Puslapio vaizdai


man in the profession. There is nothing taudry about anything he gives us, and cost is hardly

looking and shapely chorus and they are thoroughly rehearsed, no trouble or fatigue being spared. Then every care is given to the details of their appearance. The tights are of silk, the shoes and wigs well fitting, and the soft colors of the costumes blend and harmonize, and the careful grouping form an artistic and beautiful picture. The public demands more and more accuracy in details and effects, and some of the dramatic productions of the past season cannot be too highly spoken of. There is very little fault to be found with the stage setting at Mr. Daly's or Mr. Palmer's theatres. Surely we have a right to expect something better from Col. McCaull. As for the "Oolah," little or no praise can be given to that, and it is a great pity, for Francis Wilson's first starring venture should have had every advantage to make it successful. The "Oolah" has been steadily talked about for a year, and we were promised no end of magnificence. The production cost exactly seven thousand dollars when it should have cost twenty thousand. That is not a production. Heury Irving gives us production in every sense of the word. The "Oolah" is a presentment which is very faulty and incorrect in its entire stage picture. There are not three girls on the whole stage with correct Persian costume. The colors are crude and glaring. There is no tone, no softness. I never saw so much purple in my life. The costumes were not designed specially for the opera as has been stated, they were copied from an old newspaper containing drawings of

considered. In the first place he selects a good MISS Vokes made a change in the bill of the play last Monday night, and her company performed with great success in three bright pieces-" Tears." "The Circus Rider," and Ghastly Manor." The first-mentioned comedy is from the French, and was performed here once before at the Madison Square Theatre on the afternoon of January 14, by a number of amateurs, under the title of "Weeping Wives," when Miss Alice Laurence played Mis. Marsden and Mrs. Oliver Sumner Teall played Mrs. Harcourt. They were assisted by Walden Ramsey, who acted Lucius Harcourt. In Miss Vokes's company these parts were respectively taken by Miss Dacre, Miss Sitgreaves and Felix Morris. The adaptations used by the professionals is infinitely superior and the performance was, naturally, more interesting; this without intending invidious comparison. Miss Vokes repeated her clever performance in "The Circus Rider," and I was more than ever impressed with the fact that this is one of the most charming bits of comedy acting that can be seen at present on the American stage. The frontispiece of THE THEATRE this week represents her in her "grand bareback riding act" and will be looked at with considerable interest, I am


The third piece on the bill “Ghastly Manor," is a burlesque on the modern tendencies in melo-drama, and the entire performance by this singularly versatile company is remarkably clever. It is acted with the utmost seriousness and is a delightfully exaggerated picture of stage crime in which murder, suicide, blood and poison are shown with rapturously tragic effect. Mr. Selten does the best work in this as Sir Crimson Fluid, I have seen him do, and Miss Vokes, as Lady Aqua Tofana, is simply 46 'immense." Fileur.


La Jolie Persane" when it was first produced in Paris. So the costumer had not the usual colored plates to work from, and as he was so very limited in the price, he must have worked off all his old odds and ends of satin and furbelows regardless of effect or correctness. What a great clearing out sale that was! Miss Jansen's costumes are lovely and costly. They were not made on that job lot plan; they were made quite by themselves at another costumer's and they are beauties. M. A. W.


RS. BERLAN-GIBBS has been re-engaged by Daniel Frohman to play the title role in The Wife road company next season, while Fritz Williams will play Jack Dexter.

[ocr errors]



SS ULLIE AKERSTROM who is now playing at the Star Theatre in " Annette, the Dancing Girl," deserves much more credit than she has had. She has been given a num ber of puffs by the newspaper paragraphists, but no serious attention has been paid her. She is a very nervous, wiry looking young woman, with rather an interesting pair of eyes and a good mouth. Her voice it raspy, but you

can get used to that the same as you will get used to her figure. She over-dresses and is crude, but there is a good deal in her performances to be praised. She wrote the play in the first place, and although that is as crude as she is, it is by long odds above the average work of melo-drama of the vehicle variety type. It is well constructed, rather consistent, and is carried along with interest. Miss Akerstrom's dances are introduced without being forced in an absurd way, and she gives two or three recitations that are well done. One is entitled "Toot your horn if you don't sell a clam!" which she wrote herself, and it is quite good. The first act of the play opens in a modern blood and thunder style that is rather terrific, and the actors present a very sorry sight, but subsequently there is developed better work. But all in all I am inclined to believe that Miss Akerstrom is a creditably smart and clever girl. Fileur.


WITH some of the rough edges smoothed off,

and the melodramatic tinge toned down somewhat, this will make an admirable play of country life. The pathos is clean and natural, and Mr. Golden enacts it most effectively. In the more comedy portions there is sometimes a suggestion of juvenility in his work. But as a whole it is a very well considered and judicious piece of characterization.

I believe it will last him some time, for it will bear seeing again, and you cannot say that of many of the plays of to-day. Then, again, it is another American play, and I believe in supporting the American drama. Every good one added to the list is a sufficient reply to those who are continually asservating that we have! not and cannot have distinguished American plays.

"Old Jed Prouty" is realistic, without the adventitious aids of tanks or horses or special scenic effects. The points are made as they should be, in the simplest manner, and the pictures of homespun life touch the spectator, as they should, like a reminiscence of early life.

The second comedy character, the Boston "drummer," smoothly done by Mr. Bowser, fits very well into the picture, and the character sketches of the Justice of the Peace, the con

stable, the teamster, and the tradesman help to fill in the general effect.

The women are not very prominent in the piece, except the little child "Tretty," capitally given by little Millie Smith, but give good color to the background and there is no part offensively obtruded or unnecessarily dragged in.

The people of the cast played well their parts and, commendably, did no more than was set down for them.

During the third act Miss Dora Wiley appeared and gave a selection of songs, and sang, as she always does, most admirably. One of the great charms to me of her singing is her clear enunciation. It seemed rather a pity, though, that she could not have been made a part of, rather than an adjunct to, the cast.

Yes, it is better in every way than the bathos, mock heroism, realistic (so-called) and farce comedy and drama of which we have had so much of late. So I can honestly say, "long life to Old Jed Prouty!'"


The full cast was as follows:

Old Jed Prouty, Landlord of the Prouty Hotel,
Mr. Richard Golden.
Lige, his son..

Hanley Wooster, a distinguished Mr. Fred W. Peters.


Beacon Hill, alias "Crumbs of Comfort," a Boston Drummer..

Mr.Chas. Bowser

John Todd, alias the "Land Grab- Mr. James F. Dean ber," a Justice of the Peace

Mr. M. J. Jordan

Aaron Hemmingway, a Lawyer. Zack Wilcox, town crier, con-) stable, etc.....

McGinness, a policeman..

Zeb Hardy, a teamster. Valentine Vauclure, another distin-Mr. H. M. Morse guished actor....

Joe Stover, a tradesman.

Professor Weiglespink, the eminent Mr. F. C. Wells archæologist....

Dick Stubbs, a bad boy, after-)
wards good...
Fly, messenger boy.

Mr. Frank R. Jackson


Master Charles Thropp

[blocks in formation]


THE first play that Sardou ever wrote was a Swedish tragedy, "Queen Ulfra," written when he was a charity pupil at Necker. All the principal characters speak in verses 15 feet long, those of the second class is simple alexandrines, and the minor parts in verses of five feet.

SAYS Sardou : I studied for days, months, and years, the " carpenter work," the tricks, the little details, all the small matters which are the very life and soul of a dramatic piece. Interest, which is its blood; action, which is it heart and I succeeded in finding out the secrets of this marvelous organism; where the smallest wheels fulfil important functions, as in the human body, and where it is not only the actors who play their parts, but the groupings of these actors, the stage-furniture, the mise en scene, the accessories.



an ac

HENRY WATTERSON, the editor of the Louisville Courier-Journal, is complished pianist. When Thackeray visited this country Watterson was presented to him and they saw much of each other. One evening the subject of music was touched upon, and during a discussion of the relative beauties of certain masterpieces, Watterson, who was near an open piano, in the enthusiasm of the moment struck with deft hand the keys of the instrument and brought forth tones of marvelous harmony. When about to turn away from the piano and resume the conversation, Thackeray begged Watterson to continue; so he played on with the skill of a magician the whole night through, it is said, with Thackeray there by his side enraptured.



THE dress circle seats in the new Garrick Theatre in London are provided with a neat little silk pocket wherein to place the programme. Underneath the seat is a convenient box-like aperture for "hats and coats." The seats in this part of the house do not turn up, sufficient space being allowed for ingress and egress between each row. The pit, underneath the dress circle, has comfortable turn-up seats, and to each of them is affixed a loose cord whereon to hang a coat or any other wrap, and an iron ring to hold the umbrella or stick.

A FOREIGN letter says that Etelka Gerster

now lives secluded from the world in a castle situated on the summit of a mountain near the city of Bologne. There she passes her days in superintending the education of her children, in reading and in needle-work. Sometimes she writes to her friends in Paris or Vienna long letters filled with reminiscences of the past and with mournful forboding for the future. Her voice is said to have lost none of its brilliant qualities, but the precarious codition of her health prevents her from even thinking of ever appearing again in public. Her husband, Sig. Gardini, has resumed his functions as an impressario and was the manager of the Italian opera troupe that appeared at Kroll's theatre in Berlin during the past winter. He could find, however, no prima donna to adequately fill the place left vacant by the failure of the health and voice of his gifted wife. Mme. Gerster's malady, now of some years' standing, is entirely a nervous affection brought on by over fatigue during her last American tour in opera and by resuming the toilsome duties of her profession too soon after the birth of her youngest child. She sang in "Lucia di Lammermoor" when her infant was only six weeks old.



THE Kansas City Globe says:


"There is more in the parting of Marie Wainwright than many think," said Advance Agent Murray the other evening. The person in the back ground is Henry M. Wolcott, who has just been elected United States senator from Colorado, and I would not be surprised to hear before long that Miss Wainwright has given up the stage to enter Washington society. James and Wainwright have both been married before and neither of their partners are yet under the sod. Mr. Wolcott and Miss Wainwright have been intimate friends a long time, and three years ago when James and his wife left Barrett here in Kansas City it was on assurances from Mr. Wolcott that he would back them on their starring tour.



WHEN Miss Emma Abbott was in Detroit

recently she gave Professor Gustav Hall, the baritone, and a former associate of her's in the opera, a bangle of gold taken from a bracelet she wore. Upon one side of the bangle is the heroic motto, "Conquer or Die," surrounded

by the Greek wreath of victory and the classic design of an urn. On the reverse is a clef of music, with the notes "E" and "A," forming the initials of the donor.


IN speaking of the production of "Samson and Delilah" by Mr. Daly's Company at the Hollis street theatre, Boston, May 20th, The Herald of that city said the next morning: A better exhibiton of what can be done by intelligent stage management than was shown in this scene it would be difficult to present in comedy. The acting of the company was almost perfect and the whole scene was so true to life, with just a little excusable exaggeration, and the actors moved and spoke so naturally, that the whole proceedings of the court appeared so real that it was difficult to imagine that the effects produced were the results of careful study and hard work. The second and third acts are builded upon plans familiar to those accustomed to seeing performances by this company, but many opportunities for effective comedy work are given to Mr. Drew, who enacts the role of a young lawyer, Mr. Lewis as the old attorney, Mrs. Gilbert as the jealous wife, and Miss Rehan as the extravagant young wife. The latter wore a number of costumes which were decidedly handsome and became her well, but which baffle the description of the average man. They are a delight to the eyes of the ladies. The scenes between Mr. Lewis and Miss Rehan, those between Mrs. Gilbert and the old lawyer, and those between Mr. Drew and Miss Cheatham, were the gems of the performance.


"LITTLE CORINNE," a prima donna, small of her age, must now be about 25 years old, and yet her manager, Miss Jennie Kimberly, continues to get a deal of free advertising by having "Little" Corinne arrested now and then by the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

* **

MRS. MCKEE RANKIN has taken her former stage name, Kittie Blanchard, by which she was known for years as one of the cleverest commediennes on the American stage. Next season she will appear in a new play entirely different from anything ever seen on the stage. She is hard at work on the piece,

and will spend the summer in Paris, France, taking her daughters with her.




N "actor" named Anderson has been around the Morton House this week, who has made $22,000 this season playing Monte Christo. In the presence of a representative of THE THEATRE he displayed all this money in greenbacks, as he declines to put it in the bank. He plays five different characters in the piece, talks like a hoosier, pays four dollars a week for his room, 15 cents for his meal and smokes a fivecent cigar! He would make a splendid subject for a highway man.



MARION HARLAND, in speaking about our Great Grandmothers, writes: She "kept up" her figure by "stays," as they called the corset a hundred years ago. Other time-worn customs might have sloughed off in the new, vigorous growth of the freed country The women clung to tight lacing with obstinate tenacity nobody endeavored to weaken by argument or ridicule. Stout women slept in these encasements of torture; slim women drew in their waists until their figures were more like wasps and dragon flies than those of human bipeds. This process pressed the breasts well up toward the collar-bone, as old portraits show. The girl of the present period, who knows how she is put together, shudders to think of the displacement of lungs, heart, liver and other vital organs which must have been going on gradually in the frame girt about with the cumbrous construction of buckram and steel preserved as a curiosity. During the revolution, what our G. G. called her "bust" was fashioned of white oak. In 1789, it was made of finely-tempered stee!, but the shape and dimensions were unchanged. It was about half-a-yard long and over two inches wide, and fitted into a sheath in the front of the stays. Stiff at first, it yielded, with the wearing, to the outlines of the figure-as conformed by zealous lacing to the demands laid upon flesh and bones by the tastes of the times. Our G. G.'s "bust" lasted a life-time, if made of good metal. Even after she took to calling her stays "a pair of corsets," the garment was never alluded to in mixed companies. Our foremothers wore no flannel next to the skin until they became old (at fifty) and rheumatic. A thickness of woolen stuff would have increased their


apparent girth-than which nothing could have been more mortifying. Delightful Mrs. Delany writes, in 1780, to her daughter, of Mary, her grandchild: "I have tied her hair up, but her forehead is now too bald, though it will not appear so another year, with a little management of shaving the young hair. She has a very easy, good air, and a fine chest. The coatmaker advises girts to be fastened on ye top of the stays, and crossed over the shoulder blades, and fastened before (which will not appear, being under her slip) to keep her back flat for a year or so. . . . Though I don't turn up her hair, I don't suffer it to make a dowdy of her by covering her forehead, but only a little thin shade about an inch over it, which looks becoming and natural." Such a "Shade"-precisely what ill-natured wits now name "idiotic fringe"-our great grand-mother wore when not equiped for company. She ordered shoes a size too small, to make her feet presentable; she screwed her ribs together until they touched and overlapped; she wore neither drawers nor flannel shirt; she was bled and took sulphur every spring to bring down her color," and when it got the better of her, in spite of the regimen, slept in a linen mask, beside washing her face in a composition of tansy and buttermilk to take off tan and freckles.



ECIL Clay, the general manager and husband of Rosina Vokes, was complaining about towns embraced in the Crawford circuit." He pronounced them very bad, and said: "In one place we went to the theatre and found only a cornet player in the orchestra. I asked him where the other musicians were. 'Oh, they're playing at the ball.' I then asked him if he was to play for us all alone, and he informed me that such was the fact. 'Well,' said I, you must be a great cornet player-you must be the greatest in the world in your line.' He fingered the keys of his instrument, looked at me a moment, and then said: 'Oh, no, I'm not much of a cornet player; if I was worth a I'd be playing up at the ball, too.'"


* *

[ocr errors]


PLAY by Zola, which has been kept in a pigeon-hole for twenty-three years, is be-¦ ing acted in Paris. "A Serpent in a Dove Cote" might not be an inappropriate name, if it is anything like some of Zola's writings, says the Boston Transcript.

[blocks in formation]

MISS Florence Warden, author of "The

House on the Marsh," and other well known but eerie novels, has had a singularly checkered career. Left at an early age dependent upon her own exertions, she started as a governess. But she soon tired of this uncongenial drudgery and took to the stage, her first appearance being at the Haymarket, then under the Bancroft régime. There she appeared with credit in several of their productions, and it was while playing at the Haymarket that “The House on the Marsh" was published, and its great success determined her future course. So tremendous a hit did it make that Mr. Stevens, the proprietor of the Family Herald, very generously sent her a check for a large amount over and above the price originally agreed on. Upon leaving the Haymarket, Miss Warden went for some two years on a tour with a version of her novel. Now she has given up acting and settled down to literary work.

* **

BERNHARDT has set another fashion, that

of using sulphur colored gauze for the thinner parts of silk costumes, and Felix aids and abets her by using it for the ruffles and cravats of woolen and silk frocks and also for the cuffs. The newest cuffs are fold on fold of the gauze, finished on the outer seam of the sleeve by a little ruffle, which is really nothing but the part of the fold left beyond the stitches fastening it to the sleeve. When the gauze is used with an out-door suit, it appears on the hat in plaitings, which, with a bunch of flowers. constitute its sole trimming.

[blocks in formation]
« AnkstesnisTęsti »