24 min. in 1. James is just as good as ever judging from the laughs his monologue and Bonnie certainly looks good and got the audience singing with her in good style. Went good.
Harry Lester Mason with his waiter monolog took up the running after the “Topics of the Day.” He was extremely hoarse but stuck to his task with excellent results, passing up only the finale song. Mason has added a dash of up-to-date color. He talked about the football bunch on Thanksgiving night invading the café and calling for “their quarterback” and “their half-back.” His mention of one of the girl frequenters as a “bimbo” too produced its giggle.
Barnes, who differs from most monologists in that his talk is intelligent and ironical rather than absurd and punny [sic], seemed to find the center of gravity with this vast mob of reputed lowbrows. His my-wife’s-first-husband-John stuff, with which he is familiarly identified, got screams. He likewise encored.
A pleasing entertainment the first half, altogether the show ran in a somewhat unusual manner with Mitt Collins, the headliner, closing. The audience seemingly was in doubt when he finished as to whether or not it was the end of vaudeville. Collins incidentally did not seem to get warmed up to his work for some little time after he started, and he was pulling hard for laughs. His style of delivery (at lest the style he employed Monday night) lost a great many of the points that should have been sure fire.
Frank Ward, next to closing, and De’Lea and Orma, No. 3 divided comedy honors. Ward is a real monologist, one of the very few offering a genuine monologue with all his subjects related and delivered with a finish and comedy method second to none on big time. He does novelty encore that’s about an original as any piece of business can possibly be. This is an illustration of the different kinds of dances, but done by means of manikins on ward’s hands, with his fingers showing the dance steps. If the big time don’t capture Mr. Ward the big time will have to stand the onus.
Milt Collins made his entrance to some departing clientele. No great interval passed before his audience was almost in convulsions. This bland imitator of the deceased Cliff Gordon is timely in his monolog, which is punctuated now and then by a few jokes which might be cut out for the benefit of an equal number who might take offense.
Harry Lester Mason went down next to closing with his monolog “The Waiter.” Outside in the lobby his photos show a chin piece, but he has “shaved” the “brush” and only the burr in his chatter is a reminder of his former chattering in “Dutch” dialect. The waiter talk is a sequel to his former janitor bit. It has the mention of feeding drinks to diners in the place he works in and that is perhaps all right for Manhattan and the other cases left. Mason’s talk is funny and there is some real humor in the computation that he walks around the world three times and twice across the ocean in serving people during the year. His eugenic rhyme at the close may be a bit out of date but still has some comedy value. It could be replaced with a strongly but to advantage.
Joe Laurie Jr. breezed through to the hit of the last half in his near monolog. Joe was over and in with his wise cracks before he introduced his stage parents for some kidding. That insured him doubly and he was forced to a speech at the finish. Laurie has one of the most interesting talking acts in vaudeville and he can handle talk with the best of them.
19 min. His monologue offering this year is one of the best he has ever offered and in addition to keeping the audience amused, he won a lot of applause with some up-to-date humor on the war and finished strong with a tribute to the administration.
Julius Tannen, the loquacious chatterbox, talked at ‘em, kept ‘em interested and laughing, and could be doing it yet, according to the applause. Whether it was a trick of showmanship of an example of Mr. Tannen’s brilliant wit, an incident occurred Monday which fetched one of the heartiest laughs of the evening. In the midst of his chatter someone sounded an imitation of a feline in the adjacent alley. Then Tannen pulled the nifty “This is a monolog, not a catalog.” They were at his mercy thereafter.