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The Rio Grande rattler. ([McAllen], Hidalgo County, Tex.) 1916-1917, April 27, 1918, Image 10

Image and text provided by New York State Military History Museum

Persistent link: http://www.nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn87030234/1918-04-27/ed-1/seq-10/

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8 GAS ATTACK A HIT IN NEW YORK. “ You Know Me, Al,” Division Show, Big Success. “You Know Me, Al,\ the division show, w ent big in New York, w h e re it was on view at the Lexington T h e a tre ten days, startin g April 11th. It bowled 'em over, as they say along the Rialto, and enthusiastic audiences filled the big th e a tre a t every show. Incidentally the show stim u lated recruiting. It suggest­ ed to a lot of New Y o rkers a fact we have known for some tim e, to w it: th a t the New York Division is SOME division, and can do well w h a tever it sets out to do. AH the New Y o rk critics agreed th a t the show was m o st creditable. W e reprint below a typical criticism by B u rns M antle, the well know n critic of the Evening Mail. The proceeds of the shows go tow a rd pay. ing for a portable theatre in w h ich plays will be given behind the lines in France. W h a t One Critic Said. “Sounds extravagant, but there are really not over half a dozen m u sical plays on Broadway w ith a dancing and singing chorus half so well drilled or half as entertaining as th a t the boys of the 27th Division have brought up from Spartanburg for their ‘You Know Me, A l/ perform a n c e s at the Lexing­ ton T h e a tre. And I am not at all positive th a t I could nam e the six. “It is far and away, counting num b ers, a b e tter ensem b le than any the Lam b s’ Club has ever m u s tered for its gambols, or the F riars for their frolics. Ned W a y b u rn him ­ self has not trained a m ore proficient group of highsteppers, nor V ictor H e rbert coaxed more natural or m o re pleasing harm o n ie s from his beloved m ale choruses. “I wish it w ere possible to organize a huge th e a tre party of all the other chorus men in town, and the girls, too, for th a t m a tter, but especially the anem ic youths threatened by the draft, and take them over to the Lexington next week. Not w ith any hope of sham ing them into an observance of w h a t­ ever obligations they may be avoiding, but for the sheer pleasure of showing them w h at a really good chorus can do. “It is this well-nigh perfect ensem b le that provides the soldiers’ show w ith a spine, hut there are a lot of things th a t contribute to its splendid spirit. Basicly they are the things th a t are fast welding the A m erican arm y , and particularly the volunteer divi­ sions, into the m o st effective m ilitary or­ ganization in the world—enthusiasm , initia­ tive and th a t alert intelligence no kultur- ridden autocracy will e v e r breed or can ever beat. *rW elterweights in C h iffon/8 “The principals are m ostly specialists, th e m a jority w ith some professional experience to help them . The boys who play the fem a le parts, however, I judge are either am a teurs or unfam iliar w ith this particular style of entertaining. They have acquired a certain aw k w ard grace, and use their forced fal­ settos w ith some skill, much to the am u se­ m e n t of the crowd, but they are not very happy A rlines and Sallies. One, w ith th e biceps of a w e lterw e ight cham p ion showing through his Lucille chiffon, dances w ith such am azing grace the encores considerably de­ lay the show. “T h e re are several good singers and a sur­ prising num b e r of good songs. You owe it to no one but yourself to hear, for instance, such splendid num b e rs as ‘My H e a rt Be­ longs to the U. S. A ./ w ith its dancing bell­ hops, as lively a septet as you will ever m eet at the Palace; ‘B ring Back T h a t Yama Man to Me,’ a typical, jazz-infected Broadway echo; or a regular heart-stuff ballad set to a b e tter than typical ballad tune, ‘Let Me Have a Corner of Your H e a r t’; or some other lad’s tribute to a mem ory of the Broadway he knew before he decided to list, ‘I’m Going Back to Mobile, A labam a .’ “Incidentally, there is an orchestra to play these num b ers th a t com pares more than fa­ vorably w ith the best th a t the average Broadway production has to offer. And a sm a ller H a w aiian band that, playing unusu­ ally well behind the scenes, should certainly have been perm itted to show itself. “ Genuine Success/8 “It is a very genuine success, this soldier show. Don’t overlook th a t fact. N o t a suc­ cess by the grace of our local pride, nor one forced by a spasmodic patriotism —but a hit for w h ich the boys them selves are responsi­ ble, and one th a t does both them and th e ir division great credit. “T h a t it will help w ith the recruiting th e r e can be little doubt, for it represents a di­ visional, regim ental, battalion, company and squad spirit th a t will unquestionably appeal to those fit and worthy to be New York volunteers who are still unplaced. “If it happens you are one, you will find a gentlem an at 721 Fifth avenue who w ill be glad to explain all details to you. You couldn’t go over w ith a better crowd th a n this one, I’ll w ager th a t much. Nor w ith one th a t will come through w ith more hon­ ors. For, as Private W a lter D a v enport w rites in the program m e, ‘It’s the m an withi the laugh, the m an w ith the lilt of a song on his lips and the flip of the fox tro t in his h e a r t who is going to lope out over the shell craters cheerfully, seeking rough necks to tw ist.’ And coming back after th e tw isting’s done.\

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