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November 3, 1909


Musical Comedy, Vaudeville With
Burlesque Tinge at the Gayety.

The new Gayety theater will open Sunday afternoon with a matinee by the "College Girls" Company. The house is to be devoted to musical comedy and vaudeville with a burlesque tinge. It is owned by the Kansas City Theater Company of New York and will be managed by Thomas Hodgeman, the present manager of the Majestic theater.

The new theater is at Twelfth and Wyandotte streets and has several innovations. The dressing rooms are all outside the theater proper. On the Twelfth street and Wyandotte street sides business houses will occupy the fronts with the exception of the main entrance on Wyandotte street. The theater is surrounded on four sides by open spaces, which provide four exits from the ground floor and two each from the other two floors, in addition to two emergency exits from each of the top floors.

The interior is finished in "art noveau," the colors being gold and yellow. With the exception of the chairs the theater is entirely fireproof. It will have a seating capacity of 1,650. There are three floors, with 550 chairs on the orchestra floor, 400 on the balcony floor, 600 on the gallery floor and 100 in the twelve boxes. The stage will be protected by an ornamental asbestos curtain.

The auditorium of the theater is 72 by 108 feet, of which 40 by 70 feet is taken up by the stage. Inclines instead of stairs will be used to gain access to the first two floors.

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November 23, 1908


Comic Opera and Burlesque Queens
No Longer Sing to Him.

The burlesque and comic opera queens don't sing to the boxes any more, at least not as much as they used to do. And it's all because the man in the box office complained. And thereby hangs this tale.

Some five or six seasons ago "The Wizard of Oz" came to life. A feature of the show was Anna Laughlin's song "Sammy" which she sang to the men in the boxes. She'd pick out a man, the spot light would be turned on him and she would tell him that "when you come wooing, there's something doing." It made a big hit with everyone but the unfortunate who received the unsought affection.

The next winter every comic opera had a song that was addressed to unfortunate holders of box seats. Then the burlesquers picked it up and two and three years ago, even last year, no burlesque show was complete without a chorus that could be directed to a man in a box. Some of the shows had two, some "queens" went so far as to climb into the boxes and share the spot light with the man who had paid real money to be amused.

Finally the theatergoing men began to shun the boxes. When it came to shows they'd "rather see one than be one." So they refused to buy box seats and often a member of the company had to be sent out to sit in a box and act confused.

The ticket sellers investigated and found why the box seats went begging. Then they called a halt on the songs to the boxes. Nowadays no comic opera amuses the crowd at the expense of one of the audience. Very few burlesque shows show partiality in their "lovey dovey" choruses. When the spot light is turned on the house, it moves fast and no one is singled out as a victim.

And now the box seats are once more in demand.

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September 3, 1908



New Enterprise Here, Behind Which
Is Miss Ethel Dovey -- Unless
It's a Press Agent's

Chorus girls are to have a hotel in Kansas City which will be used exclusively for show girls, if the plans of Miss Ethel Dovey do not go amiss. Preparations to establish such quarters are being made by a real estate agent, who was commissioned by Miss Dovey to keep her in touch with available pieces of real estate that would be suitable for the chorus girls' hotel.

The story leaked out last evening when it was learned that Miss Dovey was negotiating for a site, and it was said that immediately upon the arrival of "A Stubborn Cinderella" company, in which she is showing, that she would endeavor to close a deal with her agent. She is a Kansas City girl, and several months ago, at a meeting of a crowd of show girls, she promised them that she would do her best to establish a hotel similar to those in New York and Chicago.

Miss Dovey has succeeded in interesting George Dovey, president of the National League baseball club of Boston, and he has promised to help her in furthering the project. It is said that he has pledged $10,000 to the fund being raised to establish the hotel.

In certain respects the hotel will be conducted on the plan of the Martha Washington in New York. While the rules and regulations of the hotel are not known at this time, it is said that the "stage-door Johnnies" will not be welcome. Sad, but true, there is some doubt as to whether they will even be admitted to the hotel at any time. The girls will be required to be at home within a reasonable time after the close of the performance. If mere man should want to see one of the girls he would have to telephone, or use Uncle Sam's mail system.

Expenses of running the hotel will be divided pro rata each week when a traveling show appears in Kansas City. The hotel is to be at the disposal of every traveling company, even including the burlesque. The gentle sex will have the exclusive use of the new quarters, and will therefore be better provided for than they are at present.

The hotel is to be called the "Ethel Dovey," in honor of the fair promoter. Miss Dovey will be at the Willis Wood Sunday with her uncle in "A Stubborn Cinderella." If the plans now being made carry, the "Ethel Dovey" hotel will be in readiness by next Wednesday, and "A Stubborn Cinderella" company will be the first one to occupy it.

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April 22, 1908


Iola, Kas., Woman's Child Given to
Burlesque Performers.

Dorothy Evaline Mack is the name which the baby of Mrs. Emma Ingledue of Iola, Kas., will carry through life. The infant was yesterday adopted by Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Mack, who are here this week with the Trans-Atlantic Burlesquers at the Majestic theater. Last Friday Mrs. Ingledue left her baby with the police matron, Mrs. Joan Moran.

"I am too ill to care for her," she said. "I know that I could not give the child the advantages in life she deserves, I would rather some good couple had her."

"We only have two more weeks on the stage," said Mrs. Mack, "and then we will be back at our Philadelphia home. And by the way, that little home will soon be paid for. Next season I will stay at home and be mamma to Dorothy Evaline while J. C. Mack rustles around and makes a living for all three of us."

Mrs. Mack said that for three years she had been trying to adopt a baby.

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April 3, 1908


Century Patrons Did Not Want Any
Politics Injected Into Bill.

Three candidates on the Republican city ticket found that the audience at the Century theater last night did not care to have the play interrupted by political speeches, and, in fact, had little interest in politics. Such loud hissing was never before heard from a theater audience in Kansas City as when one of the candidates attempted to make a speech. He was forced to leave the stage and the others had no better success.

"If that is the kind of reception we get on election day I am afraid things will not look as bright as they do now," said one of the candidates. After these men left the stage, the members of the burlesque company performing at the Century this week mentioned politics once or twice and received slight hisses from the audience.

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December 25, 1907


Theatrical Managers Agree to Open
on Sunday, as Usual.

At a secret meeting of the Theatrical Managers' Association yesterday at the Grand theater it was decided to continue the fight against Sunday closings as long as necessary, al managers agreeing to pay their share of the expense.

After the meeting it was declared taht the manager of a local burlesque house, which has not been kept open on Sunday, had been expelled from the association, andwould be kept out until he agreed to keep open on Sunday along with the rest of the theaters.

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December 8, 1907


146 Arrests Yesterday Afternoon
Did Not Discourage Managers.

Indictments were returned yesterday morning against 211 theatrical persons, including actors, actresses, musicians, managers, ushers, stage hands, and all employes.

The clerk of the criminal court prepared 211 warrants and delivered them to Al Heslip, county marshal, for service. The marshal then conferred with Frank M. Lowe and Senator A. L. Cooper, attorneys for the theaters. It was agreed that yesterday's afternoon matinees should not be disturbed. Judge Wallace said he was willing to accommodate them, but that he didn't wish to hold court far into the night in order to arrange the bonds.

The county marshal assigned two deputies to ever theater yesterday afternoon. The attorneys agreed to have everyone for whom there is a warrant to go the the criminal court immediately after the matinees and answer to Judge Wallace.

The theaters and theatrical companies, for whose players and employes indictments were reported, are: Auditorium, "Texas," Gilliss, "Gay New York;" National, vaudeville; Grand, "Dion O'Dare;" Century, California Girls' Burlesque company in "The Sultan's Wives;" Shubert, vaudeville; Orpheum, vaudeville; Majestic, Gay Masqueraders in "Mr. Dopey's Dippey Den."

None of the players at the Willis Wood was indicted, because Walker Whitesides Company that played there last Sunday, had only a half week's engagement and left the city Thursday.

Although there were 211 indictments, only 145 actors, actresses, managers, and other theatrical persons, including the orchestras, were arrested yesterday afternoon, but every theater in Kansas City except one, the Majestic, will be open to-day. The difference between 211 - the number indicted - and 145 - the number arrested, represents the players of several degrees who left town to avoid arrest.

The Majestic gave no matinee yesterday and no performance last night. The company playing there left the city about noon, Clinton Wilson, the manager, said, without telling him anything about it. "And this house," the manager said, "will henceforth and forever be closed on Sunday while Judge Wallace reigns. Glory be."

All other managers said their theaters would be opened every Sunday in the future, or at least until it had been decided that to have them open would be illegal.


With the first arrests disposed of, the attorneys for the theatrical interests will begin at once to try for an opinion from the supreme court as to the constitutionality of the law, creating Judge Porterfield's division of the criminal court. They hope in this way to bring few of the indicted persons to trial immediately. With a few acquittals, which the attorneys predict as the result, they believe the attempt to close theaters will cease.

Judge Wallace allowed the deputy marshals so to time their actions yesterday so that none of the performances was interrupted. In the future, he said, he will not be so considerate.

"It is not the fault of the attorneys that many of the players ran away," the judge said, "but in the future I will not accomodate the theaters. They will have to time their actions with the court. As soon as indictments are returned and the warrants prepared, the marshal will be instructed to serve them immediately and bring the offenders into court, no matter if a performance is in progress. The court will take no more chances on players running away."

Managers and actors and actresses and other theater employees began coming into the criminal court room shortly after 4:30 o'clock yesterday afternoon. Judge Wallace has promised to be there then to accept bonds. By 5 o'clock the courtroom held a queer looking crowd. Chair space was exhausted. Men sat in windows and others pushed a way within the railing. The aisle was crowded and the latest to arrive from the theaters got into the room with difficulty. The crowd was estimated at 300.

"I am ready to take up this bond matter now," the judge said.

There was much interest in this announcement. The actresses grasped one anothers' hands and the men leaned forward nervously expectant.


First came ten employees from the Willis Wood theater. There were no players from the theater because the company that opened an engagement last Sunday played only a half week and ran away before the grand jury returned indictments. Frank M. Lowe, Senator A. L. Cooper, attorneys for the theaters, tried to file applications for change of venue, a proceeding that would have prevented Judge Wallace from hearing the pleas or fixing the amount of bond.

"The arraignments first will be filed and the bonds fixed," the judge said. "Then you may file your applications for change of venue."

Then Mr. Lowe said to all who were indicted, "Don't any of you make a response when the prosecutor asks you if you are guilty or not. Stand mute."

The attorney, then addressing the judge, said, "We wish to withdraw the plea of 'Not Guilty' and refuse to plead. Our position is that we have filed a plea in abatement and an application for a change of venue. That is our course in every case. We think that by reason of the application for the change of venue, this judge has no right to fix the bond or take any further action in these cases."


"That might be right," the judge said, "if you were running the court. It's a poor judge who doesn't control his own court. You may think you have filed the motions, but you haven't. This court decides when motions and papers shall be filed, and they are not filed until the court instructs the clerk so to do. You may file your applications for a change of venue after the arraignments, and after the prisoners have said whether they are guilty or not guilty. That's the practice and the rule in all criminal proceedings, and that's the way it is in this court."

The actor from the Auditorium was the only person who had a speaking part in the proceeding. All the others stood mute while the attorneys did the talking.

When Dr. Frank L. Flanders appeared before the clerk, the assistant prosecutor asked him where were the members of his company.

"They skipped," he said. "There was no one to make bond for them and they left the city."


The arraignments were made in bunches. The whole company from a theater lined up in front of the clerk at one time. As the bonds were made for one crowd and they were released, one of the theater attorneys called the next theater on the list, and its players and employes came forward.

An actress from the Century entered the courtroom carrying a dog. She gave it to a friend to hold for her while she was being arraigned. The dog jumped to the floor and someone stepped on it. The dog yelped piteously and the crowd, or some of it, laughed. The judge admonished the marshal to keep order and the court bailiff beat his desk with his mallet. An intense silence prevailed for fully a minute. In such circumstances the judge usually threatens to clear the courtroom of spectators, but this was impossible yesterday because it was impracticable to weed out the spectators from the prisoners.

Walton H. Holmes qualified on 9 bonds and Bernard Corrigan on ten for persons from the Century. The other theaters had these bondsmen: Majestic, John W. Wagner; Orpheum, Andrew J. Baker and Charles Wiel; National, Dr. Frank L. Flanders; the Grand, Leo N. Leslie; Shubert, C. S. Jobes; Gilliss, Edward Costello; Willis Wood theater and Auditorium, E. F. Swinney.

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