“The Merry Burlesquers”

Costumes, dancing, cycling and stage equipment.
Singing and comic dialogue.
Not looking for too much in these nondescript troupes on the same kind of time, Craig's company passes expectations. It's short of costuming and equipment, or rather what it has of both seem very much second-handed. The dressing for the 14 girls bespeak a road show only, while the girls themselves, or most of them look as though they accepted the engagement after all other show rosters had been filled. The principals, led by Craig, capture a laugh not and again. The Daly audience could not be called sophisticated, as far as burlesque is concerned. They want "dirt" and "cooch" down there. Craig disappointed in both. Once in a while a principal would put over a double entendre remark that the house greedily caught the wrong way. Toward the finish Louise Pearson led "Pidgeon Walk," with the girls behind her doing a bit of a "cooch" movement. Upon an encore Miss Pearson, who was neatly though ill-fittingly dressed in a tighter suit, did a vulgar cooch herself, for an instant only. She was also concerned in a smutty passage of two-sided words with a couple of comedians. In a theatre hungry for this off-color stuff there could be no objection to what the Craig outfit used; the only wonder is that they kept the dirt so well in hand. The olio opened with Crag and his time-worn phonograph, Craig holding on to his "Dutch" make-up even for the vaudeville turn. In fact he went through the show in the same character and disguise. Jack Davis and Marie Elmore were the second olio act. Theirs is a sidewalk conversation and song. Both are also principals in the skits. Miss Elmore is the soubret, with a peculiar idea of dressing for her figure in that role. Their olio act in its talk held some "old boys" among the gags, likewise some of McMahon and Chappell's best husband-and-wife talk. The olio was closed by the Berlins, Al and Tillie. Al Berlin is a comedy tramp cyclist, one of the many who have of late liberally borrowed from the Charlie Ahearn cycling turn. The girl helps to dress the stage, and the turn is just about placed right where it is. Dorthy Blodgett is featured with Craig on the billing. Miss Blodgett walks through without commotion attending. Joe E. Dailey and Billy Johnson are among the comedians, Mr. Dailey rambling off with the easy honors of the company, so well balanced on the wrong end, it wouldn't be difficult for any one who could to do it. The two big numbers are a red fire finale for the first part and a quarter or quintet of singers (male principals) in the burlesque. Both are funny, though not so intended. The Craig show, with a little money spent on the production end, a couple of changes in principals, and a few young looking chorus girls, could qualify for the Columbia's No. 2 Wheel. At least credit Craig and his "Merry Burlesquers" with giving a better performance without the smut than some of the American Wheel "Turkeys" are doing with filth strewn all over the stage.
Variety, 40:9 (10/29/1915)