Marshall Stedman three muskateers The Inter Ocean Chicago IL 27 Dec 1898
AT THE PLAYHOUSES Mr. Sothtm's Play Is Received with Acclaim. A NEW D'A RT AG NAN More Modern Version .of "The Three Musketeers." , - Holiday Week Bills at the Theaters Good Attractions for All . Flarsoera. -. In endeavoring to satiate the current demand for the romantic drama, Daniel Froh-man has passed the plays of Hope and Stevens over to the brethren of the popular price guild, and harks back to the pen of Dumas for the science of dazzling sword-play and the daring devices of lace-lined Intrigue. London has taken up d'Artagnan with characteristic vigor, where Louis Waller is shouting at the Glob and Beerbobm Tree Isjlsplng at Her Majesty's theater; and the swssh buckler outbreak In America Is now terrifying the effete East at several points. , Purist may rail at the Inflammatory character of this dramatic device. It red-fire romance. Us sinuous sentiment. It unreality. It mechanical nethod of having the hero always in hand In th sick of time; but th dear public seem to like It more than the problem play and the ministry of epigrams. - The late Alexander Salvlni was wont to revel In the role ot d'Artagnan; and his successor, Paul Caxen-euve, wore out several seta of scenery In th season, two or three years ago. In the effort to rehabilitate the hero in public esteem. In "The Queen' Necklace" Kyrle Belle played Richelieu, with the dashing hero subordinate; and now, after all these years. It remain for Mr. E. H. Sohern artistically to reincarnate' In this fin de slecle period the spirit of the age of DArtignan. the epoch of Richelieu, in "The King's Musketeers." This the latest adaptation of the Dumas romance is by Henry Hamilton, and had a beautiful production yesterday afternoon at Powers', and pleased a large audience Immensely, coming aa an acceptable 1'envol to Christmas. The original story 1 followed quite closely. It la better done than any stage version that can be recalled, and haa stage episodes that sustain the spirit of the work more reasonably In the realm of interest. It Is generally well written, the comedy 1 neatly placed. and care 1 manifested for a reasonable ad vance toward climax that doe not necessitate th rending of the scenery or fiercely fracturing the vault of verbal echo. There 1 an adroitness in this play In dealing with the element of suspended Interest that is not to be classed with the rude, crude mem ories of "Saved at Seven." "On Hand." of the old cheap melodrama class calculated to keep . the mechanical harrow of unreality working overtime merely to make the flesh creep and the welkin ring. In "Th Musketeer" there 1 a laudable effort, likewise, to Impress a lovable interest In these gay gallant and lovely ladies from th land of dream, when the baleful shadow of the red robe hung over the throne of France. It would be Idle to attempt a synopsis of the trials of Anne -of Austria, and th wonder ful prowess of her champion from Gascony, who outwitted the arch cunning of Richelieu and the fiendish malignity ot Countesa de Winter. - Many of th old familiar figures are there. At least thirty-two have a speaking acquaint- ance in the cast of the play. There are five acts and thirteen scenes, furnl bed with great elaboration in scenlo detail. : It would be otmcult to overemphasise tn merit or tnis production. From a visual standpoint as a scenlo de luxe, the costumes are beautiful. presumably - historically correct; while the scenic environment is rurnasnea in a lavisn and dainty faeMon that shows rare regard for artistic composition and color In conformity I with the precedents established In the pic- turesaue age of lace. It Is neither cheap nor ! garish, and easily surpasses any similar melo dramatic production that has been given by Dansel Frohman, a statement that means considerable. From the ante-chamber of Trevllle the action advance the scene to Pre-aux-clerc. a lovely bit of outdoor painting, rich in color and splendid perspective. The second act opena In the Queen apart ment In the Louvre, and lead the Rue de la Harpe; the succeeding act change to the i palace of the Cardinal, and contrast the pic turesque piatneses or a Ariignau a apart ment with an ante-room in the Hotel de Vllle, The park of St. Cloud 1 a well-painted drop; Miladies mansion I pleasing from Its frescoes to It recessed window, and th convent at Beetume 1 beanfully painted. Those charming glimpse of (e painted past are from the brush of Edward Nlult. at on time the scenic painter at Hooley's. The fine harmony of effect Is enhanced by the admirable grouping of the figures, that reflect the glory of Vlbert for the unpicturesque period ot tn present. - If the caption remarked Mr. . Sotbern'a physical shortcomings In the hero of the Zenda romance, no one considered It to hi disadvantage In this play, even when he came In contrast with the three musketeers. Dumas' description of D Artagnan says: imagine yourself Don Quixote at 81. and too small for a grown man, an Inexperienced eye might have taken him for a farmer's son upon a Journey, had It not been for the long sword, which, dangling from a leathern baldrick, hit against the calves of Its owner as he walked." If our poetic hero, Cyraad de Bergerac. of the Gascon Cadets, -could march out Into th moonlight, and. with hi flashing blade, put to route an even hundred, It Is quite as reasonable that this young wUzard of th sword could pink his enemies with equal feciiiry and persuasion.- As before remarked, the mere question of stature soon dlssDDcared from this equation of dramatic Import, for u ine Gascon nero count not turn up like his massive friend, Porthos, he flamed mightily In swordsmanship, and so potentially realised th Import of the fiery spirit of the characterization, that disposition to mere material and petty contrasts was swept away. Hi D Artagnan was not only fiery in It fighting and romantic phases, yet It was the soul of rugged gallantry, and had the force ot toe poet fresh from the fields, linked with the grace of a courtier. The scene with Richelieu. In which he is trapped by his own Impetuous and imprudent volubility, was well carried ; again the Impetuous ardor of his love-making to the coquettish. Gabrielle. and the flaming of Jealousy was admirably simulated. Teh difficult scene tn Mlladi' boudoir was caOrried with rare force and prescience. It might readily have been ruined by a lees skilled actor, yet Mr. Sothern triumphed over Its glamor by his artistic touch, and carried the seen nnwlncingly to a tremendous -climax. Many detail might be dwelt upon to how how admirably he haa differentiated the phases of this romantle herw to make him more real than the dramatist, and make him more respected a. creation a the old-timer will admit! than any Impersonator he haa had slnco the palmy days of Charles Fechter. - - . The supporting company Is good In many respects. - Edith Crane once the statuesque Trilby, was splendid as the tigress Clarice, who lived mainly for revenge, but enjoyed other things In moderation. - She not only has the elements of physical beauty for allurement, but she caught the subtle spirit of deviltry in this siren branded with the fleur de lis. She entered the work seemingly with joyous spirit, and It had none of the haonting suggestion marking so many of our stage adventuresses. Miss Rebecca Warren, another beauty, invested Anne of Austin with more than a melancholy interest, something worth fighting for. She had the air of Queen, and - seemed .quite, able "-to-thwart he crafty ' Richelieu.' The seen with " the love lorn and Imprudent Buckingham ..was carried with a poise and feminine sweetness that waa Impressive and pathetic In It appeal. Misa Katherlne Florence was charming as the dainty Gabriel-la, and carried the difficult and delicate role with a hautier and grace that was fetching. Morton- Selton presented an admirable picture of Louis XIII., aa historian led us to regard that vascllating monarch. Wilbur Law rence's Impersonation of the great cardinal waa heavy and unconvincing, and had llttl of the fine gloved-hand that swayed the del tlnles of France. The three musketeers are well played by Roydon Erlynne. Norman Conniers, and George E. Bryant. Owen Faw-cett. C P. Flockton. Marshall Stedman. Row land Buckstone, and Norman Parr were others In the large cast-to be credited for ex cellent work. - McVleker's. , "In old Kentucky," C, T. Daisy's American melodrama,-haa been- here at least half a dozen times before, and yet. In all of Its long and popular- history, it has never. It is said, drawn such enormous buelneu aa dur ing the past two days at McVleker's. There Is an undeniable charm about the piece. Be it the atmosphere the air of romance and chivalry which even the matter-of-fact latter-day surroundings' do not obscure, the Inten sity ot the story (which 1 well told for a melodrama), the picturesque settings; . the pickaninnies, with their Wangdoodle band. their quaint barnyard fun, and their primitive amusements the exciting race scene, arranged with wonderful Ingenuity for thrilling effect combine to give the play all- around attractiveness. The characters are well-drawn, lifeHke and appropriate, not being introduced merely to add local color. Of this production th most imposing thing, however, is the scenery The first act is a notable set.. It portrays a mountain ridge In the picturesque Kentucky regions, with the tiny hours of Madge on a dominating rock-bound eminence, where the pretty heroine lives separated from th world by a great chasm bridged by a frail platform of planks which he draw up. shutting her off from th world when the has no tVesirs for company. It Is this bridge which furnishes one of the sensational effects of the play. It la deat royed and to get to the side of her lover Madge swings across the chasm on a rope. There was a distinct trepidation In the voice of the pretty Lulu Tabor when she grasped the rope for the swing Sunday night. Ordinarily this Jump 1a acroE a space of some twelve feet but last night ah waa trying it over a distance of more than twenty feet, and it looked twice as great to it audience. It requires clear grit to attempt a thing of that kind, but the plucky little woman did it without hesita tion and with signal success. She is on of the most charming actresses of that type of soubrett ingenue which Lottn made familiar; pretty, dainty, and ha the brightest kind of a comedy and pathetic touch in her work. In the arduous part this mountain gtrl swings across ravine, rushes- Into blinding flame to rescue her lover's - horse, and then ride this bors to victory ' in a big - race. One might think that it would coarsen her. but It doe not. for she 1 as sweet and womanly and aa daintily feminine as any empire- gowned Ingenue.' The cast is good through out.' Charles French, who deserve all the credit for the telling work of the pickanin nies, banng had them In charge since the first production of the play, is a capital old Neb and the way he handles his host of colored boy is a revelation In stage management. Frank Dayton Is a good-looking chap, who play the hero with as much man liness as the dramatist allowed. H. B. Brad ley I a good Colonel Sandusky DooMtlle and Plerc Klngsley gives an - Impressive per formance of Joe Lorry, the mountain lover of Madge. The pickaninnies) have profited greatly by their several years' training and their work H one of the charm f the per formance. .-. - - General Mratloa.. . . Manager Daniels' estimate that fully COO persona who wanted to see Clifford and Huth in "A High-Born Lady" were turned away from the Alhambra yesterday and last night because of lack of room. Olen McDonough's - boisterous but - -verr funny skit. "JfcFadden Row of Flats." is th Academy - bill of th week. The Speck brothers. Sadie ConnaJly. Joe Sullivan, and Harry Crandall. Charles Morgan, and Eatelle Wellington are the moat active participators in the entertainment, and a lot of shapely and pretty girl assist agreeably. , , There Is probably no stage comedian before the public today who- has a firmer hold on distinct popularity-and-a better knowledge of what a publkn aOmc am at than Ezra 1 Kendall, and to say that he kept the Olym- pic crowds yesterday tn a state of laughter would be mild. An entertaining European novelty was represented In the performance of the Bruins, a quartet -of acrobatic come dians, who gave several difficult and aston ishing tricks. Lizzie Evans, comedy star, and Harry Mills a light comedian, pre sented a comedy skit. "A Strange Cataa- trophe." and an effective number waa pro vided by Paulo and Dlka. a duo of graceful and accomplished French singers. Max Mir- ' llan and Shields engaged la a rapid-fire dialogue, and some dramatlo diversities of the rough-and-ready order, and the Ramsey sisters proved to be a -duo of clever musical comediennes. Hart and Leo Introduced a clever musical comedy skit, and the flying urvuie gave a sensational and graceful aerial performance. Bobby Ralston waa well received r Tegge and Daniel made a good Im pression in their German comedy, and O'Dell and Perry provided a fund of laughable material In their Witty Irish dialogue. BARNES HAS ODD VISIONS. Tw. Charehes Dl.t.rbed by a gees X.r -. In aa Asylaaa. . Denominational circles In . Harvey hav been greatly stirred during the past three or Tour week by reputed heavenly vision which were vouchsafed to a Free Methodist named E. C Barnes. Barnea was a mechanic In the employment ot the Harvester King Manufacturing company, and, prior to the pe culiar hallucinatloaa- which culminated last Friday In commitment to the Insane asylum at Kankakee, was credited with being an un usually Intelligent man for one ot his class. A few weeks ago Barnes showed symptoms ot extreme religious fervor while In attend ance at a prayer meeting In the Baptls church. A day er two later he confided to the Baptist pastor that he had bad a vision from on high telling him to put away his wife and consecrate himself for a great work designed for him. Pastor Miller told Barnes a spirit that would advise him to forsake a wife and two little children. If it had any existence at all. must have come from some other locality than heaven. - Barnes went home and Informed hia wife of- four years she must take the little ones and go to her parents. Th woman cried, but the husband was obdurate, and the wife went to her parents' home in another part of the city. Barnes then ceased an work ana waitea for his daily visions. The Baptists were scandalised: and doubly so, when the Fres Methodists gave seeming Indorsement to the new- prophet a mission by welcoming Barnea Into their church. -Barnes, In his new church home, shouted and prophesied, and many converts were made. The announcement of th near approach ot the end of the world stirred to frenzy the weak-nlnded among Barnes' Immediate following. The demented man announced ' one night last , week at prayer meeting that he had had a message authorising him to take a wife. There was great Joy among those present. - There was a oisunci snoca ana not a ww protests, however, when the seer declared the command was for a brand-new wife. Barnes added he had already selected the weman; that she was once a sweetheart of his, but) bow married. He said he had but to wait a little while and the way would be cleared lor the fulfillment of the prophecy.. The scandal caused by this cold-blooded arrangement led to a Judicial Investigation. The result was a commitment to the asylum. - ' - vi ion . .r- now at a discount In Free Meth odist circles In Harvey and members of the Baptist church are engaged in saying 1 told you so." Barnes recovery is regarded aa doubtful. ' - ;. Fire Dsmssn Large Bars. '. Fire of unknown origin damaged the big barn of the William Waller Coal company, Nos. 2228-2232 Indisna avenue, to the extent of J2,j00 yesterday. The fire started In the apper part 'of the three-story building;, and before It gained much headway the employe rescued twenty-horses'-which were in tn structure. --- -' . - ;! ' !:: Indiana, Society Item. An Indiana girl who was in love with a bank robber turned the man over to the police because h Jilted her and married her mother. We believe this la the warmest society Item Indiana has produced this season. Wash Ington Post. - -'-; - - - "