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New-York tribune. (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, April 10, 1921, Image 41

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MUSIC AND ART
Ntm Jtorifc STrifame
THEATERS ?MOTION KCTURES
PART III EIGHT PAGES
SUNDAY, APRIL 10. ?i>21
PART III EIGHT PAGES
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By Heywood Broun
N '"NEMESIS" Augustus Thomas
fias tried the experiment of writ?
ing me'.odrart|p to dead march
time. It is not successful.
Peculiarly enough. Mr. Thomas has
himself of s ime of the
best kcwn stock figures in the
theater, and has then neglected to use
the advantages which are iaherent in
them. Specifically, t:e deals wich a
young and beautiful wife, her h-_sban?i,
g middle-aged silk merchant, and a re
niantic young sculptor. No sooner are
these three introduced than the audi?
ence realizes, of course, that the sculp?
tor and the young wife are in love and
'hat the middle-aged silk r..erchar.t is
mad with jealousy. Thomas tukea two
long ?s- ? ?? 1] these facts, just us if
made then
latic.
He dallies before reaching the inevi?
table murder of the wife not <:>?. : to
get in all the facts of the case with
which he deals but to instruct the au?
dience a little, as he goes along, in
other useful knowledge Mr. Thomas
thinks, for instance, that psycho-analy?
sis is an interesting field of research,
and so he spends not a little time in
telling his audience the nature of the
new science. He doesn't tell it very
iccurat.ly, but that is hardly as much
a fault as the fact that it doesn't en
*er into the play in any important way.
It is a false clue. For two acts the
spectator is led to believe that the play
\i going to turn on somebody's dream?
ing of a funeral, or some other venge?
ful symbol, and being caught at it. Not
at all. "Nemesis" is a play about finger?
prints. Mr. Thomas gets very much
worked up about them before he is
done, but those who followed him down
the sidetrack about psycho-analysis
?re likely to have some difficulty in
?Setting back to the main highway
???fain in time to join him in viewing
with alarm.
Having found that his wife loves an?
other, Ben Kalian, the middle-aged
?ilk merchant, kills her coldly with a
little dagger. Then he takes from his
pocket some pieces of rubber on which
he has had the fingerprints of Jovaine,
the sculptor-lover, printed. By the aid
of this device he manages to leave all
sorts of incriminating marks about the
'?'??a. Jovaine is arrested, convicted
<nd executed, whereupon, just to rub
;!? Uw? iintur. Kalian tells the District
Attorney that he got the wrong man.
Only one act of the four is interest?
ing- Not one of the characters talk?
with any semblance of reality as long
?? the play remains in studios and
drawing rooms. Once it gets into
court, everything js diff?rent. Hare
Thomas abandons his passion for in?
forming people and sticks to his story.
The cross-examination of Jovaine ia
Arried out in the closest detail .nd its
ve'y minuteness make? it Leem accu?
rate and interesting, as the bright gen?
eralizations of the other acts never did.
" i-> also a scene exceedingly well
Played by Pedro de Cordoba as the un
^rtunste sculptor and even better by
?<ohn Craig as the District Attorney,
?wr. Thomas exercises commendable
restraint in omitting everything which
M not essential.
Thus he does not bother to bring the
?Wy ia ?sad bar? the foreman fay
1
i "Guilty." Having indicated the over-i
whelming nature of the case against
innocent man on trial, and having
let tiie audience see his discomfiture at
the hands of a clever lawyer, Thomis
drops the curtain and leaves the rest
.to your imagination. He mignt have
gene further and have left the last
ne v.) the .-.ame legatee. This scene
is laid just outside the death house of
Sin'-; ?iing prison, and it is decidedly
unpleasant, particularly as Thomas has
hit upon th?. device of suddenly dim?
ming the current in the light at the
door, to indicate that now the execution
is in progr? ss. It must be said for the
dramatist that he has had the courage
to carry his theme out to the end with?
out making any concessions to the au
ence in the matter of last minute re
? eves and all that. Most of us are
willing to in- r Hot about in sorrow,
gloom and even horror for the sake of
I fty tragedy, but "Nemesis" is not
i tragedy. It is not even good melo
1 drama. There is no theme in it lofty
enough for tragedy. To be sure, it is
a play against circumstantial evidence,
? but whatever vitality may have been
in this theme has been exhausted by
regiments of dead playwrights and nov
< lists. More specially, "Nemesis" is
;?n anti-fingerprint play, but this is a
subject too special to be of much use as
basis for tragedy. Nor can it be said
that the case as built actually plantb
. any serious doubts in the mind as to
the usefulm s o? this sort of evidence.
Some further reason must be sought.
? Perhaps Mr. Thomas has left finger
I prints some piace, on some old play
of which he is now ashamed, or some?
thing like that, and has accordingly
out to destroy the validity of ?11
: such evidence.
At the Hippodrome
On Tuesday, at the Hippodrome,
! there will be a celebration of the six
| teenth anniversary of the big play-|
1 house, which has become almost a
national institution in the minds of
the pleasure-loving public. "A Yankee
Circus on Mars" was the first spectacle
presented by Thompson and Dundy,
then the managers of the house and the
. originators of the idea of that kind of
an entertainment housed in that par
> ticular sort of theater. Time has jus?
tified their belief in the plan. How
' ever, it has been under the manage
. ment of Charles Dillingham that the
greatest success of the Hippodrome has
been achieved. He inaugurated his
r?gime six years ago by bringing to
America Charlotte and her ice ballet,
and made Sousa's Band a part of the
! big spectacle. He presented Pavlova
and her Russian ballet, and Annette
hellermann in sensational diving acts,
and has brought European artists of
every branch in the amusement line to
. the Hippodrome for our delight and
gratification. In offering the congratu?
lations proper to the occasion the pub?
lic may well feel itself entitled to a
few for having a theatrical manager
who so well understands the art of
entertainment.
? . ?
"Mother Eternal" at Casino
Ivan Abramson's film drama,, "Mother
Eternal," starring Vivian Martin, will
open at the Casino Theater, Sunday
?evening, April 17, '1^
^jfae Azoro
1TH the closing of five plays
yesterday and the impending
exit of a rumber of others
the dark season for theaters on
Broadway seems to be at hand.
Instead of attractions bidding for thea?
ters, houses are now seeking shows,
so thcr<?s a temporary relief from
the stage shortage. There arfe indi?
cations that Broadway house3 will not
hold nearly so many attractions this
spring and summer as in the same
period last year. Most of the minor
producers are waiting and the major
interests are more or less undecided.
Nine or ten productions have been
scheduled by the Shuberts for April,
May and June, though just when they
will reach Broadway is undetermined.
"Blossom Time" is out, but will prob?
ably be reservod for fall presentation
here. Four musical shows are early
Shubert possibilities?"The Whirl of
the Town," "The Last Waltz," a re?
vival of "The Belie of New York," and
"Quality Street," the Barrie play.
They have started "The Silver Fox"
with William Faver?ham, and "First
Out" with Jules nurtig.
A. L. Erlanger has started "Two Lit?
tle Girls in Blue." For next season's
production he has accepted six new
plays, including several musical pieces.
"Blue Eyes" has closed at the Shu?
bert Theater, making room for Mar?
garet Anglin, who will appear Tuesday
evening in "The Trial of Joan of Arc,"
which she recently gave at a benefit
showing at the Century Theater. Miss
Anglin's "Woman of Bronze" gives way
at the Frazee to-morow night to Wil
iard Mack's "Smooth as Silk," which
has been considerably amended, par?
ticular in the first act Madge Ken?
nedy and "Cornered" leave the Astor
to Metro's "Four Horsemen of the
Apocalypse." "Mary Roe?" has van?
ished from the Empire, which will be
dark for the week, \awaiting the en?
gagement of Ethel and John Barrymore
in "Claire de Lune." "The Survival
of the Fittest" succumbs, to the opera?
tion of natural ?election. It is to be
followed at the Greenwich Village
Theater by an operetta entitled "A
Review of the Classics. '
Theaters have been assigned to some
of the spring musical shows. The
Knickerbocker will receive "June Love"
the week after next. "Two Little Girls
in Blue" will arrive at the Cohan early
\ in May. "The Last Waitz" is tentativ
; cly seheduled for the Century at the
I conclusion of the run of "The Night
(Otntlnaed oa pa** atz).
JCiSZ
J&frjrjag><=? <zt? ??o ^a?ac?<3 (g)
JTrtMt/SJ *
"The Circle" a Triangle Plav
For Mrs, Carter and John Drew
? ?yWw'HE din of that strife that lately
i ?Lfiy stirred London playgoers over
Somerset Maugham's new tri
] angle play, "The Circle," is to be trans
j ferred to Broadway. The announce
, ment in the week past that the Sel
i wyns would present Mrs. Leslie Carter
; and John Drew in this play sent all
j public welfare workers to the files of
i London reviewers to read the barom
i eter of the coming storm.
The critics sum it up as a study in
cynicism and the unsavory. "Somer
j set Maugham has not yet made up his
j quarrel with the world," comments The
?Daily News. "In all his plays you may
? find a certain hardness of judgment,
? which sometimes becomes actual
l cruelty, and is dramatically expressed
i by caricature and exaggeration. He
hates sham and insincerity, and that
j hate is a great quality. But he some
? times allows it to warp his plays. This
is rather the fault of 'The Circle.' "
The .London Times says:
If a young wlf?? flnda that she has
nothing tn common with her prig of a
husband and that there Is another man
who loves her. and whom, she feels, she
could love, will she do well to make a
"bolt" of it. or not? Well, it all de?
pends, says, in effect, Mr. Maugham.
Our happiness depends les3 on what we
do than on what we are. If we are
rath-r frivolous people, like Lady Cath?
erine and Lord Porteus, who made a
bolt of It thirty years aero, we thnll prob?
ably come, as they do, to wish they
hadn't. Lady Catherine la not exactly
the sort of woman to like being "cut"
by nice people. She has now came to
dyed hair and a lip-stick. 4he can call
Lord Porteous a brute, and not seldom
has occasion so to call him. For him all
the romance of the liaison has long been
over. He Is now simply a testy, crochety
old gentleman, who makes hlmseif a
nuisance at the bridge table. Yet the
pair, if no Darby and Joan, cherish some
remnant of the old affection. Really, we
thini'. they do pretty well together, what?
ever they may say. Things might have
been worse. We cannot quite regard
them as an awful warning to intending
bolters.
Yet they seem to think themselves a
warning, and offer to act as one. to the
young Elizabeth and Edward, who are
contemplating a bolt. These are two
very simple, direct, frank, young people
who have just fallen in love and feel
sure of one another. Their declaration
scene is one of Mr. Maugham's happiest
inventions. There la no kiss. They both
deprecate sentiment. Young Edward can
say little more than that he Is a busines?
man and must be taken seriously. Eliz
l (Continued on page six)
?eorge Bernard Shaw Punches Cattle
Here are some epigrams from "The Showing Up of Blanco Posnet,"
George Bernard Shaw's censored cowboy melodrama, which has just been
produced in London:
Any fool can hang the wisest man in the country. Nothing he
likes better.
When does the Devil catch hold of a man? Not when he's working
and not when he's drunk, but whrn he's idle and sober. Our own natures
tell us to drink when we have nothing >else to do.
What keeps America tc-day the purest of the nations is that when
she's not working she's too drunk to hear the voice of the tempter.
I was a good wife. I don't think any woman wants to be ?a good
wife twice in her f?fe. I want some one to be a good husband to me now.
L/^r ???a.
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zz.
tage #oss?tp
HE opening of B. F. Keith's Ford
ham Theater, at Fordham Road
and Valentine Avenue, will take
; place on Thursday evening, April 14.
! Besides this regular entertainment there
will be an interesting inaugural pro?
gram, in which prominent citizens and
borough officials of the Bronx will par
; ticipate. The policy of the new thea
! tor will be six acts of Keith vaude
| ville and a first-run photodrama, with
? the program changed completely
; twice a week. Seats will be reserved
? at 15, 20 and 25 cents for matinees
' and 30, 50 and 75 cents at night. On
! Sundays and holidays the matinees will
i be continuous from 1 to 7 p. m. The
opening bill will be: Nonette, Clayton
and Edwards, Pressler and Klaiss, Paul
Decker and company, Miller and Chap
i man and Karl Emmy's Pets.
E. F. Albee, president of the Keith
I Circuit, has given his personal atten
? tion to this theater, in its construction
as well as in other d?tails, and has
incorporated many original and novel
! ideas which will add greatly to the
| comfort not only of the patrons, but
j of the actors "backstage." The dress
i ing rooms have individual shower baths
! attached, there are rugs on the floors,
i the furnishings include electric irons
and dryers and there is a passenger
elevator from the stage to the top
floor. In the animal room there are
baths, food refrigerators, tanks for
seals and other aquatic performers,
and an aviary for birds.
Corporation papers bave been filed
at Albany by Carle Carlton, Guy Bol
ton and Henry Malgren for the Jenny
Lind Theater Building Corporation,
and plans are being drawn for a thea?
ter and sixteen-story building to be
erected in the Fifties, near Broadway.
The Hasty Pudding Club of Har?
vard has chosen a musical comedy,
"Westward Ho!" written by Joseph
j Alger jr. and Denning Duer Miller.
I both members of the juinor class, for
i its seventy-fifth annual production. It
. will be given in New York on April 21
'. and 22, at the Waldorf-Astoria. The
music has been written by Mr. Alger,
' in collaboration with Alexander Stein
; ert, Howard Elliott jr. and Isidor
Strauss 2d.
Leon Enrol, despite the fact of his
being one of the most important fea?
tures of "Sally," is personally direct?
ing the staging of "Princesa Virtue,"
the musical comedy which Gerald
(Continued oh pago aUfc
m
77? T> _ m
4*g***e JZ*xzrs J& fM J^_
~&prrz<5 ?r*zr
Shaw in Leggings
Frov. a Stan Correspondent
' /***? ONDON, March 21.?Two Wild '
Jjl West plays have opened in
Jtt^ London in the last ten days,
and both are proving success-!
ful in their melodramatic exposition of
I the rugged life of America's prairies.
One, "The Savage and the Woman,"
i four-act melodrama by Arthur Shir- :
! ley and Ben Landeck, is nightly filling:
i the three thousand seats at the
| Lyceum. Young Buffalo ( Philip Yale!
! Drew) takes the leading part in a pro-;
j duction replete with revolver shots,
j pathos, villains, love and gunmen. One
critic called the play "a screenless
film," but though it may give the Brit
! ish public a rather hectic impression of
the present-day West, it has proved
; tremendously popular.
The other Wild West play is "The
| Showing Vp of Blanco Posnet," by
j George Bernard Shaw. Shaw has
j placed his story among "pioneers of
civilization in a territory of America."
It is quite as Wild West as can be de?
sired, with a horse thief for a hero, a
real villainess, a sheriff and all the ac
I customed atmosphere. The touch of
| Shavian morality is ever present, how
i ever, and the horse thief, who utters:
I G. B. S. epigrams while waiting to be
I lynched, is readily identified as the j
! same old Shaw in cowboy's clothing.
"Blanco Posnet" was first produced j
i ten years ago by the Stage Society, j
?The English censor forbade its pro-;
duction again?contending that the
1 play was immoral?and it is not until
; now that the ban has been lifted. >
! "Blanco Posnet" is now being played
; at the Everyman Theater, in Hamp
i stead, and is drawing large crowds to
' lee "Shaw's censored play.'
It is rather difficult to see just why
j the censors prevented the showing of
I the play. It is true that in parts Shaw
| remarks on the craftiness of God and
! His pernicious slyness in running after
| and seizing H?3 own, but despite these
i little critical familiarities the ultimate
| conclusions of the -story are highly
moral.
Superficially, "Blanco Posnet" is a
real Wild West melodrama. Blanco has
i stolen a horse. He is riding away on it,
! but gives it up to a woman on the
prairie who wants to carry her tick
j child to the doctor. Blanco is captured,
i and the action of the play centera on
his trial and the philosophy he evolves
i from his downfall due to kindness.
There is a delightful scene when
Blanco's brother, a reformed drunkard,
; pleads with him to live a better life,
I also eloquently explaining his own
! success in the world. The brother
? says:
"You never reflected that when I was
j drunk I was in a state of innocence.
j Temptations and bad company and evil
i thoughts passed by me like the sum
| mer wind, as you might say; I was too
: drunk to notice them. When the money
? was gone and they fired me out I wai
I fired out like gold out of the furnaee
j with my character unspoiled and un
j spotted."
I Later Blanco, in turn, explains hit
i own philosophy:
"I'm a fraud and a failure. I starte
in to be a bad man like the rest of
you. ... I took the broad path be?
cause I thought that I was a man, and
rot a snivelling, canting, turn-the
other-check apprentice angle. . . t
They talked Christianity en Sunday?.
i ut when they really meant business
they told us never to tak.; a blow with?
out giving it back, and to get dollars,
. . . but when they told me t?
live my life so that I could look my
fellow man straight in the eye . . ?
that fetched me.''
Blanco decides in the end, however
that it is better to be "soft" and
human-hearted than a superman.
Even more vivid, and with an equailv
good moral, is "The Savage and the
Woman." It is the story of a lone waif
rescued from a massacre on the prai?
ries and raised by an Indian chief. The
boy believes himself an Indian and
fears he cannot wed the white girl he
loves. Indian Jim, the hero, has a
pretty hard timt-, but in the end the
truth is known -that he i? the heredi
ta.y earl of vast English estates. He
is recalled to claim his titles, and mar?
ries the girl. Thus all is happiness in
the end; but before that end 3S achieved
there are many stirring scenes and
much firing of revolvers, and even a
trained horse that ijnaws the ropes
that bind the imprisoned hero and per?
mits him to escape just before being
lynched.
Young Buffalo, who playj the lead?
ing part, looked out on a packed house
last night and said: "It's the real Wild
West?and these people certainly Iot?
it." They do. A queue half a block
long waits each evening for tickets
outside the theater; and applaus?
breaks from the galleries each minut?
during the play. One questions, how?
ever, the exact impression that the??
theatergoers gain of America.
? ?'-'?
Colored Players in Films
A series of motion pictures featur?
ing colored players will be put forth
by the Mount Olympus Distributing
Corporation. There are to be twenty
six productions in all, and the picture?
will be short subjects, eachVbut on?
reel in length. The tales will b? o?
the type made popular by Octavus Roy
Cohen and Joel Chandler Harris.
-.- *.
Birthday for Mark's Strand
The Strand was the first of the mo?
tion picture palaces, and that is only
seven years old to-day. Somehow it
seems as though they have always been
with us, but statistics prove otherwise.
A special performance will be given
this week at the Forty-eighth Street:
theater in honor of M. Mark's oldest
prot?g?, the New York Strand.
-?- {
"Man, Woman, Marriage''
Members of Sheriff David H. Knott's
famous "Alimony Club" are to be asked
for their expert opinion on Allen Hola
bar's production, "Man, WomAn, Mar?
riage," in which Dorothy Phillips is
starred. The picture witt be Bhown
to the alimoniates at the Ludlow Streev.
i jail some day during the week, 4
? ?-4

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