April 29, 1907

How an Orpheum Audience Lost a
Head-Line Performance.

The throwing of a beer keg to the stage floor to give the audience the impression that an inebriated man was rolling down stairs cost the Orpheum its headline act for two performances yesterday. The Finneys, champion swimmers, who perform in a big glass tank filled with water, had everything ready for their number and were standing in the wings awaiting their Turn. Frank Mostyn Kelly and E. H. Calvert were presenting their playlet, "Tom and Jerry," in which one of them is supposed to fall down stairs. To get the proper bumping effect a beer keg is bounced on the stage. It bounced. And then there followed a report like that of a pistol. The stage employes rushed back and found the water spurting from three great cracks in the plate glass in the front of the tank. Buckets and rags were gotten to catch the flow and the performers dashed below to their dressing rooms to get their clothes out of the way. Manager Lehman came on the stage when the Finneys' turn came and announced to the audience that they would not be able to go on. The shattered glass was shown. This was the first time in fifteen years that he had had to announce a disappointment of an act because of an accident. He telephoned at once to Omaha, where the Finneys have an extra tank, and it will be here this morning in time for this afternoon's performance.