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THEATRICAL & MUSICAL NOTES., Otago Witness, Issue 2052, 22 June 1893
THEATRICAL & MUSICAL NOTES.
CentrtkatUM fro* tt» rr»fenl»» chr*a!oUn j their aureoMU ib& 4*ii|s u« inriua. All eta»a»lo»tloai to k« tUitutd >• "FM^siii" Otago ITitßtM Ofi*a.
The first of Mr C. Holloway's ventures under his new Stock Company's scheme is the "starring" engagement of Miss Maggie Moore (Mrs J. C. Williamson), and judging by the splendid business done in the northern citieß the speculation has been most successful up to the present Miss Maggie Moore is one of the greatest favourites on the colonial stage. It is now some 10 or 11 years since, in conjunction with her husband, she appeared in this city, and her powers of amusement, instead of showing any signs of deterioration, are declared to be better than ever. In her time she has played many parts and in many and diverse lines, and has excelled in everything she ha 3 attempted. It all comes alike to her — tragedy, comedy, melodrama, Irish farce or German eccentricity, Gilbert and Sullivan, or the most approved French opera-bouffe. She made her debut and her fame in the colonies as Lizzie Stofel in " Struck Oil," and her name has ever since been endeared to playgoers. Miss Moore during her season of nine nights, commencing on Saturday, June 24, will be supported by Mr Holloway's company, who on their various appearances here during the last nine months have made themselves most popular, strengthened by the addition of Messrs John Ford and H. Diver. Thus the productions will have none of the unfinished appearance of a hastily - got - together scratch company. The rdpertoire, in addition to "Struck Oil," which will form the opening bill, will include the dramas " FortyNine," " Meg," "The Child ot the Regiment," and "Mliss." Mr J. St. Clair, the business manager, arrived in Dunedin last night to make the necessary arrangements for the season. Mr Lohr is at present in Auckland making arrangements for Madame Antoniette Sterling's appearance there. Strange to say that both Madame Sterling's manager and her husband have been seriously ill. The Wellington Mail says that Profe3sor Kudarz, who has just joined the Steens in Australia, is a Wanganui boy, and served his time as a compositor under the late John Ballance. Professor Hazelmeyer was the first conjuror he ever saw (some 20 years ago), and young Kudarz took lessons from that gentleman, and spent all his spare cash in purchasing books of magic and properties. After a time he exhibited his skill in the Wanganui Herald office, his fellow apprentices being the audience. Kudarz recently appeared before Lord Hopetoun, at Government House, Melbourne, and received a flattering notice from his Excellency. Some years ago Kudarz worked on the New Zealand Times, and later on the Evening Post, as a compositor, but his love for the "black art" enticed him to cast aside the stick and rule and take to the profession at which ha has done well. The Marian Willis Dramatic Company and the Foleys are doing the Canterbury country districts Donald Dinnie and his "Champion International Dancing and Variety Company"— in the interests of the printer it would perhaps be as well in future to know it as his C.I. D. and V. Co.— are doing the Southland provincial district. The Southland Times says that in Miss Ida M'Donald the company possesses a clever danseuse, and her American sand jig, long skirt, and skipping rope dances deservedly elicited warm demonstrations of approval. The other members of the company comprise Alf Phillies, descriptive songs; Sam Walton, comique and clog dancer ; MiBS Maggie Smith, and little Evie Dinnie, who dances a Highland fling and sword dance. In a recent interview Madame Antoniette Sterling, in answer to the question if she had any favourite song, said :—": — " No, they are all my favourites, because I don't sing any Bong if 1 don't like the words. I only sing those songs that have been written for me, and all my modern one 3 have been specially composed. I have a beautiful setting of Tennyson's last poem, • Crossing the bar,' written by Behrendt, a grandson of Balfe's, and 'The Gift,' another song by the came composer, was also written for me. In singing, tho words are everything, and unless I can feel and understand their meaning I cannot sing them." Madame Sterling's forte is ballad-singing, and in the pathetic expression with which she sings " The three fishers," " Sands of Dee," and kindred songs she is said to be incomparable. Her voice is one of great beauty and attractiveness, but it is the earnestness and force which she throws into the story that forms the real secret of her success. As an oratorio singer she displays an unusual depth of religious conviction and fervour, and apart altogether from her fame and great gifts as a vocalist, sho is distinctly one of the most remarkable of living women. Her husband, Mr John M'Kinlay, accompanies her upon her colonial tour. George Leitch is in Sydney, and has been telling the papers he is off to Chicago by an early boat, taking with him " something rich and very strange from tho shores of old romance." Such, at least, was the first impression made by an outline of his etory ; but the sight of a bundle of dry-looking lawyers' letters and a plan of certain lots of land in the great city of Washington quickly put a different complexion upon the tale. "Why Washington ? " will be asked ; and the answer will furnish the key to the mystery. Early in ihe present century three great-uncles of Mr Leitcb, named James, George, and Ralph Walker, migrated to the United States to carve out a fortune in the new country. They succeeded, and when the United States Government was endeavouring to raiso money vapidly by the Bale of land round Washington, George
and James Walker invested largely in city lots. This was between 1800 and the meeting of the first House of Representatives at the newlymade legislative capital eight years later. The brothers, who appear to have been of a happy-go-lucky disposition, died, their heirs made no claim to the land, and these lots, comprising 92 blocks of city property, the enumeration of which covers several folio sheets, were built upon by strangers who failed to prove their title. The matter has been spoken of in the Walker family for fome years, and George Ralph Walker ("George Leitch") remembers being often told by his grandmother that if he and his had their rights they would become millionaires. These remarks had always been regarded as "granny's fairy tales" until a Bhort while ago, when Messrs Taylor and Walter, real estate agents, of Washington, sent over one of their partners to find out the missing heirs. As the outcome of their search, Mr Leitch has been receiving long communications from his family solicitors, Messrs Russell and Aikia, of Falkirk, Scotland, with the result that he has consented to join his claim through George Walker with the heirs of James Walker. Accordingly Mr Leitch has signed powers of attorney and other documents before the U.S. Consul in Melbourne, and as the American lawyers are to prosecute his claim on a percentage at their own risk, he feels that at the worst he cannot lose anything — at the bast he will be rich " beyond the dreams of avarice." The Gourlay, Walton, and Shine Company have been doing good business at Broken Hill in " Skipped by the Light of the Moon." The company will shortly skip by daylight to Maoriland. The Sydney Bulletin of the Bth gives a page of illustrations of items performed at Fitzgerald's circus. Of the circus, a writer in the Sime paper remarks that "barring a black man in a costume reminiscent of a carpet-bag, the performances were well got up, from the ringmen in George IV suits of satin to Mr Dan Fitzgerald in tho sort of eveniDg-dress lady novelists describe as 'faultless.'" Heller's Odds and Ends Company are &fc Launceston at present. Percy Abbott is manager and George Callender advance agent. George Heller describes himself as the laughing philosopher and Miss Maudeena as apsychomotisu. Sara Bernhardt is to start for South America this month. Nina Boucicault is playing in "Charley's Aunt," which ia the success of the season at the Globe Theatre, London. The Melbourne Standard of the Bth iost. sa y 8 :— " The * hour of music ' given by Madame Antoinette Sterling at the Town Hall this afternoon, in aid of the charities, was a great Buccess. The hall was crowded by a distinguished company. The charming programme which was rendered by Madame Sterling and other vocalists was thoroughly enjoyed by the immense audience. It was announced that £150 had been raised towards the laudable purposes of the concert, and at the express wish of Madame Sterling £20 was to be given to the village settlement scheme, £20 to the unemployed fund, and £20 to the mayor's general distress fund, and the balance to whatever charities tho mayor should think fit. The gifted contralto, in thanking the audience for their generous response to her appeal on behalf of the charities of Melbourne, gave an address which was full of sympathy for the sufferers, and was strongly .tinged with an adherence to evangelical tenets of faith." A London paper gives a portrait of Miss Pattie Browne, and says :—": — " Our portrait is of that extremely fascinating young actreßS Miss Pattie Browne, who hails from Australia, where she was very popular. Miss Browne, who has distinguished herself mainly in burlesque in the antipodes, made her debut in this country in Mr Pinero's comedy of "The Amazons" at the Court Theatre, in which she is now playing. She, like the other two daughters of the eccentric peeress, wears knickerbockers throughout the funny play, and naturally, with her burlesque training, wears them as to the manner born. Miss Pattie is a very clever little actress, and if our friends ' down under ' have any more like her they had better send them along." Judged from M. Paderewski's experience, genius is not always hereditary, or at least immediately transmissible. His married life he hardly ever refers to, for his wife died during the first year of their matrimonial happiness, leaving a son, which is M. Paderewski's only link with thi3 sad past. But Paderewski's son is, musically, disappointing, and, far from being the infant phenomenon that he has been represented to be, has a lively dislike for the pianoforte. The Frederic d'Erlanger, whose two-act romantic opera, " Jehan de Xaintrailles," has been promised us this season in England, is, if we mistake not, a son of M. Emile Erlanger, the well-known banker of the Rue Taitbout, Paris. Emile Erlanger married one of the daughters of the late Mr Slidell, the Confederate whose arrest and that of his confrere, Mr Mason, caused such a sensation about 30 years ago. The late Comte de Saint Roman, the wellknown and deservedly popular French sportsman, married the other Miss Slidell. It was Madame Erlanger (the aristocratic particuh "d"' is of recent date, and Erlanger was formerly merely a clerk at the Rothschilds' at Frankfort) who, as Miss Slidell, so pluckily slapped the face of the Federal officer who arrested her father. The Confederate loan was one of the many big plums Emile E clanger has had out of the financial pie. The first Madame Erlanger was a Miss Lafibte, a daughter of tie famous banker, Charles Lafifcte, and sister of the famous and beautiful Marquire de Gallifet, Princesse de Martigne. This lady ran away from her husband in company with the Jate M. Cordier, and one of the most famous divorce ■cases was that which ensued. Madame Erlanger, nee Lafitte, being a Roman Catholic, and Erlangor being a Protestant, immense sums had to be paid to tho Holy Father before his Holiness would decide to release Madame Erlanger, and thus enable her to marry the man she had eloped with. After eudLess delays the wiiy Pio Nono came to the desired decision, and then Erlanger married Miss Sadell, and his first wife married Cordier. This "Frederic d'Erlanger" is, we take it, that son of the Baron (by his second wife) who from childhood evinced such extraordinary talent for music, and who used to astonish all who heard him. Of this two-act romantic opera great things are predicted and expected, for much of it is already known to the cognoscenti. Virginia Earl, when in Sydney, hurt one hand badly through the explosion of a soda-water bottle. News now comes from America that amputation has unhappily been found necessary. " Mrs Siddons, the English actress, entered so fully into her part as sometimes to faint in earnest when the scene demanded a swoon. Miss Mary Anderson's return to the stage, like Mrs I»ancrof t oven for a time not prolonged, would be immensely popular, and it is whispered she will probably consent before long. Her favourite play is "'Julius Crcsar"; character, Kermiouo (in "Wintei's Talc") ; actres3, Hnra Bemhurdii ; actor, Bdwiu Booth ; game, golf ; aud song, " Old Kentucky Home." •'Nikita," the young singer, is engaged to ba married to Prince Mirza Khan, aide-de-caiop to the yhah of Persia, iv about 18 months'
time. ' ' Nikita "will then abandon her profession, but will not reside in Persia, as the prince is to be appointed ambassador at one of the European capitals. " Nikita," by the way, was the name given to her by her teacher, the famous Sfcrakosch, Marguerite Louise Nicholson being the name she was christened. "Nikita" has been singing since childhood, and her operatic debut was made when she was only 15. Junius Brutus Booth, a nephew of the dis* tinguished tragedian, has abandoned the stage for the study of medicine. Berlin has just now a ten-year-old girl singer, a fourteen-year-old violoncellist, and an eleven-year-old girl violinist, besides the boy pianist. THE COLLET DOBSON COMPANY AT THE PRINCESS THEATRE. The Collet Dob3on Company's return season at the Princess Theatre is proving equally as successful as their previous one, demonstrating the fact that a good stock company need not be afraid of occupying the interregnum between the appearances of star 3at our local theatre if they are not above appearing at million prices. The excellent manner in which the company put "Pygmalion and Galatea" on the boards on Saturday and Monday nights was a surprise to the large audiences, and was subject for remark that such a poor production a? "Th:> Special Guard " should have been given precedence to it. Miss Idrene Thornton made a charming Galatea. She was specially effective in the scene in which she discovers that Pygmalion no longer loves her, and she takes her sad farewell of the one whom she had so innocently wronged ; but by a long way the most successful parts of her performance were those where she displayed that wonderful and charming simplicity which was a principal feature in Galatea's character. Mr Collet Dobson was well cast as Pygmalion. He not only looked the character, but gave a very creditable representation of it. As Chrysos Mr J. P. O'Neill was exceedingly amusing, but he rather burlesqued the part ; and Miss Fanny Wiseman as Diphne, the wife of Chrysos, was almost as diverting as her lord and master. Mr Newton Griffiths appeared as Leucippe ; Miss Wyniard as Cynisca, the wife of Pygmalion ; and Miss Bloustein as Myrina— all of whom helped considerably to make the production of the comedy successful, "QUEEN'S EVIDENCE." The production of Pettitt and Conquest's drama " Queen's Evidence " by the Collet Dobson Company at the Princess Theatre on Tuesday evening drew a house that must have been deemed satisfactory to the management, and those present, on the other hand, witnessed a play, the production of which must be deemed successful, as producing an eyaning's genuine entertainment. "Queen's Evidence" has been proiuced in Dunedin on previous occasions, and therefore is perhaps not unfamiliar to theatre-goers. The drama is one in which there is ample scope for the exhibition of talent in the actor's art, and though the production was not entirely free from occasional blemish lasf^ evening, no one, of at all an observant nature, could fail to recognise, in many instances, the naturalness with which the varying emotions were portrayed. Miss Idrene Thornton as Kate Medland, in her meeting with her lost child, and in her unselfish renunciation of, but subsequent passionate declaration of inability to part with it, was a notable example of this, and the emotions of many in the audience were deeply Btirred at the powerful expression given to the mother- j love by Miss Thornton. Her acting through- j out was consistently good, but it was in such pathetic scenes as the one referred to that she was seen to conspicuous advantage. Mr Dob on was cast as Gilbett Medland, alias Stanfield, the much-persecuted and misjudged husband. His impersonation lacked force, which might be partly, if not entirely, explained by the fact that he appeared to bs suffering from a cold. With an excellent bearing, a voice capable of giving telling effect to his lines, and an evident knowledge of stage art, he was yet deficient in giving due emphasis to his part in several instances, and as a necessary consequence the sentiments expressed at such times found no echo in the hearts of his listeners. The Jonas Isaacs, alias Levant, of Mr J. P. O'Neill was a broad, rich piece of humour ; but the actor was at time 3 apt to forget the Jew in the Irishman. One part in which he was seen at his best was in his mimicry of Matthew Thornton before the glass. Mr O'Neill had the house generally with him, and his entrances came as a relief when following, as they generally did, the very touching portions of the play. His Jew was modelled very much on the lines of Bland Holt's Moss Jewel. Mr Newton Griffiths's Matthew Thornton suffered somewhat from the performer's want of familiarity with the part, there being a noticeable hesitancy at times ; nor was this the only instance of the kind, but seeing the numerous changes of programme put forward this is easily to be accounted for. Miss Annie Wyniard played satisfactorily in the small part of Ada Sydney, and during the evening sang "Close to the threshold , " for which she was applauded. Mr Walter Clifford did all that was required of him in the character of Walter Wynford, there beiDg no very great demand made on his powers Mr J. M'JLean gave a careful representation of Sir Frederick Sydney, though a little more life would have improved matters. Miss Bloustein, Messrs Moss aud Creamer had minor characters in the cast a 1 lotted to them, and little Miss Coota was intelligent as the child, Arthur. WELLINGTON WING WHISPERS. By P. Rompter. June 17. Monday evening last opened the second season of Mr Tom Pollard's Liliputian Opera Company — the (second season within three months — and it is paying that gentleman and his clever company the highest compliment that can be paid when I record the fact that they opened to a big house, and big houses have con- , tinued throughout the week, although there has been no change of programme. " The Gondoliers " was the piece chosen, with the special attraction of three natives of Wellington taking such prominent characters as Marco Palmieri (Miss Marion Mitchell), Casilda (Miss Cissy Samuel), and the Duchess of Plazo Toro (Miss Emily Metcalfe). Disappointed of hearing Miss Mitchell at her best in their former visit, and their desire having been strengthened by the good reports already given of her recovery, it goes without saying that everyone interested in music was anxious to hear this (our very own) young Wellingtonian in Gilbert and Sullivan's latest, although the Royal Opera Company had given us the same piece not so very long ago. However, in spite of this, our playgoers on Monday evening saw, beard, and were conquered — and went yet again. Mias Mitchell's siogiDg of " Take a, pair of sparkling eyes," that operatic gem, has been a n'.ghfly attraction, and I strongly advise yon* cil'zeus not to miss the opportunity which they will shortly have of hearing her sing this song. Every evening she is recalled again and ag un for her really artistic rendition. Mr Pollard is to be congratulated upon the material he possesses in many of his young singers, and they certainly
seem to enjoy the privileges they possess, and by their cleverness on the stage show how well they can appreciate and repay the care bestowed upon them. Miss Samuel, who had already made a local reputation through the medium of our Amateur Operatic Society, showed that she is well qualified for the operaticstage, and every night she received floral testimonials of the goodwill and good wishes of our playgoers. Miss Metcalfe, although filling a very trying .part, did that part well. Master Alfred Stephens, as the Duke of Plaza Toro, showed that he can make original business worthy an older comedian, and he has established himself as a prime favourite. He is really very clever. Master Harry Quealy, as the Grand Inquisitor (Howard Vernon's part), also proved himself a most capable actor. Miss Maud Beatty played Guiseppe in a most spirited and lively manner, her clever dancing maiking her repeatedly for reward. The other characters were well filled. Of the scenery and grouping too much praise cannot be given, and altogether " The Gondoliers," as given by the Liliputian Opera Company, has been a most enjoyable treat. On Monday and Tuesday we are to have a revival of "Aladdin," and on Wednesday— the last night of the season— Miss Mitchell is to be given a benefit, for which occasion " The Pirates of Penzance "isto be put on ; and the company, after a few days' rest, r then go south, and are booked to appear in Dunedin on 26bh July— and don't you forget it. We are to have the Albu Company for three nights week after next. They are at present doing well in the country districts. "The babe in the theatre" nuisance is one dreaded by every playgoer. We dwellers in this hub of the colony occasionally suffer from infautile as well as other " windy busters," and the following letter from the Post, written after Pollard's opening night, is how some of the sufferers let off steam :—" Sir,— May I use the columns of your paper to make a suggestion to Mr Pollard, of the Juvenile Opera Company? My suggestion is that Mr Pollard should advertise, or have placards at the Opera House doors, ♦ Babies in arms one guinea' (though 'not at any price' would be too cheap). Last night, at 'Gondoliers,' there were three in the stalls, and they succeeded in annoying the whole house. - It was very hard for Miss Samuel, who was making her first appearance before a Wellington audience, to have each of her songs interrupted by first one and then the other of these squalling babies. It seems to me that a mother must be very hard-hearted to bring her baby out on a night cold and wet as last night was, and take it to the theatre and have it abu3ed by a lot of pit roughs and others. — I am, &c, An Irritable Old Bachelor."
SYDNEY STAGE GOSSIP.
Dear Pasqtjin.— We have just had a flying visit from Mr J. C. Williamson, who has given us a great deal of information as to the future movements of the various companies under his
management. "* . At the Lyceum •• Human Nature," which, by the way, is a veritable triumph, will bs followed by a revival of "The Silver King," with Sas3 in the name part and Bland Holt as Jaikes. This will bring to a finish the present Bland Holt season. Edward Terry, who is on the incoming Ophir, will make his first apnearanoe in Australia next i Saturday fortnight. " Mr George Balmore, his ' manager, is at present busy rehearsing •' The Churchwarden," which has been chosen as the opening play of the season, and in which he will be supported by our old friends Mesdames H. Watson, Emma Gwynne, and Jennie Watt Tanner, and Messrs Sass, Oathcart, and Leitch. . After the Terry season the Royal Comic Opera Company will revisit us, after a somewhat lengthy absence. "The Vicar of Bray" and " The Mountebanks," both of which operas are new to us, are included in their repertoire. Mr J. Tapley, the tenor, is also an acquisition since the last Sydney season. At the cosy little Criterion " Toe Idler " has fairly caught on, and the acting of Miss Temple and Mr Titheradge is especially good. " The Guardsman " is to be staged next Saturday. The aboriginals still hold their own at Her Majesty's. The new Governor and suite are to visit this theatre to-night. Jennie Lee is cast for a waif in " Right's Right," which is to take the place of the present production. Harry Rickarcls is still booming at the new Tivoli. George H. Wood, who styles himself •'a somewhat different comedian," and who was recently among you, is a really first-class music hall artist. The "Black Flag" is the new play at the Royal, at million prices (33, 29, Is)— rather a comedown for the once most popular theatre here. Mr Walter Raynham is back from Maoriland. The Gaiety Company are to follow shortly ; and after playing a short farewell season in Melbourne, will return to England, after a stay in the antipodes of 14 months. They appear to have made things a little lively whilst; in your city. . . Fitzgerald's Circus seami t) be earning money. It i* astonishing the number of circuses Sjdnoyibes manage to digest -r er au " num. Mr Alexander Mayne, who has been for so long manager for the Brongh and Boucicault Company, leaves them this week ; an-i I have no doubfc that, after having been connected with such a first-class company, he will experience no difficulty in finding a fresh engagement. The first of the five concerts to ba given by Madame Antoinette Sterling took place on Saturday, and detpile the wretched weather was in every way a decided success. The sougi contributed by the famous contralto were: — " The gift," " Threa fishers," an<J an old Scotch ballad entitled "We're a' noddinV' Ere this appears in print Madame Sterling will be on her way to New Zealand. Amongst foreign nnil news I glean the following :—: — Both daughters of Mr W. J. Hollowly h we taken to the boards, and are at present on tour with Willie Edouin, of the Strand Theatre, London. Lionel Rignold i* at present at the Vaudeville as Sergeant Buster, in " Forbidden Fruit." Billie Barlow is at the Holborn Royal Music Hall. A London pressman writes to say that if Pattio Browne is a fair sample of our Australian talent we might safely send more artiiites Home. Last Call. Floriline I— For the Teeth and Breath — Afßwdrop3 of the liquid "Floriline" sprinkled on a wet toothbrush produces a pleasant lather, which thoroughly clp.inses tha teeth from all apvasites or impurities, hardens the gums, prevents tartar, stops decay, gives to tUa' teeth, a peculiar pearly whiteness, and & delightful fra grance to the breath. It removes all unpleasant odoui* arising from decayad teeth or tobacco smoke. "The, Fragrant Fieri! ine," being ooia aosed fa part of hoaey and sweet herbs, Is dolido a i to the taste, and the arept?st tonat 6!a« aov'sry of the age. Price £« 6a, o£ all chemists Mid petfumew. Wholesale depot, 33 Farringdon xoad, Loadoa.—lADvjJ
THEATRICAL & MUSICAL NOTES., Otago Witness, Issue 2052, 22 June 1893
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