J.C. Nugent entered with his slightly inebriated gait and monologed a flock of wise talk, which the customers were quick to appreciate despite its depth, some of the neighbors opining “Clever!” and kindred complimentary asides. Mr. Nugent’s success lies in the fact he recites familiar homilies in a naivety quaint and humorous style.
[New Act] Dialect Monologist, 12 mins; one. (Dec. 20). Explaining he sneaked on to sell hats to the audience after canvassing back stage, a monologist carrying a hat box goes into a selling talk anent hats. Taking a Scotch Tam out of the box, he explains the dialect goes with it and follows with some Scotch stories and song. The same procedure for an English character and last a Cape Cod fisherman with a recitation. The characters are far from class cut and need modernization. The method of introducing them is deserving of better follow up material.
Milt Collins preceded the Rice and Ward turn, doing his Cliff Gordoning that had an uphill battle from the start, due to about a quarter of the house changing seats with those who had been standing, After the switch in locations had been accomplished Collins was given the attention he needs, and though far from the finished monologist Gordon was, nevertheless handled his material well enough to register solidly.
[New act] Monologist, 12 mins.; one. Billy Connery has stories and songs. A good part of his chatter is located overseas and there are war angles which carry out his mention of having been a soldier. Some of the stories were in Irish brogue, but he showed familiarity with French with a song number of the close which drew him an earned encore. A rhymed yarn recited with muted orchestration was anent the war and the part of the Yanks played. That bit went for a good hand. For pop audiences Connery is amusing. He delivered nicely here.
Another single was Mitt Collins, No. 4 with the material used by the late Cliff Gordon in make-up, mannerism and matter. His topical talk including politics did something in a way, and had Mr. Collins sufficient personality to aid his delivery he would be ever so much better off as a dialect monologist. The similarity in many spots to the talk of Collins and Senator Francis Murphy, who are doing “Dutch” topical stuff. Seems to say that both have secured their material from the same author (Aaron Hoffman) and may be appearing through an understanding. Mr. Collins should drop the horse-meat dialog, extending to the jack-ass bit. It’s offensive in its suggestions of eating horse flesh, whether culled from newspaper reports or not.
Miss Herford, with a series of four stories, entertained in parlor fashion. Her announcements of her various little stories are so frightfully trite and so lacking in any attempt to interject personality into them that they almost spoil the character studies themselves. Her present reperoire [sic] includes “The Matinee Girl,” “The Five and Ten Store,” “The Hotel Child” and “The Baby in the Street Car,” all more or less well known but still laughable.
Murray K. Hill completed the bill with a monolog, sections of which were good for laughs. “Kay-O,” dealing with the dug traffic, proved a timely King offering and gave Reece Gardner, an opportunity for portraying a “dope,” which he did in a creditable manner.
James Thornton was next with his familiar monolog. Jim lost them during several portions of his talk, but always switched in time to sustain the flagging interest. At the finish he received solid hands and thanked the crowd in a brief speech touching upon his 42 years of service.
It took quite a while for the show to get started Tuesday night, the first three turns falling in a row. Ben Bernie, fourth, finally succeeded in creating some real vaudeville atmosphere and the rest of the show just romped along for a series of consecutive applause wallops. Mr. Bernie has developed into a first rate monologist, the fiddling now being a secondary consideration. Preceding Bernie, Baroness De Hollub had taken a terrific flop, which made it all the harder for the kidding violinist. He had a lot to overcome but managed to win out with honors. A raft of encores and a “speech” attested Bernie’s hit.
Harry Lee, late of Huey and Lee, did well with his monologue entitled “The Manager.” Lee enters from the front of the house saying he is the manger and will do a stunt in place of Lee who did not show up. The talk deals principally with the troubles a manager has with actors slightly panning the latter. Comedy songs interpolated effectively during the monologue obtained the biggest returns.