Tribute Must be paid to that co-operative group known as the Shakespeare Theatre. Closing last night, after playing for twenty-eight weeks in which it has produced the largest range of Shakespearean plays in one season, it has convinced many skeptics that there is the possibility of having a permanent theatre in New York devoted exclusively to the presentation of Shakespeare’s plays. Although some derided the amateur quality of the performances, the efforts expended by this group to continue through the season when many a more experienced venture went down, are to be commended. The company consists of twenty players who have worked for a mere pittance, while stage hands and musicians have been receiving the prescribed union scale.
The company was organized by Percival Vivian, who was originally of the Ben Greet Players, and who is managing director, and Julius Hopp, manager of the project. Among the players in the group are Curtis Cooksey, Margery Maude, Mary Hone, Leslie Austen, Ruth Vivian, and Frederica Going.
A new play, a musical show and three revivals are to open this week. The players will revive “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” at the Alvin Theatre tomorrow night and on the same evening Milton Aborn will present “The Pirates of Penzance” at the St. James. On Wednesday night a play by Richard K. Flourney, called “Fly By Night”, will come to the Belmont with Frank Shannon, Ruth Nugent and Paul Guilfoyle featured. At the Broadhurst on Thursday, a revue titled “Tattle Tales”, co-starring Frank Fay and Barbara Stanwyck, will open and on the same evening, Harold Hevia will present a revival of “The Climax” at the Bijou with a company headed by Guy Bates Post and Norma Terris.
The Four Marx Brothers will be starred in a new Paramount comedy, “Duck Soup”, which will be released early this Fall. The picture will go into production early next month. Leo McCarey, director of “The Kid From Spain”, has been assigned to handle the production. . . . Paramount’s screen adaptation of the Bradway stage success, “Chrysalis”, will be known as “Desire”. Sylvia Sydney has been added to the cast which includes Miriam Hopkins, Frederick March and George Raft. . . . “One Grand”, a story by Jack Lait, will be produced independently for Paramount. “One Grand” deals with the biography of a $1,000 bill from the time it leaves the mint until it returns to be destroyed. . . . Maxwell Anderson, whose play, “Both Your Houses”, won the Pulitzer Prize, is busily engaged at Paramount on a story which will present Dorothea Wieck in her American debut.
Robert E. Sherwood’s stage comedy, “The Road to Rome”, is planned for early production by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Eddie Buzzell has been signed to a long-term directorial contract by Carl Laemmle, Jr. His first vehicle under the new contract will be “Love, Honor, and Oh Baby”, costarring Zasu Pitts and Slim Summerville.
Lionel Barrymore and Madge Evans are the first to be selected for MGM’s new untitled story which will have a background of the Louisiana bayous, based on Leo D. Freeman’s unproduced play, “Dance Hall Daisy”. Director Tod Browning, is now down in the bayou country selecting locations for the production. The original play has been adapted to the screen by Chandler Sprague and William Faulkner, author of “Light in August” and “Sanctuary” . . . . Robert Z. Leonard, whose last picture was “Peg O’ My Heart”, will direct Joan Crawford and Robert Montgomery in “The Dancing Lady”. The story is an adaptation of the Saturday Evening Post serial by James Warner Bellah, and will feature several original songs now being prepared by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown. . . . President Roosevelt’s nationwide reforestation program will supply the background for a picture soon to go into production at the MGM studios. This film will have the title “The Dollar a Day Man”, and is based on an original story now being prepared by Edgar Allan Woolf.
B.G.K. Films in Paris will start production in June of an original story by Paul Mesnier titled Je Suis un Juif (I Am a Jew).