Tom Lewis and Co.

16 Mins.; Five. (Interior). “Brother Fans” Tom Lewis is presented by Jos. Hart in “Brother Fans,” a comedy drama that is almost a farce in idea, but saved from disaster by Mr. Lewis and his co-players. At the Palace Monday evening, Mr. Lewis, probably to oblige the stage management, did a bit in “one” following the finale of the sketch. Time was needed to strike the set for the full stage dancing act following. Mr. Lewis’ monolog of broken-up dialog in this after-portion made a hit the sketch scored a Lewis-riot, for he actually stopped the show. After the lights had been flashed for the Brown-Dolly turn, the continued applause forced Mr. Lewis to return, and gauging from the reception he personally received, Tom Lewis as a “single” would be equal to the full value he and his company may have, if not more. The playlet tells of the excitement caused among Americans abroad by a baseball game played in London between the round-the-world Giants an White Sox. Lewis invited a couple of fans, met at the game, to a private dinner in the evening. One is a consumptive who came from Algiers solely to see the game. The other is the London correspondent for the Associated Press. The newspaper man recognizes the invalid as the defaulter from America. The A.P. man insists he will turn the criminal over to Scotland Yard. With a few meller tricks, the correspondent phones the detective bureau. Lewis intervenes for the consumptive, balks the detective when he arrives, and arranges to send the invalid back to Algiers, because “he is the greatest fan in the world,” and took a chance on his life and liberty to see one more ball game. During the little meal they are having and previous to the disclosure, a film shows scenes of a baseball diamond, as Lewis “recalls” to his companions the Polo Grounds. A phonograph also echoes part of a game. Some lines in the piece bring laughter, and many more lines which should be there (since Mr. Lewis so easily handles dialog of a certain character) are missing. At the opening when the talk becomes twisted over “Tell her that you saw me” and so on, it is remindful of a section of one of the Conroy and Lamire blackface sketches. But Mr. Lewis can put “Brother Fans” over, with all of its many shortcomings. He has a good company in support.
Variety, Volume XXXVI, no.8, October 24, 1914