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About The Hesperian / (Lincoln, Neb.) 1885-1899 | View Entire Issue (Nov. 15, 1893)
j . r.
Mr. Frank Daniels seems to grow younger
and jollier as the years go by, and it is al
moBt to be feared that he will grow into
Billy so completely that he will have to get
another man to wear the whiskers and be
papa. His work and that of his company at
the Lansing this month was up to the best
standard of comic acting, and Mr. Caufield
as Jinks Hoodoo was unique. The play it
self is getting a little stale and, good as it is,
we are tired of it. People begin to wonder
if Mr. Daniels cannot play anything but
"Little Puck." It is the duty of some play
wright or other to sit down and make Mr.
Daniels a new play. Puck was good enough
in its day, but now the boys in Mr. Savage's
Academy are outgrowing their knicker
bockers, and co-ed's gowns look as though
they ought to graduate soon, and Slugger
has few hairs left that are worth pulling.
They say that genius comes to us unex
pected, and it certainly did last week as the
"Old Musician." All of us who had seen
Mr. Morris with Rosina Yolks some years
ago knew that he was a good actor, but he
went far beyond the highest expectations.
It is seldom that we have time to "weep in
these days. Of course theoretical tears, and
metaphorical tears, and hyperbolical tears
are plentiful enough, but the genuine briny
ones manufactured by the only and original
lachrymal gland are scarce articles. Most
of us had forgotten what they were till Mr.
Morris found them for us the other night.
The first play, "The Old Musician," is
translated from the French by Mr. Morris
himself. It was exquisite in its purity and
simplicity. If they can make such beautiful
things in France, one wonders why the
Frenchmen glorify Dumas fih and make
him their model. Mr. MorriB handled his
French uccout in a very effective way,-and
his impersonation of the musician who waB
exiled from France and went to England
and waited, watching the Channel twenty
years for the ship that should bring his wife,
was masterly, artistic and perfect. His act
ing when Crotchet attempted to take away
his piano will not soon be forgotten.
In uDo Boots," the entire company came
out strongly, but the major's red side
whiskers, perfectly as they fit. seemed al
most too trivial on the strong face that had
been Monsieur Jaques.' It is doubtful if
any other man can play Monsieur Jaques so
perfectly; it seems to be all his own, as
"Rip Van Winkle" is Jefferson's.
The much enduring public registered one
more disappointment at the presentation of
De Koven and Smith's "Robin Hood"
Monday night. Perhaps it was not so un
satisfactory to those who saw the play for
the first time, but to those of us who had
seen the "Bostonians" in the "Robin Hood"
two years ago it certainly was. Robin was
a large, awkward man with a very small
voice, and though his efforts were heroic, he
effected very little. Maid Marian's voice
was very sharp and thin and her stage faint
was one of the poorest on record. Worst of
all was Sir Guy, who was very, very thin,
literal ly thin. A slender Guy is as much
of an absurdity as a slender Fallstaff. Allan-A-Dalo
was played perfectly, and Dame
Durden and Friar Tuck were both admirable.
On the whole, the play was so great that
not even a very indifferent hero and heroine
could spoil it.
"Robin Hood" is one of the best first
class comic operas on the stage today, and
after such flat and sickly attempts as the
"Isle of Champagne" it is indeed a sweet
relief. There is no particular reason why
a comic opera should not be as pure in tone
and legitimate in its situations aB a tragedy
in which the hero expires in blood and tenor
solos in the fifth act. "Robin Hood" em
bodies much of the same freedom and spirit
that makes Peacock'B "Maid Marian" so
readable. Above all it is thoroughly con
sistent and has perfect unity of plot. It
has the one great qualification of a good
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