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PLAYTHINGS IROOKLYN EAGLE, SUNDAY, NOV 29, 1942 Colin Keith Johnston Finds Himself in Another War Play It Was in End' He Made American Debut Now It's 'Lifeline' Colin Keith-Johnston is not in the least disroncerted by the fact that Gilbert Miller's production of -Lifeline." In which he will appear on Monday eveninR at the Belascol a reasonably lucceaaful motion picture career. He escaped from unifom in Dangerous Corner. 1 which found him lnvoirad la a series of domestic complications which to undo nearly tJX the Wtafl play. His next Vrk appearance wit la the role ttN proud Mr Oarcy in Helen Jerome's dranuti latton of "Pr.de and Prejudice" vhoae re-, to atand aloofly tor the greater part ot three declaring hi kffKtiam Ht ml Hr Blenkinsop ill k.i i i i'o: production or Ti Doctors DUaaaaaft." Coun-i Randall last season in Paul Vincent Carroll's Tha Strings. My Lord Are False." Meanwh.le London had seen him la If dln role of Lonsdale's "Tha Road Maxwell Anderson's Saturday Children as Clive of India, and With Joi.n Gielgud in "Noah." As a matter of fact, he had been one of the principal sup-parttn of the transatlantic steamship lines Nor has he limited his interests exclusively to the theater.
An amateur entomologist, ha BM -pen: BOM ot nil free afternoons from March to October in the fields, manv of them with hia friend Bunnv Austin, the tennia player. Moreover, while waiting lor cues he has taken to scribbling bits of verse which have appeared from time to time in the magazines. Theater. DM an all-male cast, it wa.s in ine same producer "Journey's End." likewi.se without an actress to its name, that he made his first American appearance and one of his greatest American successes. Like the shenff (Mm.
IAMm Sf T. 2 First World War. serving is a war play, but in this case the uua, by tourma current war is invohed. Norman Charley Aunt and plaung with Armstrong has written of the Brit- the Birmingham Repertory Cornish Merchant Navv which- through shot and shell end dive bombing Jackson modern has been supphing England with tragedy. badly needed provisions these past He pl.ued Captain Stanhope of three years.
And Keith-Johnston. Journeys End" for two MMOOfl who wore the uniform of Captain Nw York Irod of Norman Be! rr.3s.-ue of the British Army in to of "Journeys End." will appear as Raymond ItMM) Bv way of Peter Launder. First Officer of the respite trom the Mil Flanders i 000-ton tramp Ckde.sdale in and in Denmark he fOUffat next "Lifeline" with the Greek army against the An actor not without honor In Amazons nf 'The Warriors Hus-his native land band. a play which allorcied him has had equally good roles in New: the pleasant opportunity of York and his native London. A I wrestling with an attractive in-veteran of two wars on the stage, genue named Hepburn, he actually served in the British who went on from the of An- Three Plays and Many Fine Names Make a Week No Better Than So-So By ARTIU'R POLLOCK A number of rery nice names came back into the theater during the past week Alfred Lunt.
Lynn Fontanne. Herman Shumlin. 8. N. Behrman.
Edna Best. Dorothy Gish. Louis Calhern. OixabeOi Patterson all lnroived in ne playi of course. In fact.
It was about the nicest week for names that wc have had this season. In th matter of the picturesque it was all right, too. More than all right. There were the Lunts. to begin with, in Mr Behrman's play, "The Pirate almost terrifically picturesque Tons of beautiful scenery, bright and witty costumes, a little swing band and Mr.
and Mrs. Lunt doing the most romantic things, she married to a pirate, he a aandering minstrel full of exciting words and pretending to be a pirate in order to win her favor. The Lunts have never been in anything quite so sedulously frolicsome. Nor so humorless. "The Great Big Doorstep," which Herman Shumlin presented the other night, is picturesque, too.
Story' of a family in Louisiana that salvages a handsome set of tront steps from the Mississippi River and then trie to raise the money to buy a house to fit. Unusual people they are. gay and improvident, descendants of the French who came over to Canada and had themselves written about in Longfellow's "Evangeline." Nice material. And Dorothy Gish and Louis Calhern are present to play it for all it and they are worth. It.
as it turns out. is worth less than all the effort expended upon it. Something is wrong with the words and the mood. And then there was "Yankee Point." The charming Edna Best Is In that one, the first of the week entrants to arrive. Yankee Point" is the least ambitious of the three newcomers, the most modest and, for me at least, the best.
It wobbles. It seems often about to run down. Gladys Hurlbut, its author, who grew up as a playwright on a more superficial kind of fare, is not able to keep It tight and moving always in a definite direction. But It is easier to like the people in it. easier to get on with them, easier to have a good time with them for three acts, than with the quaint Cajuns of "The Great Big Doorstep" or the padded and pretentious romanticists Pirate." "Yankee Point" pictures plain Americans, mother, father, two daughters and friends, doing their part in this war.
They don't think themselves important, though they believe intensely in the importance of what they are doing. To begin with, what they are doing is rather humdrum. The women are airplane spotters In their zone along the Atlantic Coast. Presently, though slowly, a German spy turns up. And in the end Hitler's men roar over the ocean in planes and begin dropping bombs on them.
All the while they remain calm, collected. Or if not quite calm, if a little nervous because they are faced with problems peace-loving people are not used to facing, they do not falter or flinch, run forward always, never back. At the most critical moment the faithful spinster plane spotter has a gun in her hand and it points in the right direction. Producing this little play did not cost anything like the number of thousands of dollars "The Pirate" cost, but it is not, like "The Pirate," almost completely worthless. PLAYS NEW Monday "Lifeline." a play about men in the Merchant Marine, bv Norman Armstrong.
At the Belasco Theater. Dudley Digces. Colin Keith-Johnston. Rhys Williams and Whitford Kane head the cast. Tuesday "Ice Follies of 1943." at Madison Square Garden.
Can includes Norah McCarthy. Betty Atkinson. Charles Ham, Bobby Blake. Thursday U. revival of Kaiel Capek's Ethel Barrymore Theater.
In the cast are Hugo Edith Atwater, Louis Hector, Gordon Olner. Gudrun Hansen. Ka therm Balfour. Keith-Johnston in "Lifeline," presents at the Belasco Theater a play about the Merchant tomorrow evening. ST ICE PLAYS ZUauk Ijou, fun CONFIRMING MY Myron McCormick Says Once He Was Five Men in One Play piece, superb is the word for it.
(Mirror) PAUL MUNI ttAtt every inch of if, Mum's extraordinarily good. (PM) "C0UNSEL0R-AT-LAW" at the ROYALE THEATRE and ihanks also to the World-Telegram, Post, Sun. Herald-Tribune and Eagle, which agreed wuh The News which said never a more perfect joining of stage character and actor." Jflffft fidjMfc LOUIS HECTOR and Edith Atwater in the revival of U. at the Ethel Barrymore Theater Thursday night. Hr 1 Joins 'Native Son' Solen Burry, last seen on Broadway in "Cafe Crown," has taken over the assistant stage manager's duties in "Native Son." which atars Canada Lee at the Majestic Theater.
He replaced Henry Lascoe. who has been inducted In the army. MANHATTAN ft. Cutu JUDGMENT THAT the role. (Tttnei) mii.i amhrson HE I EVE OF ST.
MARK OKI 10 I I li U.i.01. 7V jhe greaTKg Doorstep TONIGHT 8t30 THE NEW OPERA COMPANY "THE QUEEN OF SPADES" ''MArRFTH' 2 $J-10 "LlVr" Vo.VM.VV Tin SHUTKf. Ai i Rto LUNT ivvn FONTANNE RI HRMAN'S ETRAVAGANZA THE PIRATE rh-k e. 4" si Ma" T- -s" "STciutl 1nnanrJr" BANKHEAD MARCH ELDR1DGE JHE SKIN Of- UUK IttlH HUH (OMI'XSY OF 10 nd KttU PtyMOUTM Th St nl B'wiy 6-9l Kris to Matinef. Win SAT.
1:41 spf vi cnMnrT Fxt I Mill IBM 1 Ht XTRE l.OINV" Jnaatattrfer, Le GALLIENNE SCHILDKRAUT a rr fvt 3 Shows Todav.2 30.5 :30 8:40 Wine, women and song MIHM)Oi: IMh-l CI rurimi r.rn.n PRCIDUCTIOS Tut nTv W1TH0UT LOVE ELLIOTT NUGENT TONIGHT at 8:40 Yankee i nT H) IOHN EI.IAHETH Danny Kaye Gets Cocktail Party Today Dannv Kaye will be feted at a ocktail party at Cafe Life today he show girls and chorus girls of Let Face It." The party will be celebration of the first anniver sary of their show and will be held following the matinee. Celebrities from the screen, radio, social and sports worlds are to jom in the festivities. si w.r: plays Manhattan A ELd STREET ARSENIC AND OLD LACE MAT. TODAY ,3, $1 to $2.50 TONIGHT Abholl BEAT THE BAN Mil SUSAN IACK JERRY POMO CRITICS' PRIZE WINNER yE WEBB WOOD CORBETT NATw'lCK gLITHE SPIRIT By JUPITER A New RODDERS HA HT Musical Corned MOORE VEn'uTA GRAHAM SHI BERT. Ilth W.
of ay MAT. TODAY 50c. 75c, $1 TONIGHT 50c. $1, $1.50 1 lllltil HII VKllll ri (UORMXM It JOHN 1)1 pro-nit- Claudia FORREST Th.n 41th if E. Inrl Sun 2 SHOWS TODAY JUNIOR MISS SECOND JOYOIS YEAR Matinee at 3 P.M.
Tonight at 8:40 2 PERFS, TODAY MAT. at 2:45. EVG. at 8:30 i ET'S face IT! tunmralaUDriirrirtm 4th Year! Life with father I 1 1 2 Shim today: A an.l 8:40 MY SISTER EILEEN tZt.r DUDLEY OIGGES and Colin Marine which Gilbert Miller Big Benny Baker Wants to Make Lot of Trouble Many moons ago in pre-picture days a popular horse opera titled "The Round Up" galloped nightly across the stage of the New Amsterdam Theater. Redskins shot their death-dealing arrows from the top of a canvas hill.
Blue- coated soldiers replied suitably with 1 the rat-tat-tat of smoking machine guns. A high spot in the performance boasted of an athletic red- skin who dangled from a cliff by the toes of his moccasins. After the din of battle had subsided and the warriors of sundry hues, red, white and tan, had returned stealthily to their dressing rooms, a man of ample girth took possession of the stage alone. This was Maclyn Arbuckle, the star. In philosophical mood he uttered those famous applause-demanding, soul-shattering lines, "Hell, nobody loves a fat man." Benny Baker, the super-plump doughboy in "Let's Face It," the up-to-the-minute military musical at the Imperial, has no such opportunity to draw forth the "approval of his audience But he has long since discovered that bulk upon any stage has a marketable value that attracts enviable dividends which in turn can purchase war bonds.
Baker never had to go on a diet to tip the scales at a soaring figure. Always shy in the presence of the fair sex, nls diffidence grew upon discovering the following poetical masterpiece: Nobody loves a fat man, Nobody likes his looks, Nobody likes a fat man Not even the girls in books. It was not until he landed a job In a stocK company that he learned what his girth was worth on the hoof. Vinton Freedley, producer of "Let's Face It." would like to see Benny fill the generous boots of the late Maclyn Arbuckle, Thomas A. Wise.
Sydney Greenstreet and other famous rotund comedians. But Baker has other ideas. He pines for a sylph-like figure. He's tired of resembling a sausage. He ll no longer pose as a model for a blimp.
Though he realizes he's not lighter than air. such an intimate appendage as "Tiny" leaves him absolutely cold. "Fat men are often good actors," observed the good-natured comedian, "if they get a chance to act anything but parts for fat men. I stood it as long as I could in Holly wood, came East and walked right into another 'fat' part here. Fat boys usually take all the abuse in shows.
But in Let's Face It' I have a chance to get back. Do I push Danny Kaye around and do I love it Baker has ambitions. He longs to play a bad man one worth his entire weight in deviltry. "I want to make trouble," he adds, "all sorts of heathenish hell, but no one will take me seriously. Gosh darn it! Tell me why every one laughs at a fat man." Humiliation Pays Peter Lorre is wearing a haircut that would make the newest rookie in a navy "boot camp" blush.
It is for his role in Warner Brothers' "Background to Danger," and it is a close-cropped clip, the very next thing to a convict ihave. Lots of actors have made their Broadway debut by portraying two minor roles in the same production, some have even achieved triple identity if "offstage shouts and murmurs" are counted, but Myron McCormick, who is supporting Flora Robson in "The Damask Cheek" these nights and matinees at the Playhouse, claims he's the I one and only living thespian who ever essayed a quintet of charac-1 ters on the night of his Broadway bow. "It's true." admits McCormick, "that four of them might be technically listed as a walk-on, a peek-1 on, a sit-on and a pass-by, but the fifth was strictly kosher because was Daisy Behnore grandfather and had four lines and a quid tobacco to mouth at one and the same time." Previous to this scintillating display of tergiversation, Mr. McCormick was a member of that now-legendary group known as the University Players, which held forth at Falmouth, about a decade ago and whose raster included such magical monickers as James Stewart, Margaret Sullavan, Henry Fonda. Mildred Natwick, Kent Smith and Joshua Logan.
This was valuable and stimulating apprenticeship, but by no means his initiation into the Thalian secrets. Long before his undergraduate days at Princeton University (where, incidentally, he not only attained both the Triangle Club and the Theater intime, but also Phi Beta Kappa and Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude) he had had the good fortune to live in Albany, Ind. (population and Albany, in turn, basked in the superlative distinction of being Winter headquarters for Bartone's Wonder shows. Which, if you've ever been seven years old, explains all you need to know about how-Master Myron first became interested in the world of illusion. Forum Will Discuss 'Music in the War' An open forum.
"Music in the War," will be held on Wednesday evening, Dec. 2, at 8:15 p.m., in the Lecture Hall of the Academy of Music. This is the first of a series of public meetings to be given under the auspices of the newly formed Brooklyn Music Teachers Guild. This organization, founded in co-operation with the Institute, is made up of outstanding members of the profession, with Carl H. Tollefsen as president.
The following guest speakers will discuss various aspects of the vital part music is playing in the war effort and how that part can be further extended: R. L. Cardlnell, Associate Director of Research Sound at Stevens Institute of Technology, "Music as an Aid in War Plant Sir Robert Mayer, Liaison Officer in New York for the Save the Children Fund of England, "Music in Wartime Elie Siegmeister, noted American composer, "The Composer's Job in Music for the Lieut. Col. Donald W.
MacArdle. "Music in the American Armed Services." The chairman of the evening and speaker on the subject of "Music for Civilian Morale" will be announced shortly. Miss Edith Otis, chairman of the Guild's War Participation Committee, and Mrs. Lillian Reznikoff Wolfe, program chairman, are in charge of Young McCormick not only spent aU of his after-school hours with the Wintering acrobats and animals, but also was allowed to make weekend vimls to his heroes when once again in the Summer time they donned their resplendent raiment and toured the tall corn towns. Next to these ecstatic exhibitions in old Indiana.
McCoruik likM to believe that the happiest hours of his life were spent with Josh Logan, Jimmy Stewart and Hank Fonda when those three musketeers were living in something a trifle less than luxury on W. 64th St. There, by night) they collectively cooked, ate and slept in one room, while by day they individually stormed the agents' and managers' anterooms. Finally, lady luck smiled on Stewart and McCormick and they both garnered small parts in -Goodbye Again." Naturally, they were offstage more than on. and to while away the tedium of be-tween-scene waits, they set up a ping-pong table and engaged in a tournament.
"Jimmy may have the makings of a swell Air Corps officer," declares McCormick, "but as a ping-pong player he wasn't so hot. Right today he still owes me 125 milkshakes for those games he lost in the basement of the Masque Theater." Since "Goodbye Again" McCormick has been pretty busy with radio, Broadway and cinema assignments. Altogether he has appeared in some 16 legitimate plays, four pictures (including "China Girl," which is soon to be released on Broadway! and the Lord only knows how many soap operas. "The Dama.sk Cheek." however, is the first play in which he has been called upon to wear dress clothes, and he's really very' happy about it, even though they are of a 1909 Schuster and Reisenberg To Give Beethoven Cycle To the season's unusual outburst of cycle concerts add the complete cello works of Beethoven, to be given In two evenings at Town Hall by Joseph Schuster, cellist and Nadia Reisenberg, pianist, on Dec. 2 and 14.
Beethoven's works for cello and piano, though not numerous, are particularly interesting for the vivid light they throw upon his development as a composer within their brief entirety and chronological span. Including eight differ ent compositions in all five sonatas and three sets of variations, ranging from 1796 to 1815 they take in all the periods of his growth and show in miniature the entire scope of the master. The first program on Dec. 2 will include the Sonatas Op. 5, No.
Op. 102, No. Op. 69. and the 12 Mozart Variations.
The second concert on Dec. 14 will present the remaining two Sonatas and the Handel and 7 Mozart Vaiiatioas. Berle Works on 'I, The People' Although busy with plats for the forthcoming "Ziegfeld Follies" in which he'll star. Milton Berle is doing some rewriting on THe People." the comedy drama which he wrote in collaboration with Harold Conrad. If writing and casting difficulties ran be ironed out, Berle may present the play in February.
DOROTHY SARNOFF and Ralph Herbert of the cast of "Rosalinda," American version of "Die Fledermaus," at the 44th Street Theater. MAT TODAY 2c to $1 i TONIGHT Jsoct si to NATIVE SON YORK'S NEW SWEETHEART ROSALINDA r) Opens THURSDAY DEC. 3 RII Bv KAREI. BARNVMOKf 47 1 3 u.n.y SM0-J2-7S i JESSEL HALEY LOGAN DcMARCOS H0W TIME 'SI. Ttr.4s..;...
Ol.SKN ami JOHNSON Sons fun MICRAEL TOnn's STAR AND GARTER 2 2 PERFS. TODAY. 3 and 8:40 $1.50 Stars' on ice CENlERTHETRE.Rocli.1fllrC.nler.C0 S-5474 "An Amazing Show" STRIP OR A TI0N SSyioRAL.wTi? flora robson The damask cheek 'Ice Follies of 1943' Has Original Act The off-balance antics of Frick and Frack will be featured in the Ice Follies of 1943 at Madison Square Garden, Dec. 1-10. Frick, who is Werner Groebli, and Frack, properly known as Hansreudi Negro Dance Company Announces Personnel Five choreographers three in addition to the project's co-directors have been announced by Negro Dance Company as regisseurs for the repertory of Its first Broadway season early in January.
In addition to Wilson Williams, founder-director, and Felicia Sorel, co-director, those who will stage the company's dance dramas and ballets will include Gluck Sandor, Eugene Loring and Anna Sokolow. Among the dancers of the company are Marguerite Brisby. Mabel Hart, Lawaune Kennard, Toni Middle-brook, Carmencita Romero, Dorothy Williams, Al Bledger, Richard James, Richard Bruce Nugent, Bill O'Neill, Ricci Sarroga and Randolph Scott. Brooklyn's Evelyn Brooks Is "Ideal Date Girl" Evelyn Brooks, the Brooklyn girl who leads the "Steam Is on the Beam" number in George Abbott's musical, "Beat The Band," has been named the "Ideal Date Girl" by a unanimous vote of the Junior students of Columbia University. Defining the "Ideal Date" as a damsel "who is pleasant to talk to and charming to be with." the Columbia Juniors apprized Miss Brooks that Mauch, are two Swiss skaters who have mastered the knack of "reclining on air." That is, each can assume the conventional spread eagle position, then bend back from the knees so that his body is parallel with the ice.
The Follies, which will give a special free evening show for service men only tomorrow night wi'l run 10 nights in the Garden, beginning Dec. 1, and play only one matinee, on Sunday, Dec. 6. Among the top flight performers are Eddie and Roy Shipstad. Oscar Johnson, Norah McCarthy.
Betty Atkinson, Ruby and Bobby Maxson, Papez and Zwack, Heinie Brock and Claudet and Colson. she was chosen for her comeliness, charm and sincerity. The officers of Columbia's junior students will call for their "Ideal Date" on Friday. Dec. 11, backstage at the 46th St.
Theater to escort her to the Hotel Biltmore's Grand Ballroom, where the annual Junior Prom is I taking plaoa..
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