Strassell’s Animals opened. Two seals, with an interesting routine, winding up when one animal tooted “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” on horns. That sent the act off to a hand.
DeHaven and Nice came doubling up from the Jefferson Tuesday, taking the number four spot left open with the withdrawal of Bert and Betty Wheeler after Monday night. It was the second appearance of DeHaven and Nice at the Palace in a month. They continue to add little bits that landed for added laughs. “First-shot Harris,” the fly cop in the act, announced the music for the finale number (“tangled-footed monkey wrenches”) was written by Volstead and Auderson and was called the “The Blue Sunday Blues.”
Mme. Besson, with a supporting cast of unusual size and ability, brought the distinguished Sir James M. Barrie to vaudeville via his “Half and Hour” (New Acts), a playlet locked in vaults of the Frohman office ever since it was used as a curtain raiser in a Broadway theatre some years ago. On fourth it held the house all of its 33 minutes.
Sam and Kitty Morton followed in next to closing to deliver the comedy punch of the evening and by the time their four children had entered the going the Mortons trotted off the hit of the show. The elder Morton has the house chuckling from the moment of his entrance. His impersonation of “Papa” Joffre, the famed French field marshal, was excellent, and his dancing possessed the pep of a man many years his junior. The family bit concluded with “The Ghost of the Irish Song,” announced by Paul as a new number and led by Ciara.
Bert Fitzgibbons, assisted by his brother Lew, daffydilled them, poked fun and then played a xylophone and a piano for a good measure. Being encored, he produced a plugger in a box, who put over a ballad in a nice voice, but does not mean or add value to the act, being only a plugger.
Singer’s Midgets, giants of entertainers, were a big sized panic. When one considers the many things these miniature-bodied performers do and do well one thinks of the time and patience of their director. Their executive staff reads like a grand opera board, while they feature uniforms by Marshall Fields, ladies’ costumes by Jane and Andre of Paris, scenery by Joseph Urban and Robert Law Studio, while dancing directed by Ned Wayburn.
Lillian Shaw was hurt by having Miss Ford precede her, and though a tremendous favorite in this town, did not deliver with her usual knockout. She has replaced “I Love Him” with “Palesteena.” There was no question but that Miss Shaw would do much better on her evening show.
Margaret Ford, though in the deuce spot, showed ability like a next-to-close. She is out of the ordinary as a double voice singer, as both of her contralto and soprano notes are well near perfect. She brings back a reminder of Claire Rochester in her prime.
The Nagfys, a man and a woman, with a special set, showing the interior of hades, with the man dressed as Mephisto. They do some sensational electric and fire tricks. It’s been a long time since a novelty act of this nature has played the big time, and in the showmanship style that it was presented, this act should play a long, healthy route. They have a novelty that will cause an audience to talk and will bring many repeaters of non-believers. The man is a good showman, while the female member, though only acting as an assistant, makes a very nice appearance.
Opening the second part were Tom Patricola with Irene Delroy, who sounds new as Patricola’s assistant. The girl plays nicely, and Patricola had no trouble. Miss Delroy has magnetism, she carries herself like a performer, and looks well. His finish with the guitar is one of the best comedy hits in vaudeville. At the matinee the two-act had been next to closing. Patricola worked them to death for bows, alternating, but he got them.