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Hiss Elsie Ferguson— An Appreciation of the
Art of This New Comedienne.
araaa •n» ■« r>'a> e r * s discovered the discerning
rejoice Too iwldom cone these discoveries. Many
player* are called to th« front by managers, but few
ere chosen by the discriminating, who, by the way,
tarsi * larger part of the public than managers
teem to «upi>ose. Miss Els-ie Ferguson has not
fcr«i elevated to her consj>.cu.>us position by the
forer.ght of management or The blare of publicity
eyer.Ts. Her success is her own achievement. The
yro!>ab!"-y is that she surprised the management.
At ar.y rate. sh«« had not twen prominently billed,
tr.il her M3i« had not been blazoned by th.- electric
l&Tsps of CJ street until she had i«aved the play in
mhi:h some- happy chance had cast her. The public
leeofrß-'** '■ her worth before the management did
,0. Tha carry result l s that the American Ftace
t«j a new comedienne of the first order of ability.
Tfcls Is a good cieal to say of a your.g player who
h«* t*ea prominently before the public only little
rsere than a month But it does not overstate the
fact. Only a thorough artist could play the Little
tn *A Fool There Was," Grand Opera House.
Queen as Hiss Ferg-uson does. Miss Ferguson has
insight. She understands character and ' ■;.• por
tray it. Siie has mastered so much of the technique
at i.er art that there is nothing raw or crude m her
portrayal. In her performance at the Hackett The
atre there is no false note, no uncertain touch.
Mi« Ferru^on haa the rare gift of true pathos.
combined with the daintiest grace of comedy. Be
tweea these extremes lies all the range of women's
.art ia eome<f. And all this Miss Ferguson can
<-over with a touch that Is almost magical. What
< v< t she does fpoths to be done without effort. And
!et v cao be onlj' the result of arduous labor. It is
ihe effect that training gives to talent of a high
< rder. Her art conceals the artlsee by "which the
audience is moved to laughter, sympathy and ad
rr.-.rniior.. The naturalness of her Impersonation is
Where in thesp days did Miss Ferguson pet this
•training? Her Ftace life has r.ot been Ion?, but It
mon have been lived ■with open eyes and ears.
This actress has Imagination, or she could not
Eire, as she does, entire probability to an impossi
ble part. She has observation, or never could she
bay« so . Rtjr caught ti^e myriad details which
r.^ake up the foreign note of her Impersonation; she
has an atient ear. or 6he could not with such faith
fulness to nature produce, as she does perfectly
produce, every accent, inflection, emphasis, of the
character e.h« depicts. In her the young Queen m
Herzegovina actually lives, and to Miss Ferguson's
NaajajakaUs talent is due the fact that the royal
personage actually lives In Harlem. In other words,
r.o cne who has Been Miss Ferguson in "Such a
Little Queen" thinks of her acting, but of her natu
ralufcEs. Thus fiLe passes the hardest test.
Mr. r».«T»r«n g pollock Is to be congratulated. He
VjEoti,-s a good play when n© sees others than his
own. lie Is a vary capable criUc of acting. He is
eAng to be, no doubt, a very able playwright. But
jjlaywrlghts are- sadly hampered by persons having
eirthorlty In theatres. One almost euspects that Mr.
Poliock d:d not have Quite a free band after he had
vrttttn "Such a Little Queen." There are passages
end persons In it so thoroughly drenched with the
conventions of the stage sacred to the box office that
it Is ClSic.ili to reconcile them with the really good
things which accompany them and which are truer
to nature. Mr. Follock is to be- congratulated be
cause of Miss Ft- rguson'a association with his play.
It is something to ha\-« provided such a part for
such as artist. And it must be a satisfaction when
«iici: aa artist as Miss Ferguson carries to success
an undertaking on which a playwright's hopes were
Almost by habit every one calls "Such a Uttle
Qttees*; an Improba&le play. Of course it .a im-
SrobiiLie, bat it is no more so than the Z«*ndaesque
ai4 Graustarkish productions which have pleaded
Btaltltodea these dozen j'eirs or more. An exiled
sovereign might inhabit a Harlem flat, if a young
*£2-r. from Chicago might marry a Balkan qu«ren.
■Ar.:.;. Victoria of Herzegovina might have brought
her crown in a. bonnet box through the New Yorlc
customs, but ehe would not have escaped the ens
tom* duties nor the publicity. A kins in exile might
fed «-rr:;ioymer.t in the N«-w York office of a pork
ticker, i>ut v is not in the least Jikeiy that he would
C<j SO Exiled sovereign!! landing impoverished In
New Viirk would net V.-c many minuu-s in finding
Turr.ing Ztnda or Graustark upside down and ln
•i<J<_- out. and shakir.~ the contents into a Harlem
11 and a downtown office is j>erhaps xis good a
•*jr %m another v make a "fairy" play. But while
trying to make v real queen and a real king it
should nave been just as easy to have made a real
business man ir.M<a.«l ol the caricature which Mr.
tafipek has draur, in A<ioli>h L^iuiiian. The, stag*
tas a great deal Vi learr, about great business men
* r '<3 dElnent politicians. Even ko late as the latter
P*rt of the etgbtaentb century Ehylock was tup-
X*»et-<3 to h* v. comio character, and bis imperwjn
•tore wore red wigs. It may ! jk*> another century
before playwrights and actors realize that their
conventional "captains of Industry*' and finance
art a.viut as likft tin- reaJ thhig its the comic red
wi€**-dwi€**-d Shylock wais like "the Jew that Shake* p« are
6r«w.~ There 1s a chance for tome playwright, as
**t unknown, to l<-aji away from the Htupld con
tentions of the Ftacre ana reveal to the public types
cr Am«-ri'-an m<n, with which the .-!.»,■•- is still
Bet t.» Mls« Ferguson afealn: tins young woman
** t««- me«i refreshing personality on the New York
*Utge to-day It raiiy be tsaid of her some day that
■at i.a* gtjiius; it is Huflicient !y say now that bhe
taleiit of <* r'markably blffh order, so rare in
<U*li!y, variety and power thiii lier like on the
Bp&tenporary stage Ss> not readily recalled, even if
like pxicts there. ish«- is fair, graceful in form
ati <J Btovement; Iwr face 1* charming aiid expres*
*>\(, bc r vtiUf musical, uwi capable <jt tl.e strong
** 1 ** meU as the most avheate expression; she has
m " \ - ;- ■**** ■ ■ 1
the gifts which some day will enable her to play
Portia or Beatrice, and she has somehow acquired
the training that will direct these gifts to th. most
accomplished ends. There is no point to. which she
may not go in the highest paths of comedy. . The
spirit of intelligence, the gift of sympathy, the air
of distinction, refinement, ease and charm are
hers, and all h»»r qualifies are under command.
She has studied her art, or she could not do what
she does, no matter what h<*r natural qualities and
powers may be. But she has not been overtrained;
there is a freshness, a spontaneity in her, which,
if she have good sense, time will not spoil. Care
fulness in details Is essential, but let her guard
against elaborating detail too much. Something
less of the exquisite broken English of the Little
Queen would be better than something more, for It
would be more easily understood by the more dis
tant auditors. It is Just a shade too difficult to fol
low at boom moments, particularly in the first act.
But how far from stagine.«s the is, from everything
suggested by' the epithet "theatrical"! May she be
always so* Let her course be to forget praise, give
herself to hard work, cultivate variety, never be
overzealous to play the same part In precisely the
fame way every ought, and she will have as much
distinction as is good for any woman to bear.
If Il^dwlg Reicher. now that she speaks English,
could be Keen In a real play, she would have all
New York. nay. all the pJaygolng public of Amer-
Isa, at her feet. But the mistaken judgment which
so often flings obstacles in the paths of artists. in
stead of 6traigl*tening and smoothing the way, has
made the course cruelly difficult for this extraor
dinary actress. Extraordinary she Is, indeed, but
she has been competed, or has compelled herself,
to appear In an amateurish melodrama packed
with revolutionary preachments, and Inculcating
the sanctity of the bomb. It Is pitiful that Hedwig
Reich.- should be thrown away upon such stuff —
an old-fashioned melodrama of Russian revolution
ary life, four arts of turgid heroics that went out
of style many years ago. ' When this play is not
tiresome it is ridiculous. There are a few passages
in which the actors lift it out of deadly du'ness and
mock heroics and give it momenta of real Interest
Ht-dw'. . Reicher, however. Is interesting In every
moment. Somebody baa called her "the Mary An
derson of the German stage." Probably the person
who di.i so had never seen Mary Anderson, who
had no fire, no passion, no electrical moments.
5-iedwig Reicher is almost great. Perhaps in a
well constructed l-lay, freed from the wearying find
ancient artificialities of "On the Eve," she might
prove herself really a great actress. As it is she
comes nearer to greatness thin any other English
speaking actress to-day. Her play, though, is of
the stnpre stagey to the last degree, and when to
this distressing Quality Is added the playwright's
effort to glorify bomb-throwing no prophet Is re
quired to foretell the doom of the melancholy
melodrama which has come to town. The fact
that the plot Is founded on "a real incident "in
Russian life," or upon any number of "real inci
dents" does not In any way alter the case. Even
a producing manager might know, if the German
actress did not. Lhat a country In which three
Presidents were assassinated in less than forty
•years cannot have Its sympathies touched by. any
theatrical attempt to throw a halo around political
assassination, even when the victim is a scoundrelly
chief of Russian police. Theatrical Judgment ought,
at least, to know that a lady, however beautiful
and accomplished, lea the sympathy of long
suffering American audiences when. Immediately
after a murder, at which she has however grace
fully and tenderly "assisted," she poses with the
cry "Onward, onward!" to the slow fall of the
final curtain. Of Hedwig Reicher's art and
strange, even wondrous, personality, too little has
been paid. The public has yet to know her. She
Is likely to become one of the most eminent dra
matic artists in this part of the world. Hhe has
yet much to do In order to vanquish the difficulties
of a foreign tongue. Her speech Is still too foreign
by half. But she can conquer that defect. And the
sooner she appears in a play worthy her excep
tianal gifts and powers the better for herself and
for the r>ublic. She is exceptional in beauty, and
In perception, In voice, in stature, and in graceful
ness; exceptional by nature and by training. Her
eyes, her f-ice. ceem capable of expressing every
tnought. and every shade of feeling. There Is not
a youner star or. to-day's stage who would not learn
something about expression by watching her, and
listening to the infinite modulations of her voice.
Forbes-Robertson is an actor of the first rank
among moderns. Although the play in which he
now is seen has no such quality, It should be seen
on his account. Forbes-Robertson is an artist
through and through. His life has been lived in
the world of art. He spent his youth in its at-
At the Colonial.
moephere. His father was a writer, and a dis
tinguished one, on art. Forbes-Robertson was a
painter before he became an actor, and still it is his
pleasure to work in his etudlo in London. Among
the many canvases of the Oarrick Club his por
trait of Samuel I'helps as Richelieu has ■ place
Of honor. Under Pbelpa he received his early
dramatic training. With the Bancrofts, he played
at the old Frince of Walew's Theatre in the late
70s. With Henry Irving he was long associated.
His experience has covered almost every sort of
part in almost every kind of i.lay. from Shake
speare to Jerome K. Jerome. He speaks better
than any other actor in this country or hia own;
he Is of imagination all compact; he has the tem
perament of the poet, the vision of the puinter. the
actor's mastery In portrayal. He has dignity al
lied with firm simplicity of character; he has
courtliness, yet much reserve, and when his artis
tic sympathies are touched he reveals a ran
charm of mind and nature. If he lack* anything
as an actor it is tire— the rapacity for depleting
treat sweeps of passion-the jwwer to thrill. Hut
no one In the.se days can equal him when lofti
ness of purpcsc has to be depicted by the j>la>er,
whMi lh« mind, rattier than the emotions, ha.s to
be laid bare; when the *.»ul that aspires is to be
shown in pain or exaltation. The self-controlled,
DOt the bitTbarian man; tne myUio, not ■...- mill
tant tiAiit. are the «::bjrcu> at bis portraiture,
lifti-e he is un.x<-.ll«i. He addresses the pu»Ue
that think.-, rather than thfl ur.t that merely ft-Hs.
Ml that i." refining npeak» to him and through
him. Up ha.s tmer degraded his urt; never trailed
his standard in the dust. Us has won distincii.in
by steadfastness i" Ideals. Th.^ warmth of the
ereemiß which accompanied hia return to tne
American stage proved that this public lc«*»-jiH a
place in Its heart for a man of such personal ana
artistic quality. KurS^-n-itolnTiMun <omes too .sel
dom to this country. Ur should dad tifre prosper
ity, extended honor, and troops of frlenda.
xf-w-yokk duly tribtm:. sr\n.\v. octoukr io. ion<>.
THE COMING- WEEK
Monday Night. Oct. 11.— Raymond Hitch
cock in "The Man Who Owns Broadway."
George Cohan's new musics! piay, at the
New York Theatre.
Tuesday Night, Oct. 12 — "THe Debtors," at
the Bijou Theatre. An adaptation of a Ger
man play taken from Dickens's "Little
COMEDY AND DRAMA.
ACa: .MTSIC-Wllton Laekaye in "Tlie
Battle," Cleveland Moffett'a auocessful drama.
ASTOR— William Hodge continues here In "Th-.-
Man from Home." This play Is well along
BELABCO— A funny piece from the German. It
Is named "Is Matrimony a Failure?" Well acted.
One of the season's su
BIJOU— "The Master Key" gives way to "The
Debtors," a German dramatization of Dickens's
"Little Dorrit . "■ The English adaptation was done
by Margaret Mayo. Digby 801 l and Kathleen Clif
ford take the leading parts. The first performance
will take place on Tuesday night.
COMEDY— "The Melting Pot." Zangwlll's play.
Walker Wbitealde and Chrystal Herat are in it.
Sorr.o persons think it a "great" play, and say so;
some others think It not even a good play, and
because they say so are denounced as odious
creatures little short of being: traitors to their coun
try. This may seem absurd. V.'ell, it is.
CRITERION— One of Somerset Maugham's plays.
'Tin Noble Spaniard " Robert Ede.son plays a
farcical part, and p'.ays i: very well. Miss Rose
Coghlan and mas Gertrude Coghlaa are in the com
pany. Owing to the sho:tness of the play, it will
hereafter be preceded by a one-act piece called
"The Outpost," a Philippine story by James A
DALY'S— What is called a diarnntization of
Marlon Crawford's last novel, "The While Sister,"
is played here by Miss Viola Allen, James O'Neill.
William Farnum, Fannie Addlson Pitt and Minna
Gale. They are worth seeing, but the play disap
points. The last two acts are written down to what
somebody seems to think is the level of popular in
telligence. It was a mistake to do this, and it mars
the high intention of Crawford's story. The acting
is worthy a better play.
EMPIRE— John Drew. "Incon
the name of the corned-. . It from
th<- Frcn.li, but she did r.
from the French. John Dr-w capital, Never better.
Mary Bokinri makes a hit. But the play is not one
for the Young Person, although I
is one of the principal playjjuers of tne time.
GAIETY— "The Fortune Hunter.!' Comedy by
Winchell Smith. Runs well Ji;hn Barry nion baa
the chief part.
OARRICK— "DeI Sparkes." Comedy by
Michael Morton. Hattle Williams is the principal
performer. This is the last week. "The Harvest
Moon," by Augustus Thomas, rises next weeK.
GERMAN— "Em Blitzmaedel" ("A Lightning
Girl"), by Carl Costa, will be played here on Mon
day, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings ami Satur
day afternoon. This play was successfully pre
sented last Tuesday evening. On Thursday, Friday
and Saturday Bights there will be performances
of Wolzogen's "Lumponsesindel" ("A Ragged
GRAND OPERA— Robert liilliard, in "A Fool
There Was," with the entire original cast.
HACKETT— Here la the discovery of the season.
Elsi« Ferguson. The comedy (a "Such a Little
Queen"; the author, Charming Pollock. Elsie Fer
guson makes the play. Decidedly she is worth
HUDSON-? Hedwig Reicher in "On the Eve." a
melodrama of the Russian revolution. In this
melancholy and artificial piece Mi?s Reicher make*
her nrt-t appearance as hi English-speaking ac
tress. She Is well worth peeing. She is beautiful.
graceful ar.d her acting is far and away the best
now seen in N<-w York Hedwig Belcher is an
artist, and very near the tlrst rank. V.:- ?oon
ghe may be In the first rank IC-.«lie will avoid both
German and New York accents and Intonations.
No actress «lnre Adelaide Nellao". has had a face
B o wonderfully exr.rrs.ive.
1.1 KIKTY ' 1 VVall
I. IN' < >!.N >SCJ! ARE -'.!
M lUe luWU
In "On the Eve," Hudson Theatre.
has to show. William Courtenay, Sidney Herbert
and Doris Keane hi "Ars'^ne Lupin." This Is one
of the plays that people see twice— or oftener.
MAJESTIC— "A Citizen's Home," by H. H. Boyd.
A domestic drama. Acted by a capable cast, Includ
ing the Misses Irma Lerner and Sara Biala and
Adolph Lestina, John Prescott and Ernest Perrln.
MAXINE ELLIOTT'S.— Forbes-Fobertson is here.
This is equivalent to sayfng that the house should
be filled at every performance, and for months to
come. Unfortunately the engagement is announced
for one month only. Perhaps Forbes-Robertson
will find another theatre in this city. Anyhow,
all persons who appreciate acting of the highest
■quality should see the eminent English actor.
They may not care greatly for the play, but they
will be deeply Impressed by the acting. American
audiences demand incident and plot. Thus, if they
may not exhibit the best taste in the world, they
at least show a national characteristic. Except
ing in politics, they do not like to be preached at.
And when playwrights preach at them through
two acts, and do not tell them a moving story
accompanied by abundant action, they are inclined
Lo be resentful. "The Passing of the Third Floor
Back" is a series of moral discourses. The teach
ing is not worked out through the lives and ac
tions of the characters, but the characters are af
fected, even in their tail--, ing, by the sermons of
The Passer-By. The teaching makes for kindness
and true living. This is admirable. But there is
nothing else, and, after all, it is a play that the
public goes to see. The preaching is quite as
good as the churches give. But the congregation
in this case is transferred to the stage, and is
there merely to be preached at. The playwright's
work here is sadly lacking in art. But the acting!
It is the besteading that New York has seen In
a long whil»«f and the touch of the master hand
of Forbes-Robertson is felt in every part of the
presentation. Hi own part is Hamlet turned not
player but revivalist-prince. Very striking, very
beautiful, one of the most delicate and remarkable
performances the stage has given in an era when
delicacy and spiritual strength and beauty com?
too seldom before the footlights.
METROPOLIS— WiIIiam Eaversham and his
original company in "The World and His Wife."
in a play worth while,
iielena Richie." This la the
: Margaret Delaad'a novel. An
atargaret Angttn, plays the chief
part. ' lotte Thompson wrote the drama.
■ AagUa'a performance
:i.v one whu ca.res for
BTUTVEBANT— "The Ea.<i«t W.w, ' starring
.y by Cugene Walter.
WAIXAI X : mirth Estate," a newspaper
: Joseph Medill Patterson and Harriet Ford.
It well ncted. Charles Wal
- . in, Howard nawssll.
rt M -Wade. Jr., GeoSwß W.
Middleton, i'auline Frederick and Alioe Fischer do
WEBER'S— Edward Locke's play. "The Climax."
WEST END— Miss Eleanor Robson, in "The
Dawn of a To-morrow," her last season's success.
l!iv Ada Dwyer, Fuller Mellish and other former
members of the cast will appear.
BROADWAY— "The Midnight Boas." Lew Fleld
lan. It-- long run quite likely to be as long again.
CASINO— "The < lirl and the Wizard." Sam Ber
: ; 1 Kitty Gordon. J- Hartley Manners wrote
k anil Julian E'lvvards the music. Both
Be for this kmd of entertainment. A Caslao
M.-Intyre and Heath continue here in
HERALD SQUARE— "The Rose of Algeria." mu
sic by Victor Herbert, book and songs by Glen
MacDonough. "Lew Fields presents." "The Rose"
has caught the fancy of the town.
KNICKBBBOCKEB — Th* Dollur Princess."
Valli Valll and Donald Brian. Adri-nne Aujjarde
Stamper, Lome Pounds and win West
lor its sucec
LYRIC— "The Chocolate Soldier." The most suc
cessful. b«.vause It is the best, of the comic operas
of the >. »i.- ■•!• Music melodious, Hinging admirable,
acting to match.
NEW AMSTERDAM— 'The Love Cure." In its
seventh week. Oue of the several "only successors"
to "Tlip Merry Widow." Very good for all that.
Olivt-r Herford did the word writing. EilmunJ fclys
kr the music writing, liesinniiig to-morrow even
ing. Mm.-. Lina Abarbanell will tuki- the part which
has beifi so well played by Miss Bowen. Miss
Bowen will have a prominent part in another of
Mr. Savage*" n«" w productions.
NEW YORK— Itaynvanid Hitchcock plays in "The
Man Who owns Broadway.*; opening to-morrow
ulehL THIS la George M. Cohan's latest musical
effort. It is a burlesque of th* author's former
unsuccessful drama. "Popularity." This ■ . me he
does not try to be sericua. Flora Zahelle «Mrs.
Hitchcock) takes the leading womar.s part. Other
players are Stanley Forde, Scott Welch. George
Lydecker. Lora Lftb. Frances Gordon. Mark Sulli
van and Mau.l Morris.
"Sue. Bo*. Sue." "I Like Your Old JFr-n^h
Bonnet." "Molly O'M'iHigan" sad "If I Were Mas
ter Cupid" are some of tiw songa that pretty Alice
Lloyd, the Engll.-h comedienne, will sin? at the
Alhambra this week. The Bc3ton Fadfttes. C.raeie
Emmett and company in "Mrs. Murphy's Second
Husband," and Avery and Hart. ne;ro comedi-ins.
are some of the others who will perform.
This is the bill at the American Music Hall: The
Empire City Four, Dave Genn.ro and Ray Bailey,
tn "The Flirtation Dane*""; Arthur Prince, ventrilo
quist; the Original Boganny Troupe of "Lunatic
Bakers." "Viollnsky." a Russian boy. who plays
the violin and piano *imultancously. and the Bruno
Kramer Trio, European gymnasts.
Yvett<» Gullbert. the famous French concert nail
singer, will be at the Colonial Theatre this w«ek.
It is a long time since this vivacious Paiislenne
has been here. The regular theatre will have a
real competition during lime. Gullbert'a slay.
Dr. Cook's reception at Copenhagen, and the
Italian cavalry manoeuvres, are new representation*
in wax at the Eden Musee. The Hudson-Fulton
groups are still being shown. '
Mabel Hlte and Mike Donlin will attract at
Hammersteln's \ . .are next week. They
will be seen !n "A Double Play." by Vincent
B»yan. Others who m:U entertain are Prir.c«33
Itajah in "The Cleopatra Dance"; Tom and
Fred McXaughton, English comedians; C
;n songs; A. O. Duncan, ventriloquist, and
George Lyons and Bob Yosco. in Italian char
acter s..ngs. Louise Dresser will be the attraction
at the Sunday concerts.
That New Yorkers and their visitors like a spec
tacular production on a large scale is proved year
alter year at the Hippodrome This season the en
tertainment is larger and more brilliant than ever.
"Inside the Earth," "A Trip to Japan" ani "The
afford all that one *fculd desire.
The st«ge settings are remarkable for their splen
dor; the dancing is unusually graceful; the singing
At Keith A Proctor's there is a good bill this
week. Here It Is: Cecil Lean and Florence Hol
brook, in "Just as They Are"; Edward Abeles and
company, in a version of George Broadhurst's
"Self-Defence"; Jan Kuder; ■* Power of
Music":' Jack Wilson and company in "An Up
. In Darktown." and Jama H. Cullen, In an
Harry Lauder is at the Plaza Music Hall this
"She's My Daisy" is row due for another
. H to mention ihe new songs that Harry is
ready to sing. Edith Helena, soprano; Rlvoli, "The
Man of a Hundred Rotes." and Morrow Shellberg,
in "Happy -i.re also on the ftlli.
Henri 3err.st«in's "Israel ' will be produced for
the first time In English at Atlantic City to-morrow
Ben Danrisa is singing at London's leading vari
ety theatre, the Palace.
David Warfield will play "King Lear"-two years
hence! At least "The London Express" says so.
Interesting news of the New Y. rk stage is often
picked up at a distance. A London paper says
that Str Charles Wyndham has acquired the Eng
lish rights to "The Happy Marriage," 'a comedy
recently successfully produced in New York":
Mr. Zangwill, appearing before the Parliamen
tary Committee on the Censorship of Stage Plays,
expressed the belief that religious dramas are nec
essary on the stage. "At present, in England.
Bible characters appear eotv in oratorio," he said,
"and so Elijah appears m evening dress, which ia
absurd. All great art tends to religion, and all re
ligio: should tend to great art. The Passing of
At the Plaza.
the Third Floor Back' may not have been the best
of all art. but I know from many sources that it
exercised a very pure, refining effect upon many
thousands who saw it: but. then, it ought not to
have been passed by the, censor, because obviously
the central figure of the Christian religion was in
tended. It was an enormous success. It is my ex
perience that when the Irreligious act for the re
ligious they are entirely wrong in their views of
what religious people would think."
Pinr-ro "Mid-Channel" is a failure. Liiiad—
would not endure It. The reek of this work's
motive ani treatment was too much even for a
public hardened to Plnero's later rtews of life,
bred and trousht up with them. Nothing of Pi
n«jro'« *ver fail.-d so quickly before, not even
"Iris." appropriately cast though it was. When
Plnero cannot succeed in malttne putrescence
profitable; whir his own public declines to patron
ize Ins latest ami "most ariinrlc" exhibition of a
world entir.lv v.ithout morals, and wtth hardly any
dancers worth mentioning, thero la Horn* faint
f«*bte>*bep« that tuia mn-t skilfu' of contemporary
EcgUsa draniatl.su may be persuaded to return to
his earlier and wholesome course. Moving pictures
of sewer* are l«ast entertaining when most faithful.
J. E. Gardner, who goes • 1 -»'•,•.:..•.•.•, will be suc
ceeded to-morrow night at the Lyric Theatre by
Tl'.omas D. Richards in th» part of BuxnerU la
"The Chocolate Soldier."
The Romance of a Parlormaid—*
London. October 2. '
Th^ smart set contfnu-s to be fair gam* ft**
dramatist and moralist, but the sport has be
come wearisome and monotonous. la "Smith.**
Mr. Maugham's new play at the Comedy The
atre. It i 3 satiriz-nl afrrsh. as has been done by
Sir Arthur Pinero In "Mid-Channel.- by Ms.
Sutro In "The Walls of Jericho" and by may
other playwrights. As the spectator has »
glimpse of life In a fashionable "at in Kensing
ton, he sees a middle a?rf»(? barrister preoccupied
with his profession and indifferent to what gneai
on in his home; ■ heartless wife amusing herself
with cosmetics, bridge and Inane companions; a
contemptible puppy, who plays golf with that
husband, accompanies the wife in her circuits c€
shopping, receptions and restaurants and llveai
upon the family; a neglectful mother. who hs
summoned from the card table by the atartHßa*
tidings that her child is dead; aa Intrtgulaa;
b Failure?" Belasco Theatre
In "Is Matrimony i
damsel, who plays fast and loose with the affect
tions of an oldtime admirer, ar.d a pretty, de—
mure parlormaid, who receives coldly the ad
vances of a window washing porter and watches
the frivolity of smart people around her without
being tempted to rise above her station. This 13
the little Vanity Fair which the barrister 1
brother-in-law, Thomas Freeman, a P.hodestaoi
farmer, finds in London vtea he returns after
an absence of eight years, during which he ha»
been sowing his wild oafs, "roughing it" in Jo
hannesburg and broadening out into a strenu
ous citizen of the empire. He condemns every
thing that is going on. turns the flat inside out,
is Jilted by the cynical flirt in a spasm of hon
esty and finally prevails upon the pretty house
maid. Smith, to marry him and to go back to
Rhodesia with him.
The sina of society which are brought out in
this pla^r are idleness, card- playing, pleasurable
excitement, coarse and vulgar talk, fiirtatlooa
between married woman and "tame robins," to
sincerity and artificiality. Women will not have)
children when they are married, and the reason
assigned is that child-bearing is a provincial
or suburban habit and that it interferes with,
the pleasures of fashionable life. The wire, who
has been so old-f£saioneil as to have a child.
neglects !t shamefully and plays bridga With
vivacity when it is sick unto death. That la»»
the one tragic note; all e!se is comedy of man
ners. The only novel effect of characterization.
Is produced in Algernon Peppercorn, the puppje
follower, impersonated with delightful insou
ciance by Mr. A. E. Matthews. He hi not the*
philandering rake so much aa the parasite^ who
connects himself with a fashionable family na
order to make a Irving. He is the most amoslss
figure on the stasje — a b!ood!es3 carpet knight*
without a shred of self-respect or decency- Tho>,
satire id directed otherwise against familiar
types of smart society; and it is bent back so»
as to have a double edge. The returning colo
nial keeps up a continuous fire upon the arti
ficial flirts and fools, who are idling, away thei»
time; and he la himself hit by the recoil of tho,
gun. Hardship and rough work may hays
broadened Mi experience and made * man of
him, but his manner* are coarse, his <>urtahJg«
rude and unfeeling and his searching?* after a
sensible, working -wife on a line with th« per
chase of a horse for his stables. He falls to Ma
own level when he rivals the window washes
and carries off the parlor maid.
The two leading parts are played with natu
ralness and charm. Otherwise the comedS!
would not have started off with the pre3ti£a of
a brilliant first night success. Mr. Robert Lo
raine as the Rhotlesian farmer doea hia work
with manly spirit, unaffected ease and unfailing
sureness of touch. It id a capital performance,
and so sincere and convincing that the coarse*
ness of the language loses much of its repeCeat
power. Miss Marie L<">hr. in cap and apron. 13
an idealized parlor maid, whose refinement offers
a striking contrast to the vulgarity of the shal
low, pleasure ing people served by her. Al*
though Smith is a farmer's daughter, she has
the conservative prejudices of the servant class)
and is not disposed tr» marry out of it until tha>
Rhodesia n has convinced her that he is matt
muscular than the window washer. So wlnsotsa
and charming is the dainty serving maid] that
the facility with which the backwoodsman tLa&s
consolation in her society after the overdressed
bridge player has dismissed him is quite intelli
gible. Miss Edyth Latimer enact 3 the capricious
flirt, and it is not so much her fault as It ii
the author- If her conversion to straightfor
ward conduct appears little less than miracu
lous. Miss Kate Cutler hi Ac childless matrcr..
who keeps her husband under rigorous iliWilnlß—
and amuses herself by substituting the cuUeleta
Algernon for a pood!e; ar.J she also gives an
admirable performance. With artists at brttl
lant talents to interpret the parts and with
sparkling vpigrams to Illuminate the text. It la
not rcrrjarkubie that iir. Maugham's play com-»
mands success from the outset. X. N. F.
Miss Olsa Ncthorsole will to-morrow begh> i M
eighth American tour, the Brat performance ta
which wlit he ;?i\*.n at lUiltimor*. Her a«aaon*wUl
last twcnty«et::ht weeks, ana she will vtsU ••«• t
•Utt in th« Vmoa excepting two.