The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio on May 21, 1950 · Page 96
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The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio · Page 96

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Sunday, May 21, 1950
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THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER SECTION THREE SUNDAY, MAY 21, 1950 PACE SIX Season Was Short On Shows But Quality Was All Right SS Ml..' t BY E. B. RADCLIFFE. WITH ELEVEN ATTRACTIONS, Cincinnati's 1949-50 season contracted close to the all-time low in number of productions but quality, novelty, and variety were at high level and box office return relatively better than last year. ' Returns on last year's 16 shows were the best in 20 years, Leo McDonald, who u promoted to a Chicago post . .. - In the Shubert organization, reportea ai me season'! wind-up. Noah Schachter, Clncin-natlan who succeeded him as local Shubert manager, ald yesterday returni of thl year's 11 presentations topped the flrat 11 a year ago; compared favorably with the total revenue of last year's 18. The first 11 ahows of ach season, by coincidence, Included a top grosser, "Allegro" being the 1948-49 one and Mr. Roberta" that for 1949-50. IN CONTRAST with last season, which presented seven musicals, including "Annie Get Tour Gun" and "Oklahoma" repeats, this year saw only a single musical, that perennial, The Student Prince." Of the eleven shows ix were new and five were revivals. There is no question about the best play of the season, "Death Of A Salesman" topping all others by a wide margin. Its Impact on mmmunitv discussion has seldom been quailed tn local theater recently and certainly the play is one that will bear repeat performances with coming years. "As You Like It" was the most eye-delighting theater of the year. The Madwoman of Chaillot" represented both fascinating and fantastic departure from convention In writing and production. The robust quality of "Mr. Hobcrts" surpassed that of Its counterpart of World War I, "What Price Glory." 'Ansa Of The 1,000 Days" proved as hearty an acting piece as we've seen In some time. "Summer And Smoke" wasn't up to Tennessee WilUams's best, but it was a worthy effort in hothouse flower character study in which Mr. Williams specializes. "Philadelphia Story," "The Man Who Came To pinner," "The Barretts Of VVlmpole Street," and "Diamond LU" wers the revivals. ' THE SEASON'S best play brought the best performance by an actor, as Is frequently the case. Thomas Mitchell's Willy Loman proved that Mr. Mitchell rates consideration with the best actors of today's stage and screen. This is not exactly news to observers who have watched his conscientious work for some years. Two English actresses , and an American , veteran were outstanding; Joyce Redman, as Anne Boleyn, Martlta Hunt, in the title role of "Madwoman," and June Walker, as Willy Loman's wife. Worthy of special mention in the season's summation are performances by Katharine Hepburn in "As You Like It" and Susan Peters in "The Barretts Of Wlmpole Street." TUB SEASON brought some new actors and actresses whose work will bear watching: Katharine Balfour, the pathetic and frustrated Alma Wlnemlller of "Summer And Smoke;" Tod Andrews, doctor's son in same play; John Forsythe, title role In "Mr. Roberts," Jackie Cooper, Ensign Pulver and new to theater; Hugh Rellly, reporter In 'The Philadelphia Story;" Cloris Leachman, a wonderful Cells to Hepburn Rosalind; William Prince, of the movies, a fine Orlando; Bill Owen, Touchstone; Frank Rogler, from Menottl opera, Amiens; Robert Carroll, Robert Browning, Paul Lang-ton, Biff, tn "Death Of A Salesman." Roberta Haynea, Irma, In "Madwoman," Jacques Au-buchon, Sewer Man, Same. And in the small but well done part of Stanley, the headwalter tn "Salesman," Carmen Cost). r MONTY WOOLLEY, in role ha originated as Sheridan Whiteside, was among the following noteworthy veterans who appeared here: Aubrey Mather, Duke Senior in "As You Like It;" Ernest Theslger, Jacques; Rex Harrison, "Anne;" James Rennle, skipper In "Mr. Roberts;" John Carradlne, ragpicker; Eetelle Wlnwood, Nydla Westman, madwomen in Madwoman." Eleanors Mendelssohn as Madwoman of La Concorde lacked opportunity to display talents she showed In replacing Miss Hunt Wednesday through Saturday in "The Madwoman." DISAPPOINTMENTS of the season wers about par for recent trends. Promised 16 shows In September, 11 materialized, Casualties in touring companies before they reached Cincinnati were heavy. Cost problems continuing to bedsvll producers wKh touring productions. The fact that Cincinnati has to use two theaters, leasing a second for big productions, brought date conflicts which kept some shows way, Miss Cornell's "That Lady" among them. Zoo Selects Favorites For First Six Operas CINCINNATI'S 29TH SEASON of Summer Opera st the Zoo will open Sunday, July 2, with the performance of "Samson And Delilah," Winifred Heidt and Ramon Vinay singing the leading roles and Feusto Cleva conducting. Decision to go ahead with opera season plans was made last week by the Board of Directors, Hulbert Taft presiding. A four-week season of 24 performances of 12 operas instead of the usual six-week season is planned. Contracts for artists are now under negotlatieni as - the annual Fine Arts Drive continues. Summer Opera is one of four enterprises which are drive beneficiaries, A TENTATIVE program for the first two weeks of Zoo Opera has been set up. "Samson," the opener, will be repeated Thursday, July 6. Other operas the first week and their performance dates are: "Madams Butterfly," Tuesday, July 4 and Friday, July 7. "Der Rosenkavalier," Wednesday, July 5 and Saturday, July 8. The second week begins with "Alda" Sunday, July 9. pcated Thursday, July Cities with independent theater owners seemed to be able to obtain more shows than those without them, as usual Cleveland, with local initiative, got "South Pacific." Cincinnati apparently wasn't in position to make a bid for it WITH CLOSE of slim year there is optimistic talk that next season will bring more shows to the road. Contracts for Taft dates have been made for "Oklahoma" (November 19), D'Oyly Carte Company (January 1), Ballet De Paris" (January 15), Lunts in "O Mistress Mine," a Guild production, (January 22), "The Great Waltz," (January 29), "Mr. Roberts," (April 2). Prospects for "Smith Pacific" are anyone's guess. "Kiss Me Kate" Is on tour and seems a likely prospect for early fall. OUTSIDE TIIE road theater here there was promising activity in community and campus theaters. Cincinnati's Civic Theater closed ' Its third successful season under Paul Fleeldlng. Its board expanded, Its outlook for fourth season is good. The Bellarmine Players brought interesting costume play experiment and promise of new activity next year. Xaxler Masquers and UC Mummers did very well, the Mummers introducing arena style production, with very favorable reaction, to Invited audience which watched performance of "Ghosts." I might add that new life in community theater also Includes a season of summer stock in air-condltloned Little Playhouse at Schuster-Martin, ' AS FOR arena style productions. Introduced here on UC campus. New York is to see Its first, ' Wednesday, ' May St Lee Tracy will appear In George Kelly's success of 25 years ago, "The Show Off." Play wilt be staged in the round In the ballroom of the Hotel Edison. "Julius Caesar" will follow and Basil Rathbono has been cast as Casslus. If success of the New York venture Is similar to that In Dallas, Atlanta, and other cities, watch for Important new theater ventures using circle production, Local facilities for this type production are unusually good. 13. "Car men" will be sung Tuesday, July 11 and Friday, July 14. "La Travlata" will be performed Wednesday, July 12 and Saturday, July 15. RENOVATION OF tha outdoor theater auditorium and facilities at the Zoo begins this week. Last year's seating capacity of 2,900 will be maintained, added temporary section In rear of the auditorium parquet will not be constructed, policy thereon following that of last season. Ticket prices will be the same from $1.50 to $3.50 for reserved seats for each performance. There will be no special performances at added admission prices. Last year there were 12 for six operas. There will be ticket books for ten performances obtainable at approximate 10 per cent reduction in ticket price. In addition there will be special general admission seats. Mall orders for seats for first two weeks will be taken beginning tomorrow at Summer Opera headquarters,1 Times Star Building, Eighth and Broadway. The downtown ticket office In the Albee Vine Street lobby will open in July. 'DECISION TO MAKE the season four rather than six weeks was arrived at after checking cost sheets for several years under management of the late Oscar Hlld,' General Manager. Figures in his reports Indicate cost variance fn a five and six week season is not great Savings can be affected if season is cut to four weeks, and without lowering high standard of artists signed for their best roles under Mr. Hild's direction. w ROBERT L. 8 IDEM, succeeds Mr. Hlld as General Manager, Ray Nemo, Mr, Hilda' associate for several years both before and after return from military service, Is Sldell's assistant. It Is reported that estimated expenses for the four-week season are I136.2C0, about $5,600 a performance. This is $56,000 less than 'last year's operating expenses and is projected with sound allowance to meet all possible contingencies. The repertory selected for the first two weeks presents operas which have been successful at the box office. The policy of giving two performances of three operas weekly marks a return to programming followed for seasons of Zoo opera's most successful operation. rwr ir " M I a It will be re- I ar j if ,-v I K'. ( A Broadway Seems Bright With Belle At Palace , BY ROBERT GARLAND. NEW YORK, May 20 (INS) Bells Baker's name is up In lights sgain. Broadway's brighter for It I sea it from my window. Twenty-two stories down. Beyond Longacre Square. High before the Palace. By day it shines. .By night It gleams. I read it to myself. BELLE BAKER! Simply that. Nothing more. Not who Belle Baker Is. Not what Belle Baker Does. Imagine ex- .. nlainine the Belle named Baker on Manhattan, hard by Father Duffy and the pigeons. Or anywhere in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens or on Staten Island. Let no one say Belle Baker has returned to the Palace. The Palace has returned to Belle Baker. It wasn't sha who deserted vaudeville. Vaudeville deserted her. Belle wouldn't stay deserted. As best ahe could, she pretended nothing happened. J ri?- A Mb k v : v K i ( 1 Uk f JLswl. Jk yW..i,,Vwst BILL BOYD, better known as Hopalong Cassldy, looks over Sheba, who shares lion's share of attention with Bill in Cole Brothers Circus, coming to Cincinnati Garden Friday for five days of two performances each. j rv. ii : i. aW i , . i V " v I lv ' It x I i ' it qJ l Ha (V 4 Jm fit- i W i I BERETS A NEWS CAMERA SHOT used In realisUc climax of "Secret Fury" (Palace, Wednesday). Wil-lard Parker, circle, rises to have hit tay against marriage ,of Robert Ryan and .Claudette Colbert Among , , his reasons for protest: Murd! , Good Crowds For Opening CONEY ISLAND'S pool and amusement devices got a good workout yesterday as the 1950 sea-eon opened. Last night there was good attendance in Moonlit Gardens where Clyde Trask and his orchestra Is playing nightly, except Monday. During the coming week there will be several school, Industrial and social group outings at the park with peak attendance anticipated Saturday when Oola Khan Grotto stages its annual funfest. EDWARD L. SC1IOTT, Presl-dent and General Manager, reports that Jlmmie James and his orchestra have been booked as a special one-night attraction Friday, June 2. He also announced that Ladles' Nights, which proved a popular feature hut season, will be resumed this week. Women, with or without escorts, will be admitted free every Tuesday night, except holidays. . Another free attraction that will be revived next Friday night will be squar dancing. There will be a special orchestra, of a Western flavor, and Gus Helsmann will do the calling. W A NEW amusement device Is being Installed In The Land of Ox, the kiddles' own amusement park within Coney's gates. Incidentally, every day will be "nickel day" In The Land of Ox. ' The Coney Clubhouse Is now , back on a full-time operation schedule, with Tony Mancinl back as the head chef. Manctnl was away last season, serving as a chf at the Gourmet Restaurant at the Terrscs Flats. Belle, a true trouper, went troup-ing. She took what she had of vaudeville with her. Into night spots mostly: good, bad and seldom ventilated. You cams on them all over. THE BELLE named Baker loved it. Or saM she did, for you can't tell about a trouper. She sang the songs she's made her own. "One of These Days." 'Tut It On, Take It Off." "Always." How Deep is the Ocean?" "Mrs. Goldberg's Bridge?" She sang "Blue Skies," which Irving i Berlin wrote for her a quarter of a century ago. Then, she starred for Florenz Zlegfeld. At the New Amsterdam, with words and music by a Messrs. Hart and Rodgers. An intruder, the Mr. Berlin. Despite star, songsmiths and producer, this "Betsy" came a cropper. The book was terrible. A Lou, Joe and Moe wanted to get married. ' Mama said "no!" Not until the boys produced a husband for their sister of the title. So "Blue Skies" lingered. Along with "Welcome Stranger," written by Belle's late goodman, Maurice Abrahams, In honor of the earthly arrival of their Herbert. Christmas, 1920. HERBERT at the Maryland, in Baltimore, Belle Baker nursed him In her dressing room Hsa "Home of, the Brave" and "The Champion" to his Hollywooden credit He was out front when the Palace returned to his mother. It was then, last Thursday, that Belle rediscovered that audiences associate her with "Eli, Ell." Some while ago she Introduced it at the Riverside. Since, few audiences have thought of her without It. An experience, to hear her sing it. So sensational was its original projection that the other vaudevll-llans on the bill Fay Templeton, Gus Edwards, Mr, and Mrs. Jimmy Barry joined the audience In hailing Belle's rendition. She sang it without sccompanlment It was stunning. Belle Baker had and has a rare disarming simplicity. One of the few really modest artists I have known, she warms or breaks your heart with honesty. Usually, she warms it w HURRIEDLY, between sppear-ances at the Palace, Belle and I revive our old times In our apartment overlooking Central Park. Beyond the windows, trees prepare for summer. Inside the windows, Belle Baker prepares (or the Palace. , She still is pretty, hale, hearty. Jenny Umlah still keeps her affectionately In order. Tiny still pulls herself along the carpet, a Boston terrier that doesn't realize that her spine Is broken. Bells Is still Belle Baker. And the photograph of Sarah Bernhardt still adorns the grand plana The signed inscription "To Belle Baker, My Sweet Little Girl" still la readable. High before the Palace, Belle Baker's name is up In llghtsagaln. With her, Belle brings what she has left of vaudeville. Broadway's not only brighter for the two of them. But better, , VAUDEVILLE comei to the Albee stage Thursday. Among featured entertainers are Bob Du Pont, juggler; Hank Sie-mon, ventriloquist; the Ben Yost Vikings, singers, and the Albins, comedy dancers. Conservatory Stern Concert Genevieve White, voice pupil of Bianca Saroya and member of the piano faculty at the Cincinnati Conservatory of. Music, will be soloist with the Conservatory Symphony Orchestra at the annual Max Stern Memorial Concert at 3 o'clock this afternoon in the school concert hall. Miss White will sing the soprano aria from Dr, C. Hugo Grimm's cantata, "Song Of Songs." The cantata was written by J. Grimm, conductor of the Conservatory Orchestra, as a wedding present to his wife. It won the $1,000 prize of the MacDowell Club of New York and has been given numerous performances throughout the country. Miss White received her Master of Music degree from the Conservatory last June. She has sung leading roles with the Music-Drama Guild in "Tales Of Hoffman," "The Telephone" and "The Old Maid Ana The Thief." She sang leading roles In the Conservatory Opera Workshop performances of "Madame Butterfly" and "The Barber Of Seville." She is soprano soloist at Isaac M. Wise Temple and the First United Church. Other works on the program will be Brahms' Academic Festival Overture, Debussy's First Rhapsody for Clarinet and Orchestra and Weldon Hart's . "John Jacob Niles Suite," which will be conducted by the composer. LeSourdsville Park Dancing on the full season schedule will start at LeSourdsville Lake next week end. One-night stands were played this week end, with Les Shepard appearing last night and Bobby Wirtx set to play tonight Free season gate passes will be glyen with each paid admission today. Christians To Teach New York, May 80 (Special) Maria Hershman-Horch, diiector of the Drama School of the Berkshire Playhouse at Stockbrldge, Mass, which opens Jts eight-week term on July 1,' announces that during the closing week, Mady Christians will give her condensed course about "How To Approach A Part" and will assist with the final examinations of the students. r. GENEVIEVE WHITE is one of the soloists for the annual Max Stern Memorial concert' of the Conservatory of Music in the school concert hall at , S o'clock tWay. Big Top Offers Screen Scope For A DeMillean Labor Of Love BY ARTHUR FRUDENFELD. HOLLYWOOD, May 20 (Special) The dean of Hollywood producers-directors, Cecil B. De Mille, was deeply en-t grossed in looking over a flock of motion picture scripts when I saw him in hia ivy-covered bungalow at Paramount Thirty-six years of picture making have definitely established C. B. as the king-pin of the spectacular. Down through the years De Mille productions have become the by-word for gigantic settings, thousands of extras, riotous use of color and a penchant for the historical and exotic done, for the most part, in broad panoramic sweeps. No one, I dare say, has approached the highly respected film veteran for long range planning and research. For example his recent "Samson and Delilah" was actually begun 1 years ago when De Mille engaged a writer to prepare the first treatment As other ventures occupied his attention, the Biblical epic was not forgotten. Bit by bit new scripts were studied, amended and polished until there emerged the sort of story that might warrant the extravagant cost Involved. Right now De Mille is absorbed in the preparation of a mammoth circus picture he will call "The Greatest Show On Earth" using the Rlngllng Brothers and Barnum and Bailey show as the background. ' TT WILL BE, I hope, one of the most impressive and ambitious undertakings," said De Mille. "Recently I spent considerable time at the circus winter headquarters in Sarasota, Fla., doing some preshooting preparation. The story I have in mind will not be a history of the circus. I plan to show instead what it means as an American institution to people la all walks of life. We will tell the story of the circus and its people in relation to all other people. I like to think of the circus as a real workable League of Nations, for here we find, under the big-top, no less than 28 nationalities all living and working together in harmony. Certainly no amusement institution has greater appeal for old and young alike than the big circus. Its drama, its thrills, Its heartbreak, its laughter, its pageantry, all these and more should eventually find ample scope for the color camera." LAST SUMMER De Mille toured four weeks In the wheat country with the Rlngllng show. He did not occupy a box seat as a spectator but spent his time mingling with the performers, talking and eating with them and trying to understand their problems. Familiarity with such details, he feels, will add much to the realism of the final shooting script , w v A LITTLE from the lota: Met up with big, personable, rugged-looking Dean Jagger working on the set of "Dark City," a new Hal Wallls production. Dean Is the fellow, you recall, who got the Academy Award for his work la "Twelve O'clock High." Getting an "Oscar" does not alwaye mean the open road to fame and fortune. There have been cases when such awards proved mighty unlucky. Luise Rainer was the recipient of two of them In succession and never got to work in films again. Then, too, Katlna Paxlnou practically faded from the picture following her Award. It has provea quite diffident with Jagger who has been offered a number of plum roles since he was handed the little gold statuette. Jagger was in and out of Hollywood several times before he clicked. Hailing from Craw-fordsville, Ind., Dean got his theatrical schooling with a stock company in Grand Rapids, Mich, where he replaced a budding thespian. Spencer Tracey by name. Half a dozen years lajer got the Jagger name on Broadway marquees in plays like "Missouri Legend," with Dorothy Glsh, "Farm Of Three Echoes," with Ethel Barrymore and the Marc Connolly play, "The Brown Danube." PRODUCERS Pine and Thomas have Just completed a rather Impressive picture about modern mob violence called "The Lawless." It is a highly exciting bit of film fare, featuring Macdonald Carey and Gall Russell but the per-former who steals the picture Is s youth of 2 who never acted a day In his life. The motivat-ing role In the drama called for a young Mexican unjustly accused of murder. Director Joseph Losey happened to see a carpenter around his place who looked the type, eo hs had Lalo Rlos drop hammer and saw and report to the studio. The kid came through with flying colors as I think you'll agree when you see the picture. Since roles of this nature are as scarce as cloud bursts in Death Valley, shock-hatred Lalo Rlos is back again at his carpenter trade waiting for the siren call of the cinema which may, or may not, ever come again, Austrians Offer Unique Concert UNIQUE ENTERTAINMENT will be offered in Emery Auditorium Thursday evening when 80 Austrian university students present a program entitled, "Vienna Sings Again." This band of students is making a good-will tour of the country, presenting a program which includes much of the music, the folk dances and the costumes of the various provinces of Austria as well as the gay capital city, Vienna. i , THE VENTURE is under the auspices of "Amt fuer Studentenwanderungen," organized and formed after World War I by Dr. Oskar F. Bock, lector at the University of Vienna, and now revived. These ambassadors of good will have no political significance. They merely . seek to acquaint America with the charm and the culture of an old civilization. THE MELODIC capsule tour of romantlo Austria presents the songs and dances of the Tyrol, Carinthla, the Alps, Styria, Upper and Lower Austria, Salzburg and legendary Vienna, Built around a series of loosely woven scenes; 'Courtship In The Mountains,"1 "A Village Festival," "In A Village Inn," "The Woodcutter," "The Dude" and "A Visit To Vienna," the production is peopled with characters from provincial Austrian life courting peasant couples, the dairymaid, a forest ranger, a poaching woodcutter, and a philandering village beat. - Among the colorful dances Is the "schuhplat-tier" the humorous slap dance In which the dancers vigorously smack and kick themselves and their partners. Sung to the accompaniment ' of the harp, Either, guitar and accordion are a profusion of charming folk songs and yodels, including the courting song, "Annamirl, Open The Window." High point of a yodeltng performance Is tha Archduke Johann Yodel, considered the pinnacle of success for any yodeler. The lederhosen, embroidered suspenders, brilliant dresses and silver ornaments worn by the cast are authentle articles loaned for this tour by the provincial museums of Austria. Israeli Favorite HOLLYWOOD Alan Ladd has been voted tha favorite actor in the state of Israel, he learned recently on the Paramount set of "Branded" in which hs heads the east He was top man in a poll conducted throughout Israel by Kalono Cine magazine pulblshed in Tel-Aviv. The results were announced two weeks ago hut Ladd didn't leant of the honor until last week whta ha met Josef Ben-Forat, of Tel-Aviv, woe) is now studying the motion pi stars at USC

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