the installation of a silken canopy effect^ over the or chestra. which lends itself to multi colored lighting \ of exceptional beauty. Every provision has been made for the comfort and conven ience of patrons, commodious and handsomely furnished ' rest rooms and ample promenades being pro vided. The new house will be under the management of Mr. Nathan Glasser. a prominent figure In local theatri cal circles. Mr. Glasser has had a wide experience in house conduct, as well as in the capacity of repre sentative in the Washington terri tory of some of the foremost pro ducers connected with the motion picture Industry. The policy at the York will be similar to that in operation in the other residential PTandall houses. There will be a dxlly change of pro gram and only the best in silent drama. Mtith orchestral accompani ment of sirperlor merit, will be of fered. The full orchestra will be under the direction of Alfred D'An drea. who has assembled a playing organization of unusual merit. On the Georgia avenue frontage and in the entrance lobby the York is equipped with a series of decora tive three-sheet frames in sufficient number to permit the1 announcement of the entire week's list of attrac tions. The outside of the house, fur thermore. is brilliantly Illuminated with a flood-light device that gives the front of the ediflce the effect of daytime brightness. The chief photoplay feature of the gala opening bill, arranged for Wednesday night, will be "23V4 Hours' L?eave." featuring Douglas McLean, Washington's own star, supported by Doris May and an ex ceptionally *tU balanced cast. This 4 subject is conceded to be the fin est comedy offering of the year. The principal subsidiary feature will be Mack Sennett's supreme comedy triumph, "Salome vs. Shenandoah." Distinguished names, associated with every department of produc tion. add interest to the first Wash ington presentations of "The Gay Old Dog," a new comedy-drama star? ring that noted Broadway farceur. John Cumberland, which will be seen as the chief feature of the bill at Craiftall'.s Theater the first three days of this week, and at CraTidaH's Knickerbocker on Thursday and Friday. The picture was adapt eel from the story by Edna Ferber, by Mrs. Sidney Drew, and produced ??? photoplay form by lfobart Henley. The story by Kdna Ferber is a winner! Published in the Metropoli tan Magazine in 1917, it created n?. little comment in literary circles. Every year Edward J. O'Brien, a lit erary critic and authority, gathers together the twenty best short stories of the year and publishes them in one volume. In 1917 Edna Ferber's "The Gay Old Dog" won a prominent place in the collection. Miss Ferber's is a name well known in the literary world. Every book shelf boasts several of her books, for she writes real, stories about real people?her stories are loved and understood by all classes. Some of her most widely read books are "Roast Beef Medium." "Dawn O'Hara," "Buttered Side Down." "Personality Plus." "Emma McChe* ney," and "Fanny Herself." "Cheer ful by Request," her newest book, is a volume oI short stories, contain ing "The Qay Old Dog." which has been pronounced her best short story. "The Follies of the Day." the at traction at the Gayety Theater this week, held a record last season for the greatest amount of business at the Gayety Theater. Lloyd Hughes Is the latest graduate of the Ince school to be promoted to the star class. Hughes is possibly the youngest actor on the screen to achieve this marked honor, which was awarded him by Thomas H. Ince in recognition of the fine artistry of his recent impersonations. The con tract signed recently covers a period of five years, during which the young star will appear hi a number of care fully selected stories by the leading screen writers of the day. Mr. John Germon, one or the di rectors of the Columbia Amusement Company, spent keveral days in town last week with Harry O. Jarboe, man ager ot the Gayety Theater. Opera Founded on Tarkington's Story To Be Presented Gilbert Miller's production of Andre MessagorV' romantic op^ia. "Monsieur Beaucaire." founded on Booth Tarkington's famous story, with libretto by Frederick Lons dale. arid lyrics by Adrian Ross, will be given the first performance in America on Thursday evening. De cember 11. at the New Amsterdam Theater. New Yoric. It was the triumphant production of "Monsieur Beaueaire" in London that established Mr. Miller. an American, as the foremost light opera impresario of the British metropolis. There it was looked upon as an other bond of interest between the great allies. Not only the pro ducer. but also the author of the original story and the actor who .played the leading rote, are Ameri cans. The composer is a French man and the librettist and lyricist are Englishmen. London theatergoers hastened to acclaim it and to crowd the theater where it was presented. Mr. Miller himself has returned to America to supervise the produc tion of the play here, and it will Re given with the same ensemble as in London and with the same superb scenic investiture. "Aphrodite" Ready For Gotham Premiere Tomorrow Evening The first presentation in America i.f "Aphrodite" will take place at the. Century Theater, New York, to morrow night when R. Ray Coin stock and Morris Gest will offer this famous Parisian sensation. Written by Pierre Frondaye and (irorfc-e C. Haitelton and founded .upon the celebrated novel by Pierre l,otiys. The staging is under the direction of E. Lyall Swete. whie the choreo graphic scenes ami dances are be ing arranged by Michel Fokine. a famous Russian dancer, who will live lone In theatrical history as the man who created the modern Russian ballet. The acenery has been painted In London by Joseph and Philip Har ker and the costumes are by Percy Anderson and Leon Bakst. Rehearsals are now under way day and night at the Century Thea ter for this spectacular production CONTUTOK) OH FAGS TWO. Attractions Listed At Local Theaters For Week of Dec. 1 Bt-'.l. A SCO? Roland West's mystery play. "The I'nknown Purple;** Oeorge Probert. Jean Stuart. Benedict MacQuarrie. Herbert Ashton. Vivian Allen. Rveta Knudsen. Joseph Slaytor. Henry Redding. Arthur LeVien. Qrant Sherman nnd K. I?. Duane in* the 'asf; usual Wednesday and Sat urday matimss will bo given. WTIOXAL?Otis Skinner in his ?yow eomedy. "The Rise of Peter Harhan." written by Maud Skin ner and Jule* Kckert Goodman; see nes laid in Western Pennsyl vania and California; cast will include O. R. Clarence. Mary Shaw. Ruth Rose. Thurlow Ber <'f ?\T1 NT ED ON PACE THRL'K Skinner Takes Rank As Insurance "Champ" "Whatever else Tie may claim In the form of achievement during his the atrical career. Otis Skinner Is safe to place a wager that he is the most highly insured actor in America. It is doubtful if ^Ven Douglas Fair banks and Charlie Chaplin, the film stars, are carrying as much Insur ance on their lives as there is on Mr. Skinner's. Up to this hour of writ ing it has piled up to 51.2SO.OOO. To be sure. Mr. Skinner hasn't tak en out all of this sum on himself, nor bas Charles Frohman, Inc., x under whose management he is now tour ing in "The Rise of Peter Earban." which comes to Washington soon. The beneficiary and the insurer is the moving picture concern for whom Mr. Skinner bas agreed to make a picture of "Kismet" when be gets the time John A. Morrison, agent for the Aetna Insurance Company, of Chica go. is now engaged in placing the policies with fifteen different com panies. He already has placed JS00. 000. and expects to have the remain der written in a short time. Meanwhile Mr Skinner is one of the most carefully attended men in the United States. If he even sneezes or stubs his toe, a high priced physician pounces on him, equipped witb all kinds of remedies. On several occasions when he has arrived in a city to begin a week's engagement he has' found awaiting him in his dressing room, bottles of arnica and other liniments, boxes of pills, bandages, and once a pair of cmtcbtfc FARCE-COMEDY OWN PORTIA Then* in a young lady with "My I-a.Jy Friends." the new farce comedy cortnni; to the Shubert-Belasco this evening, who. besides being quite suc cessful as an actress, has also the distinction of ^ being the only actress on the stage who can step into any courtroom .n the I'nited States and practice law. The young lady is Miss Jessie Nagle. a young Kansas girl, whose futlier is a prominent Judge in Kansas City. She was educated at a girls semi nan,, and after graduating went into her father's law office and took up the study of law. She has her papers and is considered quite a lauJv barrister. I-ast season, while playing Chicago, she spent quite a bit of her time around the various courts, especially the moral court, where most of the poorer people have their divorce cases tried and also where one will meet with women w ho are unfortunate. One morning a case was called of a poor soul who had no one to defend her and Miss Nagle, who happened to be ft In court. a5ked If she mieht defend her The judsre granted the r?*qi*nt. and Misf Naple asked for a jury trial, and through her persuas.veness and eloquence turned the tide in favor of the woman, and *on her a decree a-ainst her *hiftless husband. After the trial Miss Xagle was congratulated N?th by the presiding judge and the district attorney, and several tunes after that she was called upon to try cases of a similar nature. She re ceives no compensation for this, being only too glad, as she says, "to help her sister ?ex." R.nce then she has hecomp known as the "lawyer actress." Ceorffe Backus, one of the best known . haracter actors on the Ameri can stage, will be seen' In the role h* originated m "At S:4?" when Will* iam A. Brady. Ltd.. presents that Owen Davis melodrama of mystery, marriage and murder at th*? Shubert Garrick for one week commencing tonight. MR. BREESKIN CRABS A FIDDLER Of the hundreds of people who re marked about the beautiful musical score as givn by the Rlalto orches tra during the past week and th?s exceptionally excellent manner in which same was rendered, probably lew realized that while hearing it they were listening to an artist who. in concert, had drawn as high as $10 per seat. 1*11 i as Breeskin. the celebrated Russian violinist, heard in concert in Washington very recently and who last year toured the country as co-artist with Caruso, is the younger brother of Daniel Breeskin. director of the Rlalto orchestra. Me has been sojourning in Washington the past few days for reasons in which young Dan Cupid may be held completely responsible. The younger Mr. Breeskin strolled into the Rlalto one day the early part of this week intent upon enjoying the show He was doomed to disappointment, however, for he was hardly seated before the elder brother was made aware of his presence and from that point on and for two or three days afterward Rlalto patrons were given a treat. Mr. Breeskin was promptly called to the music-room by his brother, provided with the finest violin in the possession of any of the orchestra members, and bluntly speaking, put to work. Director Breeskin. at the time he took the above action, little realised just what be was letting himself and his fellow artists in for. It wm not Ion* before the pre?t artist had every member of the organisation doing his best to live up to ih? tones and masterly rendition of a first violin score that seemed to sway and predominate evtry selec tion played. The aodl??iH-e was likewise quick to catch the ?pim of the affair and applause- was fre quently given. On the second day during the aft ernoon performance Director Brees kin surrendered his baton to hia brother who conducted the orchestra through the entire score In masterly fashion. Genuineness ana absolute are two factors In the innrinouN success which Cecil B Or Millt ha* attained as a motion picture dir?.-o? tor. These qualities *re present ?* "Male and Female." Mr. IV Mille'a latest Paramount-Artcr aft picture, which was adapted (rum Sir Jatrtea M. Barrie's famous play. Th* Ad mirable Cnchton " which opens it a second week at Moore's Cardet Theater today. It in Mi. Dr- Mill*'* desire that every property or Cer nlshiug used In iiis i-ioductloc** be the best that cab br boegfct l*ioi? erties used in bin lateet picture total thousands of dollars In value. One toilet set alone cost |K.0W?. a the frorgeous gown? worn by Gloria Swan von Ulla L*e ami Dan iels. who are tai tlN cast, We aortll a handsome price.