Faust comment

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Faust comment - The modern stage-manager gets in more of his...
The modern stage-manager gets in more of his deadly work every year. Plays are constantly becoming more spectacular and realistic, tanks are bigger, machinery is more complicated and millinery and smart frocks are rapidly becoming of more importance than good p.'ays and clever acting. But what a boon the stagemanager stagemanager would confer upon dramatic art, if he could be induced to restrict his efforts to new plays and to melodramas! No one would grudge him those, Tor generally Bpeaking they are not worth rescuing irom his clinches. Bat alas! the stage-manager, the milliner and the modiste are slowly but insidiously encroaching on all that is sacrea in the drama, though of the preat plays Goethe's "Faust" has hitherto suffered most at their hands. There is scope In "Faust" for spectacular display, but the line should be drawn somewhere, and that somewhere assuredly is at illuminating the flowers in Marguerite's Marguerite's garden with incandescent lights. Could anything be mere banal and vulgar? One thinks at once of a superior sort of beer-garden, or at best exposition-grounds, with a military band playing and electric fountains somewhere ia the background. All the illusion of quaint medieval Nuremburg Nuremburg is shattered by this fin de siecle innovation, innovation, as completely as if Marguerite chewed gum or Faust interrupted hisloveroaking hisloveroaking to order cocktails for two. It's Morrison's "Faust" that they are playing at the Columbia; the name of Goethe does not fipure anywhere on the programme. The public is informed who supplied the electric light, who made the costumes, who directs the destiny of the calcium glow, but the man who wrote the play is not worth mentioning. It is just as well, perhaps. In another and a better world Goethe might jangle his harp and play harsh discords if this particular Morrison Morrison production of "Faust"' were brought prominently to his notice; but how indignant indignant we should be if foreigners ignored our American geniuses in thai way. Sup pose Berlin managers took it into their heads to produce works written by men on this side of the Atlantic and excluded the names of the original writers to glorify those of their own countrymen. We should feel out and injured if we saw that Herr yon Piltzner's "Robin Hooi" was quite tbe rage in Berlin or that the Baron yon Pretzel's Pretzel's laughable comedy "A Trip to Chinatown" Chinatown" was the hit of the theatrical season in the Fatherland, and there is no doubt that we should question whether the Herrs and the Baron's adaptations were scintillating enough to blot out tbe names of the original writers. It is the modern tendency, however, both in plays and music, to give credit to the gentlemen who make the adaptations or transcriptions and give little or none to the original writers, so Morrison, who has three "Faust" companies on the road, is quite abreast with the times.

Clipped from The San Francisco Call10 May 1896, SunPage 24

The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, California)10 May 1896, SunPage 24
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