Critical Moments

Leonard Sillman, the young Jewish boy whose work was in a great measure responsible for the success of “New Faces,” recently departed from Broadway, has found a new anchorage upon Echo Bay, which, if you do not know your geography, is very near New Rochelle. Upon this expanse of water a once staid ferryboat plied the Sound laden with commuters and other species of suburban life but that was before Mr. Sillman conceived the idea of staging a revue. Since that idea struck the young gent said ferryboat has become a floating stage and is now known as the showboat Venture. Nightly upon its deck a show called “Fools Rush In” is being played and it is entertainment of a high quality.

“Fools Rush In,” as I have warned you above, is one of those intimate revues that skips along without rhyme or reason but manages to hold your attention from beginning to end. There is a large cast, most of whom you know nothing about but they are young, willing and full of animation. I will not be descriptive about what goes on. Suffice to say that there are countless blackouts, satires on some of our better publicized stuffed shirts, a crack or two at headline personages and a number of songs that are both tuneful and catchy.

If you will notice I remarked that “Fools Rush In” plays nightly upon the deck of the Venture but that doesn’t mean that if you sail up to New Rochelle you will find the Venture. Mr. Sillman has made the craft into a real showboat, one that sails about. So far the Venture has docked at New Rochelle but it will make stops at Great Neck, Port Washington, Mamaroneck and other Long Island ports.

The music for “Fools Rush In” was composed by Will Irwin, Richard Lewine, Bascom Little and Alfred Simon. The lyrics came from the heads of Norman Zeno and June Sillman. Viola Brothers Shore and Newman Levy wrote most of the sketches and Mr. Sillman and Alfred Simon directed the dancing.

If “Fools Rush In” has any rough edges, and I must add that it has, it is in the comedy department. Betzi Beaton is supposed to supply the louder laughs but her particular sadistic brand of humor, which reaches its high point in the throwing of eggs at other actors, is a bit tiresome and not at all effective. Vandy Cape is much more amusing, especially her imitation of an operatic star making a radio debut. The dancing is about as good as you usually find in revues of this type which is mild praise indeed. However, despite these shortcomings “Fools Rush In” is a lot of fun and you should like it.

FROM THE STAGE AND SCREEN

Sidney Kingsley returned to New York in time to attend the final performance of “Men In White” which closes tonight….

“Big Hearted Herbert,” which had a long Broadway run, will reopen tonight at the Roundhouse Theatre at Peekskill. Sheila Trent, Alice Fleming, William Nunn and Norman Williams will be in the cast….

The latest development in the censorship war against the films by the churches has taken the form of a drive asking people to stay away from movie houses unless the film companies permit a committee of Catholic, Protestant and Jewish ministers to act as censors. This generous offer has been turned down. Incidentally the censorship move is slowly petering out. People after due deliberation seem to feel that the whole business isn’t worth all the pother and noise….

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