Observer, Volume XXXVIII, Issue 16, 22 December 1917, Page 6
THE Auckland Choral Society, for the first time, conducted by Mr Colin Muston, L.R.A.M., rendered Handel's "Messiah" in the Town Hall on Thursday evening last. It was in every respect a notable performance. The glorious, oratorio is inspiring alike to axidience and performers, and given with a reverential appreciation of its musical and verbal-beauties, it certainly pleased the large audience: The great work was slightly "cut" in places, but all the familiar and most celebrated of liie solos and choruses were kept in. Perhaps because of its familiarity, and certainly because it was very well given, the great "Hallelujah" chonis was received with the largest show of appreciation, and was indeed an example of the splendid work done throughout by the society. The joyous, reverential, "Lift Up Your Heads, 0 ye Gates," was sung delightfully, and with the verve and vigour necessary to indicate its fervid praise. Madame Bella ltussell displayed real religious feeling in "I Know That My Redeemer Liveth," and sung the devotional number with good voice and a just appreciation of its glorious theme. Her recitatives were always accurate, tuneful, and expressive. Miss Laura Stone, the contralto, was nicest to hear in "He Was Despised." She is well trained, and has a voice of good volume. "He Shall Feed His Hock" was listened to with favour. Mr. W. T. Pringle, tenor soloist, and Mr. .1. C. Seaton. bass, soloist, were listened to with pleasure. The fine orchestra, led by Miss Ediith AVhitelaw, was nicely balanced, and played with confidence and skill.
The Les Bates' ltevuo Company at Filler's Opera House is putting •n its last lap this week, and with " Night in Bohemia" is getting all the laughter and applause the bright show deserves. Les Whao-ton is giving his celebrated imitation oi an Irishman, and Con Moreni is a more or less masculine fashion plate. I,cs hits the Hibernian portion oi the audience—a not inconsiderable majority in Auckland—with "Ireland Will Welcome Her Own." Con Moreni also sings. Madge Moore dances and trolls forth a song declaring that she's crazy after you, and ■ Alabama' Jubilee.' , Lallie Brooke gets avray with -'lowa," another .stop m the artistic Americanization of New Zealand. An All-British entertainment in an Auckland theatre would, surprise the populace. Arthur Elliott's dance and song, < "Around at Mary Ann's," occasioned the usual convulsive laughter, and Les Bates, as a sic all comic boy, tickled the audience excessively. The other part of the programme is diverting and diversified" The Alerts are jugglers, wlio throw axes, bayonets, and other nasty steel things about with uncanny precision and without hurt to f.ach other or the audience. The Bentleys arc fine musicians. J hey use xylophones, and extract a deal of KUisical nutriment from an instrument that is admirable when treated wA. McKay and Graham are good singers of well-seloeted conventional .and decent stuff. The Hamptons pace per wheel in a giddy manner, the Thurbers have an eccentric daneinw act, and box a few joyful α-ounds with the gloves, and the Coleman Sisters Ihave some, comic songs and serious ballads.
The pictures of the Russian Revolution seen Jit the Strand Theatre are more instructive than any matter that has appeared in any New
Zealand newspaper, for they showhundreds of thousands of the Russian" people newly but of the shambles of revolt. What will strike the observer who does not.confuse a revolution among one hundred million people with a football match, or the escape of a launch, is the fact that these vast multitudes of people are of a magnificent type, and for the most part are happy looking and intelligent. Many of the pictures show huge masses of snow, gutted buildings wholesale funerals, the leaders of the various parties, regiments with splendid morale and regiments of workmen with serious faces. There are mothers hysterically weeping for their sons, huge processions, the blessing of ikons, the covering up of royal "emblems, a wonderful panorama of people of a country in the in el ti rig pot. There should be compulsory attendance of the public at these historic pictures. The Pathe Gazette is also exceedingly fine. There is a gorgeous Keystone farce, with Indian surroundings, too.
A vary fine Metro picture, "The Lifted Veil," is being shown on the screen at the Princess Theatre. Its fr-e fine acts are dedicated to an •exposition of tlie beauties of life, the value of the virtues and the avoidance of evils. That charming expositress of sifted pentomimism, "i'lthel Barryniore, infuses into her acting an amount of warm illustration which at once captures the imagination of tlhosc who isee the lifting of the veil of life. The love, element is gently silhouetted, and is remarkable for 'its beauty and natv.ralness. The solendid "backgrounds,' , for the picture show that the Metro people spare no trouble or expense to produce pictorial ephemerae, much of which deserves to live as notable additions to true art. A good Christie comedy is a cheering circumstance, and "The Great Pen((eliori Round Up" is one of a splendid cowboy series worth ridmg through brambles on a wet'night to see. © . © © A • highly-inujginative American reading of Russian social conditions under the title of "Anton the Teriril'c" is pictured on the screen ot the Queen's Theatre. It deals with love, intrigue, police methods, and the whole system which is according to the story rotten to the core. It is played" with exceptional power, am! is meant to lay a finger on the villainies of the Russian ruling class. The brutality of police methods, who use the. Third Degree with the same facility as American picture authors "declare that America herself indulges, are emphasised. Anita King and Theodore Roberts are the lending players,' and they are supposed by mi especially brilliant company. The whole play is highly fascinating. An American news gazette ,md a comic picture are also shown. m> 9 9> The Fullers arc running dramatic companies at the Grand Opera House and'the Majestic Theatre, Sydney. ® <8 © With' the production of "Dick Whittingtoai" at Melbourne Her . Mies Minnie Everett α-eaches* the tenth pantomime with which she has been associated as "ballet mistress" under the management of the firm. ' ® © & Hudolpho Gon.salez, impressario of the Italian Grand Opera Company whicli toured New Zealand some months back, is now a bankrupt, and some interesting evidence was brought to light in the Sydney Bankruptcy Courts last week. The petitioning creditor was Innocentio Olinto, one of the chorus of the company, who had obtained a verdict in the Supreme Court respecting his return fare to Italy. In the course of his. examination Gonsalez stated that his share, of the profits of the company in Australia was oneseventh, about £1,100, besides the salary of £10 to £12 per week. His expenses were about £7 or £8 a .week, and ho lived on his salary and sent his share of one-seventh to his relatives in Italy. When the company
came to Australia an arrangement was made with Mr. Ben Fuller, .but -later on the company carried on itself. In Australia it made a profit of about £8,000. Bankrupt was responsible for contracts entered into with artists. An account book (produced) showed that the Australasian season realised 56,--464, and deducting the expenses, the profit for the tour was £7,914. Bankrupt admitted that he had •brought Olinto to Australia, but denied that he had over agreed to pay his fare back to Italy. After voluminous evidence had been taken the further examination of the bankrupt whs adjourned. v The death is aunounced from London of Afir. William Hunter Kendal, the well-known actor and manager. Mr. Kendal ("VV. H. Grimston) was born in London on 16th December, 1843, and made his first appearance on the stage at the Soho Theatre in April, 1861, as Louis XIV. in "A Life's Revenge." He was associated at various times with David James, Charles Wyndham, Ellen Terry, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Kean, Dion Boucicault, and others. In 1875 he entered into "silent" partnership with John Hare, with whom he played Harry Armytage in "Lady Flora," Christian Douglas in "A Nine Days' Wonder," Prince Floriaii in "Broken Hearts," and Colonel Blake in "A Scrap of Paper." Ho entered into open partnership with John Hare at the St. James's, commencing October 4, 1879. The partnership terminated in July, 1888. With his wife, the late actor was commanded by the late Queen Victoria to appear at Osborne on Ist February, 1887, when they played in "Uncle's Will" and "Sweethearts." Since 1908 Mr. Kendal had practically retired from the stage. Ggb ® S2> Some six or seven years ago London variety managers were all agog to capture leading members of the theatrical profession. Sin- Herbert Tree, Sir George Alexander, Cyril. Maude, Charles Hawtrey, and many more succumbed, one by one, to tempting offers. Then came the days oi the revue, during which the cleinand for stairs from the theatrical firmament showed a steady decrease, except at the Coliseum. Now, by a curious turn of the wheel, variety managers are again turning to the "legitimate" for supplies, and many names that used to be foremost in the more classical styles of work are now figuring conspicuously on variety bills. 9> k> S> In aid of the funds of the Anzac Club and Buffet, London, a matinee was given at the Victoria Palace on 19th. October. A special feature of the entertainment was the presentation of a "Pageant of the Southern Cross," in which Lily Brayton, Rosina Buckman, Alice "Crawford, Ada Crossley, Madge Titheradge, Iw Shilling. Julius Knight, and Martin Lewis appeared. There were also contributions froni Nina Boucicault. Lilian Braithwaite, Maude Telfer, Margaret Cooper, Adeline Genee. and many other stage favourites. ®' ® ® Winifred La France, who has just arrived from America to play tlie part of Aladdin in the Christmas pantomime in Melbourne,' under the. J. and N. Tait and Bailey-Grant. iiumage.nie.nt, has an unusually charming; and virile personality, with all the characteristics, such as snap and go, that are necessary to imako a. successful "Boy." Miss La France will, in addition to playing Principal Boy* present her own beaiitiful and spectacular act, entitled "Siren of tho Deep." • « $ $ Ford Waltham, the well-known comedian-basso, who was for many years associated with various companies of "Dandies," has signed up to appear in vaudeville under the auspices of the Fullers.
Miss Marie I?enij>est says that one ■of the difficult things a star in London has to contend with is the desir© of audiences to see them in the same line of parts in which they have established their reputation. "In one of the best pieces I ever had," said Miss Tempest, "I was scored off all the time by another character. Finally, I lost my lover to a rival, who was a designing female. It was all very true to life, but London wouldn't have me so treated, and on the.first night they boo-ed the scene in which I was routed. I couldn't help loving them for it, but it was very costly, for I had a large sum of money invested in the production, and bang it went!" ® © $ Mr. Arthur Bourchier tells a story concerning a manager of a certain travelling company who also played the leading part in the majority of the plays he put on. It happened that in one. town the company met with very little success, the theatre being nearly empty every night, and in consequence the boxoffice returns .were practically nil. On the Thursday night the takings were the worst of all, there ~ being only about forty or.fifty people in the house, and most of these in the cheapest seats. When the performance was half over, the man who looked after the tickets came upon the manager as he was about to go on the stage. "What time shall I bring yoti the box-office receipts, sir?" he asked. The manager stared at him for a moment. "Just before I go on in my pathetic scene," was his retort. @> @> £$ America is being honoured with a visit forom "Wah," one of the famous dogs of war from the European battle zone. "Wah" was taken to that country by Max Linder, celebrated continental comedian at Essanay, who has just completed his first comedy, "Max Comes Across." He wears a collar bestowed upon him by the French Government bearing the inscription, "The collar of the wise and brave." ■« * ♦ "Wah ; " a steel-muscled, stumpy, thin, spiky-haked canine, was Linder's aid when the latter was a dispatch bearer in the great war. It was the-dog's business to carry dispatches through rain-storms of artillery and machine-gun fire, when it became too thick for man to penetrate. M ■ • These dogs of war are not pets, but of a stern and faithful atavism. They scout out enemy patrols and report to their masters. Through their warnings they have saved many lives, and at times even the victoryin battle. But most important, of their duties is the bearing of orders to the varied, trenches. These are carried in their collars.. The canines display remarkable intelligence in seeking out the sub-lieutenants to whom they are directed. • • • The forefoot of Wah was shot away during one of the canine's hazardous trips, but he stumped on to his master across the shot-torn field. The dog was (rendered disabled for further service, however. Linder caused a wooden leg to be fitted to Wah, and purchased him from the French Government. @> /f> © ' ■ Actor Evelyn Beerbohm has been lolled in France. He was the nephew of the late Sir Herbert Tree, and had been in the army before decorating the stage. He last visited us with the Waller-Titiheradge Company. About nine years ago he married Miss Elsie Anderson, a beautiful Sydney girl. Under the name of Miss Elsie'Beerbohm she is successfully appearing as a beauty-actress on the London stage. Major Beerbohm leaves one son, a boy of seven yeare.