|Time Magazine's review of Scandals of 1924
|Monday, July 14, 1924
Scandals. George White has clapped together the best revue since he initiated his series to relieve visiting buyers and
firemen of the Summer doldrums. More, he has presented one of the best revues of a season that has not been without its
high-water mark in this aspect of our civilization.
The new musical show has been staged with the requisite regard for pace and variety, gives no opportunity for a yawn to
get started. Thus, the Williams Sisters perkily berate the audience in a chanted number for being late and missing the
opening chorus—which does not exist. Then comes a series of skits wherein the mortifying consequences of being tardy
are revealed, generally with a sly double entendre sneaking in.
The production has more than its fair share of novelties, chief of which is a deceptive lighting effect which changes girls in
varicolored bathingsuits into marble statues in a wink. It also, by a painless amputation, obligingly transforms a damsel
into the armless Venus de Milo.
The imported Paris costumes are in admirable taste and profusion, but Mr. White does not hesitate to strike at the eyes of
a revue audience with the luxury of sheer simplicity. One of his most satisfying scenes is attained by the use of nothing
more sensational than a huge bank of flowered parasols. And the chorus whom these trappings adorn are the comeliest
that have stretched the necks of metropolitan audiences this year. Each one would be the ace of any ordinary revue
ensemble. White has again wisely limited his coryphees to intoning their lyrics clearly rather than blurring their point in
the yelp of the usual song. Therefore the chorus scores one of the spontaneous hits of the performance by boldly asserting
its reasons for not being one of the ubiquitous troupes of Tiller girls.
There are fewer dancing solos than usual, and the ordinarily elastic Lester Allen and Tom Patricola have to restrict the
natural exuberance of their limbs to a few hoof thumpings. But in that way no one is ever on the stage long enough to wear
a crease in the audience's patience. The show has two fine singers in Richard Talbot and Helen Hudson, the latter showing
one of the sweetest voices this side of grand opera.
White again shows a regrettable tendency to lapse into invective against blue-law reformers (now somewhat of a dead
issue). Perhaps this inverted tendency to preach is a consequence of the juvenile spiciness in some of his skits. But these
are galloped through at such speed that the offhand presentation of "low taste" can hardly give offense.
The sketches themselves at times are rather forced to beat a dishpan to excite humor. But Winnie Lightner, abetted by the
insouciant Will Mahoney and the boisterous Patricola, carries them along by dint of magnet ic personality, sometimes
called high animal spirits. And the revue contains two of the best travesties on darky melodies ever perpetrated.