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. . .
[ By BEAUCAIRE
§ Within á month or two one leading Melbourne theatre, at present showing American films, will change over to show exclusively all the first-class productions to come out of
THIS WILL INFLUENCE two
other city theatres, to the ex- tent that one will be reserved for the second-grade British pro- duct and the other- will screen a better-class American film.
"Keith Johns came in here on Sat- urday in a terrible hurry wanting a special type of collar," they told me at a city men's store. "He had to take someone's place in the Tivoli show, and the collar was part of the costume."
Keith, who, as stage manager, sees to it that the show runs smoothly, told me that Sumner Locke-Elliott, who plays the part of the copo cabana manager in Forbidden City, had dashed over to Sydney for the weekend to see the opening of his own play, and Keith stepped into the breach. Keith previously had considerable stage experience with Gregan McMahon and Allan Wilkie.
Sumner Locke-Elliott, by the way, is quite a prolific playwright. His latest play, invisible Circus (which took him out to Sydney), is a satire on radio folk, and is going over big at Doris Fitton's Independent Theatre. Five other plays have been produced, and one (The Cow Jumped Over the Moon) hit Hollywood in 1938 at the Callboard Theatre, and was considered by MGM as a vehicle for Billie Burke. Its similarity to The Vinegar Tree eventually stopped its production.
Another play by Mr Locke-Elliott (interval) has been published in book form and was produced by Brett Ran- dall at his Little Theatre in 1940. He has high hopes that Invisible Circus will hit the screen.
It was heartening to hear how Frankie Sinatra was received by the audience at the St James the other _ . night. When he
L"J-" VLt began to croon Jranlne Ïfot ln a trailer ad_
opulai- . . . Aweigh, the young
' 'uns in the stalls completely drowned him out with cat- calls, hoots, and jeers, while the circle laughed its approval.
Jim McCully. manager of the Liberty and Times Theatrette, had to pay excess luggage rates on the return trip from Sydney on the Sky master recently. It was largely due to the weight of the sterling silver trophy he'd received in Sydney from Norman B. Rydge, managing direc- tor of Greater Union Theatres, for substantial trading results and gene- ral theatre management during 1945. The £200 cheque which went with the trophy made much easier carrying.
Things a're moving in the Austra- lian film industry, Mr McCully dis- covered during his Sydney visit. Chatswood Studios are to be ex- tended for the first concerted effort, made by Greater Union and J. Arthur Rank interests, to put the Australian product on the map. They'll move even more after Michael Baleon, leading British film producer, visits here soon.
Some years ago I was at a farewell gathering at the Collingwood Town Hall to Mauricette MacGillicuddy, daughter of Dr Maurice MacGilli- cuddy, who was going abroad to further her promising pianoforte
Mauricette played a number of piano solos during the evening, and her small sister. Joan, tossed off a
violin piece or two to help out the programme. No one took very much notice of, Joan, although she showed real ability on the violin.
Over a bun and a cup of tea I asked the youthful Joan if she had any ideas for herself abroad. "Oh, no," laughed Joan. "I'm just going along for company!"
Today it is Joan MacGillicuddy who is in the spotlight. As "Joan Win- field" stye is in Hollywood, under contract to' Warner Bros, playing important parts in a number of talkies. Publicised as having one of the best figures in pictures. Joan is now being groomed for star roles, and she will be seen with Bette Davis in Melbourne shortly in Stolen Life.
Several notable plays are being pro- duced by amateur bodies at the Union Theatre, University of Mel-
St Joan, by G. B. Shaw, will be pro- duced at the Union by the Melbourne fl . University Dra IA »ino VAÎ hi matlC C1Ut> 0n Mnwewty July n 12i and
a 13, with Judy At
-Jimateuri . . tiwill (as Joan),
Wynn Roberts and Bruce Anderson in the leading
On June 22, 24, and 25, J. M. Synge's The Playboy of the Western World will be presented by the Tin Alley Players, with Bill Ryall, Ruby May, Gwen Izzard, Hugh D. Neville, Arthur Davies, Collins Hilton, and a lengthy
One of the most extraordinary screen successes Melbourne has known was the tuneful Viennese Nights. After flopping badly at the Capitol, it was sent out to the suburbs, where it.did such amazing business that it was re- called to the city, and ran for weeks at the Majestic and other city
Oscar Hammerstein II, in Melbourne to look itito the possibilities of pro- ducing his Oklahoma!, expressed
amazement at the Australian success of this show, for which he wrote the script. It was, he said, a definite flop in USA, but gained prestige from the reception it received in this country. It was one of the first of that nos- talgic series of which Bitter Sweet, Maytime, and Blossom Time were a part.
A revival of Viennese Nights might be worthwhile. Its lilting music, at least, would still appeal.
Incidentally, it now seems certain that JCW will co-operate with Mr Hammerstein in the production of
Possibly because of the success of the several religious pictures which have come to the screen (such as The Song of Bernadette, Going My Way, and The Bells of St Mary's), Para- mount has dusted that famous old melodrama. The Sign of the Cross, and put it back on the road. A sort of reducoed print of the production seen some years back with Claudette Colbert, Frederic March, and Charles Laughton, it is booked for the Liberty.
The author, Wilson Barrett, played the main part of Marcus Superbus in Melbourne many years ago. Julius Knight followed him with many dis- tinguished playings of the same role.
If they must dig up old pictures, why not let us see The Birth of a Nation? That would really be some- thing.
JOAN WINFIELD, attractive Melbourne-born actress, who will be seen next with popular Bette Davis in Warner Bros.' Stolen Life.