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PART IV SIX PAGES SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER. 11, 1021 PART IV SIX PAGES The Theaters By Percy Hammond ?ywLMOST the only things that perplex the onlooker at Mr. Walter'? \ZJ "The Easiest Way" are the odd ethics of the two men who are in ?* conflict for the life and person of the hapless heroine, Mr. Kilgour's satanic broker, for instance, does not deny that his business manners border on the unholy.; that he is a ruthless fellow of no fastidious financial ideals, and that he believes in getting the money, no matter how noxious the method. In his relations with women he Is a cold and selfish satyr. He has his generous moments, of course, as the most successful of us have; but he is a bandit, born and bred, and his depredations, whether pecuniary or of the flesh, suggest no delicate nuances of honor. I trust I do not wrong this broker in the foregoing inventory of his demerits. #fe e]p ?^ ?2* Yet, when a young Colorado journalist deprives him of Laura Mur tiock, his comely paramour, planning to make her, eventually, a good woman by marriage, the broker produces a surprising code of conduct. Tiiough the youthful press-man hates him and has threatened him with ?rearms, he does not seem to care. Instead of being embittered at his loss, he promises the successful adversary that in the probable event of .Iis3 Murdoch's return to the sheltering shames of concubinage, he will _pprise him of her lapse. And after he has made the easiest way the only way for her to go, he forces her to write to her betrothed and tell liim that she has again become a thrall of pleasure and the crimson comforts. Later, when the tardy mountaineer arrives in New York to take Miss Murdock back to the mines, the stocks-and-bonds man insists that his compact must be kept. He will not, he shouts, be made a liar to his fellow man. The future happiness of Miss Murdock, of her honest fiance, cf him himself, are as nothing to his wild passion for telling the truth. Aware, as you are, of his spidery propensities, you wonder why he thus demands for himself and the others the penalties of honesty. It is not that he desires to humiliate his opponent, for he likes the boy ?and wishes him well. Since the creed of his behavior is a flexible one, he would naturally forget his promise and discommode nobody. His actions, per? haps, are suggested by the eccentric nodalus which exists, they say, in all of us, a sort of trouble-complex. That explanation, however, does not excuse the deportment of Miss Murdock's forthright argonaut from the Rockies. So fine a youth as he is said to be by Mr. Walter would never, you think, intrust his imperiled lady-love to New York City while he searched for his fortune. Still less would he be so cruel at the news of her surrender to circumstance. All of which is futile speculation. Mr. Belasco's admirable revival of "The Easiest Way" shows that even after twelve years our sins and our manner of performing them are not much changed. Those of us who are unworthy brokers are Btill misbehaving much as we did in 1909, and our victims, the pretty ladies, pay and pay, as they paid in those ancient days. Miss Starr, impersonating the unfortunate Murdock girl, is a truer actress than Bhe was twelve years ago, I think; and she is so appealing these nights at the Lyceum that I hope she does as well at the Montmartre, where she goes now, as she did at Rector's, where she went then. Miss Laura Walker is still the handsome, vigorous and candid mercenary that she used to be, and Mr. Kilgour is again complete as the honest flesh-brigand. ? ? * m j ?-CWORDS," which at its first performance seemed to lack the dramatic viscera essential to long existence in the theater, has been provided, it is said, with some new innards, and is now more sturdy .and competent. The newspaper advertisements tell of increasing curtain calls at the end of the acts, and say that audiences remain after the play is over, ap? plauding and reluctant to go to their homes. This is glad tidings, for "Swords" was, even at its irresolute beginning, so fine a thing that we all felt sorry because of the suspected absence from it of a steady de? termination, an impetus and a sweep. It appeared then to be a gloomy though melodious ritual, following a somewhat sanctimonious pattern of poetio drama, too proud to employ the persuaaive punch of commerce. Now that,it has been slightly amended, S3 it is said, nearer to our heart's desire it should be a pleasing'thing to see and to hear. The cloistral Miss Clare Eames is to be observed in '.Swords" as a distressed hostage in a lustful and ferocious Italian court. She sounds the melancholy bells of imperiled female probity distinctly, though from a remote distance, and If when her musio reaches you it is but a tinkle, it is also clear, precise and accurate. Concerning the verse of Mr. Sidney Howard, the young Harvard Man who wTote 'Swords,' it ia surmised by one who knows but ' little of such things that it has imagination, cadence and harmony. ? In the utterance of Mr, Howard's scenic song I liked Mr. Jot? Ruben ?est. Mr. Ruben sometimes is one of those "finished" actors who carve their r?les minutely and who polish them until they glisten under a thoughtful and scrupulous surface. To Mr. Ruben, as the passionate, masterful jongleur and major domo of the castle, fall many of? Mr. Howard's most luscious remarks. Since Mr. Ruben has a Latin grace, a sense of rhythm, an appealing voice and, what is of less importance k the poetic drama, intelligence and an education, he is well disposed in the attitudes and elocutions of his picturesque r?le. From a bit of his ??veman Iovemaking to the beauteous Fiamma you may decide for your ??tf whether or not "Swords" is poetry or rhetoric: Magnificent . . . Yet, for all and always, I, Madonna Fiamma, I have broken you . . . In all the world I am your single peer, Chosen of fate to teach you disicipline . . . I have- decided, Fiamma, presently We shall go out together, to some hill, where distant lutes are clear and night birds sing Carols like flakes of starlight drifting down. I know this, Fiamma, nor will you gainsay My willyn any wise. This love of mine. Bora in betrayal of my master'? troi^ News and Gossip of the Stage A* Provincetown Players to Keep Laboratory in Old Macdougal Street Stand jpgf LTHOUGH the Provincetown Play ^J era have taken over th? Princess <^K^ Theater for the coming year and announce a ?econd seuon of Prov? incetown plays, they will keep their playhouse on Macdougal Street as it haa always been, an "experimental stage," and the playwright*" theater, where American playwrights may see their playa in action and superintend their own productions without Inter? ference and with all the resources of the Players" Theater turned over to the man (or woman) of the hour. At the beginning of their eighth season they are more than ever pledged to the experimental stage as their best offering to the dramatist. But with the Princes? for a supplementary thea? ter they can now offer more. Bound as they are to their subscribers foi the production of a certain number oi plays each season, they have often had to withdraw a play to make room foi the next bill. This year they will pre sent at the Princesa past successe: and new ones, aa their playhouse or Macdougal Street finds and release: them ta the course of the season. Th? opening bill for the Princess will bt ?The Spring," by George Cram Cook which had a successful run last winte: at the Macdougal Street Theater. Leon Errol, the comedian star o "Sally," is the latest acquisition to th inner circle of the "Square Club," a: organization composed exclusively o J?eto Cljeatttcal #fttrtngs | ! MONDAY?At the Selwyn Theater the Sclwyns will present Mrs. Leslie I i Carter and John Drew in "The Circle," by Somerset Maugham. The j ?supporting cast: Estelle Winwood, Ernest Lawford, John Halliday | and Robert Rendel. ? At the Greenwich Village Theater Edwin Milton Royle will pre- [ seist "Launcelot and Elaine." The cast: Pedro de Cordoba, Selena J I and Jos?phine Royle, Elsie Esmond, Margaret Fareleigh, Martha j Messtnger, Franceses di Stinti, Leo Leonard, Gerald Rogers, Lugarda Harllng, Charles Harbary, J. Arthur Young, Walter Lawrence, Ber- ! 1 tram Mar burgh and H. B. Dee. j At the Bramhall Playhouse the Actors' Repertory Theater will j offer "True to Form," a comedy by Augustin MacHugh. The cast: Edwin Nlcander, Sue MacMananny, Eugenie Blair, Verna Wilkins, I John Warner, George Graham and Desmond Gallagher. TUESDAY?At the Cort Theater Sam H. Harris will present "Only 38," I a comedy by A. E. Thomas. The cast: Mary Ryan, Harry C Browne, ? Percy Pollock, Kate Mayhew? Helen Van Hoose, Neil Martin, Ruth ? Nero, Margaret Shackelford and Leo Cunningham. 1 WEDNESDAY?At the Astor Theater the Shuberts will produce a spec- ! taculax drama entitled "The Blue Lagoon." The cast: Harold ? French, Frances Carson, Cecil Yapp, Andrew Lawlor, Loma Volare, I Edmund Garney, Harry Plimmer, David Glassford, Selma Hall, Henry I MorrelL Carlton A. Rivers, Galenby Bell and Edward Robson. , THURSDAY?At Henry Mlller'a Theater Charles Dillingham will present i "The Whiteheaded Boy," by Lennox Robinson. The cast: Marie O'Neill, Arthur Sinclair, Sydney Morgan, John O'Rourke, Harry ! Hutchinson, Arthur Shields, Maureen Delaney, Norah Desmond, j Eugenie McKernan, Marie Slade, Gertrude Murphy and Christine* | Hayden. . members of the theatrical profession having Masonic affiliations. Mr. Errol is a Mystic Shriner of Mecca Temple and a- thirty-second degree Mason, who first found himself astride the traditional "goat" in his native Aus? tralia many years ago. Mr. Errol is also to be the guest of honor at the Envenomed by remorse, In its incredible ascendancy, Is utterly invincible. Said I not so? Oh, now, your flesh Is flame, your blood is molten gold, your bones Are nothing . . . [He has snatched the sward and holds it hilt toward her, the point against his heart.] But one blow . . . one blow Upon the hilt. Strike! Strike . . . . . . Ah . . . Now have you learned. . . There is Nothing, Madonna, so invincible As evil . . . . . . Ah . . . The most fun I had last week in six days of breathless playgoing was ? at the theater of Miss Maxine Elliott, where Mr. Faversham renewed his youth in Cosmo Hamilton's "The Silver Fox." The wiseacres tell me that this comedy is too smart to be permanent; that it is one of those brilliant ephemera which last but a day and are a little fly. Its glib elegances of speech and characterization are, they say, a trifle above and beyond the routine taste. In the event of its failure to please this busy neighborhood I hope that Mr. Shubert will not grow weary of good deeds. "The Silver Fox" is, at any rate, sufficiently urbane and sophisticated to be entertainment for those who exist beside the open roads, and if it does not do well here it will do well there. I'll risk a brown derby that "The Silver Fox" will fascinate the drama's patrons in Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul, to say nothing of those in Pittsburgh, Columbus, Cincinnati, : St. Louis and points West 1 * v .-. ? ? j annual celebration of the "Gavel Club," ? j to be held shortly. Manuel Penella, the Spanish composer of "El Gato Montes" ("The Wild Cat"), is duetto arrive this week from Bar- i celona, bringing with him all the cos- ! turnes and scenery for his New York ; production of the piece, which he ex- | pects to present some time in October, i "El Gaton Montes will be sung in Eng- ' lish with an American cast, and it will be the first time that a purely Spanish \ opera has been given in this country. The Brooklyn Institute Players will ? give for their first play of the season "The Foundations," by Galsworthy, j which will be presented in the Academy ! ot Music October 8, 7 and 8. This will j be the first production of the play in j this country. . A series of four Jrish plays is the ! feature at the Fourteenth Street The? ater this month, with Andrew Mack, the Irish actor and singer, heading the casts. Each play runs a week, "Jack Shannon" being the current attraction offered, Helen Lackaye and Charles Ham? mond, who have become associated ' with The People's Players, Inc., will have prominent r?les in "As Ye Mould," a modern American drama by Charles Mackey, which will be the first of six plays to be presented in the Fifteenth'; r I David Warfield Returns * in Belasco Offering of 'Peter Grimm' Sept. 21 I Street Theater this season under the ! direction of Geoffrey Stein. "As Ye Mould" will open October 19. The Original Rialto Orchestra of fifty soloists has taken over the Manhattan Opera House, where programs that will delight all nfusic lovers will be given twice daily. In addition to the music program a Thomas H. Ince photoplay will be shown. This Is the first time such an organization has used the co? operative plan in providing entertain? ment of this nature. To-morrow night will mark the *400th consecutive performance of "The First Vear," with Frank Craven, at the Lit? tle Theater. The new Merry Widow hat, as de? vised by Peggy Hoyt for Mme. Llpkow ska, is at once more gorgeous, less extreme and harder to copy than the headgear popularized fourteen years ago by Ethel Jackson in this eame operetta. And it isn't until the third act, in the famous Maxim's scene, that one has a chance to see Miss Hoyt's creation of pink silver cloth, softly draped with the new round crown and decorated by a halo of pink esprit, a feathery trimming which suggests the prohibited cross egret. The reappearance of David Warfield in "The Return of Peter Grimm" is scheduled for September 21 at the Belasco Theater, where he will appear for a limited engagement of ten weeks. In this play of three acts Mr. Belasco has dramatized the borderland between the seen and the unseen. The cast in support of Mr. Warfield numbers John Sainpolis, George Wellington, Joseph Brennan, William Boag, John F. Web? ber, Richard Dupont, David Malcom, Marie Bates, Miriam Doyle and Marie Reichardt. Harold French, the young English actcr who has come here to play his original r?le of the castaway in the Shubert production of "The Blue La? goon," had the unique experience dur? ing the World War of falling 5,000 feet in an airplane over London and living to tell the tale. -In combating a Ger n'an air raid above the city French's machine was struck by a bullet and i put out of commission. He fell 5,000 i feet before he. was able to control it sufficiently to right it, so that he landed in a horizontal position in the tree | into which he crashed. Cave for one ; rib he suffered no broken bones, but ; the rapidity of the fall moved his i heart an inchVout of place. New Plays Six Openings Scheduled This Week; Selwyns Present Mrs. Carter and John Drew in "The Circle" HE event of the week in the theater will be the return to the Nenr York stage, after fifteen years, of Mrs. Leslie Carter, assisted by John Drew, in "The Circle," Somerset Maugham's satirical play, under the Selwyn management. Perhaps the apparition of the visiting star will be the errent of the year. The heat of excitement may wax and wane about Colonel Savage's new production of "The Merry Widow" ; the Belasco revivals of "The Easiest Way," with Frances Starr, and "The Return of Peter Grimm," with David Warfleld; Otia Skinner in "Blood and Sand," and the mys? terious new play which Arthur Hopkins holds in escrow for John Barry more, now straying on some distant shore. But the glamour of the sea non, according to available data, shall linger about the figure that is asso? ciated with "Du Barry,'-' "Adrea" and "Zaza" and the triumphs that were warm when these old plays were new. Six new productions are offered this week?"The Circle," at the Selwyn Theater; "Launcelot and Elaine," at the Greenwich Village; "Trae to Form," at the Bramhall Playhouse; "Only 38," at the Cort; "The Blue Lagooon," at the Astor, and "The White Headed Boy," at Henry Miller's Theater. For the next week are promised on Septemper 19 Ina Claire, in "Blue? beard's Eighth Wife," at the Ritz; on September 20, Otis Skinner, in ! "Blood and Sand," at the Empire and John Meehan's production, "The Man in the Making," at the Hudson ; on September 21, David Warfleld, in "The Return of Peter Grimm," at the Belasco, and the Provincetown ? Players' production of "Spring," at the Princess. % Three Openings for * To-morrow Night At the Selwyn Theater to-morrow evening- the Selwyns will present Som? erset Maugham's "The Circle," with an all-star cast headed by Mrs. Leslie Car? ter and John Drew. In this satirical comedy Mr. Maugham introduces two cases of the eternal triangle and proves cnce more the old-established fact that no young couple will ever profit by the experience of older ones. As Lady Kitty and Lord Porteus, the pair of elderly lovers who furnish the example which is not heeded, Mrs. Carter and Mr. Drew have most delightfully human characters for the employment of the skill and artistic finish for which each of these favorites is so well known. "Launcelot and Elaine," Edwin Mil? ton Royle's romantic drama of the time of King Arthur and the Round Table, will be offered for the first time to-morrow night at the Green? wich Village Theater. The play is in four acts and a prologue, with the scenes laid in the courtyard of the castle of Astolat and the garden of Queen Guinevere. Mr. Royle has taken for his central theme the struggle in! the soul of Launcelot between his i human love for the Queen and his j spiritual love for Elaine. Through the courtesy of Lee Shubert, Edward Elaner has staged the piece. The pro? duction and costumes are by Living? ston Platt, with incidental music by W. Franke Harling. Actors' Repertory Theater Begins Its Season The first offering of the season of the Actors* Repertory Theater, of which Barry Maccolum is director, will bave its premi?re at the Bramhall Playhouse to-morrow night. The play is "True to Form," a comedy of modern American life* by Augustine McHugh, who has a record of Broadway suc? cesses in "The Meanest Man in the World" and "Officer 666." The produc? tion has been made under the personal i direction of the author. On Tuesday evening Sam Harris will present at the Cort Theater "Only 38," ; by A. E Thomas. T^e play_,has been staged by Sam Forrest. "The Blue Lagoon," a dramatization cf Stacpoole's novel, will be produced j by the Shuberts at the Astor Theater on Wednesday evening, under the di? rection of Captain Basil Dean, who made the London production of the piece last year. The adaptation of the story of the two children and the : Irish sailor who are stranded on an un? inhabited island in the South Seas has been done by Norman MacOwen and Charlton Mann. Captain Dean has made the most of the thrilling epi? sodes of the book, such as the Are ai sea and the tornado, as well as of the ' spectacular beauty of the locale. In? cidental music has been composed by Clive Carey, and a special orchestra will be conducted by Max Steiner. Charles Dillingham will present "Th<? White-Headed Boy," Lennox Robin? son's comedy of Irish rural life, for the first time in America en Thursday night at Henry Miller's Theater, with the original cast of Irish players who first appeared in the piece at the Abbey Theater, Dublin, in 1916. They have just finished an uninterrupted Britiah engagement of more than five years, and their appearance here on Thursday night will be the first one the organi? zation has made outside Great Britain. Basil Dean to Stage ? "The Bine Lagoon" Basil Dean, the English producing manager, who has come to New York to stage "The Blue Lagoon," has estab? lished himself in London as a most sue ce8sful producer. Under the name ef Reandean, a combination of his own name and that of his financia1, backer. Mr. Rea, he has presented three plays I ?Galsworthy's "The Skin Game," at St. I Martin's Theater; "The Blue Lagoon" ; at the Prince of Wales, and "A Bill of | Divorcement" (now running at St. Mar ! tin's), which have proved artistic suc : censes as well as box office hite. : Previous to this Mr. Dean had ?stab i lished a r?pertoire company in Liver? pool, producing Shakespearian plays ? and such Continental dramas as "Han i nele." The Reandean company has now j obtained control of St. Martin's Thea I ter and of the Aldwych, in London, ' where it is purposed to present a bio? graphical play based upon the life of Shakespeare, Last season Mr. Dean staged the American production of "The Skin Game" at the Bijou Theater. Sunday Concerts Resumed Sunday concerts will be resumed at j the Columbia Theater to-day. As in ! past seasons they will be presented ; bj Fieber & Shea. There will be a ! reduction of 30 per cent in the pri?e j cf seats for the Sunday night show?. the scale running from 75 cents to$lJ?.