Mail Tribune 100, March 11, 1922
March 11, 1922
TOBACCO BAN ON ELK’S SONG BIRDS ISSUED
Vernon Vawter, the director and general impresario of the Elks’ Minstrel show has more troubles than Mary Garden has ever had as director of the Chicago Grand Opera company. While his company only numbers about 50 members they one and all are simply plumb full of artistic temperament, or think they are, but Vernon asserts vehemently that the filling is of prunes, as they chafe at the bit for Monday and Tuesday night’s performances following a month’s rehearsals and intensive training.
He issued orders at last night’s rehearsal forbidding any singing members of the company smoking until after Tuesday night, in the interest of preserving and toning up their sweet voices. Immediately Fletcher Fish, Don Newbury and Bill Vawter, his ballad stars, showed their temperament by declaring their voices needed and must have constant narcotic encouragement. They offered a compromise by agreeing to each eat a box of canary seed a day until the show is over.
There is trouble in the orchestra over one of the trombone players in his zeal during rehearsal last night poking the end of his instrument into the ear of Shorty Miller, one of the first violinists, and all the musicians have taken sides. The end men are all at odds over who is to have the star’s dressing room, and Jerry Jerome, Larry Mann and Paul McDonald are not on speaking terms since Director Vawter settled the controversy by giving the star’s dressing room to little Barbara Meyhew, and assigning the Page theater alley to the end men for dressing purposes.
Then Jay Gore “Moraine,” the noted magician and a ham newspaper man and a popular grocer, who have a talkfest act which is expected to attract much vegetable matter from the audience, each demanded first place in the olio part of the performance, until Vernon changed the name to that department to oleomargarine.
The costumes arrived from the company from the New York designer yesterday, and when Vawter told P. P. Bingham, the property man, to go to the express office and get them, Pete demurred and said it was the chorus men’s job.
And thus it goes all the time. Director Vawter is doing his best as he murmurs, “Never again for me.”
— Alissa Corman; email@example.com