Came across the above for a Charley Chase
vaudeville turn after his 1936 dismissal from Hal Roach Studio. It's the first
theatre ad I've seen for a Chase appearance onstage, one of a number he made in
Eastern cities during and after 7/36, according toVariety. The Palace Theatre
was in Cleveland,
had been built for vaudeville, and seated 3,284 in its prime. Charley is
referred to as heading the troupe, including upper-billed Little Jackie Heller,
whose novelty was diminutive size (5'1") and fact he'd been a song star on
radio, vaude stages, and with Ben Bernie's group. Not sure what Charley's act
amounted to, but it may have been reprise of entertainment he supplied to
Masquers Club membership back in Hollywood,
Chase being active participant in shows they put on. Maybe Charley M.C.'ed the
shows in way similar to his Hollywood Party short subject work in 1937 (that
one available on DVD from Warner Archive).
I took opportunity to again read the Chase
chapter in Richard Roberts' outstanding book, Smileage Guaranteed: Past Humor,Present Laughter, which covers the output of Hal Roach and comedy stars who
came to prominence at his Fun Factory. According to Roberts, Charley Chase was
between berths at Roach and Columbia
when he did the personal apps. There's plentiful detail in Smileage Guaranteed
as to total arc of Charley's career from beginnings with Al Christie/Universal
to wind-up at Columbia.
Roberts' is by far the best summing up of Chase that I've read, and but
one of chapters in a volume covering comics others have overlooked,
including Snub Pollard, Glenn Tryon, Max Davidson, many more, plus distaff
contrib of Martha Sleeper, Viola Richard (my favorite), Anita Garvin, and varied
lovelies that enlivened single or two reels.The book is further loaded
with rare stills, all selected for not having been used elsewhere. There is
also an exhaustive filmography, the most detailed you'll find anywhere.
Smileage Guaranteed is a resource I've used often, and will continue to consult
for both facts and fun of reading. If enjoyment of Roach classics like
Limousine Love, A Pair Of Tights, and Pass The Gravy have a text equivalent, it
is this book.