[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.
Maxon and Morris opened the show with marionettes. Their songs are over from the very beginning, while the comedy could stand a little change. The female member gave the audience a gentle surprise which turned into a boisterous laugh when she appeared in person. Madam weighs – but that would be telling.
[Friend and Downing] were billed just right, for next to closing in second half, and were followed in the last position by Hori and Nogami, Jap equilibrists, who held their audience. It is an act hardly over eight minutes in length, but each minute is well taken up, and the stunt of one of the natives balancing himself on a reversed bicycle balanced on a steel pole and resting in the lap of the other gave them deserved applause.
The biggest score was hung up by Friend and Downing. The Hebrew dialect stuff of Friend has some good points in it, while as a feeder Downing is not found wanting. Their material in some instances is fresh and deserving of credit, while in the main it is a trifle stale. They pulled a good deal of stuff here that few managements would hardly sanction for the welfare of patrons with an idea, that comedy doesn’t necessarily have to be salacious to get over. Friend is an able comedian and has sufficient stage presence to work ad libitum practically two minutes after he and the boards sustain his shoe leather, but that doesn’t give him unlimited privileges. They were billed just right, for next to closing in second half, and were followed in the last position by Hori and Nogami, Jap equilibrists, who held their audience.
Busse’s Dogs opened and showed that the animals knew what would get ‘em as well as their masters. It is not far fetched to say the dogs know their business as well as their masters. Perhaps the entire novelty of this act is due to the manner in which the dogs perform, for in most instances they are coached from behind the wings, with in instructionists visible on the stage Morton and Dennis followed, and succeeding them in third spot were Murphy and Plant held the fourth position.
The nearest approach to the biggest score – and even that might have been improved on – was in the appearance of Rose and Lee Belle, a sister act, who disported four songs with highly agreeable harmony, opening the second half after intermission. The blonde, despite an overdose of make-up, showed personality and was able to put over a song with the added suggestion of a shimmy – but not overdone – which really woke up the audience into bigger applause than had been accorded any other turn. The one at the piano is as much of a factor in the turn’s success as her teammate, using a soft voice and is able to keep the orchestra in time with some fair piano playing.
[New Act] Acrobatics, 8 mins; three. Two men, straight acrobatics, in kid get-up sox, knickers and all, one entering on pushmobile, the other performing some business with a top balloon. They go into their acrobatic work, handstands and head stands, neatly performed, with dispatch. For a finish, a variation on a familiar, but sure-fire feat is performed; an ankle lift from the floor with the knees as the fulcrum. Great for either end on the present time.
[New Act] Comedy Acrobatic, 10 mins; full stage. Although there is but one man billed, there are two in this act. It is one of those straight-and-clown acrobatic turns along the lines of the old Rice and Prevost act. The clown does a flock of falls all the place, while the straight offers a number of stereotyped turns and twists. It is a small-time opening act.