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The times. (Washington [D.C.]) 1897-1901, January 28, 1900, Second Part, Image 16

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85054468/1900-01-28/ed-1/seq-16/

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Xntlonnl Alice telneti
Apparently the proverb which relates
that too many cooks spoil the broth
does not concern musical productions most
of which are the work of perfect syndi
cates Three men each of whom Is well
known for his ability are responsible for
The Singing Girl the Casino success
which charming Alice Nielsen will present
at the National until Saturday night when
The rortune Tcllcr Is to have a single
performance Victor Herbert who com
posed the score is credited with such gems
an The Serenade and The Wizard of
the Nile Harry B Smith who penned
the lyrics turned out Kobin Hood and
The Idols Eye and Stanislaus Strange
author of the book contributed the stories
to The Wedding Day and The Joily
Musketcer The employment of all this
talent has resulted in what Is described as
a comic opera of the very best pattern
The music Is mentioned as being beautiful
while the libretto is said to be humorous
without containing any horseplay An In
teresting and amusing sequence of inci
dents and complications is averred to have
been obtained from the simple tale of a
twin brother and sister whose assumption
of each others attire leads to frequent
confusion
Of Alice Nielsen herself it is necessary
to print little in advance Miss Nielsen
unquestionably Is among the daintiest and
brightest stars In the theatrical firma
ment Her talents never have lacked rec
ognition In Washington The supporting
organization as usual Is a strong one It
Includes the eminent the pre eminent
basso Eugene Cowles the tenor Itlcblc
Ling and the contralto Lucille Saunders
besides a trio of excellent comedians In
Joseph Herbert John Slavin and Joseph
Cawthorn It Is claimed that Manager
Frank L Perley has given the production
all the surroundings that experience lib
orallty and artistic taste could suggest
Viewed from every point the presentation
of The Singing Girl should be delightful
quite as delightful as that of The Tor
tnnc Tellpr which after n fortnight here
continues in such demand that Sir Ierley
has deemed expedient the surrender of an
evening to Its performance
Infnjrtte Imiierlnl Tiipnuefte Dra
matic titmpniiy
During the past few years a succession
of dealers in fact and fiction have made
familiar to readers and to playgoers the
dramatic and theatrical aspects of life In
China The First Born and The Cat
and the Cherub both dealt with inci
dents brought from the land of the Mi
kado while magazine writers bao de
voted murh space to the amusement rc
borls of Canton Shanghai and other cen
tres Only a dozen weeks ago the local
rendering of an Oriental opera gave a new
insight into the ability of the Celestials
Oddly enough lioweier the genius of the
Japanese as regards histrionic achieve
ment never has been much noted despite
the known fact that the art of Thespls
lias an extensile follow lug in their coun
try
An Interesting and Instructive novelty
li promised tomorrow at the Lafayette
Square u Die engagement of an organiza
tion termed the Imperial Japanese Dra
matic Company The troupe is said to in
clude two of the nations greatest players
JrljuL -
- H
s2rr 24
Ilrmiiloii DimikIux In li Nmitli
Left Ileum-
In direct contrast to the majority of
the seasons comedies Mr Broadhursts
work Is wholly without suggestlveness or
vulgarity Its story concerns a
man whose chlefest desire Is to spend
his honeymoon in peace and quiet Ac
cordingly when he is visited by a swarm
of his wifes relatives be bribes his cook
to do worse than is her wont and makes
other efforts to be rid of the unwelcome
guests Unfortunately in the midst of
these plots he accidentally kisses bis par
lor maid and is caught in the act Re
sultantly the relatives aforesaid are in
duced to remain and matters arc rendered
very unhappy for the unlucky Smith who
fnally Is obliged to leave borne in order
to have his bride to himself The piece Is
said to contain much witty dialogue sev
eral excruciatingly funny situations and
a variety of characters wholly new in
farce Mr Broadhursts reputation as a
dramatic author lends the color of rrha
bility to all of these claims and renders
it likely that an exceptional buslnefs will
be done throughout the local engagement
Grniul Vnrnlri lllr
Rudyard Kiplings The Absent minded
Beggar which for a time after lk out
break of the Boer war threatened to be
epidemic in England is becoming familiar
In the United Slates At the Garden
Theatre New York Mrs Langtry is re
citing the verses nightly while society
debutantes variety stars and legitimate
actors are uniting in giving them a place
on their more or less important pro
grammes The Absent minded Beggar
with Sir Arthur Sullivans music still is
new to Washington however It is doubt
ful If the Introduction could lie accom
plished better than by Marie Walnwright
who is to read the lines this week at the
Grand Miss Walnwright is a woman of
intelligence ability and distinction and
her interpretation of Mr Kiplings work
should prove of surpassing Interest Man
ager Chase bardlycould have procured a
more attractive beadlincr
The press agent promises that the re
mainder of the current hill will be well
up to the average It will include George
W Day who has niadr a reputation among
professional people by the clever cari
catures which he contributed to the Dra
matic Mirror for so loug Mr Day 13 to
show his admirers that his verbal fun Is
as enjoyable as that which he penells The
Five Comallos European acrobats and
gymnasts will provide a portion of the
entertainment arranged while Hall and
Stale will appear in their latest absurdity
The Twentieth Century Burglars Frank
and Don who call themselves the men be
hind the comedy guns also are announced
as are Ward and Curran encore manufac
turers The Biograph will be retained and
is to throw on the screen a dozen wholly
new pictures- Altogether the performances
should prove decidedly cnjoyablo and there
is every prospect that they will be well
attended As usual dally matinees arc to
be given
Ivrriltii lttiblew
What is claimed to lie an illustration of
tho forms of religious worship observed
on the Desert of Sahara will make a por
tion of tho entertainment to be furnished
this week at ICcmnns by Rouies Knick
erbockers Mrinzos seven Moorish danc
ers have been engaged for the representa
tion a chief part In which will bo talcn
by VIoIala and Ouila In addition to ths
feature tho Knickerbockers are to pre
sent a bill of what would seem to be de
cided merit The olio announced Includes
the names of Alt Grant the inonologlst
Bert and Sophie Leslie a sketch team
Rosalie who trips the light fantastic
with remarkable agility Cessy Grant n
Queen of Burlesque tho Brothers La
Moyne performers on the horizontal bars
the Wright Sisters soubrettes tho Arm
strong Brothers parodists and the dog
Spike A presumably attractive otter part
TILE TDLES WAJETNGTOxV SUNDAY JANUAIiT 28 1000
Mf ml nw ymk I
WmmBmMmm
Wllh three big stars in town last week
there was at once every reason and no
reason for managers to expect good busi
ness Each of the trio has his or her fol
lowing here and each might have beea
counted strong enough to draw well while
the presence of all led to rather unusual
competition Despite the final half or this
etatement the average of receipts for the
six days probably was higher than It has
been for any like period during the season
With the Grand which has come to be a
scriou3 factor in the local amusement
world the returns of the houses at which
the stars mentioned were appearing must
have aggregated about 3100 of which
over 13000 passed the window of the La
fayette where Minnie Maddern Fislts pro
vided the bill
Sirs ITske of course easily captured
the record of the time From the Thurs
day preceding her arrival until late yester
evening a line continually filed by Treas
urer Evans who had all he could do sup
plying those Who- w rsbed to witness a per
formance of BeeKy Sharp Stuart Rob
son was an easy second as racetrack men
would have it and his production of Oli
ver Goldsmith kept the Columbia com
fortably filled throughout his engagement
W II Crane was at the National Minnie
Ialmex and other vaudcvilllans proved
attractive to patrons cf the
Grand while Clarlv Brothers Royal Bur
lesqucrs emptied the rack regularly at
Kcruans The last of the Barton Holmes
lectures which otcurred on Tuesday at
the Luckett Dwyer house was the best
attended or the series
Farce comic opera vaudeville variety
and Japanese drama ire to divide the com
ing week The fan in the form of George
Broadhursts Why Smith Left Home
will be seen at the Columbia Dainty Mice
Nielsen returns to the National with
Stanislaus Stange Harry B Smith and
Victor Herberts Casino success The
Singing Girl which she will do until
Saturday night when The Fortune
Teller Is to have a single performance
A troupe of Japanese actors whose work
has occasioned critical comment all over
the country is booked at the Lafajctte
Squz e while Marie Walnwright beads the
nw vaudeville bill at the Grand Robles
KaickeV bocker Burlesquers reach the
Lyce m The outlook Is distinctly good
and there is a prospect of exceptional busi
ness
In KawnkamI and Yacco who hate been
romparcd not unfavorably to Sir Henry
Irvine and Ellen Terry Both have won a
good deal of critical pralv here in fact
ihcir pantomlmie work and their really re
markable regard for detail having railed
forth the wonder and admlratlor of re
viewers In Boston San Francis jnd Chi
cago The stars and their support are
seen In an extended repertoire which lu
cludcs translations ot The Merchant of
Venice and Ivgtnallon and Gallatea
The aggregation carries lis on orchestra
which is hidden under the stage and Is
quite boabtful of the elaborate scenery and
costumes brought with it from Japan
Briefly the tcrics of Washington appear
arces threatens to prove absolutely unique
and It Is guaranteed that thoo who wit
ness the performances will be pleasantly
surprised at the degree of mellt whith they
contain Seats arc selling
Colmitliln Wliy itiltlt Left Home
Why Smith Left Home a three act
farce by George Broadhurst author also of
What Happened to Jones and The
Wrong Mr Wright will be presented this
neck at the Columbia by a cat nearly
Identical with that seen recenlfy In London
and New York The organization In ques
tion Includes Maclyn Arbuckle Dan Maion
Fred W Peters Hans r Roberts M B
Snjder Mrs Annlo Yc3nans Mrs E A
Eberle Anita Bridger Brandon Douglas
Hose Snyder Blanche Carlyle and Ger
trude RoosevolL Partially because of ill
own qualities and partially because of the
excellence of this troupe Why Smith Left
Home onjojed a five months run at the
Tirana ineairc ami a luur hiuuiu run ai
the Madison Square Both the English and
American criucs praisea ine company
highly even noting the magnlficnce ot the
rovmis worn by the women Introduce
captioned The Absconder completes the
programme and promises to prove amusing
The Interpretation ot the piece calls forth
the services ot tho entire organization
which is said to number several exceed
ingly pretty women Manager Iloblc avers
that he has set and costumed the offering
elaborately During the troupes engage
ment at the Lyceum the usual matinees
will b given Scats for the week are
selling
Join
Apparently Washington wants gaod mu
sic despite several Incidents of this sea
son for the city has put Itself en record
through the leaders of the local artistic
world by guaranteeing a course of con
certs by the Baltimore Symphony Orches
tra with the best soloists that can be had
on the basis of the subssribed support The
new scries of performances will be Inaug
urated on March 6 at the National Theatre
and will be continued on March 13 20 and
27 The Individual players will be pre
sented In the order originally announced
M Ictschnlkoir tho violinist coming first
The Russian is said to have produced a
wonderful impression wherever ho has
been heard anil U Is promised that those
who greet him here will not be disap
pointed The sale of tickets and the sub
scription list for the four concerts both
are open at Mr Guzmans office In the
store of Edwin Droop
Dr D J Stafford the- well known divine
and Shakespearean scholar will deliver a
lecture on the Bard of Avons conception
of Julius Caesar next Sunday evening at
the National Theatre To those who are
familiar with Dr Staffords brilliant ac
quirements and masterly oratory nothing
need be said as an Inducement to prompt
attendance Those who never have heard
the speaker are promised a treat la his
discourse The receipts of the lecture will
go toward swelling the charitable fund of
Division No 3 Ancient Order of Hiber
nians
During the recent holidays a company
of amateurs under the direction of Irof
E C Townscnd In the lecture room ot
All Souls Church presented a version of
Charles Dickens The Cricket on the
Hearth The organization tcet with favor
and on three successive nights appeared
before large audiences The same cast
will interpret the piece again on February
9 at National Rifles Hall for the benefit
of the Christmas Charity Fund of the Al
mas Temple Nobles of the Mystic Shrine
This fact together wllh the presumed
charm of the entertainment should pack
the auditorium and thus add considerably
to the Shriacrs power for good doing
THE PASSING SHOW
In the newspaper criticisms of Tuesday
last Rebecca tltularly known as Becky
Sharp was twice mentioned as being
that sort of a woman
Now In so far as its literal meaning Is
concerned the phrase might be applied lo
any female person Jrom a sovereign to a
street sweep but the words thatsart ot
a woman have come to refer to a particu
lar kind the very kind ofwhlcb Thack
erays heroine was not There Is ro
possibility that Becky will rise Irom under
the tombstone of her bindings to refute the
calumny but the fact that It Is a calumny
remains Though to all Intents and pur
poses Just a trille worse and more danger
ous than either Camllle or Sappho this
companion of lady Jane telonged to an
altogether different class that of the ap
parently respectable Then as at present
outward show was everjthlng axd except
for an envy bred but quite unspoken sus
picion Beckys reputation was of the white
and spotless variety She ua3 the wife cf
Col Rawdon Crawley a gambler but a
In certain quarters her moral looseness f
was sufficiently guessed at to give her an
enormous masculine following surmise did
not take the form of atsurance Indeed
until the night of the affa r with Lo d
Stcyne that sort of a woman nver
seriously misbehaved The author of her
being William Makepeace Thackeray even
asked regarding her conduct on that even
ing What bad happened Was she
guilty or not To which LangdoL Mitch
ell has replied No except in Intent
Thus distinctly the plotting ambltlcus
conscienceless seductive Bctky was not
near the position from which she cojII
have been taken to become the subject of
a sentence like the one quoted
As a matter of verity the wickedness
of Mrs risked creation all was In Intent
She plannml a great deal did little This
is not an extenuating circumstance bough
the law recognizes a difference between
murder and the mere attempt to kill But
there may be a queslicu as to whether or
not extenuating circumstances did exist
albeit no writer who has treated of the
theme ever succeeded In discovering them
In the mind of the erudite reviewer Becky
Sharp so far seems to hav been a willfully
wretched character the incarnation of
complete and aggressive viclousness one
of those moral lepers In whom no in
Btlnct of good Is liorn The redeeming
traits urged for her have ben wit and
buoyancy and occasional but tcirprary
tenderness She has been present J as
being tolerable chiefly In her ability to
discomfit such pomiious fools as was Lady
Bareacrcs Absolute depravity Is seen so
seldom however that It might lie termed
a phase of insanity It were more reason
able therefore upon consideration to
deem Bicky Sharp the victim of a succes
sion of triumphs Observe
In the play the spectator first was In
troduced to tho Thackeray lierolno afore
said at tho house of ady Jane Crawley
There she had galmd her foothold partial
ly by evident lack of principle but chiefly
as a result of her ability in serving the
wealthy spinster Though as a matter ot
Instinct sho had made herself agreeable
to lltl Crawley Joseph Pedley and others
there had Iteen behind her exhibited fasci
nations nothing much deeper than the or
dinary feminine love ot conquest Ordl
narlly feminine too was her acceptance
of Itatvdon Crawley tho most distinguished
suitor who offered And with her mar
riage lo that social blackleg came the
vista of a new life the ambition to be
prominent in the flell which to her con
scious not vain nature seemed most at
tractive and fur which she was undeniably
fitted Perhaps the discovery that by
waiting until Sir Pill was widowed she
might have shot nearer her mark Increased
her determination to reach that mark dc
spite all obstacles ami whether by fair
means or foul Meanwhile It was neces
sary for the pair to exist and so there were
debts Becky took a dishonorable way of
settling them having no better Not until
confronted with the alternative of paying
or having all her dreams shattered and
dissipated however did Mrs Rawdon
Trawlty think of selling herself The
thought camo with a shudder IU fulfill
ment was begun shudderlngly Caught
Becky Sharp may have realized Initially
the complete horror of what she had been
about to do Naturally tho primal con
sidetntlon was the Injury worked upon her
self but there is nothing to show that on
tho downward road to Pumpernickel tho
ruined adventuress did not regret tho lost
affection ot Col Rawdon Crawley her
husband
In this paragraph there Is no effort lo
argue that Becky Sharp was not what
Tho Times criticism of Tuesday called
her cheat liar thief impostor pre
sumed adultress conscienceless and san
guinary Tho Thackeray heroine was
all of these But there appears scant
reason to clmiijj In with the general opinion
that the Beck at the home of Lady Jane
Crawley was Blotting and planning every
conceivable way to get Into society was
anything wjirsc than the average brilliant
glfl hopeful for the position to which her
attainments might have lifted her Had
she not been remorseless unprincipled and
cruel sho never would have taken ad
vantage ottthc opportunities that offered
But had the opportunities not offered
Becky would hardly have courted them
Born of wealthy parents bred In refine
ment and splendor married to a man ot
distinction and money sho might have
been merely as are other such Individuals
Circumstances which she was too weak
and selfish to control were her undoing
Of course a definite conception of a fic
tional character cannot be proven correct
This however seems a reasonable ex
planation of Beckys conduct It Is the
explanation which the writer drew from
Thackeray and which Langdon Mitchell
apparently has given Mrs Flske
At all events tho Mrs Crawley of
Curzon Street rannot be aptly described
as that sort of it woman
Despite all the ability - Civile Fitch
and David Bclasco by the way and despite
alb the crudemrsses of Laugdon Mitchell
Becky Sharp compares with Sappho
or Zaza as a Titian study In the nude
compares with one of those vulgar back
drops which occasionally are seen at the
burlesque houses In the novel Vanity
Fair the career of the principal per
sonage Is treated with the utmost delicacy
and caution Undoubtedly there are In
telligent men and women who have read
Thockcras work without Imagining that
there was anything In the least wrong
about the adventuress Introduced Such
a result Is lmposlble in a play dramatic
effect depending both upon broadness and
comprehension But nevertheless the
piece contains no line or situation that
could give offence The task of presenting
tho heroine In all her viclousness and
badness has been accomplished by sug
gestion rather than by bald realization
Even In the crucial third act the spectator
practically Is left to his or her own Infer
ences Mr Mitchell Is to be commended
for not having mistaken brutality for
strength or ribaldry for atmosphere
To say that Becky Sharp Is great
would be absunl to call It wholly good
would be a mistake Like Sappho It
Is adequate as a vehicle in which to dis
play the genius of a remarkable star Only
cne bit In the play Is really stirring the
others relying for their power to please
either on the personality and cleverness of
the star or on the ability of scenic artist
and stage manager But the fact remains
nevertheless that Mr Mitchell has been
the first to succeed In putting Vanity
Fair Into such shape that it is at all
possible Certainly the offering interested
those who saw It last week It enjoyed
long runs In New York and Boston la
brief If faulty and occasionally dull
Becky Sharp Is one of the seasons most
absorbing and deserving products The
returns If is bringing Justify the state-
Over at UieXolumbla where Stuart Rob
son dellalftetnhls friends by proving to
them that his hit In Oliver Goldsmith
had not been exaggerated the auditor con
tinually felt aa did Alice of Wonderland
when sh touort herself meeting acquaint
ances concerning whose realncss she had
been skeptical before To have the genial
author of JShH Stoops lo Conquer put In
front ot ones eyes seemed sufficiently
marvelous bar1 when Dr Samuel Jobn
sonf whose -dictionary always had formed
ahalofor his head In the minds of the lew
erudite was hauled through an exceeding-
ly fast cenluryjand set down again trans
formed intd W sort of supervising good
angel wosdcrcame to be at a discount
The Introduction of David Garrlck whom
In June the writer left comfcrtablj lyln
InWeslinstrt Abbe otdmund Burku
awl Mr FfatfiVrstonf and finally of Mr
BDiwrll tkcblographeruprcved bewilder
ing lo say the least Certain folk In the
Luckett E Dwyer house must have been
hoping that thtir dead creditors were under
tremendously heavy gravestones
But then after all Oliver Goldsmith
wns qulttllke a fairy fable There as tho
Beast who loved a Beauty and there wero
a number of bad and malicious persons who
were doing their utmost to keep the two
apart And finally Just as these bad and
malicious persons seemed about to succeed
Beauty discovered that the Beast really
was a prince In disguise and well the
story teller didnt leave to the imagination
of his bearers the necessary fact that they
lived hanav forever after Instead a
great many desirable things happened one
or top of another and the tale ended with
everyone who had watched It quite sure
that tho bad and malicious persons would
be Impotent until pages beyond the last
chapter This practically was Oliver
Goldsmith the most Eimple ot simple
pieces
In the simplicity of Augustus Ttoma3
however frequently is hidden his tharm
Mr Robsons newest vehicle is only more
delightful because of the fact that It dis
cuiws m problem and attempts ro lesson
A street quaint delicious little comedy Is
Oliver Goldsmith a comedy that super
induces appetite for a cheerful aflcr theitre
supper and pleasant dreams over the
nightly pipe He were a bitter man who
could quit the playhouse with the fall ot
ifcf final curtain and still not l3t his
pe69linlsni and misanthropy remain behind
In the seat Ho might call fcr them on tho
morrow might the average Individual for
m slmlsm and ralsanthronr are quite use
ful in cvery day life But for Dr Johnson
and Mr Burke ven Goldsmith woum
tave lwrncd that These qualities would
be homeless however until the morning
The quiet straightforward beauty of the
offering even precludes the Idea of criti
cism The writer noticed en Tieday
evening that the lath wllh which the poet
struck his tormcnlor was plainly Co Igned
to break but he did not smile policed
that a box In tho Goldsmith garret tore tho
pamo of a very modern soap and he did
not rarp The production ls pleasing f r
reasons that do not admit of stilted expla
nation and thati enough
On the ether hand A Rich Mans Sou
the William II Crane effort was aggres
sively annoying It contained a doctrine
In every line and many of these doctrines
were false The supremacy of money and
the absurdities of humanity and the gen
eral wrongness of everything was paraded
from the first curtain until the last The
argumeuLs olfered were not even consis
tent One had no soouer been told that
slk stocklus socialism was sickening
and thntnnlllionalrcs like less fortunato
mortals made their bread by the sweat of
theli brows than one ran full Into an ac
count ot ihe fashion In which the Rich
Man meeting a trust stronger and less
conscientious than himself was obliged to
sell out or be wiped out This Itlcli
Man was right always He was Imper
sonated by the star The fact continually
thrust Itself before tho eyes of the specta
tor Tho doctrines mentioned were made
by machine and for that reason And tho
audiences that cheered them could have
been mado to cheer opposite Ideas qulti
as heartily For example
In Michael Mortons comic play prob
ably so called because certainly it was
more farco than comedy Peter Dibdiii
whose money Is tho result ot successful
operations In lumber owns lo a boy who
being too proud to owe ail his future to
paternal influence declares IiU Intention
of going out lulu tho world Mr Crano
Is Peter Dibdln and William Courtlelgh
Is tho boy The old gentleman feeling
the foolishness of tho lads ambition pro
tends to loso his fortune Arthur Dibdln
immediately takes to whining and keeps
up la that strain until restored to afflu
ence when he acknowledges the error ot
his way and settles down to bo married
Tho gatherings nt tho National approved
Peter Dibdln heartily und wero duly sym
pathetic that while acting poverty he
should have been obliged to slcal to Del
monlcos for inenls Mr Morion ot course
gave tho teacher a surrasslug lovo for the
taught
Imagine this samo piece were Mr Court
elgh Instead of Mr Crane Its star Peter
Dibdln still might bo possessed of tha
money and Arthur Dlbdla ot the ideals
which be would proclaim In a manner that
would bring howls ot delight from the gal
lery The father would have no belief in
the efficacy of labor or In its sicrdness
Then would come the loss of the fortune
The son by giving up a true and trusting
and by stinting himself dread
fully would manage to keep the family
afloat until the last scene when having
made four or five million dollars with an
Invention he would glvo the top floor
another declamation and the stage manager
his cue for lowering the curtain Thus
might Mr Mortons arguments please
pro as well as con
Seriously enough however A Rich
Mans Son proved no better vehicle for
Ihe clever actor presenting It than were
The Head ot the Family and Worth a
Million The story If comparatively net
was full of Incidents so ancient that ono
could not help admiring the author who
had sufficient courage to claim credit for
their use The Idea of the W0Tm at a hus
band finally turning on his wife
was exploited years ago in A
Contented Woman and was re n
inlsccnt then Some ot tho dia
loguo introduced was exceptionally witty
though more of It was not Father Im a
man declares Arthur Dibdln What am
1 A monkey ls the reply Assemblages
laughed uproariously but such a line could
hardly be called clever Many of the sit
uations were good but the majority were
composed either of exaggerated humcr or
of exaggerated sentiment
while the piece had excellent points and
with Mr Crane In the company made a
passable stop gap It was not in any sense
n satisfactory comedy It is lo be hepeel
that the Impression the star of A tool ot
Fortune creates In his adaptation of
David Harum will supply the place cf
that which he falletl to leave here this year
No sooner has Washington had one Im
portant production than another 13 slated
The newest of the presentations that will
worry the local critics 13 that ot Harriet
Ford and Mrs Henry C De Mllles play
The Greatest Thing In the World iu
which the Llebler Company Is to star Sarah
Cowcll Ie Moyne The piece will have its
premiere on February 9 at New Haven and
three days later will be done here at the
Columbia Theatre For the Interpretation
Is announced the following cast
Virginli Itryant Sirah Cowell I Hoyn
Ocfll Itryant Kolxrt Kdcgjrt
Harold Itryant Walter Tlionm
David McKarlind Charles Abbott
Helfn McKarland Kallifrice Grey
Sarah McKarland Harriet Sterling
Irtor CMllinrst Verncr Clargej
VUd Cliiwllinrst Hope Kosj
Lik1 Cudge Edwin James
Ccoflrey Townscnd Frederick IX Belleville
As may be seen the supporting organiza
tion promises excellence Robert Edeson
last season was leading man with Mauda
Adams Katherlnc Grey was leading wo
man with Richard Mansfield Verncr
Clargcs was with Joseph Jefferson Hope
Ross wllh William Gillette and Frederick
de Belleville with Mrs Fiske The play
will give Mrs Le Moyne a part not unlike
that which she had while acting under
Annie Russell a mother whose love for
her son furnishes the inspiration rf her
life As yet It remains to be seen whether
or not the clever woman Is sufficiently well
known to the public to have rendered ad
visable a stellar venture but there is
great Interest in the forthcoming produc
tion nevertheless
Private advices bring the news that
despite Journalistic notices and the repu
tation for nastines Naughty Anthony is
anything but a great success in New Yoiic
It is said that David Bclasco still U mak
ing changes in the farce and that there is
a probability ot Its being removed from
tho stage of the Herald Square consider
ably before the end of the season If all
this be true Washlngtonluns may con
tinue Jo have a certain amount of faith la
the opinions of Gothams theatregoers
Apparently the day of the French tarcc
U about over Two months aga The
Girl From Maxims opened In Chicago
was called filthy by the newspapers ot
that city and liberally patronized by the
population Whereupon the manager of
the production claimed that the roast
ing received was the cause of this enor
mous business The remark which cer
tainly was not complimentary to the thea
tregoers of Ihe titr by the lake since
has been refuted In the wretched returns
said to be being scored there by Make
Way for the Ladles a comedy of simi
lar reputation Despite the fart that the
pleco was put on at Hooleys an exceed
ingly popular house it is claimed that
the receipts of the first week were not
In excess of 2000 So there seems to
be a probability that ultimately the stage
will come back to decency after all
FRIENDS OP LAST WEEK
Even among the local admirers of Mrs
riske and these certainly should compose
a most i rtlstic class there seem to be a
number if persons who were disappointed
In her Bicky Sharp because unlike John
Blair In Paul Hervinis Ties she broke
no turslure This iteraent Is not an ex
aggeration There are intelligent men and
women who cannot distinguish betweea the
dramatic and the theatrical who Judge a
degree of emotionalism by the labors of
the first violinist It is not true that all
who did not care for the stars performance
wjre of such an order but many of the ar
guments advanced to prove that perform
ance mediocre showed a like method ot
reasoning
Undeniably Langdon Mitchells piece did
not afford Mrs Fiske the opportunities for
strong acting that Lorrimer Stoddard gave
her in Tcss of the DUrbervilles How
ever there were unlimited chances for good
acting and of ihcise the player took every
advantage The most ardent follower of
Mrs Leslie Carter might experience some
difficulty in saying why a work that rings
true and fine from beginning to enxt Is not
as m per lor as that which occasionally
mounts to heights from which lo quote
Ihe presi agent audiences are swept
from their feet A carefully conceived
and well sustained Impersonation ot in
finite grace and variety was Mrs Fuskes
Becky Sharp an impersonation much
more demanding than might have been
one In which constant power prompted lor
getfulness ot all things other than inten
sity
Mrs Fiske passed through the single
stirring episode ot Becky Sharp with
the naturalness and dominant force that
rendered notable her efforts In the third
act ot Tcss To the writer the chief
excellence of the former bit was Its
quietness and finish A dozen women on
the American stage looking over the bead
of Lord Steyno nt Raudon Crawley might
have conveyed In a gasp or a cry the Infor
mation requisite to commanding the at
tention of the spectators Mr3 Fiske
neither gasped nor cried she merely look
ed and et the gazo ot those In front
never left Iter In her eves In the fing
ers that held the wine glass In tho sud
den stiffening of her body were fear
shame study wonder anil hysterical de
lirium When tho hand relaxed and the
glass fell half ot the Monday asscmblago
at the Lafayette was leaning forward In
Its scats Thus did Mrs Fiske accomplish
what has been accomplished by Sarah
Bernhardt Olga Nethcrsole Mrs Leslie
Carter and even Blancho Bates through
a method only successfully attempted by
Eleanor Duse and herself
For the rest when a book has been read
as universal as ba3 Vanity Fair It is
well nigh Impossible It Is Impossible to
fulfill the ideals of everyone slnco each
ideal must uifTer from the others Under
the clrcumstaiices Mrs Fiske did what
undoubtedly was best In fulfilling her own
ideal and In making Bcckj a real living
breathing personage Her delineation of
the various contradictory phases of that
womans character was not less than mar
velous Buoyancy humor insldlousness
cunning hypocrisy horror bitterness and
a dozen other qualities were set forth dis
tinctly The gamut between the honeyed
sweetness of the dialogue wllh Lady Jane
and the biting sarcasm ot the second cross
fire with Lady Bateacres between the
coaxing Ingenuity of tho first scena with
Pitt Crawley and the frenzied despair of
the lait wllh his brother between the as
sumed veneer of the reception at Curzon
Stiect and the adamantlno commercialism
of the bargain with Joseph Sedley wa
run In a manner that stamped Mrs FIsko
anew as the greatest of the actresses now
before the American public
There appeared only a solitary fault In
the whole portrayal ot Becky Sharp nnd
that fault Mrs Fiske should hasten to cor
rect For some reason solely known to
herself ttw star has been paying sianlar
and scanter sfentlon to her enunciation
of late until she was understood last week
s ith exceeding difficulty There Is little
excuse for this cither as a mannerism or
nj a carelessness The season for panto
mimes has gone
If there Is one circumstance more than
another that seriously Injures the presenta
tion of a humorous play that circumstance
Is tho tco keen appreciation of the play
ers Tho French have a way ot acting
farce with such traslo earnestness that
Its laughable points are doubled In num
ber Exaggeration Is to comedy what
a coating of sugar Is to chocolates With
the exception of the star himself every
member of William II Cranes Company
William Courtlelgh Selene Johnsan and
William Ingersoll In particular read the
lines of A Rich Mans Son wllh such
evident conscl janess of their absurdity
that the effect was almost If not quite
lost The real fun In the speeches was
the seriousness with which the characters
took them and when the aforesaid char
acters ceased tr be serious the speeches
ceased to be funny Messrs Courtlelgh
and Ingersoll and Miss Johnson are clever
icoplc clever enough to know better the
charm of the performer who absolutely
sinks himself In his or her role
A year ago when Florence Rockwell was
seen here with Sol Smith Russell In Hon
John Grlgsby The Times took occasion to
express the opinion that she was not pos
sessed of any histrionic talent whatever
After having witnessed her delightfully
nalve performance of Mary Horneck in
Oliver Goldsmith the write- determined
UDon speedy cancellation of the claim
Tho American stage boasts no Ingenue who
could have given the part in question more
gracefully and pleasingly Miss RocRweii
will make the hit of her life this season
In a certain city there Is a certain
piano manufacturer who seems to be sup
plying ready made vaudeville acts with as
tonishing ease The gentleman mentioned
Is owner of a patent by which his Instru
ments are so regulated that without skill
on the part of the performer they give
forth the tones of mandolins guitars and
other stringed devices
Any man who can finger the ivory keys
at all adequately can use this Invention
Resultactly tho continuous stage now
la occupied by no fewer than a dozen en
tertainers whose chief claim to considera
tion is the Impudence they display in forc
ing spectators to pay the rental on their
paraphernalia Stephens and Taylor who
were at the Grand last week are the best
of tho fakirs brought to Washington be
cause their turn contains bstter fea
tures On the other band the assertive
ness with which they placarded pro
grammes and furniture with advertise
ments for the piano was disgusting The
theatre is a place generally selected by its
patrons for purposes of enjoyment not a
paper posting exchange And the imitative
Instrument to which allusion has been
mado a very Ingenious Instrument
though It be Is only a cheaper substitute
for talent when it U requisitioned as a
billboard
CHATS WITH THE PLAYERS
Oliver Goldsmith stopped short on one
ot the four steps that lead to the stellar
dressing room at the Columbia He was
attired In garret clothes and held his wig
at Ills side briefly looked very unlike
the poet painted for the National Gallery
by Sir Joshua Reynolds
Guvner irreverently quoth Treasurer
Payne whose voice had arrested him a
gentleman wishes to see you
Im plainly visible replied Oliver Gold
smith with Just the suspicion of a famous
squeak la hla tone Then though the
bald headed wit ot the coffee house was ot
aa earlier century anil the caller no less
modern than are most newspaper report
ers the two recognized each other and
shook hands Goldsmith finished his trip
downstairs and opened the door ot an
apartment cozier and warmer by far than
either the garret aforesaid or than the
stage ot the Drury Lane The guedt
walked la and presuming on Irish hospi
tality seated himself Poor Noll fol
lowed and while his talked be
gan undressing
Oliver Goldsmith remarked the visi
tor now do you like being in a coaiedy
The celebrity laughed Its not bid
ho answered Tou sec my virtues- have
been emphasized and my faults Ignored
No one could ask for kinder treatment than
has been given me Even my notorious
personal unlovellues3 has been so far made
light of that I am enabled to win the af
fection ot a beautiful girl The sentence
ended with a smile
And as the speaker smiled his com
panion noticed that OIivr Goldsmith wrs
disappearing A covering of short gray
hair had grown during the Interval aad
the ruddy complrxlon had vanished A
toy was removing th familiar spun
crbockers The hort might have been any
one Uncertain of an address the Journal
ist bluntly queried Has did Goldsmith
come to take to the footlights
Without giving authority to his state
ments by Introducing himself the ex-
wtlter returned Well for years I had
been a devoted student of the man re
sponsible for She- Stoops to Conquer I
had read everything obtainable on the
and twice I had asked Aimu3tU3
Thomas If he didnt believe a dramatic
offering might be built around Goldsmith
I do3t know Gus replied once Do you
think you could play the parti nus I
said you would have to arrange the piece
so that I could play it After the lament
able failure of The Gadfly when It be
came necessary to net a new comedy and
to get It In a hurry I broached the topic
again Gua answered tbit he was not up
on Oliver Goldsmith but that be would
pender over my suggestion Two ay3
later he telegraphed me and three days
later I saw him Iu those few hours he
had learned more about the Irish novelist
than I had got Into my hut by seasons
of cramming Immediately I commis
sioned him to construct a vehicle for me
and this Is th result I trust that we have
a hit In the piece and when all the vari
ous trifles have been corrected and tr
fected we shall see what is tho opinion
of the New York critics
The knickerbockers had been succeeded
by brown trousers and tho satin coat by
a TrhWe linen shirt Oliver Goldsmith be
came recognizable as Stuart ltobson
That failuro of The Gadfly was rather
hard on me continued Mr Robscn Im
getting too well along In years to afford
many heavy losses It Is a singular fact
that tho comedy or drama or whatever It
may have been was no sooner off the stage
than managers commenced making me of
fers to star In French farces Nothing la
the way of temptation was spared me 0ic
prominent director promised mo SIOOM
for forty weeks 1 have saved that Mirh
in a season twice my profits were 50001
But that tender set me thinking And
then I considered that suggestive plays
wero only for a short time longer and I
asked What will become of mo subse
quently Eventually of course I refused
From a financial viewpoint I believe that
I was right This year will seo the last of
those things
And your New York opening
Wo expect to go Into tho Fifth Avenue
befor very lon
For a run
If wo can mako It
A hale nnd hearty good-humored-looking
woman opened the door The caller glanc
ed back half in alarm But tha last ves
tige ot the disrobing poet had been put
Inlo a trunk marked Theatre and the
comedian born of his rags remarked My
boy let me Introduce you to Mrs llobson
At the Arlington on Friday a Times man
met Mrs Fiske by appointment For two
days ho had bee nursing tho idea ot an
Interview wllh that cleverest ot clever
women And so as he chatted with her
nnd with Harrlsor Grey Fiske he made
mental notes of a score of w tty or of
erudite things said by both Finally ho
rose to go and ta rising toon from nw
pocket an ever ready pencil Mrs Flsko
rose loo
By the way sho remarked may I
ask that what has passed between ui
three be considered strictly personal net-entry
I have maifd It a rule never to tall
for publication
Certainly said The Times- man
But leaving the hotel with Mr Fiske
he left behind a dozen dreams ot readable
columns and of like desires It was that
hla disappointment might be shared by
Mrs Flskes hreal admirers that this
paragraph was written
Speaking of theatrical failures sail
William II Crane a couple ot evenings ago
while walking hctclwara has It evr o
to you that the producer ot stags
offerings risks more than dos any otfce
venturer Fact Let a shoe merchant or
a dry goods merchant go to the wall ard
his stock generally brings considerably
ovvr half ot Its original value Even real
estate and securities are worth s methlng
of the sort Bat a manager is exceediajiy
lucky It he ever Is paid for hU scentry and
costumes a tenth ot what they cost him
The Investiture that I supplied for the Ne
York opening of Peter Stuyvesant waj
sold to me for 2300 The toiumea alone
were over XjS0O When Bronson Iloxard
and DraiJer Matthews comedy was closed
I tried to get rid or both dresses and t
tings A prominent amusement caterer
made me an offer I am not at llbery to
tell you the sun named but I may siy that
it was so wretchedly low that I am deter
mined the property shall ret before I let It
go at that price
Two pictures one labeled W II Crane
and the second Stuart Robson stand to
gether near Fifteenth and Pennsylvania
Avenue Seeing these the comedians
raood softened anil he became rjfle tve
Robson and I were together for twelvo
years he said I dont suppose that la
this business two men ever comprwed a
firm through the hands ot which so much
money passed without any formality what
ever Nlether of us Jointly signed a paper
from the first day we put in together tnttl
the last ilr word was good enough for
StSart Robson aad Stuart Hansens word
was gocd enough for me We never should
have separated had It not been for our
inability to secure plays that gave each
of as opportunities That fact terminated
the partnership He continued for a vhllo
In The Henrietta and I put on The Sena
tor The other morning Ir New York
someone proposed to me the Idea of Rob
son and I trying a spring tour together
In The Henrietta duvotlng a night to each
clrr and charging J3M apiece for seats
The plan was tu get together the original
cast and bid for the patrccage ot our old
frieDds The scheme struck me favorably
but then Charles Frohman suggested
using me In his dramatization ot David
Harum and that ended It Edward Rose
f shortly will begin rehersala on that work
and we shall present It In Rochester
where live Ripley Hitchcock and hla wife
the adapters But I should have enjoyed
I must go up and see Robson tomorrow
Do you know said The TIme3 reporter
that I thought you bad a success la Peter
Stuyvesarjt
air Howard ought to have written ono
if daybody could was reply But
past accomplishments are no criterion In
theatricals I William Shakespeare should
rise from his grave tomorrow and jay
BUI Crane my old namesake Ive spent
four centuries In thinking out for you th9
best thing Ive ever done I should an
swer Well Ill read IU
And the hotel was reached
Everyone who visited the Grand last
week must remember the worc of tho
Zara Trio two members of which stood be
fore their audiences while making twenty
seven change3 of costume Each ot thesq
etiages revealed the uniform or other
ga b Torr by the soldiers or peasants of a
great nation and therefore the act waa
Instructive as well as novel and Interest
ing When it is said that Inclusive of a
drill and a baton swinging specialty tho
Zam turn consumes only eighteen tnir
utea the spectator will begin to reatlza
how rapidly each suit was to glvo
way to th next With this la wind a re
porter called on Mr Zara Lut Wednesday
to request the opportunity ot eeios hint
dress
Certainly assented that clever fallow
Meet me tonisht at the theatre shortly
before 7 oclock I require an hour far
preparation
Keeping hla appointment the visitor
was shown Into an upstairs room where
already an assistant was waiting The
scores of books on the wall usually ample
for the most extensive wardrobe wero
hung with clothing another half ot which
lay about on chairs and trunks A dozen
helmets several swords and a make up
bos were on the shelf Having removed
his street attire to the skin Mr Zara
turned to the paints besmearing himself
in the ordinary way Then he held up for
Inspection the khaki blouse and trousers
of a Roosevelt Rough Rider While put
tin them on he remarked- You may seo
readily why these togs are especially thin
and why they are donned without under
wear In the first place when a fellow
is carrying over a dozen snlts he is prona
to be warm and uncomfortable espe
cially It the weather happens to be hot
In th second only the strictest economy
as to space prevents my looking bulky
when I enter Initially For months after
the act was trlcJ I resembled a hunch
back until my sixth or seventh change
but through many added perfections that
has been remedied I wear ooly twelve
pairs of pantaloons for my sixteen repre
sentations the uniforms being so ar
ranged that one pair often will set off two
coats
Another costume was taken from Its
place This Is the garb of the Fifth R yal
Irish Lancers observed Mr Zjta Taat
regiment recently won fame for Itself -a
South Africa The triusers you nolle
are In two pieces The edge ot each pleto
is bordered with loops through which B run
a cord Tho bottom of the conl catches a
similar contrivance on the boot rnus
when I pull my end the whole affair Is
ready to fatl and reveal the attire undtr
neath 1 am the only man In this line o
work who takes off his boots during h3
turn and 1 repeat the operation thrt e
Over the Itlsh dress goe3 the appa el
of a Cuban volunteer The coat is bona
fide having beea worn at the tattle of San
Juan Hill by Corporal Emory ot the Sec
ond Massachusetts The white pants do
for tho lowr half oi the Gresk costume
when the retioval if the Filipino c at
aloe It lets town cis typical skirt Time
Filipino coat by the by doesnt seem to be
much more than a rg dees Itt Bcarso
of the tendency to nunch backeilness ot
which I spoSe thjMleoves and behind have
been cut out anJftapso ot the garb beneath
complete the ejectcr the appearance ot
an officer of th SpanUh Royal Guar ow
evcr I don an entire suit shoe I
The thing Is so well arranged thai j -
pull a a cord prepares It to rsrop
lift rry arny The
Germacmfiitry of the LlaW U Of i
lion weigh anil fits Wt
Spanish clothing On top U tfi u u
of an lrillan major tin toiw vt JtV
grenadier and tuat W
ster whlch by the t V
of cuffs and a collar to iu
from a Russian cavarr
The sleeves of the cost
the trousers of the otlitrs tu
nas to be kept greased tta
the elcow may not interfere
The assistant tucked Mr Zv
baggy pair of red Knickerbocker
that gentleman Explained served u
French and Turkish garbs Two bib
were worn to match Under one of tfiv
was tucked a skirt When I remove thai
coat first iu dressing and last in undress
ingthe skirt converts me Into an Alge
rian said the performer The rest ot
the change U accomplished by the reten
tion of a cape donned as a part of the
uniform of the Illinois State Guard Tho
attire la question completed Mr Zaras
outfit and looking a bit awkwai d he Joined
his wife In showing the visitor how care
fully the headgear and swords were placed
on shelves concealed behind the tents be
side which both So extensively
dressed neither coId sit and Tho Times
man stood near wLUe Mr Zara told ot the
difficulty of speaitrg lines and remember
ing a score of different cords at the sauia

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