Women Murderers Star When Prison “Follies” Is Shown

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 29.—Starting “Life’s Misfits” the “San Quentin Follies” played a one-night stand.

Against a prison background, women who have killed for love and for money found an hour’s forgetfulness in the annual Christmas show last night.

An actress who is paying the penalty imposed by a just tribunal for concealing the facts regarding her husband’s death in a fight with her lover, was the central figure. A woman who murdered the girl who trifled with her husband’s love, danced and played the saxophone.

The famous “flapper bandit” provided the music. A girl who killed her aged benefactress was the comedian. And the prima donna is a woman convicted of the most cold-blooded murders in California.

The show they gave was “The Village School.”

Dorothy MacKaye, a popular actress was the school mistress.

A new “Dot,” a girl determined to use her theatrical genius to make life bearable, if only for a night, to those with whom her lost is case, came busting out. Her friends of the stage would have stifled a sob with a laugh, could they have seen here.

“I am delighted to greet the friends and parents of our little school,” simpered the “school m’am.” “We want to show you how we are cultivating our little minds.”

Wham! Zowie! Excitement from backstage! Fighting vigorously, two of “teacher’s” little pupils came tumbling into view. They were Mrs. Tessie Pena, border cabaret singer, and Eleanor Walling, bobbed haired bandit.

“They’re such little mischiefs,” smiled the school m’am.

Then the program began.

To the stirring plunks of “Buddy” Walling’s banjo, a colored girl who stabbed her lover danced a merry buck and wing. Two Mexican maidens and a dashing “caballero” sang a plaintive Spanish melody.

Clara Phillips, the “Tiger Woman,” arose from her stool at one side of the stage school, to dance a spirited measure and play the saxophone!

The little school ma’am bustled importantly to greet a newcomer to the stage, a statuesque blond swatched in orange draperies.

“We are delighted to have you here. Won’t you sing for us?”

And Louise Peete, a quaver in her clear sweet voice, sang “My Little Gray Home in the West.” “I don’t mean this one,” she whispered—and her audience broke into tumultuous applause.

Encouraged by her “mother,” who is none other than Myrtle Kinney, famous woman burglar, a petite forger in a pink frock attempted a recitation. Helen Donnelly, in the midst of her absorbing story of “Cinderella and the Fairy Prince,” lost her panties, and was obliged to retire abruptly!

Then came the “principal,” a plump girl whose record for check passing brought her there, sang a duet with here—“I Want to Be Naughty, and Still Be Nice.”

“Whatever you get, you pay the price,” warned the “principal” primly. “You can’t be naughty and still be nice.”

Source: Madisonville (KY) Hustler, January 1, 1929.

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