HIS MAJESTY'S THEATRE. To-nlglit—"Christopher Columbus." February 1 to B—"Marie Balnes." February 17—Rickards , Vaudeville Co. February 24 to March B— J. C. Williamson's Comedy Co., "Get Kich Quick Wallingford." PICTURES. King's Theatre. Royal Albert Hall. Lyric Theatre. King George—Durham Street. Newton Picture Palace (Continuous). Queen's Theatre (Continuous). Globe Theatre—Queen Street (Continuous). VAUDEVILLE. Opera House—Nightly.
Edison says: "A time ie coming when the aetore and singers will perform in phonograph studios instead of in the theatre, and instead of an audience of a thousand or so, the entire world will furnish the audience. The poor man is barred. Why should the opera singers and the great actors be so limited in their scope? Why ehquld not their efforts be appreciated by millions? The talking machine and the moving picture in synchrony will make this possible, and it will not cost much either. Before long it will be possible to give an entire act of drama or opera on the phonograph."
Mr Fred Niblo, who takes the title role of "Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford," is eaid to be one of America's highest salaried artists, and so far as Australasia is concerned, he receives the biggest salary ever paid "to an actor by the J. C. Williamson, Ltd., management, with the notable exceptions of Mr Oscar Aeche and Mr H. B. Irving. His position in the theatrical world of America ie indicated by the fact that although a young man, he was recently elected president of the "White Rate' " Club. This institution has an enormous membership, and is the controlling body oi music hall artists. Mr Niblo created quite a furore of enthusiasm by his brilliant performance in "Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford."
Mr Fred. Niblo relates a pretty incident which happened on the opening night of the New York production of "Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford." The author, Mr George M. Cohan, who alto takee the leading part in all his own pieces, always insists that hip mother and father, both over 70 years of age, shall occupy a box on each opening night. At the end of the third act of "Wallingford," Mr Cohan slipped round to the box and asked his mother how she liked, the performance. She replied, "It's just lovely." "Well," he answered, "it's yours," and from that moment, three years ago, the royalties have all been paid to her credit, amounting to something like £800 per week.
WJien the pantomime eeason opened Mise May Beatty wae to again take up the role of "Dick" in "Dick Whittington," at the Hammersmith Theatre, London.
Mr and Mre Edward Lauri now live in a flat at Xavistock Square, and Mr Lauri ie having a strenuous time selecting large numbere for choruses, ballets, etc., which he ie controlling in suburbs and- provinces. He is eaid to have "longed for Australians, who are such good workere." When the mail left Mr and Mrs Lauri were appearing In a little sketch at the Palladium.
Alice Ruseon, principal girl of the "Puss in Boots" pantomime at Her Majesty's, Melbourne, stepped into Edna May's shoee when the latter left the caet of "The Gatch of the Season" in London. She also wae understudy to Phyllis Dere, and played her part in "The Belle of Mayfair." Mise Kueson played for a considerable time in musical comedy, and also made frequent appearance in comedy.
Miss Florence Imeson, after a four years' starring engagement in South Africa a«d Australia, during the last year of which, in Australia, she had the unusual experience of starring as principal boy in "Sinbad the Sailor" for the whole twelve months, arrived in England on December 10th, just in time for rehearsals of the forthcoming grand Christmas pantomime, "Aladdin," at the Opera House, Middlesbrough. In thie she is playing principal boy, supported by an "all-star" cast.
Miss Marjorie Day, a New Zealand actress, is praised for her personal charm and vivacity as Virginia in "Tantrums" at the Criterion Theatre, London. Born at Auckland, Miss Day had her first stage experience in the Dominion. Little more than ten years ago ehe went to England. Her first London appearance wae in the 1902 production of "A Little Unfairy Princess" at the Shaftesbury Theatre.
Violet Lorame, the principal boy in the Melbourne pantomime, does not keep opinions to herself. In a chat laet week she said: "I think I was meant to be a boy. I just love the part. When I come on I feel that I could daeh around the stage in the sheer exuberance of living. It is wonderful -what a change it makes in a woman to get into comfortable and sensible garments. I never feeleo much at eaee, so buoyant, in ordinary, everyday attire as I do in the principal boy's clothes. I think that if women were "to cast off their cumbersome garments and adopt a more rational, healthy,, and comfortable dreae they would: become brighter, more broad-minded, and more active. I would like to promoto a society for the rationalisation of women's dress."
A dog as a law-breaker—and a smuggler at that—might occasion a lot of surprise amongst people. But the lact is that Tommy, one of the dogs that play a prominent part in the Gaudsmidt's turn in " Puss in Boots " at Melbourne Her Majesty's, was for some time euigaed as a smuggler on the frontier between Holland and Belgium. Tommy is a black Spanish poodle of wonderful intelligence and activity. In his dangerous occupation the latter quality was particularly important, for he was frequently under fire from the rifles of the frontier guard, and on more than one occasion his speed saved 'his life. are frequently used for smuggling purposes on the European frontiers. Tobacco and other articles are placed in pads on the back, and under cover of night the dogs are released, and make their way at great speed, and with remarkable caution begotten of careful training, to their destination where, being strapped of Che valuables, they are -sent back to the starting place with other smuggled articles. A man engaged in this ocupation had about thirty dogs, one of which he cold to Heinrich Gaud-sm-idt in Paris, after he had decided to give up smuggling. " But you had better keep a tight hold on hhn," said the man when the bargain was made. "He is trained to bolt as soon as he sees a uniform." This had been taught the dog by a man who, dressed in a uniform, would beat the dog every time he sa.w him. The dog, therefore, lost no time in getting as far away as possible as soon as he caught sight of a uniform, which to him meant the presence of a cruel enemy.
"The Woman and the Monkey," was the heading of a law case in London, on November 18. ->ir. A. F. V. i.ud, solicitor, the assignee of John Ireland, manager of a rubber company, sued Miss Jean Ayhvia, the actress who is playing in "A Scrape o' the Pen" at the Comedy Theatre, London, for £10 for a monkey cold to her by Mt. Ireland.
Mr, • BuckniH, -who defended, said that Miss Aylwin sent the monkey to the Zoological Gardens, where dt died. Alise Aylwin paid the money to Mrs. Ireland. Judgment was given for Miss Aylwin with costs.
Several innovatione were noticeable in many of ithe pantomimes produced in London at Christmas. One —and a very welcome one for the children —was a marked desire on the part of managers to keep to the exact lines of the fairy stories instead of interpolating extraneous matter in the shape of variety specialities. Another feature "was the almost entire absence of children in the productions. There are always difficulties over their licenses, and the young people themselves are not always too amenable. In the previoue year, for instance, a determined strike amongst the youngsters for more pay greatly inconvenienced a manager of a leading suburban theatre.
Mr. Robert Courtneidge has secured the English rights of the musical comedy in three acts, "Oh! Oh! Delphine," the greatest success now running in New York. The music is by Ivan Caryll and the book and lyrice by C. M. S. MeLellan, the author of " The Belle of New York."
Mr. Louis Meyer has arranged to produce in London early this year a Chinese play, in four acts, entitled "Mr. Wu." One scene is laid in Adelphi Terrace, London; the other in Foochow. The central figure is that of a Chinese merchant of European education, and the story concerns itself with an English family who cross the path of the Oriental, while the dominant note in the play is the power of the secret eociety in China.
Mr. Tom Pollard is to stage "The Geisha" for the Dunedin Operatic and Musical Society in April "at His Majesty's Theatre. A good interpretation is expected. The caste will be stronger than ever, and a good season is anticipated.
It is reported that J. C. Williamson, Ltd., have purchased the performing rigbte of "The Girl an the Taxi," by Jean Gilbert and George Okonowski. The musical comedy was produced by Mr. P. M. Faraday at the Lyric Theatre, London, on September 5, and Miss Yvonne Arnaud at once became a favourite ac Suzanne. The popular piece was running well at the end of November.
Paul Pedrint, described as a " remarkable foot equilibrist," who is to appear at Fuller's nest week, is a native of New Plymouth, and is returning to New Zealand after ten years' absence. One of his 'best acts is to balance on ihis feet a gun carriage, cannon and man, represented to weigh over 450 pounds.
A Berlin paper has been taking the German public to task over the class of drama which is becoming popular , "in Germany (says the London correspondent of the "Sydney Morning Herald"). The argument seems to be that Germany is weakening herself as against England by allowing sensuality to go unchecked. The German writer believes that there has been a genuine protest in England against the " fleshly school of spectacle." There certainly has been a noticeable change of late in the style of the turns at the London music halls. The owners of two or three of the largest halls have found that by making the performances such that husbands could bring their wives aid parents their children, they have tremendously increased the audiences to which they could app eft l- Any indecency in the programme within a very short space of time reduces that audience, and that is perhaps the reason why the nude dances which, for a time, were a part of the programme <of nearly every large hall, have disappeared as suddenly as they came. As for the theatres, it has always paid better, in England, to produce healthy drama than to introduce the constant appeal to the lower senses. By far the most successful plays of the year in London have been "Bunty Pulls the_ Strings," and " Milestones." Both are plays of a high order of cleverness, both are perfectly clean and fragrant; and both have had exceptionally long TTIH3 even for London. Indeed, the poplawty of "Milestones" doe not yet show the slightest sign of waning. A magnificent production in every way " Antony and Cleopatra," as given by Mr. Oscar Asche, must Tank as the finest series of stage pictures we have had in Melbourne (says "Table Talk"). There has been nothing to approach it in splendour or perfection of detail. Quite apart from the play, apart from the action, as a, series of splendid tableaux alone, " Antony and Cleopatra" should be seen, for it will in future rank ac one of the recording landmarks in Australian theatrical productions.
The Drury Lane pantomime thte Christmas was "The Sleeping Beauty," designed and written by Mr. George R. Sims, Mr. C. H. Bovill, and the manager of the theatre, Mr. Arthur Collina. With the preparations for the pantomime completed, Mr. Collins would have been free to devote his attention to his production at the Queen's Theatre of "Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford," for though this comedy has already reached Australia and new Zealand, it will not be seen in London until the 14th of the present month. Mr. Hale Hamilton, who was in the title role in New York, is to play it also in London.
Mr. Weedon Grossmith, who is known as an artist ac well as an actor, was once assailed by a fair autograph-hunter, who thrust her album under his nose as be was leaving the theatre. "Do sign your name, Mr. Grossmith," she gushed. "If you will leave your book at the stage door , with your address and ninepence for the Actors' Benevolent Fund " replied the acrtor, "I shall do so. tomorrow with pleasure." The girl objected. An actress, she declared, who was far better known than he, had signed her book for sixpence. She pouted at ■ Mr. Grossmith's obduracy. But sudenly she brightened. " I know," sihe exclaimed, "you shall have the ninepence if you'll do mc a picture as well " The theatre-goers of Milljcent, a suburb ov Mount Gambler (South Australia) went out on strike recently against the demands of a travelling show. The management demanded two shillings. Many of the visitors 'had no more than a shilling, and they hovered around the entrance door. A hasty consultation ended in the formation of a "Theatregoers' Union." "Pickets" were stationed, and within ten minutes 78 people had agreed not to pay the extra charge. The company was requested to lower the price to a shilling, but the .manager was obdurate. " Look here," at last cried the spokesman, " ril give you until I count twenty to oonsideT, and after that our price will be sixpence instead of a shilling." He Counted three, and ttien the manager ga.ve in. As soon ac the " strike " wa.s declared off the 78 "strikers " trooped triumphantly into the hall. 3BE DEADSEaD.
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Auckland Star, Auckland Star, Volume XLIV, Issue 22, 25 January 1913
STAGE JOTTINGS. Auckland Star, Volume XLIV, Issue 22, 25 January 1913
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