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'ROUND ABOUT NEW YORK By GEORGE TUCKER N EW YORK. It must be true, the saying that death has a macabre fascination for Broadway. When one of its satell ites is nudged into the abyss, post mortems are held In every cafe, in every stage dressing room, on every street corner, Today they arc holding Evelyn Hoey's, retelling the tragic, vitriolic end of her career. But, if Broadway wants a better story if should look back beyond Evelyn Hoey. it should go back six years, to 1929, when began a fasci nating Grand Hotel involving all the characters of Cole Porters "Fifty Million Frenchmen." "Fifty Million Frenchmen marked the last bright summer before the fall. It was the last gleam in Forty - second street before the blight of the crash and the de pression which dimmed the lights on so many marquees. Finally, it was the last extravaganza of the old Lyric Theater before burlesque and third - run movies arose like clouds of killing vapor to drive what remained of the legitimate theater from the street. Slender, vivacious, lovely Evelyry Hoey was in the cast. So were Betty Compton, Genevieve Tobin, Helen Broderick, Lester Crawford, Bill Gaxton, Jack Thompson, and Alan Jones with his California Collegians, all comparatively unknown. . Betty Compton surrendered Broad way after that early bid for recog nition. She followed Jimmy Walker into self - imposed exile, later married him after the first Mrs. Walker had divorced Jimmy. Then there was Jack Thompson, the tall, handsome dancing partner of Betty Compton's. Thwarted because he could not gain the hoped - for recognition after the musical comedy closed, Thompson tragically ended his own life. They found his body late one afternoon floating in the North river. As for diminutive Genevieve Tobin, she went on from there. She happens to be one of those flaxen - haired pretties who always seem in demand by film or stage producers. Bill Gaxton, probably Broadway's reigning comic, is now the star of "Anything Goes." And Lester Craw ford, who is Helen Broderick's husband, voluntarily resigned from the show so that he could devote his time to furthering his wife's career. Now Helen, they say, can't miss stardom in the films. This musical comedy hit of 1929, a Cole Porter show, was produced when Porter wasn't the fair - haired lad he is now. It was his first genuine success on Broadway. It was the first great success, too, of Her bert Fields, the librettist, after his association with Lorenz Hart and Richard Rogers liad been dissolved. Where Fields is today I wouldn't know. But, Cole Porter, who brought Evelyn Hoey back from Paris to sing a lead in his show, is busy with new productions, a wealthy, pleasant, successful man. Jack Thompson, the dancer, is in a suicide's grave, Genevieve Tobin and Helen Brod erick are in Hollywood. Alan Jones and his Collegians are famous. And Evelyn Hoey, the blue - eyed girl irom , Minneapolis who died the other day of a pistol bullet on the rural estate of a millionaire play boy, well, she's the girl they're talking about, the honey - haired chanteuse who sang "in softly wailing tones of moonless night, 'What Is This Thing Called Love?'"

Clipped from
  1. Harrisburg Telegraph,
  2. 28 Sep 1935, Sat,
  3. Page 2

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