Dramatic and Musical
Free Lance, Volume VII, Issue 363, 15 June 1907, Page 16
Dramatic and Musical
NOTHING jollier or more vigorously breezy has been put on the Opeaa House stage tor a long time than "Brigadier Gerard," and Mr. Julius Knight and his capital company get excellent scope m ms fine play. The part of Conan Doyle's thick-headed galiant and honourable blunderer, Gtewuci 1«« m Julius Knight, and it as a part that SomreTthe mU akalfui handing. Tto hot-headed captain of hussars who undertakes anything in a spirit ot taie most cheerful optimism, and who, when time and -the enemy press, yet 'has an liour or two to spare to adore the ground on which has lady-Have walks, is a Striking character, and Mr. Julius Knight develops it splendidly. There ie. even allowing tor breezy exaggeration and a suspicion ot Bwaishbuokling, nothing ridiculous about Gerard, and he remains a romantic and 1 admirable figure until the final scene, wherein Napoleon rewards the spkandid blunderer, who has restored valuable documents, by makang him a brigadier. The military element apart from the dashing figure of the brigadier f remarkably good. The officers of the Hussars of Oonflans give mosit picturesque glimpses of the intervals between fightmg and marching, and the quarrelsome Miajor Olivier of Mir. Barry Plimmer is greatly in keeping with the general action of the lively drama. The sword-play between the confident Gerard and the no less confident major is a cheerful imbaiilude espeoiaU'ly, and there is an alhsenoe ot ©ore. # . • Mr Leslie Victor, as thegpteat statrsman, Talleyrand, gives a clear-cut convincing picture of the old dipdomat, and an highily artistic representation of a trying part. Mr. Hubert Willis may be highly congratulated. Not "making up" to Hook Napolteon, he nevertheless makes a living thane of ■the Man of Destiny— the grim im Pj, a °- able chess player on the board of bjmpiree. , # . Mnss Marion Grey, as th© Oomteese die Roquelaure, dc/voted 1 to the Emperor of Pramo© and beloved) by lovalMe, blundering Gerard, is much at home and is refined, dramatic, matronal and alltogether satisfactory. Ido not remember any play staged! in Welmgton m which "a, company hiave Jiad suidh good all rownd chances 1 , and taken them. ♦ * * Miss Dorothy Sydney, as the maid to the Comtesse, plays with point and address. She has a subdued, teUang manner highly effective. Other parts that stand out aie those of the officers of the Hussars, not forgetting the very military sergeant, done finely by Mr. H. J. Bentley, Mr. R. Denniston, Mr. G. Somerset, Mr. MoLeod and Mir. Dale RevenaH. ♦ * * The play is mounted! vivkUy, and wath a sobd, good quality look about it •tihat helps the effect richly. Gerard gives Mr. Knight still another chance of showing his> versatility, for he is in Gerard nothing but Gerard, and) hds fine work in this play will be remembered. The auddenoe goes horn© Baying nice things, which is, after all the finest advertisement a show can hiaive. • « • Fullers' CJompany, at the Theatre Boyal, are supplying a large assortment of cheerful frivol' to a massed public every night. The price of bread' has not affected the attendamoe nor the quality of the fare. Among numerous artistes who a.re new to "Wellington, or who have been away freshening up, is "IJa Petite Laurie," a youthful party, whose sinuosities and general distortions demonis-bnate to what a pitch of sfoapelessness the human body may be brought. The little girl's "turn" attracts by ite unusualineeE. • • • Bonitia, the Mieixioan girl witlh the rdfle, is still winnimg championships ftxr her remarkable ehooting feate, and' I'd like to enlist hw services whien the first batch of airmed Asiatics beMow at the fsates of Wellington for admission. AJso » ueerul person at that iiunotiuire wwnld be "Cleopaitma," her Bister, -who
has a, number of arooodites, dloade enough with her, but posisibly savage to amybody else. H«r assortment of snakes is well select/ad, and contains eieveral brands of leptue whidh, in their natural state, Qire venomous. It would be very 111-mannieied of a tiger snake to bite Cleopatra. The AMberg team of .oomedy aoiobats combine humoui with tine agxkty of a scalded oat. They are person^ of musole> and balancers of" especial meut. Alec. Lamb, the diver, who afe as much at home in the water as, an >&e., and almost as "limber," refuses to mike mistakes and get downed m prror. He is moving his' tank and himself almost at onice. Monaghan and Shieeb/vn, the musical sketohfets, whose stook-in-t -ade comprises about ha.lf the musical mstrumeTits blown, beaten 01 twanged, are a real asset to the> compa/ny, and are artistes of high attainments. Pearl Livingstone is singing a new coon song, "Cheyenne," wilntjh is sufficiently like all other coon songs to wan - rant its popuianty. It is u. hard job for a coon writer to find a new oolouired person at all to name <a song after. The Ma an has, up to now, not supplied mate-rial for coon soa^s. Why tikis remissness? Mies Lonram© Tansley, the New Zealand oontrallto, is in vei-y sweet voice. Keenam and Lewis, Keldlie and Davis, and other dtoubilasi, singles, serios and 1 pictures help to contribute) a fine sihillingsworth. * • * It is a leal pity that such sihort notaoe was given of Mr. Hamiilton Hodgies' song recital, in thie concert roiom of the Town Hall on Monday might. A richer musical treat I have not ihad for very many moons, and it was really distressing to note the nmniy vaoant seats and reflect wihat one's friends were missing. Mr. Hodgies gave a very fine programme, embracing gems of Handel, Sohuibert, SuJHvan, Hermann, Lohr, Wagner. Yon Filitz, Tsdfoaikowsky . Corn eM us , Lamb crt , Blumenthal, Berthold' Tours, W. Wallace, Vannah. and Noel Johnson. And yet, with such a gemero'Us fenst before them, the audience wanted more, and got it, too. • • • It cannot be disputed that Mi . Hamilton Hodges is the finest song-artist w e have ua. New Zealand. He emtei& into the spimt of his songs 'and! tthiniWs you with it too. There was great dliveisaty of style in bh© niumbers plaioed on the programme, and an their execution the sinjger passed with f acality and consummate taste from girave to gay, from the tender and pathetic to the rousing and declamatory. And his sotto vooe oad€taoes were <as fully ch/aiigeldl with just expression as has fietry, full -lunged, reverberating fortissimo passages. There is no other singer whio visits us who puts nearly so muoh oaliour, temperaan'ent and' expression mto (bis music and conveys so clearly to your ear the wordls as well as the music he singg. • • • Mr. Frank Johnston© assisted with the 'cello, of which he as an exceptionally fine player, and Mr. Robeirtt Parker's piano aocompaniments were delaghtfully played. Mr. Parker is neally an ideal aooonipanistt. Altogetbeir, a concert of the rarest. I oondole with those who dkdl not hear it. • * * Mo*. James Brett, the veay obliging ushea- of the Opera House dress caxole, who sustained severe injuries in am unprovoked assault a while backi, whole on duty at the theatre, his attacker mot having been discovered, us to receive a "benefit" at the Opera House on Saturday afternoon. Apart from its kindly object, the matinee AviM be a specialty considered from a "show" standpoint. And, ">.rt from his injuries, which esrfcabthslh a special claim to oui sympathy, he ha.s richly earned 1 a reward from the play-going public. • • • Mr. J. C. WiiUbadmsotn and Mr. Ben Fuller have been good enough to aJilow the companies under their management to contribute of their beat, and the matinee will be a "pot pouim" of enterta/inment, both Mr. Juilluus Kniiight aaid his company and' the Fullleirs' Enteitaimea-s contributing. The best of our local amateur taflent, which is known to be of the highest order, is also available for the entertainment, and I have no doubt that the wdl atract a large audience and be tihe means of benefitting Mr. Brett largely. • • • Miss Mane Hall, violinnste, opens a season in Wellington at the Town Haill on 4th July, and will play on the sth and Bth afeo. Miss Hall, who made her debut in Melbourne before a fine audience, will play at Palmeirston., Wang-anui, Napier, Masterton, GhristohuTcih, Oama-rn and Dunedin, and sails from Wellington for Sydney on the 27th July. • • • Meesrs. Meynell and Gumn's "The Midnight Weddiing" Company open at
tfhe Opera House on Friday next, June 21st. "The Madlnaghit Wedding" dloes not lesemble "A Fatal Wedding," which captivated audiences tore. Tiie new play ''sparkles with, military glory, and telis a stirring story of love aoid hate." The company is a (good one. M.i . Haroourt Beatity, as Paul Valmaa-, has. been received witih 'great -warnutih, and' lias a part tha<fc fits him like a glove. All the' old favouirates aa*e in the company and 1 are well oast. • • # Miss May Newman, a Dwneidhn vocalibt, assisted by local talent, will give a .concert in the Town Hall on Wednesday evenmg next. Miss Newman is likely to fill the place on our concert pltrtfoi ms left open by Miss Amy Murphy. • • • An examination of the photos of the Grerma>n opera singers doing finely in "Lohenginn" and oilier operas "on t/he othei side " convinces me thiat no thin person can sang. The German ladies are large a,nd fat and 1 lovely, with immensely thick necks, opulent busts, and' cheeks like balloons. The Gr&rman tenors and basses would make tip-top advertisements for anybody's brand of beef. If a person wants to sing, it' is has or her obvious duty to fatten up before attacking a. single not©. (Continued on page 18.
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Eileen O'Neill, a moe child, who has gained a reputation, at Sydney Tivoli, as a player of the cornet and other lmpJemeaite of sound, is now on tibe Fudlea orbit in thas country. She must inevitably amve in Wellington.. • • • 'Auto-Atlae," a handsome, well-setup German atlhlete, is creating a setoution at the London Hippodrome in raising a motor-ca.r filled with paesengeis b his teeth while hand-baJancing on two upiiight po'cs. The Government should see him about ''raasang" its next loan. * • * Hn.ny Shine was ever a wag on the stage. So much money bate the "Mothei Goose" pantomime made that Harry says (m the panto.) that they don't know what to db with it. and *Lso remarks 'And if you'll believe me, do you know that I am at the pi esenit moment wea.mng sea.l-skin sooks and cell uJ ond undershirts! There s wealth for you!" • * V.il Vousdsn, the last of the oi.u race of monologue entertainers, diied at Home recently, at the age of eightbyfive. Vousden, duiing the heyday oi his glory, amassed a gieat puUe of gold, but it slipped away m his declining years, and he died in poverty Thas eighty-five-year-old Val Vousden must be an imitator of the fOlf 01 ty-year-old ditto who is so veiy well-known indeed in New- Zealand as 'Mrs. O'Rourke. • * * Madame Albani and her conceit party weie to start then colonial tour at the Melbourne Town Hall on Monday last. The party supporting the prama donna consists of the English tenor, Mi . William Gieen , Miss Mildred Jone% contialto, Miss Myrtle Meggy, solo piamste , Mr. Haydn Wood, solo violinist, and Mr. Theodoie Flint, conductor. Last time Madame Albani touied Australia she was accompanied by the popular baritone, Wallnam Paull, who, on the way Home, committed suicide by throwing himself out of thei windlow of a New York hotel. The piesent tour will embrace about sixty concerts. Miss Meggy, the pianiste, is the daughter of a Tasmanian journalist. • * • London papeas tell of an amusing experience which befell Muss Alice Crawford, the wellll-known Austnalaan actress, during hei visit to Berlin as a member of Mr. Tree's company. The police officials appeared at the- theatie and' demanded that the lady who plays Charmi'an in "Antony and Cleopatra" shouild be handed over to them. They ■explained that a woman living at Munich] had seen a photograph of the Cleopatra's paflaoe scene, andi was convinced that Miss Alice Crawford, who appeared in the' picture as Charmi«n, was hei wayward dteuughter, wiho ran away two years ago and has not since been heard! from. Assiuramce that Miss Crawford was Australian, and had never before visated Germany, oonvineedl the police that they had struck a wrong track. • * *- From America — "A rascally fire broke into Trixie Fnganza's room, m the Hotel Navarre, the otheir moinmg, says the New York 'Telegraph, 5 while she was unchapeironed, and so frightened her that she was unable to accompany the members of 'The Orchid' Company to Philadelphia. The fire of itself was not important, but when five rude firemen buirsit m upon Miss Friganza before she could powdler her nose 1 and do a protean shift from her nightie to her long minx coat, it disconcerted the timid young w^oman. • • • ' Miss Friganza occupies an apartment on the ninth floor. One of the flues adjoining her room mutinied, and the fire alarm was turned on while she was dreaming peacefully of two-column headlines and a pnoture on the fiont page. The comedienne wais naturally indignant when the quintette of roibbea 1booted men filed into heir room and pointed' the hose nozzle at her. 'Tile least you might do is to get properly introduced,' exclaimed Miss Friganza, a maidenly blush leaping to hietr port cheek. 'Cheese, lady, cheese,' tsaid one of the gallant firemen. 'Nix on the society talk. Get out of bed and be sudden about it!' • • * "Without further adk> the five began hurling Miss Friganza's gowns to the street below. Attired m a fetchang negligee of red and' white blanket, Mjss Friganza arose, tied her sorap-book to the rope fire-escape, and lowered it carefuilly to the ground. The fire was soon extinguished, but Mies Friganza's gowns were ruined). She' ioined her company last evening. Before sine departed from the hotel she left positive instructions with the* dlerk that in future he must announce nil callers before sending them to her room."
Van Biene, of "Broken Melody" fame, lias a eon of an inventive* turn of mind. A recent patent, "an ash-'colleotamg cigarette or cigar boddler," is likely to prove profitable. Miss Jennie Opie, the massave Australian contralto, who was a great favourite for many years with musichall audiences, is touring the United States on a vaudeville circuit.