14 Mins.; Three. Strong play for melodramatic thrill. Miner escapes from prison where he was doing a life term for murder. He gets with Bud, a friend, who tells him to beat it to the Mexican border. Jim from Death Valley ays “No.” He wants a song, a smile from a woman’s lips and a moment’s dream of what a life might have been. Jim gets it and with it the sheriff’s hand shackles. But Jim puts one over and makes the officer captive. As he starts with him for the border, General Creighton, whose daughter loves Jim (none other than Harry Wayne who killed one Trenton, crazed with a drink, who threatened a woman’s life and reputation), says the Gov of California is an old friend of his and that Jim should write the General to get the boy a pardon. There’s a vaudeville thriller for you. Fine pickings for the novel reading kids.
This sketch was performed for the first time in 1882. It is old-fashioned, artificial at times, and the trick by which tears are wrung from the most hardened is as palpable as the players themselves, and yet it strikes home. It is a domestic tragedy showing how husband and wife, who still love each other, unconsciously drift apart, each one thinking the other careless and callous. Lady Gwendoline Bloomfield (Ethel Barrymore), after the loss of her child, turns to frivolous society for comfort, dawdling about with one Sir Anthony. Sir Geoffrey Bloomfield (Charles Dalton) is following in the wake of some Duchess or other. Husband and Wife seldom meet and a barrier seems to have grown up between them. They bicker and quarrel, when they do meet, and the house divided seems ready to fall. The woman, who has steeled her heart, and is ready to break the marriage tie to free herself from the mockery, is touched when she finds her husband has been sleeping in the nursery, which long since has been deserted by their only child. Coming from the opera, she decides to have a talk with Sir Geoffrey and asks him to get her some needlework that she may work for the Red Cross. By a mistake, while rummaging among parcels, he finds one containing two little silk shoes. And, herein are the tears. In the midst of the high quarrel the woman undoes the parcel, and, there before her eyes, are the shoes worn by the little feet that “have found the path to haven.” In the playing of this scene Miss Barrymore has perhaps never reached a higher mark. It hits the heart a blow that is irresistible. Mr. Dalton is effective as the husband, giving a fine, clean-cut performance.
22 Mins.; Full Stage. “Days of War” Mme. Yorska, protege of Bernhardt, made her first appearance in English in “Days of War” (by Maurice Joy) assisted by Jose Ruben. The scene of the little play is laid in a fashionable hotel in a European seaside resort. The story concerns a spy and how he is caught by a chorus girl from the Casino, a local playhouse. Mme. Yorska is seen as Laura, the Casino girl, who has been courted by Count Dalgo (Jose Ruben). There is a waiter (Theodore Doucet) who is in reality a secret service man on the trail of Count Dalgo, the spy. A maid (Eleanor Grayce) is also more or less concerned. It appears that Laura, who is under an assumed name, had known Count Dalgo in other days under his real name, and at that time had fallen in love with him. She is set to catch him by the secret service man. While waiting to give the signal which will send him to death, she discovers he is her former ideal, and this forms the crux of the playlet. In this big scene Mme. Yorska is given opportunity for some strong emotional acting. The act is talky and discursive and the plot is not always clearly defined. As a picture of what happens in war times, it is fairly effective. Mme. Yorska’s series of plays at the Fine Arts theatre was abandoned because of war conditions.
11 Mins.; Three (Interior) A young looking couple, who offer a little home and heart skit that met with favor. Team handles little playlet well.
“Ordered Home” 25 Mins.; Full Stage (Special Scenery). “Ordered Home” is a playlet of love and war. The scenes are laid in Malabang region on the Phillippines, which allow of picturesque and unusual scenic effects. Rudolph Berliner, director of the orchestra at the Palace, is the author is more ways than one, as he is set down as the maker of the book and also part composer of the music. Franklyn Underwood staged the piece. Raymond Barrett wrote the lyrics, and Raymond Midgley staged the musical numbers: so it appears that the offering has about as many authors as the average musical comedy. There are several pretty songs, and the presence of native Filipinos gives color and atmosphere. Darmerel is debonair, as of old, and sings his songs well. If anything, the act is slightly too long and needs speeding up a bit. Just as this time, when war and patriotism are topics of the world over, this little story of love and duty ought to please as it did last Monday afternoon.
Mary Marble was fourth in one of the few dressing room acts seen on the big time circuits in years. Miss Marble has a strong personal following and a rather weak vehicle. As an actress who returns to the town she ran away from years ago Miss Marble gives a very convincing interpretation of an unconvincing role. The young actress, who is disillusioned with life and who received large gobs of sophisticated advice from Miss Marble, is well handled by an attractive looking girl. The husband, who turns out to be the manager of the theatre and the grown baby who is the property boy, are also capably played.
Abrams and Kohns had a tense playlet with a dismal tendency. As a sketch it holds interest tensely, but as a sketch also it interferes with a fast moving specialty bill. The Sunday crowd enjoyed the interlude and gave the players generous applause at the final curtain.
This dramatic war playlet has an exceptional cast and was fairly well received.
22 min. f.s.spl. set. This scene, the interior of a submarine, is a dandy and very good capable company handled the dramatic sketch to perfection. A corking act and went over great.
It is an unsatisfying program. The big readline act is Valeska Suratt is a disconcerting melodramatic sketch replete with underworld slang. It is real, old-fashioned melodrama, with the old-thing. As an exemplification of cave-man drama it is unique. Miss Suratt orates and intones a la Ethel Barrymore. Some years have passed since we had anything so stirring in vaudeville. In less than half an hour we have the “meat” of a full evening’s red-blooded underworld melodrama, so why sit through two and a half hours to get what can be dished out in one-fifth the time?