Frank Fay's "New Yorker" Doing Nicely

Joined: 12:06 PM - Mar 29, 2018

3:56 PM - Oct 01, 2018 #1

Morning Telegraph, 1927-09-27, p.05
 
FRANK FAY’S “NEW YORKER“ DOING NICELY, THANK YOU
While capacity was hardly registered Sunday night at the Club New Yorker, the reconstructed Paul Whiteman Club, on Broadway, the rendezvous carried a well-dressed house around midnight, with the late arrivals straggling in continually thereafter.
The new club, completely rearranged, has the orchestra stand at the north end of the room, the former bandstand utilized by Whiteman being transformed into a garden scene. On either side of the floor high booths have been built, and the center carries a new low drape that makes it possible for a singer to be heard. The alterations brought down the seating capacity to about 400, but gives added value in the line of intimacy, and makes it doubly easy for the entertainers. And the entrance has been improved, a narrow hall bringing one into the main foyer, instead of the ungainly doorway originally here.
Frank Fay is at his best on the floor, and his first Sunday night [Sept. 25] found him going along through a routine of light comedy patter that registered every point. His familiar “bit” with Louis Mann and Patsy Kelly is sure-fire for club work, and his impromptu announcements are wealthy with wit. Phyllis Ray, a blues singer, whose vocal work is incidental to her splendid dancing, is bound to win favor with the New Yorkerites. Deno & Rochelle’s Apache is a valuable addition to the floor program, and Olive McClure’s slave dance lends variety to the revue.
The club, now under the sole management of Bob Langdon, and supervised by Jack Figel, is on its second week, and, lacking the tremendous entertaining magnet it had in Whiteman last season, is going along sufficiently well to warrant a prediction of success. In the musicians’ pit is a combination of players taken from the Jean Goldkette and Roger Wolf Kahn orchestras.


Alas, things weren't to go on so smoothly, and the Club had to close October 15 ...

Ralph
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Joined: 8:31 PM - Apr 24, 2018

5:44 PM - Oct 02, 2018 #2

Thanks RW for these postings.  It helps fill in some of the details concerning the ephemeral nightclub that housed a super-group of jazz musicians.

It got me to look up Frank Fay too.  Interesting figure, supposedly a pioneer of stand-up comedy.  Plenty of youtube clips of him.  They are mostly dreadful I think, and no matter how I try to send my point of view into the old "way-back machine", I just can't dig it. 

Here is a quick article about Fay:  http://thevillager.com/2013/11/21/fathe ... letterman/.  Turns out he could be pretty mean.  According to Milton Berle, "Fay's friends could be counted on the missing arm of one-armed man."
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Joined: 12:06 PM - Mar 29, 2018

2:23 PM - Oct 03, 2018 #3

Thanks, Andy, for your kind words.
What you have now done is what I was hoping for, by posting these clippings from a contemporary publication of the 1920s (which is not yet online): you've followed the leads and have done some further research. Very nice!

Ralph
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Joined: 12:06 PM - Mar 29, 2018

3:28 PM - Oct 03, 2018 #4

Here's some more on Frank Fay:


Morning Telegraph, 1927-12-04, p.07

FRANK FAY IN HIS OWN CLASS
Frank Fay, one of the featured players in Harry Delmar's Revels, at the Shubert, is a type sui generis - there is none other like him. he holds a record-shattering career in vaudeville, to which he confined his activities until his recent inception into the musical revue field. Many times he has been kept over for eight, ten, twelve weeks at the Palace Theatre on Broadway and the Albee Theatre in Brooklyn and the Keith-Albee houses throughout the nation. The signal tribute of being held over one or two weeks is the desideratum od all artists in vaudeville.
The use of that unforgivable prefix "super", with all its trashy import, seems actually deprived of its meaner aspects when employed in characterizing Fay as a super-star. His performance in untinctured with anything other than the most poignant brilliance of delivery.
Fay sings ballads. He draws tears and yet is able to perceive in his execution a humor which on occasion gives rise to a yawn in the middle of his act. That is one of the countless niceties of genius used by Fay to coddle the attention of an audience without disarming him of his perpetual bearing of aloofness.
There is little doubt that Fay is one of the keenest minds in extemporaneous wit. Aside from an acute memory and delicacy of reason, superimposed, it may be said, on an imposing physique, Fay possesses a soothing balance delectable in his behaviour which holds an audience to close attention. Fay has that funny couple, Patsy Kelly and Lew Mann, assisting as foils for his penetrating buffoonery. They sing and dance and insure gales of laughter.
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