Sanders Theatre is a miserable place to brighten up. Radcliffe's "Drumbeats and Song" came in close to doing the job last night in anything in a long time.
"Drumbeats" proved two things vaudeville is only 50 percent dead and the Band ought to cut some more records. The vaudeville was sandwiched in between 14 Band numbers, most of them pretty standard staff, but the stock-in-trade numbers are invariably good, and the hoofers were remarkable.
Some of "Drumbeats" acts are obviously going to be around for a long time, and one looks as if it may move in on the "Hungry Five." This routine is called "Band-Aides," and consists of six Adams House men who wear red coats and a director who wears a white one. This band lines up, runs off formations, and plays "Wintergreen"; what makes it exceptional is that it manages to do all this without the benefit of instruments other than a sextet of raucous voices and a pocket-sized drum.
"Drumbeats" somewhere accumulated itself a fine Charleston team, complete with rolled stockings and short skirts-it borrowed Kerry Lyne and Nick Benton from the Hasty Pudding Show for "When You and I Grew Up," a catalogue of the 'twenties. It got Cynthia Sweeney to sing "Sheboygan," and a chorus which looked at least more interested than most choruses manage to do.
As for the Band, it ought to commit "The Seafarer" and Eric Coates' "Knightsbridge March" to Vinylite, where people can get at them; they are probably the finest of its new arrangements.
At the beginning of Leroy Anderson's Harvard Medley, there is a low, swelling sweep of sound from the trombones and basses that blends into "Harvardiana." It is a quiet, powerful theme, and it starts you thinking about the crowds walking back across the Larz Anderson Bridge and the sound of a cocktail party mumbling across a quadrangle. They are good thoughts, and it was good of Radcliffe to bring them back last night.