[New Act] Talking, singing, 16 mins; one. Comic with rubber tired cheaters. Straight in street attire. The former is carrying a Kodak which introduces long unfunny crossfire dialog about photography. After the straight solos, the inevitable ballad, more crossfire about a menu with familiar gags. A song is doubled, followed by a soft shoe double dance. The song is pleasingly harmonized and the dancing up to the average, but the material is of ancient vintage. This pair could handle dialog acceptably if they had the vehicle. Their present one is hopeless.
[New Act] Songs, Whistling, Dancing, 12 mins.; one (special drop)(Dec.20). Exterior of coal mine. One member in miner’s outfit, other in tuxedo. Miner whistles, other offers soft shoe routine, followed by the miner’s solo song, a semi classical, with good baritone. Hard shoe dance by dressed up member, with both dancing at finish. Some dialog between number conveys that straight owns mine or something to that effect. Goof harmonizing, fair hoofer, lack of experience evident. Smallest time.
[New Act] Comedy Sketch, 14 mins; full stage. An old standard sketch formerly titled “A Tip on the Derby.” The story has to do with a middle-aged couple. The husband likes to play the races and is expecting a telegram with the low down about “Mabel B.,” a horse he owns a share in. Wifey is expecting a wire from her brother Pat, who is to call on her. The telegram arrive, each opening the wrong one and the usual complications. It’s a good comedy offering for the smaller houses, the situation appearing new to the present generation of theatregoers, or at least now at the Harlem.
Joe Bennett, next to closing, held several of the departing ones in the aisles as soon as he started to dance. The talk about the limberger also tended to make the uneasy ones forget their desire to leave. Bennett, like the other turns, just did his act, even extending himself to overcome the handicap of the departures. He pulled down a sizable applause hit at the finish, but nothing like he would have received under normal conditions.
Duncan and Lynn, two rubes, landed excellent returns with their eccentric dancing. Both handle the characters in a more legitimate way than most vaudeville rubes. The talking routine is also bright, and several of the points registered for solid laughs.
Gibson and be Mott, a singing and talking team, passed No. 2 with a fairly entertaining line of conversation and songs. The “before and after marriage” medley at the finish, although familiar, was well handled and pleased.
The Three Melfords opened with a fast ground tumbling and risley turn. The three men use clown makeup, and the comedy is of the usual cut-and-dried Continental sort. The acrobatics, however, are clean cut and a couple of thrillers stand out.
[New Act] Songs, dances and piano. 15 mins.; one. Two colored men in entertaining songs, dances and piano playing. The shorter does the singing and dancing, the other playing accompaniments on a baby grand. Both wear cork facial make-up. The singer does a “wench” bit that is the goods. He also puts over a competent bit of soft shoe dancing, a department in which he shines. The turn on its American Roof showing will add value to any small time bill, suitable particularly for the early section. The act went over very well, No. 4 on the Roof.
One of the strongest bidders for the honors was Bobby Van Horn, opening second half after intermission. His songs were over with a speedy delivery as well as fast comedy. He works with a great deal of stage presence, and personality might be his middle name, although he does not show signs of being able to rise above the big-small-time and calibre.
Gene and Katherine King held second spot. Miss King does a change of wardrobe while offering the first song and suggesting a wax figure that is very artful. Her gowns are very pleasing to the eye. Gene King displays a voice of ability and, together with his partner in an able harmonist. The act winds up in a novel fashion with the team singing their way off stage, she perched atop of a tea cart and he pushing it gently. It scored.