Rotary Minstrels Review - Better than ever!: 0042.0149

The Cranbrook Courier, January 28, 1926 (p1)

ROTARY MINSTRELS BETTER THAN EVER - Friday and Saturday Shows Go Over Big -
Surprise and Delight Audiences.
Cleverly conceived stage settings, faultless stage management,
carefully chosen vocal and instrumental music, artistic tableaus and
talented performers combined, assured the success attained by the Cranbrook
Rotary Club in its presentation of its third annual Minstrel Show, staged
in the Auditorium Theatre on Friday and Saturday of last week. Evidently
some hint of what its patrons were to expect had been spread abroad. There
was a stampede for tickets days in advance, some six hundred seats being
secured within an hour of the opening of reservations at the Cranbrook Drug
and Book store.
Those who secured reservations were fortunate. The S.O.R. sign was
hung out almost with the opening of the doors. The Rotary Minstrels faced
capacity audiences from the moment of ringing up the curtain. And the
audiences got more than their money's worth. When the Rotary interlocutor,
Harry Collier, sweeping his electric torch across the stage, warbled, "Let
There Be Light," there was light and merriment to banish the blues for a
year. The orchestra had played the last notes of the overture, (Continued
on page 2) "Bits of Long Ago," to strike into the strains of the opening
chorus, the Rotarians were off to their carnival of fun.
Things began to happen immediately. Mr. Collier had no sinecure in
the handling of his platoon of comedians. Ted Cooper, a coon without a
friend on earth, spoke only when he was spoken to. But always he sprung a
mouthful. Al. DeWolf, sitting cheek by jowl with Ted, egged him on. Joe
Schell was also to the fore with a grist of funny cracks, and for a "first
time up" did remarkably well. Across the stage, Alan Graham, a seasoned
end-man, Jake Jacobson and Mrs. P.W. Willis ran a little show all their
own. The two latter were "first nighters" before the footlights in
minstrelsy, and made a good impression with their audiences. The jokes
were good, free from local slams, each end man speaking his little piece in
a manner that elicited howls of merriment from a delighted audience. The
only offensive thing in the show was the crab, which was allowed to
"unconsciously" hang in the heat of the hall all day, and which, when
lowered Saturday night to do its "stunt," was powerful enough to navigate
across the stage without the assistance of fine wires.
As for the singing, well, look at the names on the program. Here
they are: -
Alan DeWolf - Song; "Bam, Bam, Bamy Shore."
A.C. Shankland - Song; "Rose and Cobalt Blue."
Frank Marsh - Song; "Tennessee" assisted by Jake Jacobson, Al.
DeWolf, Alan Graham, and Ted Cooper.
Special Juvenile Feature - Master Malcolm McPhee, assisted by his
sister Edna; Song. "Let Me Call You Sweetheart."
Austin MacDonald - Song; "Always The Darkest Just Before the
O.N. Jacobson - Song; "I'm The Kid."
Alan Graham - Song; "Coon's Doxology."
Ted Cooper - Song; "Unconsciously."
Mrs. P.W. Willis - Song; "I'm Knee Deep in Daisies."
Assisted by Jos Schell, Al. DeWolf, Ted Cooper, Jake Jacobson and
Alan Graham.
Full Chorus - Finale; Denison.
Second Part
Mesdames Harry McKowan and C. Little - "Family Album."
Characters - Frank Marsh, Jean Home, Frank MacPherson, Edna Baxter,
Mrs. G. Kay, Aubrey McKowan, Alan and Marchall MacPherson, Phyllis
Thompson, Glen Bowness, Beale Kiddies.
Orchestral Selections - Mrs. Art Wallace, Leonard Burton, Dave Kay,
Frank Roberts.
(a) "Yes Sir, That's My baby"
(b) "Funny"
(c) "Brown Eyes, Why Are You Blue?"
Dances - Sunshine and Clouds; Sun, Gladys DeWolf; Clouds, Harriet and
Jean Home, Aubrey McKowan, Beulah Hill; Smaller Clouds, Barbara Beale and
Alberta Jones; Sunset, Phyllis Thompson; Butterflies, Glen Bowness,
Margaret Rutledge and Enid Home.
Character Monologue - Alan DeWolf, "Yen, Yensen, Yanitor."
Familiar Songs in a New Way - "When You and I were Young, Maggie"
(Aubrey McKowan and Mrs. Kay); "Old Pal" (Bill Johnson); "Old Black Joe"
(Ted Cooper and Berta Jones); "Moonlight and Roses" (Dorothy McKowan). The
Voice - Mrs. F.M. MacPherson.
By the Audience and Chorus - "O Canada," "God Save the King."
Miss Wanda Fink, Cello; E.A. Turner, Violin; Jack Ward, Sax.; Ira
McNaughton, Piano; David A. Kay, Trombone; Frank Roberts, Drums.
From a company of performers of diversified talent presenting an
attraction so uniformly good as the recently staged Rotary Blackface show,
it is difficult to single out any individual for special praise. It must
be said, however, that the end men; Mrs. P.W. Willis, Jake Jacobson, Alan
Graham, Ted Cooper, Alan DeWolf, and Joe Schell, fully sustained their
respective parts as funny men - apologies to Mrs. Willis. Her versatility
is responsible for the term applied. Mrs. Willis' "Knee Deep In Daisies"
has won her fame. A coon from dear old Brighton on the English Channel is
worthy of special mention. And it is quite in order that the work of
master Malcolm McPhee and his sister Edna should come in for special
mention. "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" sung by the little lad in the dress
of a gallant of the seventeenth century to a coy, sweet little maiden
decked out in deliciously feminine furbelows of the past was a bit of rare
acting. And what can be said of the cloud dance of Mrs. Van Braam's
pupils, but that it stood out preeminently a feature drawn from all that is
best in pantomime. Mrs. Van Braam's pupils scored a distinct success.
They revived the belief of their audience in fairies and fairyland. So
must it be allowed that Alan DeWolf as Yen Yensen, the Scandinavian Janitor
of the Queen's Hotel, put over a ten strike. Poor Yen! he had his own
troubles between Mr. Benson demanding that he save coal and the lady
upstairs wailing for steam and more steam. Yumpin' Yiminy, Yen had a tough
yob! It is not to wonder that the forlorn immigrant from Stockholm sought
solace in frequent applications to his "snuse" box. Mr. DeWolf's monologue
was in a class by itself.
So, for that matter, was the gossipy dialogue of Mesdames Harry
McKowan and C.J. Little in the "Family Album." These ladies kept their
audience keyed up to the top notch of expectancy whenever Mrs. McKowan
suggested "shall we turn over a page to reveal yet another tableau,
presumably a picture in life size, duplicating the photos in the family
collection. Mesdames McKowan and Little worked off some remarkably clever
hits on local people in the playlet, the "Family Album." The playlet was a
product of the brain of Frank MacPherson and the entire sketch was written
by Mrs. McKowan.
As for the Jazzmania Orchestra, Mrs. Art Wallace, D.A. Kay, Frank
Roberts and Leonard Burton, the audience left no room to doubt the very
agreeable impression these musicians created. The repeat calls of
"encore," "encore," was the guarantee that the instrumental quartette had
put it over. Frank Roberts' singing was a feature of this number. The lad
surprised fifty per cent of his audience.
Mrs. F.M. MacPherson's singing behind the scenes, as tableaus of
"Familiar Songs in a New Way," such as "When You and I Were Young, Maggie,"
and other old favorites were posed, was accorded an ovation her effort so
well merited.
The third annual minstrel show met with the unqualified success that
was predicted for it. That success is in a large measure due to Frank
MacPherson, who worked unceasingly for some weeks past to bring the show to
a high state of perfection and who directed the show. Praise is also due
Harry McKowan, assistant stage manager, and a mighty handy man to have at
hand when a performance is being staged. W.A. Burton, musical director and
E.T. Cooper, assistant musical director as well as Ira McNaughtan, pianist,
performed a real service, schooling the class for weeks past.
The lighting effects which assisted do materially in enhancing the
value of the tableaus and the cloud dance of Mrs. Van Braam's pupils, was
the work of W.A. Burton and E.H. McPhee. The show was colorful ,clever and
admirably staged, the music, orchestral and individual, quite up to the
standard of road shows of the better class.
Chester Staples and Dr. Large, past masters in the art of make-up,
were on hand to doll the boys up for the occasion.
It is scarcely likely that a production of equal merit will be seen
here for some time to come. That it found favor is evidenced by the
applause that fairly rocked the theatre as each clever sally or song hit
caught the fancy of the overflowing audiences. The Rotary Minstrels have
made a name for themselves.

0042.0149: Rotary Minstrels Review - Better than ever!

Rotary Minstrels Review - Better than ever!

Medium:  Newspaper - Text
Date:  January 28, 1926
Publisher:  Cranbrook Courier
Collection:  Columbia Basin Institute (0042)


Minstrel Show


People arrow Baxterarrow
People arrow Bealearrow
People arrow Bensonarrow
People arrow Bownessarrow
People arrow Burtonarrow
People arrow Collierarrow
People arrow Cooperarrow
People arrow DeWolfarrow
People arrow Finkarrow
People arrow Grahamarrow
People arrow Hillarrow
People arrow Homearrow
People arrow Jacobsonarrow
People arrow Jonesarrow
People arrow Kayarrow
People arrow Largearrow
People arrow Littlearrow
People arrow MacDonaldarrow
People arrow Marsharrow
People arrow Macphersonarrow
People arrow McPheearrow
People arrow McKowanarrow
People arrow McNaughtonarrow
People arrow Robertsarrow
People arrow Rutledgearrow
People arrow Staplesarrow
People arrow Schellarrow
People arrow Shanklandarrow
People arrow Thompsonarrow
People arrow Turnerarrow
People arrow Van Braamarrow
People arrow Wallacearrow
People arrow Willisarrow
Associations arrow Rotary arrow Cranbrookarrow
Cities arrow Cranbrook arrow Buildings arrow Auditoriumarrow
Cities arrow Cranbrook arrow Businesses arrow Drugstores arrow Cranbrook Drug and Bookarrow
Cities arrow Cranbrook arrow Businesses arrow Hotels, Motels, Boarding Houses arrow Queensarrow
Cities arrow Cranbrook arrow Cultural arrow Dancearrow
Cities arrow Cranbrook arrow Cultural arrow Musicarrow
Cities arrow Cranbrook arrow Entertainment arrow Rotary Minstrelsarrow


For additional features, including access to full text resources, become a member.

Find out more about Memberships.

Share what you know

Share what you know

Do you have additional information about this resource?

Please share what you know.

This resource may be protected by copyright law and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the written permission of the Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History.