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"I like the book. I like the music. I think it will be a great show" was the quiet, confident statement of Arthur Hurley, director of the Hasty Pudding's "Come Across". Having turned men into women for fourteen years as coach of the "Lamb's Gambols" in New York, he is not worried about the crucial part of the production up here. His trick is to show the players' femininity by costume and a few gestures with the hips and hands rather than by a fakey voice.
Mr. Hurley, brother of the former Postmaster and present State Treasuer, William K. Hurley, works the principals in the pudding hard each afternoon, because talent scouts for the movies and stage are coming up to watch the play. Aroused by the polished entertainment of last year's "The Lid's Off"' they will be looking for men like John Davis Lodge, male load in the 1926 production and currently in Hollywood. One player has already been offered screen tests, while tunes such as "Someday" and "Come Across" are often heard in night clubs and radio programs.
Horatio Alger might have used Mr. Hurley's life as a plot for one of his success-novels. South Boston bore and reared him until he was old enough to go on the stage. His first break was the sickness of the regular quartet at the old Bowdoin Square Theatre. The substitute singers included Hurley as bass, and catching the eye of scouts, they moved down to the big money in New York. Under Charles Frohman for three years, A. H. Woods for three, and Arthur Hopkins from 1918 - 1924, he was combination actor and director of plays with all three Barrymores, Pauline Lord, and John Drew. His greatest success as a free-lance director were "The Firebrand"' which ran two years, and an operetta, "The Desert Song"' which indicated his talent for musicals.
In 1929 he jumped on the movie bandwagon and directed over one hundred short talkies for Warner Brothers. A 5800 mile drive through the stock theatres of New England last summer ended two years of talent scouting for Twentieth Century - Fox, and after whipping "Come Across" into shape he will head straight for Hollywood. When he took "Anna Christie" to London in 1923 he picked up a lot of information about the English stage which will be put to use in the trans-oceanic episodes of the Pudding show.
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