15 Mins.; Two (Special Drops) “The Girl and the Bank.” A nice-appearing two-act for small time, that is capable of being developed into big time material. The setting is the paying teller’s window of a bank on a dull day. A girl calls to cash a check. The paying teller, who squares the bank by saying it is a “Reserve” one, kids with her. From the conversation, not bad at all and quite nicely handled by the couple, the teller, closing the bank for the day by pushing the clock to three, sings a song. “Why Must We Say Good-Bye?” the title blending in with the clock moving. The girl returns, notices the teller is absent and seeing no one else around warbles “The Garden of Roses.” This must have been a troublesome movement for the couple to overcome, how to get the girl back and have her sing with a “legitimate” reason. Anyway the teller had only left to put on his evening dress, so when he got back, they both sang “Honey Bee,” a rather good number as they do it, with an original bit of business involved that suggests the pair were at one time in musical comedy. Another bit of good business is the best bursting, and on the other hand, they are using the Melville Ellis-Ada Lewis “Should a fellow kiss a girl when taking her home in a taxi?” The trouble with the turn just now is that when they are talking, one thinks it would be well to use a song here and there, and when they sing, one prefers the talk, not because they don’t sing well, but through the selections, expecting “Honey Bee.” Their voices are not for rags, however, but there must be more melodious numbers around the publishers than those employed as solos. Neither voice is strong, and the girl is the better of the two. The young woman likewise has a better idea of getting points over through emphasis of action and expression. These appear to be the same people, or man at least, that Mark reviewed about a year and a half ago when they were working in full stage. He made suggestions then the couple seem to have followed, and they should keep on trying to improve. On the general run their appearance and work, the people in the act should make the big time, either with a better edition of this turn or some other.
22 Mins.; Five (Office). Paul Gilmore and his company rushed into the Fifth Avenue program Tuesday evening, playing a comedy sketch that will get over in those small time houses where the audiences are not over-particular, as to story and methods of playing. Perhaps this sketch was built for the small time. It certainly could not have been intended for big time. There is not enough body to it, for the piece is only held up my Mr. Gilmore’s playing with that remembering a matter of preference. When a bachelor around 45 years says he hasn’t had a kiss for years, and balks away from one with the girl he has just became engaged to wed, it’s on a par with the vaudeville business of a decade ago about the woman a skins what a kiss is. And the Kiss-Moon Song is Heaven compared to it. The Gilmore-sketch story is of the bachelor in love with his youthful stenographer but won’t declare himself. The girl and her brother frame him to ask her. His only fear seems to be that he is too old. Then into the kiss stuff. The girl did the best of the quartet a couple of others having minor roles. There is plenty in this playlet that will make women who have missed much of what it contains laugh immoderately at the dialog and the antics, and they will laugh harder at it in the smaller houses than the large.
9 Mins.; One. Funny, how this double-voiced thing is springing up among singles in vaudeville. It’s old stuff outside of that. Any single speaking about a notice will use two voices, one when it’s good and another when it’s bad. Rosie Miller hasn’t nearly the singing range that some of the others have talking. One can almost imagine Rosie going into a music publisher, asking what good rags he has hanging around loose and then inquiring the best way they are getting them over nowadays. The publisher Rose spoke to must have told her the double-voice thing was au fait at present. One thing about Rosie is that she enunciates clearly. You can’t miss a word. Every song is the same, and Rosie sang four in nine minutes at the Fifth Avenue Tuesday night. This matter of time is becoming a serious item. Up to Rosie’s appearance the record was 9 mins. 38 secs., held by a single at the Jefferson but maybe Rosie beat her through not getting so much applause. If the orchestra can stand it, singles may yet do five songs in six minutes and doubles go through an act in less than ten. That will be regular motion vaudeville, and would let the house give five or six shows a night, with acrobats getting through their turn under five minutes. But the songs that Rosie Sang! They were “Cotton Blossom Time,” “Carolina,” “Down Below” and “At the Ball.” Got Rosie the most noise, so that is giving Mose Gumble a neat little best of Max Winslow, but it’s 50-1 that either one of those “pluggers” tipped Rosie off to the double-voice thing. It wasn’t announced on the stage, nor the program, nor did Rosie make it very evident. It’s in here through inside info, and it’s just as well, for if Rosie is going right on through vaudeville believing she has a double, it can remain a secret between us. And if she is going to sing rags or any other kind of numbers, Rosie might better do them in character.
11 Mins.; Two (Special Set). The Six Navigators are an acrobatic turn that has grown familiar to vaudeville under another name, according to report. In the renaming of the act, the sextet has adopted a style of dressing, with a special setting, that takes it away from the fleshing-clad athletes who tumble in groups. This company is dressed as sailors on a ship scene. They do some fast acrobatics, with many good tricks from a springboard, the best of these being a double somersault off the board of a two high. The act closed the Fifth Avenue bill. It is dressed so differently from what the people have grown accustomed to or expect, that the act should be used in the centre of a small time bill, to get full value. It will do very well on the big time or the small big time, and would make a nice opening number for any big time program.
“My Wife from London” 19 Mins.; Five (Parlor). “My Wife from London” is Scotch, played by Scots. Like other plays and playlets from that country or that country’s authors, it has irresistible humor, in dialog, expression and emphasis. The Scotch writer, while not as wildly anxious for continuous laughs as the English or American comedy penman, making a bull’s eye when he does aim. It may be said to be a fault that he doesn’t aim often enough, but this is offset in part at least by the continuity of the story told, even in a sketch. Walter Roy wrote “My Wife from London,” perhaps as good a title as any. The playlet is very entertaining, or would be those accustomed to refined vaudeville and to those who prefer that sort rather than slapstick. It’s hard to say whether the Fifth Avenue crowd Tuesday evening liked it better than they did a Swede comedian. Some of the best matter in the Scotch turn got but half of what it deserved, while the Swede when he opened his mouth, giving a long howl, for no reason and no possible object (excepting he hadn’t had anything else written in for him to do) received the loudest laughter of the night from those in front. Comedy is comedy to those who like it. It’s also a matter of education by those who sell it through the box office. Some keep the box office busy and some do not. Mr. Roy plays the principal role in the Scotch skit, although Peggy McCreed is featured. She’s a good-looking blonde girl, plump and living up to the usual Scotch billing of “bonny,” although she is English in this case, in character and in fact. The story is of an elderly couple, always quarreling. Their son left for London a few years before. The girl is their ward. The son married her before going away. He returns after having become successful on the London musical hall stage as a Scotch comedian. The mother is glad to have her boy back, regardless, but the father is stern. He wants to know what he has done, and is horrified at his boy turning into a “play actor.” The father asks the son how much he gets a week for making a fool of himself. “Thirty pounds,” replies the boy. “For thirty pounds we can afford to be disgraced a little,” answers the pater. The piece is nicely played. It is restful in a sense and there are surprise laughs obtained without effort. It is well written effort and should be able to make itself worth booking on big time, although it is not a big comedy number, though capable of improvement, especially the finish, which might end in another quarrel scene. Mr. Roy makes up well as the father and does equal well in his playing.
At the beginning, she is in the air spinning and “flies” in and out with various props used by the man, who gives or takes them from her while she is on the wire.
Dancing. 18 Mins.; Full Stage. Frisco in his newest act has four dancing girls, besides a female dancing partner—and his old stuff—which means his old jazz dancing. That still seems to go the best, for Frisco has a name around New York, though, everyone has taken about all his old stuff for themselves. A “tough” dance he does gets some laughs, and is a good piece of work of its kind, also his dancing imitations or “demonstrations,” as Frisco terms them. He can dance, but doesn’t do much of it.
6 Mins. Full Stage Fifth Ave. These three boys do two tricks in six minutes. Both are corkers. The final one is the only trick of its kind ever seen, and a wonder in perch balancing. The understander who is also an expert risley worker, balances a perch, silver, at least 22 feet high, on his forehead, while one of the young men clambers to the top. While there he gracefully does a full swing outward, with the understander still balancing the pole on his forehead without any other assistance. It held the house en wrapt and is one of the best acrobatic thrillers vaudeville has seen. The other trick was the balancing of a ladder on upraised feet, with the other boy doing’ acrobatic work upon it. The boys are full grown youths. It’s a turn for those who want a real acrobatic act of novelty that can go into any position.
It carries eight people, with Miss Flynn heading them although what there is to the act besides the production, Irene and Bobby Smith contribute. Those two girls are about all the turn contains. A few lay figures in the form of dressed up chorus girls who do nothing are also there but they wear their first dresses too long and their second gowns are on for but the final number. Miss Flynn has a couple of gags that she sends over too strenuously and sings a song or so. The what might be called interlocutor Is Mme. Arnoldo, who wears a black gown and sings soprano. Only Miss Flynn blacks up. The setting has some looks but there doesn’t to be much be much behind that and the Smith Girls should stick to this turn; it stands them out because they have no competition.
The Worden Brothers, formerly known as the Wartemburg Brothers, opened the program with their ground acrobatics and pedal wor kon [sic] pedestals. They did what they have been doing for years, getting through all right in the first spot. At least give these acrobats credit. They are still selling their stuff to hold the first spot and that’s keeping abreast for they did the same thing at Tony Pastor’s long before Pastor’s closed.