28 min. A novelty dramatic sketch holding its interest through a rather remarkable transformation setting in which the scene changes from a counterfeiter’s den to a parlor. The story is dramatic with the arrest of the bogus coin operators, furnishing the climax. Held the interest of audience and closed to a good hand.
John P. Medbury, local author, registered another hit through his latest play, “Hitched Up,” this week’s offering by Will King Co. King is a wealthy bachelor, Ikey Leachinskey, a victim of amnesia, and while under on of these spells is married, but when again himself cannot recall his wife. Lew Dunbar as Mike, his friend, finally discovers Ikey’s wife, who proves to be a widow with about ten children, all piling into Papa Ike’s room as the curtain drops. Reece Gardner as E. Pluribus Unum does a dope fiend who is anxious to sell his flea farm and uses real dollars as his business cards.
26 min. f.s., spl. This melodrama is quite interesting but the cast seems a little weak in spots. Held interest and closed fair.
19 Mins.; Full Stage (Special Set). “The Shoplifter” is a melodrama of the type that makes its greatest appeal to a small time audience. It contains all of the salient points that made the melos of a decade ago the popular entertainment for the shop girl and her beau. The plot of “The Shoplifter” smacks a little of the Horatio Alger stories. This has been modernized and placed into a set and environment similar to that of the first act of “Within the Law.” There is the mighty boss of the department close-fisted and grasping, the private detective, the shoplifter and all the attendant features that go with three principal characters of this sort. The department store has been systematically robbed for several weeks; the regular house staff of coppers cannot find the thief; an agency man is called in and he locates the crook. She proves to be the sister of one of the former employees of the store, who was injured while working and is at present in a hospital. There is a noted European surgeon visiting America. He is told of the boy’s case and although his fee is never under $1,000 he is willing to attend to this case for $300. Because of the fact that a jury refused to award her brother any damages for the injuries he received by falling down the elevator shaft in old flint-fist’s store, the girl starts stealing to get the required amount. She is caught and confesses and as she is about to be taken to the police station the proprietor’s own daughter is brought into his office in an unconscious condition, she having fallen down the same elevator shaft as the boy .At the sight of his own offering’s suffering the boss undergoes a change of heart and refuses to appear against the shoplifter. The act closed a strong favorite on the American Roof.
18 Mins.; Full Stage. Two women and a man are the principals in this sketch of the popular melodramatic heart-interest type that always goes over in the smaller houses. There is the deserted wife who is left with a baby; the comedy Irish woman (in this particular case the usual janitress and the foreigner, an Italian second-hand furniture dealer) always the one engaged to the comedy character woman. Deserted wife is bewailing her solitary and destitute fate when janitress enters. “baby will die because I have not the money to buy milk to feed him.: is the speech, and then there is nothing for the C.C.W. to do except steal the milk from the dumb-waiter and obtain the good will of those in front of a laugh or two. The Y.D.W. then relates the tale of her early life and also shows how she was brought to her present plight and then C.C.W. again comes to the front and offers her a home. The man enters the scene accompanied by the C.C.W. He is to buy the furniture from the Y.D.W. is willing to marry him and she exists to change to wedding gown. In the meantime Y.D.W. returns and discovers that the man is her uncle and there is a clinch and the C.C.W. walks in on it, explanations follow and a comedy finish. The act is small timey from start to finish and the role of the Young Deserted Wife is poorly played.
17 Mins.; Full Stage (Special Set). “When the Sun Rises” is a dramatic thriller that will serve in a good spot on a small time bill and entertain nicely. There are three people, but the greater part of the work is on the shoulders of a man and woman, the other man, who has the role of dispatch bearer, is most likely the carpenter of the act. the scene of the action is laid in South Africa during the Boer War. An English Colonel and his wife are the principal characters. The hour is just before sunrise, and the scene the interior of the Colonel’s quarters. At the rise the woman reads aloud the copy and an order for the execution of one of the members of the command for neglect of duty, and intimates that she will do all in her power to prevent it taking place. The Colonel enters. She pleads with him to save the boy’s life (the audience is left to infer that the youth was her lover). The Colonel maintains he is powerless to act, as the finding of the court martial has been forwarded to Ladysmith, to the commander-in-chief. Since then the little command has been surrounded by the enemy and all communication the main army cut off. The wife then confesses the boy is the Colonel’s own son, born after he divorced his first wife. The husband decided to forge an order to stay the execution. The first gleam of drawn is seen outdoors and a single shot is heard (even though the Colonel calls it a volley). I: is too late. Ah, but no! Hark! A horse is heard approaching and the despatch rider arrives. It was at him the outpost fired, and the dispatches are from General Buhler, to the effect the boy is to be given a chance to die honorably at the hands of the enemy in case they capture him as the “enclosed papers must be forwarded to be relieving force,” and so the son is saved. The sketch has the makings of a good thriller, providing it is played properly and the action is hastened by cutting some of the talk and the scenery chewing. In the hands of Holbrook Blinn it could be whipped into a real act for almost any time, not excepting the Princess theatre.
17 Mins.; Full Stage. A little dramatic offering that seemed to get past the audience despite the principal male character persisted in acting all over the stage. Two men and a woman in the sketch. One of the men is the district attorney, the other his secretary, and the woman is the former’s estranged wife. A man about-town has been murdered in his studio apartment by a woman and the police have a suspect in custody. The D.A. is confident she committed the crime. The wife enters and pleads for the woman, stating she is certain of her innocence and finally makes a confession that she is the one who killed the “rounder” After he lured her to his apartment and insulted her. The D.A. orders the police to free the woman they have been holding and he and the wife sit down for a long talk at the drop of the curtain. The act has possibilities but the present company does not make the most of them.
15 Mins.; Full Stage (Special Set). Dramatic novelty with a big of dancing interspersed. Two men and two women in it. Mr. Burke has the role of the old dancing master. He has adopted the daughter of one of his stars who has died and the act opens the night of the youngster’s debut at Drury Lane. The old master has been dubbed a “has been.” He sends the girl to the theatre and sits dreaming of the past, during which the mother appears before him and goes through a series of ballet steps. Following this Mr. Burke offers an old fashioned soft shoe dance, heartedly applauded. At the finish the girl reappears, but one is left to guess weather or not her debut has been a success. The turn will fill a good spot on small time nicely.
15 Mins.; Five (Parlor). “Justice.” If “Justice” were not so palpably machine-made, it would stand out among dramatic playlets, with its present cast. Three men play the piece, a judge, his son and an elderly German. The story is far-fetched, even beyond dramatic license, drawing the characters together at the opening, when the German calls upon the judge, to intercede for his daughter, to be tried on the marrow for the child murderer. The judge is stern, saying the circumstantial evidence is so clear there is no hope for the girl, and he would do the same through the criminal were one of his own. In rapid succession then is revealed that the son (suffering from a weak heart) was the betrayer of the girl, and the murderer of the infant. The boy describes how he did it, then appeals to his father, and afterwards upbraids him for sending him to college, giving him money to spend, but paying no further attention to his welfare. The excitement of the denouncement overwhelms the boy, whose heart gives out and he dies, with the curtain. The judge (unprogrammed) is excellent. He takes a strong grip on the character, makes it forceful and is an actor. The boy is also fully capable in his heavier passages, but does not command sympathy, the role forbidding that. The German is well played. The cast is an exceptionable one to be found in a small time skit. For the small time also “Justice” is quite worthy. It is holding, almost intense.
19 Mins.; Full Stage (Interior). The sketch offered by Jack Ellis and Co. cannot be designated as either fish or fowl. It isn’t dramatic nor is it burlesque nor a dramatic sketch. It just between and not enough of either. Its theme seems to have been taken from “The Man of the Hour.” There is the young and honest mayor who is beset by the Boss who wants him to sign a bill behind which there unlimited opportunity for graft. The young man playing the mayor passes by nicely, but the boss is as fine a burlesque character as ever seen. The third character, the boss’ daughter, in love with the mayor, is poorly played. Mr. Ellis will have to make up his mind one way or the other regarding the offering. It must either be played straight, without trying after comedy, or burlesque throughout. It seems as though there would be room for the sketch on the small time as straight dramatic, with another woman in the role of the daughter.