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lights shows to better advantage than at any other theatre.
Miss Russell never appeared more entrancingly beautiful than she does on this occasion. She has made wonderful strides in her dramatic ability, and frequently now does a little acting. Her voice is certainly the purest and swertest of any heard on the American stage. Miss Rice is pretty, and sings and acts with most agreeable spirit, while Mr. Solomon and Mr. Stevens are now to Aronson what Hopper and Bell have been to McCaull.
within reason to ask why these soldiers are not frozen to death, A good stage manager would certainly have put them in top boots, even if he left their lovely bosoms bared to the chilly blasts which the Northern pine tree loves so well. These soldiers, who are supposed to be in an active military camp, where every thing is ready for an instant brush with the enemy, have also forgotten to clean the cannon from the snow and icicles. The gun-swab, too, is in a most disgraceful state. These things, and the fact of a slim and illy-dressed chorus of men, detract very sadly from the attractions of Col. McCaull's undeni. able success with “ Clover." The opera is by Von Suppe, and the libretto by Genee and Zappert, and the conjunction has resulted in making a very successful entertainment. The music is pretty throughout, and Col. McCaull's company of comedians never had so good a chance. Mr. Hopper, who has done a great deal of stage floundering of late is really very funny as Casimir, and in the last act as Humpty Dumpty, with a huge bassoon, he does some very ingeni. ous business. But the music all the way through is rather martial, always inspiriting and some of the numbers are perfectly delightful. Mr. Oudin sings one of the best tenor solos I ever heard, and Miss Manola has some opportunities for an exhibition of exquisite voice and music. The orchestration is splendid throughout. There is a character in the piece called Doctor Track, that could be made much of. It is very suggestive of Rice's “Lone Fisherman," without the humor. Altogether, “ Clover” is bound to be a great success, and I am very glad of it, for the management's sake.
THE second largest audience ever in the
Broadway Theatre jammed it on the evening of May 13th, in eager interest to witness Mr. Francis Wilson's debut in the long-talked-of “Oolah.” There was an army of friends pres. ent, and a magnificent claque, that quite outdid themselves. There were bushels of flowers, noise, clothes and scenery. Strange to say, Mr. Wilson had hardly any opportunity to be funny, and the absurdly funny idea in the plot never arrived at a sufficient laughing conclusion. However, some fine music, lavish setting, and good attention to detail, coupled with necessary corrections in the libretto and the acting, will, no doubt, assume the shape of success eventually.
| HAVE given these three operas merely an off
hand impression here. Their serious values will be contemplated in another issue of THE THEATRE.
* * *
“THE BRIGANDS” has achieved a comic
triumph and that means a great deal. It is brilliantly put on the stage both in costume and scenery and Offenbach's music is foamy enough to delight on cool summer evenings, even the most superficial listener. Some of the music is reminiscent of grand opera--very little of it to be sure. The libretto, which is said to be by Gilbert, has been so tampered with since the original writing presumably that I fear Mr. Gilbert's ire would be aroused in a most alarming manner were he to hear it now.
Mr. Aronson knows the value of a large and good-looking chorus and effective stage coloring. He also knows the added brilliancy of strong stage lighting: hence an opera back of his foot
“LOYALTY,” written by H. Wayne Ellis, and
produced at the Park Theatre April 29th, Centennial Week, is a play, as Mr. Daly would say, possessed of a considerable amount of contemporaneous human interest, well written, and containing some very excellent opportunities for good acting. The play was unquestionably a success with the audiences; but for some reason unknown, although it was the only play of National characteristics produced that week in New York, it was almost entirely neglected by the press, who evidently sent some boy reporters to snatch glimpses at the play, between the interesting occupation of cigarette smoking and beer imbibing. A few papers wrote very good articles in its favor, but unquestionably it has not been done justice to, for the play is well written, exceedingly interesting, both in plot and dialogue, and will no doubt make a financial success next season. The character of Ralph Salisbury is a noble one of self-sacrifice and heroism, and there is not a character in the drama but is a strong type of character, which must be a success in the hands of good actors. The character of Sam, a negro boy, is undoubtedly the best negro part which has yet been written. The cast was as follows: Ralph Salisbury
.E. J. Henley Richard Salishury..
J. E. Kellerd General Van Dorm..
J. E. Jackson Sam
.Chas. H. Stanley Corporal Casey...
T. B. Butler Sergeant.
Mr. Weaville Mrs. Salisbury.
Mrs. Henrietta Irving Aunt Elsie.
Miss J. Fishe Rose.
Lillian Verde Mary Van Dorm..
I believe the attacks made in the papers upon it are simply from a desire on the part of the critics and the journals to be classed on what is considered the popular side. There are obvious rersons why a daily paper should be careful as to the manner in which it handles the religious question.
So far this is the best agnostic drama I have seen upon the stage, but it, in common with its predecessors, cannot be a financial success. There is no profit to be made in attacking one's religion or politics. Thousands who do not belong to any church and appear to be rough and ready for almost anything, joining in bacchanalian revels with a profusion of oaths, not even blushing at the most vile songs, will turn away in disgust from a characterization which in any way questions the sacredness of even the small ideas or belief they have in regard to the Diety.
The play deserves a success which it probably cannot attain during the present century. All religionists, including the multitude who have the smallest orthodox tendency, will see in this powerful representation of “ Robert Elsmere" only a hated enemy. The cast was as follows : Robert Elsmere.
E. II. Vanderfelt Edward Langham
John T. Sullivan Cecil Wanless
Geo, Backus Albert Wynnstay
Harry Harwood Dr. Edmondson..
V. B. Arnold Mr. Newcome.
W. H. Thomson Catherine Elsmere..
Dorothy Dort Rose Leyburn..
Eftie Shannon Lady Charlotte Wynnstay
Eate Dinin Wilson Mrs. Leyburn
May Robson Julia.
Ella Morgan Henry Bingham.
| VISITED Union Square Theatre and sat very
impatiently through the performance of " Robert Elsemere.” The play is much better than I had anticipated. The dramatist has come as near as any one possibly can in giving a dramatic representation of the constantly fought battle between reason and superstitition, free thought and bigotry. It is impossible to give a picture of the long struggle in the mind when doubt enters. The rapid transitions and abrupt climaxes necessary to make a play attractive and interesting can never fully portray such a conflict.
I am surprised that even so much could be made from the story. It is well constructed with only a few openings for just criticism, one of which is the incongruous and commonplace introduction of a silly comedy part, and another the medium employed to turn Catharine from the old church to give herself entirely to Robert. To have this come through the medium of Lady Charlotte in unreasonable and in bad taste
The play is nicely staged and artistically acted. Prominent in feature is Dominic Nerocombe. With a perfect make up and a wonderful action, or rather suppressed action, a never-to-be-forgotten picture is given of an old-time rugged and active clergyman. This alone will everlastingly damn the play with all church members or those who sympathize at all with any religious denomination outside of the Unitarians. Langham it made an-out-and-out ingdel as a matter of necessity by the dramatist although he does not so appear in the written story.
THIS comic operetta, the joint production of
Mrs. Emma Raymond and Betsey Bancker was produced at the Standard Theatre with a fairly good caste, embracing Mrs. Fetuah David, Rose, Leighton, Emily Soldene, Hattie Delaro Barnes, Ruby Stuart, and Messrs. Harry Brown, Frank David, W. S. Rising, Joseph Lynde and Fred Matthews.
It is not worth while to trouble our readers with a description of the story of the Libretto, as they are, no doubt, sufficiently well acquainted with it from the opinions and comments of the daily press, ere this.
It may be as well to say that while the story, as attempted to be told at the Standard upon its
production, was anything but satisfactory, I I have reason to believe from reliable information that it was a garbled version of the original test, brought about by a too reckless mingling of extravagant burlesque interpolations by the management and the comedians of the company to pander to the supposed demand for comic opera patrons for broad and extravagant business and make-up, which frequently became coarse, if not vulgar; altogether obliterating any of the refined or poetical intentions of the author's (to their infinite disgust) and the dissatisfaction of the audience present. Be that as it may, liowever, the result was disastrous and to the injury of the Operetta. It is a great pity that this should have been the case, for Mrs. Raymond's music was more than satisfactory. There were many gems of charming melody in the composition, and sufficiently good music to warrant the conclusion that the composer was a clever musician, who will eventually come to the front, when she has a favorable theme upon which to exercise her judgment, poetry and skill.
Mr. Duff thinks that there is enough good music in the opera to justify a remodelling of the Libretto, and I believe it is his intention instead of abandoning it to place it in the lands of a skilled Librettist, and thus save Mrs. Raymond's charming music from the oblivion with which its associations with “Dovetta” as it stands, has doomed it. The cast was as follows : Papalahonta.
Harry Brown Broken Arrow
Emily Soldene Dovetta ...
Fatmah Diard Rainbow
.Joseph Lynde Muskrat.
Fred Matthews Brambleton..
Frank David Robert Brambleton
W. S. Rising Florie Brambleton.
... Rose Leighton Clubby
.Ruby Stuart Broomy.
play quietly, artistically and well. Therefore, I think, it is the duty of an actor with so many natural gifts and advantages to give the public a play worthy of his talents.
But, perhaps, he, too, like many a manager, gauges the artistic value of pieces by the boxoffice receipts.
Bnt I would like to wager him that, in the long run, it would pay him, artistically and financially, to keep a play within fashion, and to surround himself with a company suitable for the proper display of his talents.
For, certainly, judged by all fair standards, “Uncle Joe, or Fritz in a Mad House,” is a most wildly incoherent conglomeration of incidents and accidents, mostly accidents, You could begin at the last act and play it backwards, almost as consistently as at the beginning. The sub-title is a good name for it.
And the company, with the exception of himself and Miss Louise Balfe (who was most excellent), is not entitled to special mention. Το make all due allowance, very few of the large number employed have much to do. But these few cauld have made more of their parts.
Emmet sang a lot of new songs, and played upon the guitar, banjo and drum, and was received by the major portion of the goodly audience with unbounded enthusiasm.
The full cast was as follows :
“MY BROTHER'S SISTER.
IT IS the strangest thing in the world to me
that J. K. Emmet does not have a good play written for him--one worthy of him. Emmet is a good actor.
He has that peculiar power which, for want of a better term, we call personal magnetism. That quality, which, no matter what an actor may do, the audience instantly responds to his every effort. In addition to this, Emmet is a clever musician, an exceptionally sweet singer, a capital dancer, and has a most attractive face and figure.
He has improved as an actor, too, since I saw him last. He has grown mellow. He does what he has to do of the legitimate business of the
AND a very charming little girl she is, too, as
Minnie Palmer presents her. But even more attractive is the impersonation of the imaginary brother. Miss Palmer is very suggestive of Lotta in all her work, but she has the advantage of youth and is a better singer and dancer. This latest vehicle for the presentation of her powers,
• My Brother's Sister,” is a very good play for its purpose, much better than most of the kind. It is not over ambitious and moves along quite smootlıly to the end.
I take great pleasure in giving warm words of praise to Mr. R. A. Roberts, who gives the part of Grosseby great color and life. Such parts, this is an impecunious, brainless fop, are not easy to play, and unless well played are not attractive. But Mr. Roberts succeeded in making it very prominent and very funny.
I do not know why they should leave the name of the actor who played the old Frenchman off of the programme, for he did not do it so badly.
The supporting parts in plays of this kind are usually mere “feeders” to the star, and this play is no exception to the rule. So it is hardly fair to criticise their personators.
Miss Reynolds made an attractive Miss Previous. Miss Lizzie Conway strove to make her part of Mary Ann attractively prominent. The balance of the caste were equal to their rôles.
Actresses like Maggie Mitchell, Lotta and Minnie Palmer are wonderfully attractive to mankind. Have you never observed it? You will find it wonderfully true. The night I attended the performance at the Fifth Avenue, of the large audience present three-fourths were women.
The two scenes presented were very prettily set upon the stage.
One thing is being painfully impressed upon me, and that is that the orchestras of the New York theatres are not what they ought to be.
The cast was as follows:
-Mr. Gustave Frohman and family take a short vacation, beginning May, 18. They visit Boston and Providence, where they will see Joseph Wheelock in “ May Blossom.”
-Mr. Charles Bowser, who plays the drummer in “Old Jed Prouty,” this week at the Union Square Theatre, will star next season in the late Fred Madden's comedy of “ Cheek."
Mason Mitchell, who supports Joseph Wheelock in “May Blossom ” for the next two weeks, will star next season.
-And another new star promised is Miss Adelaide Alexander, who was with N. C. Goodman early in the present season.
-1f stars continue increasing this way, there will be more in the theatrical than in the heavenly firmament.
-From present indications we are likely to have our usual full summer supply of light opera.
-And the Armenian operatic manager still scours the foreign horizon for fresh material. Not with the best success in many instances.
-Once in a while they bring down a persim.
McCall seems to have done it with “ Clover.”
—“The Brigands ” will probably have a good summer season at the Casino. For the music of Offenbach, the King of opera-bouffe writers, is lways good.
_W.J. Scanlan seems to have carried his coals to Newcastle most successfully. He has evidently taken Dublin by storm.
-“ Oolah,” is at last before us. It is to be sincerely hoped, for Wilson's sake, that it will be a great success.
-For we must remember, that, after all, the play in the opera is the thing.
Duff's Opera Company does “Ba-Ba ” in Philadelphia this week.
- And “Ardsville"-we wonder what that means—will be produced at the Union Square Theatre soon by J. A. Norris.
-Mr. Stephen Massett recited in a masterly manner Patrick S. Gilmore's capital poem, " Ireland to England,” at the Broadway Theatre, for John Leon Vincent's benefit. He was loudly applauded and an encore demanded.
TWINKLE, TWINKLE, LITTLE STAR.
Scintillate, scintillate, globule vivific;
COLUMBUS, Ind., May 10, 1889. To the Editor of THE THEATRE :
Dear Sir.-It will, no doubt, be pleasing news for all combination and specialty managers, who intend to tour the West the coming season, to know that another firstclass theatre will be available after the first of October. Columbus, Indiana, is coming to the front with the proud boast that it is at last going to have a strictly first-class theatre.
Mr. John S.Crump, one of its most enterprising and public-spirited gentlemen, is erecting a large edifice, 60x150, to be devoted to the dramatic muse, and I have no hesitancy in saying that the dramatic profession will receive a hearty and remunerative reception when they come to Columbus hereafter. It has always been one of the best "show towns" in this part of the country. The public and press have for several years demanded a first-class theatre, where they might attend legitimate amusement, with comfort, and as represented on a stage thoroughly equipped for the production of more elaborate performances. Mr. Crump will spare no effort or means in making this a first-class house in every particular. The stage is large and roomy, furnished with a most complete stock of scenery, executed by the best scenic talent, and supplied with a number of large and con. venient dressing-rooms. The house will be ready about October first, and I shall take pleasure in sending you a full description of it before the opening. Yours truly,
R. F. Gottschalk.
-Kyrle Bellew is far from being an effem. inate man. In spite of his exceedingly fine cut features, those who know him have reason to admire his figure when unstripped as a splendid exhibition of an athlete who measures forty inches around the chest.
Nero, as he sat Fiddling while Rome was Burning, was observed to Turn aside and drop a Tear. Being asked by a Reporter of the Tribune what affected him, he replied : “I don't want to go into History as the man who Fiddled while Rome was burning.” “If that is the Case,” pro ptly responded the intelligent Reporter, “I should advise you to lay aside your Fiddle.” This story is supposed to have a deep and reliable moral.
Yme. Luisa Cappiani is a very busy woman. Her programme for the summer is follows: June the 8th she will close her season of teach. ing, and go to her charming sea shore home in Maine at Ferry Beach. June 25th she will respond to the call of the Vice-President of the M. T. N. A. of the State of New York, to be present at the business meeting, at Hudson, N. Y. July 1st and 2d, she has to hold the examination of the musicians, being on the examining board of the Am. Nat. College of Musicians. July 3-4 she will attend to the general meeting of the M. T. N. A, of all the States of ehe Union in Philadelphia. Return July 5th to New York to sail July6th upon the Elbe of the Noed Deutsche Lloyd to Europe via Southampton, London, Paris, Beyreuth ; will join her daughter in Switzerland to return with her to Italy, where she will remain at her children's villa near Monza, to return with the boat Elbe, which leaves Southampton Sept. 22d. She will resume her course of teaching the first week of October.
-- Miss Ethel Douglass has re-engaged with Charlotte Thompson for another tour.
-It seems to be very uncertain whether Mr. Edward Harrigan will return to New York next season, as there has been nothing as yet determined with reference to the prospected new theatre. Mr. M, Hanley, his indefatigable manager, who has been his pilot for many years, is very cautious as to future movements, thereby showing how careful he is of Mr. Harrigan's interests.
No doubt they will make money upon the road, and particularly in California where they spend the summer.
Edwin EVARISTE MOISE,
New Orleans, La.
May 6, 1899. To the Editor of THE THEATRE:
Dear Sir.-I know of no one to whom I could write on behalf of genius, better able to aid it, than yourself. There is on my office table before me a head of a negress in potter's clay, life size-the work of a negro boy, nineteen years of age. I stand not alone in my assertion of its being eloquent evidence of uncultivated genius. It is remarkable, not only for the artistic talent which it displays, but also from the fact that the artist knows nothing of the use of either tools or materials. It has been the wonder of my artist friends, one of whom said that if he had the money he would be willing to be poor himself in order to send the youth to Europe. I found the boy occupying the position of a dining-room servant. He showed me a lot of his work, and I had him to do this one, life-size, the others being small copies of his employer's bric-a-brac. He has been but eight months amusing himself copying the little statuettes. I would like to send this to you, with an account of the boy's life, work, etc., if you would kindly take that interest in him which his talents deserve. Some big-hearted, rich and artistically-inclined New Yorker might aid him.
I do not care that you should act on my judgment in this matter, but shall if you say so, send the head to you so that others can judge. Yours, etc.,
E. E. Moise. [What the Editor can do will be cheerfully done.]