Opera Glitters, But Matmen Just Grunt

United Press – December 17, 1935
By Jack Diamond

NEW YORK – Not to be outdone by the glittering premiere of the opera last night, Promoter Jack Curley staged a rival, and repeat, performance of that stirring drama, Danno O’Mahoney versus Ed Don George, once again wrestling for what so many people believe to be the heavyweight championship of the world.

Jocular Jacques, the playboy of the pachyderms, with his delightfully humorous touch, has rounded out a thrilling production, replete with pathos and humor, tragedy, tears and laughs – with sound effects.

His principals, the Irish Free State soldier, who at present wears the champion’s moldy laurel, and the former Olympic squirmer, Mons. George, are perfect in their roles, and the presentation should have a long and profitable run, provided the public is willing.

They have performed the drama four times – twice in New York and twice in that capital of culture, Boston – and each time, by some strange quirk of fate, the pale skinned Irishman has retained his crown.

As long as the act has box office appeal, there is no reason why Dr. Curley should not continue offering it in its present form. After an out-of-town opening and a Broadway “premiere,” he likely can road-show it in the tank towns, something like Primo Carnera’s spectacular knockout run across the country some years ago, which introduced the Italian circus giant to an incredulous America.

There was some talk that Senor Curley had called in a “play doctor,” as they are designated on Broadway, to patch up his script with a different ending, giving the championship this time to the burly Don George. But evidently he elected not to alter the manuscript – so O’Mahoney won once again.

This time, as a matter of fact, the “stage business” differed slightly from previous performances, for it was the first time the 220-pound Irishman actually pinned George, the former champion, even if it required one hour and 23 minutes to achieve the deed.

But that’s really not so long, when you come to think of it – even “The Green Pastures” ran something over two hours.

In the two Boston showings the Irish sinew stretcher conquered by pitching his black haired opponent through the ropes, to the dire peril of the press and its battery of carefully guarded typewriters. O’Mahoney won the previous New York encounter by knocking out George with a punch on the jaw.

In the most recent engagement, almost all of the evening was spent with either the ex-champion or the current champion sitting down on the canvas with his opponent’s head squeezed tightly between his knees. The pair of performers sat on each other’s midriffs at times with terrific thumps that could be heard on the street outside the Garden.

For a period of some eight minutes Mr. George was unable to roll Mr. O’Mahoney over on his back and win the contest by pinning his shoulders to the mat – principally because Mr. George had his brawny arm pillowed under the Irishman’s neck.

But, like the true performer he is, Danno didn’t appear to enjoy it one whit.

At length, however, he threw the dangerous Don with a flying mare and a body hold, and another performance of the thrilling drama passed into history. Out of sight, it is hoped.

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