THE MERRY WIDOW AT DINNER.
HiOlW MI-S'S LILY ELSIE "WAS SELECTED. "The Merry Widow" was the guest of the evening on January 31 at the Hotel Cecil, London, at a dinner given In her honour hy the O.P. Club. Of all the occasions on which the club, founded, by Mr. Carl iHentschell, has played the part of host to theatrical celebrities, that night's dinner, both in numbers and interest, was the most successful. The president of the club, Mr. Max Pemberton, presided, and Mr. George Edwardes, as the foster parent of the ''MVMbw," was, of course, preseut, and responded to _ie toast ot this "Hit of the Century." lie confessed he was shy. On flrat nights, the only time when he made speeches, what he said did not matter, because some kind friends In front were cheering and other kind friends were booing, and nobody heard a word, 'He had had many experiences of girls—the "Shop Girl," the "Gaiety Girl," and others—'but this was his first widow, and would probably be the last. 'Be confessed it was not an easy taalf to settle on the people to play the widow or her lover. Prima donnas for light opera had never, been plentiful In .England. He hau to choose a lady not so much for wittf the public hod seen of her-as for what he hoped, they would see her do. The lady he need not name. The authors and composer said: "Who is this lady? We have not heard of her." iHe replied: -"Come and see her." They came, and there was no more trouble. Mr. Max Pemberton, who'ln the course of his speech had described musical comedy as a "secondary scihool for tie instruction ot peers" and "the simplest expression of elemental emotion," was followed by Mr. Mostyn Plgott, who •proposed continued prosperity to "The Widow," a toast •to which both Miss Lily Elsie and Mr. Joseph Coyne, responded. As a memento of the dinner, _lr. Plgott, on behalf of the O.P. Olub, presente- to Miss Elsie a silver Jewel casket with tortoise-shell top, anil Inlaid with silver. •
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