If you like Queenie Smith, one of the more amusing of the stage’s lady comedians, you will like “Every Thursday,” a comedy which was knocked together by Doty Hobart and set down for your edification and enjoyment in the Royale Theatre, but if you expect “drama” with or without capitals you had best stay away because this three act comedy is, in the last analysis, pretty banal stuff.
In “Every Thursday” Miss Smith plays the role of maid-of-all-work in a typically gossipy community. A girl who can hold up her end of any conversation, she has a great capacity for Boy Scout work, doing her share of good deeds daily. In the household where she is employed she manages to become involved in the domestic affairs and cleverly saves the young son from the wiles of a scheming woman. She falls in love with the youngster herself, but as she is only a servant girl realizes that he is not for her.
Although the play creaks and is old fashioned in its social implications, Miss Smith’s acting is of such a high calibre that she rescues the piece from the fate it deserves. However, it can be said that if in your tour of Broadway theatres you pass by the Royale without, stopping, you will not have missed much. “Every Thursday” is a third rate comedy with a first rate actress. One of these days somebody will discover a vehicle in which Miss Smith will find a part worthy of her talents.
Molly Picon will return to the Yiddish stage next season. She has signed a contract with Michael Saks, manager of the Second Avenue Yiddish Theatre who has arranged to produce a series of new operettas written by Jacob Kalich, Molly Picon’s husband. Miss Picon, of course, will be the star. She has been absent from the Yiddish stage for nearly three years, during which time she toured Europe, South America and the Orient.
In listing last Saturday’s closings I omitted hopefully Nat Zatkin’s revival of Ibsen’s “Lady From the Sea” and McClintock’s “Yellow Jack.” Here were two serious plays, both of which were well acted and produced but neither of which could find a large enough patronage.
“Yellow Jack” announced its finish two weeks ago, but rumors got around that the Pulitzer Prize committee were giving “Jack” serious consideration and the producer hoped against hope. With “Lady From the Sea” it was simply a case of a public catching up and passing a playwright, Ibsen wrote ahead of his time and his works shocked the Victorian audiences of his generation. Today nothing but a large dose of dynamite can move them. After O’Neill’s incestuous implications, Rice’s realism and even Shaw’s digs at the foibles of society, Ibsen now seems very feeble stuff.
After a series of delays Ragnhilde Bruland’s “Furnished Rooms,” listed as a melodrama, will open at the Ritz on May 21.
O. O. MacIntyre has written an article about Max Gordon, most successful American theatrical producer, in the current issue of Cosmopolitan magazine. Mr. Gordon, a Jewish gentleman, returned last week from a trip abroad… George Ross, food expert and dramatic editor of the World-Telegram, threatens to write a play. He has been inspired by the flops of 1934… A new musical review will go into rehearsal very soon and will be called “Life Begins at 8:30.”