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Newspaper Page Text
NEW YQRK LETTER
- New York, Nov. 29. Thou
sands of dollars were "Spent on
-"The Daughter of Heaven" at
-the Century theater. A fortune
"was lavished on costumes and
"The Daughter of .Heaven"
proved, from a commercial point
"of view, a failure. A wonderful
artistic success, it has drawn so
poorly that prices were greatly
reduced, soon after it opened, in
the hope that the empty seats
might be filled.
Another Chinese play was re
cently put on. A simple little
thing, with just one setting for
"the three acts. No big and gor-.geously-garbed
chorus ; no chorus
at all, in fact. No 'tremendous
scenic effects; just a few tables
and chairs and screens and cur
tains. And this Chinese play has
"proved one of the great big 'fin
ancial successes of the season.
J. HarryJBenrimo, an actor and
manager, conceived the idea"
that of putting on a real Chinese
; play in the Chinese manner, just
as it is done in the Chinese thea
ters of San Francisco. He got
George C. Hazleton to collaborate
with him in making the play.
Benrimo speaks and writes Chi
"nese, and the play was construct
ed out of several oriental dramas,
'some of them more than a thou
sand years old.
"The Yellow Jacket" is the
"'name of the'play. It is a tragedy.
-It is the story -of the two wives
of Wu Sin Yin, a mighty gov
ernor, and their two sons. It is
a tale of wicked plots, of cruel
murders, of usurpation and ven
geance and the realization of lofty
i If all this were done in the or
dinary way, no one would care for
it. But after the fashion of the
Chinese theater that is different.
The actors strut in and out to in
cidental "music" of the Chinese
variety. If one is supposed to be
riding a horse, he gallops .in.
When a lady, having committed
suicide", goes to heaven, she
climbs up a ladder to a balcony
from which a deceased relative
has been conversing with her.
Tn the center of the stage there
sits a personage who does not
take any part in the play, but ex
plains, before each act, and dur
ing the action, just Avhat is oc
curring. Also there is the prop
erty man, an infinitely bored in
dividual. He is never off the
stage, but he does not speak a
word, and he is a "scream."
Are " there mbuntains to be
climbed, the property man con
structs them out of a table and
two chairs. Higher mountains,
more chairs. A boat, drifting
down a river, three chairs in a
row. A castle, a screen, with a
chair behind it. Does a gentle
man desire to hang himself to a
weeping willow tree, the prop
erty man stands holding a tall
bamboo pole with a noosed rope,
till the' suicide has been attempt
ed, and frustrated. It is frus
trated by another gentleman who
slashes the rope with a large