The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio on October 25, 1931 · Page 58
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The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio · Page 58

Cincinnati, Ohio
Issue Date:
Sunday, October 25, 1931
Page 58
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IHAGETHE CINCINNAT1ENQUIIIEII SCKEElf SECTION THREE SIX parrte 33laj ;tar. toersie tetoi Taken By Critics On The Place Of James Barrie In Dramatic World Revival Of "The Admirable Crichton" Provokes Interest In Earlier Plays Of Same Title And In Scotchman, Of That Name Who Lived In Sixteenth Century "Meet My Sister" Not To Play Cincinnati Shubert To Be Dark For Tuo Weeks. By George A. Xeighton. L"'i fl.. iSAAC GOLDBERG, writing cism, illustrate the "inevitable divergence of the most enlightened opinion11 try quoting from three leading critics' expressed attitudes toward Sir James Barrie, Whose "Admirable Crlchton" la coming to the Grand tomorrow night Storm Jameson says: "Mr. Barrie Is not a romantic, though he is here In their company. His work eludes classification. There is nothing like It in the whole of modern drama and few will be found to withhold from Mr. Barri any honoring word. They should be gracious words and kindly, like the work that waits their tribute, needing It so little. But the drama of J. M. Barrie has other arts thoughts wandering in forgotten places and their eyes searching for forgotten dreams. There is pity, infinite pity, and lest that become intolerable. Infinite courage, defying suffering and age and death itself." "If the true artist Is he who makes life finer and nobler than It is, then Is the author of "Quality Street" and "The Old Lady Shows Her lledals" Indubitably an artist, touching life with gentle fingers, making It braver and sweeter to our lips." George Jean Nathan says of Barrie: "The triumph of sugar over diabetes." Ludwig Lewisohn is the third commentator quoted. "His (Barries) plays are commended for their purity. He surrounds with the gentlest pathos and all the beauty he can comprehend in a triviality of soul that is as shameful as one hopes it rare. Spiritual triviality we come Very close to Barrie with that phrase. He makes harsh things sweetish and grave things frivolous and noble things to seem of small account. No wonder he is popular among all the shedders of easy, comfortable tears. He dramatizes the cloud in order to display its silver linings. Barrie's imagination is as uncontrolled as his Ideas are feeble and conventional." These estimates of the author of "Peter Pan" and "Alice-Sit-by-the-Fire." would seem to have small application to the younger man who wrote "The Admirable Crlchton," a comedy-satire on the "back-to-nature" philosophy, and In which the concrete problems of environment versus heredity and social class distinctions are delightfully blended. Barrie borrowed the title, "The Comedy And Tragedy Form BUI To Be Offered At Musk Hall "Twelfth Night" and "Hamlet" are to be given by Sir Philip Ben Greet and his company of English players at Music Hall tomorrow afternoon and evening. "Hamlet" will be performed at night, while the comedy will be enacted at the matinee. It Is a rather singular thought bout Shakespeare that though he has been dead over 300 years there has never been a night since he passed away that somewhere in this world one of his plays has not been performed. The sun never sets on the British possessions, nor has darkness ever dimmed the marvel of this man's genius, which belonged no to England, but to the world, for his works are being performed now in every country that has the slightest claim to civili-ation. Sir Philip Ben Greet Is returning to America by Invitation of leading universities and cities that had seen him last season, and by those who wanted his company, but were unable to secure it. A fine reputalion, after all, Is one of the bulwarks which lead to eventual success, and after fio years of public ser Ice in giving Shakespeare and the classics. Ben Greet was recently honored by a knighthood bestowed upon him by his Majeitjr King George the Fiftfe. PAGES on the aubject of contemporary criti than the wizardry that sets men's I Admirable Crlchton," either from a character who lived about the time of Shakespeare or from a play of the same name by George Galloway, a copy of which is in the New York Public Library with the date of 1802 on its title page and printed "By John Taylor and sold by the booksellers of London and Edinburgh, or at the author's own shop, Wilson's Land, Crosseauscway." This earlier Crlchton was a rip-snorting tragedy and dealt with romance, intrigue and learning of a period in the dim past. A kindly press agent has sent us a sample of its style, taken from the prologue: When Gothic darkness dastardly retlr'd. And KnowledKe fair her votaries lnsptr'd, Crlchton, a brilliant north star, bright ap-nea-'d, And Learning's standard from oblivion rear'd; But ah! as lightning, sprung a cruel gust. And laid Fame's tlarllne sudden In the dust: Sudden, alas! dropp'd Scotia's Rental flow'r. While Europe's eyes gushed filial tears a shower. Nothing of this earlier play except the title was used by Barrie. It would seem more likely that a sense of humor and contrast, rather than the influence of history or tradition, prompted the dramatist to hang on to his character of a butler the high-sounding designation. For the Ad- This act was acclaimed by me English press as a richly deserved one and congratulations from all over the world were showered upon him by friends and admirers. This season Sir Philip is appearing as Malvolio in "Twelfth Night" and as Polonius in "Hamlet." He has surrounded himself with a company of recognized players. The cast Includes one of the best-known English actors, Russell Thorndike, who will be seen in the parts of Sir Toby Belch in "Twelfth Night" and as Hamlet in "Hamlet." Russell Thorndike is the author of "Doctor Svn." a novel published In England and America from which he adapted the play of that name. Some of his other published novelj are "The Slype" and "The Va.idekeers." He is also biographer of his sister s life, Sybil Thorndike, England's tragic --'-ss. The ok has recently been published in England and America. As a boy Russell Thorndike sang In the choir at the Chapel Royal, Windsor Castle, and was boy soloist to the late Queen Victoria and last sang at Windsor on the occasion of her funeral. The performances In Cincinnati are under the auspices of the University of .Cincinnati, Walter J?ampben &nb jfap JBatnter & mirable Crlchton Is naught but a menial moving in lordly circles, far above his circumstance In caliber, and who. near the end of the play, answers Lady Mary's query, "Does he despise her?" with, "Yes, my lady." t The original Crlchton, chronicled by John Johnston in his "Heroes Scoti," published in 1603, was sur-named James. Barrie's hero Is Bill. This early biographer gave Crlchton his title Admlrabilis and details his career at length. James Crlchton was born in Dumfrieshlre In 1560, the son of a Lord Advocate under Queen Mary. He earned his Bachelor's degree at the age of 14 and a Master's degree a year later, both at St. Andrew's University. At the age of 17 he waa holding forth In Paris, delivering extemporaneous poetry and debating in the Latin tongue. It Is recorded that he could converse In at least ten languages, ancient and modern, and served In the French Army for two years. In 1580, Crlchton was In Venice and through his success in "disputations" a prevailing sport of the times accumulated a host of admirers who formed a traveling nucleus for his audiences everywhere he traveled. Among his close friends were the humanists, Lorenzo Massa and Giovamml Donati. At Padua, in the course of one debate he extemporized a Latin poem, took a valiant "crack" at the Aristotelian ignorance, and ended with a peroration' in praise of ignorance. He appears to have possessed a characteristic universally distinctive of scholars versed only in cultural lore a marked antipathy toward the sciences, scientists and scientific data. He usually won his arguments; whether he disproved facts is not on record. Crichton finally went to Mantua. became tutor to the young Prince of the community and was killed by the Prince In a street quarrel. This event is stated to have occurred in 1582, but, just as if it made any difference, there are those who declare friend James was alive as late as 1586. The above facts have as much relevancy as the oft referred to flowers that bloom in the May, tra la. Barrie's hero hasn't the slightest resemblance to the original James Crlchton. The earlier play contains no hint of inspiration for the Bar rie's play. Should a curious reader wonder why we even mention the matter of earlier Crichtons, he will be in the same mental state as the young applicant for officer's training during the late hostilities. Saluting the head officer, the recruit was asked his name. "Harry Randolph Smith, sir." "You were born in Chicago, then?" "No, sir." "Your middle name is Randolph?" "Yes, sir." "There Is a Randolph Street In Chicago, Isn't there?" "Yes, sir." "Then how is it that your middle name is Randolph and you weren't born In Chicago?" "I don't know, sir." Disappointment will be felt over the rerouting of "Meet My Sister," which takes it eastward rather than to Cincinnati. It had been booked to open at Shubert Theater this evening. As a result of the change in schedule, the Walnut Street house will be dark for two weeks, an interim to be broken by a week's showing of "Mikado," with Schumann-Heink In a featured role. Following this will come "Three Little Girls," the Chicago Ovie Shakesnenrenn ' fnmmnv in renertorv: Al .Tolson in "Wonder Bar" and another of the Dramatic League attractions. And speaking of the Dramatic League, it is mighty hard to under stand the pitiful response accorded the outstanding merits of its first offering, "Mrs. Moonlight." Besides those intrinsic qualities of the play itself and the unalloyed beauty of Its presentation, there rlso was present an honest, popular appeal. . For the sentimentally inclined, there was incitation to flowing tears; for lighter minded folk, humor was In abundance; for the dreamer of dream! for the romantic, for the SUNDAY MORNING, OCTOBER 25, 1931 Controversy Still Persists About Crichton's Later Life With the engagement of "The Admirable Crlchton" with Walter Hampden, Fay Balnter and a typical George C, Tyler revival cast at the Grand Opera House for an engagement of four nights beginning tomorrow, the controversy regarding the eventual fate of the fictional Crichton is likely to blaze again among lovers of J. M. Barrie's work. The ending of the play has always been a bone of critical contention from the time It wag first produced t'i 1902, and Barrie himself has made changes In the script on the occasion of its revival in London. What really happened to Crichton after the play was over? Returning tc the costume and the mien of the butler after his year's of sovereignty or an island, was he content to live the "natural" and, to him, humiliating life of civilization? Just what would he do with the rest of his life, besides remembering and remembering? student of characterization, for a wide range of psychological conditions, for almost everyone with the voguest sensitivity, there was an appeal. Yet only a small handful of theater-goers were on hnnd at each performance. Why? It couldn't have been a question of price, because seats sold as low as 50 cents and leached only a $2.50 top. Possibly the impression got abroad that the vehicle was "high-browed." Even so, there surely are enough lovers of the "high-browed" in Cincinnati to Erlanger Grand "The Admirable Crlchton," by Sir James M. Barrie, with Walter Hampden and Fay Balnter in the leading roles, opens at the Grand Opera House for an engagement of four nights, beginning tomorrow. There will be a matinee on Wednesday. The theme of the comedy places Bill Crichton, model butler, In the home of a superficially democratic peer. The members of the household, with Crlchton and Tweeny, the kitchen maid, are landed on an Isolated and deserted island to work out their social salvation as a primitive group. Albce Hot and jazzy is the music promised by Louis Armstrong and his orchestra, vaudeville headllners at the Albee Theater. Screening is "Pardon Us," first full-length comedy picture for Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. The pair enact hapless bootleggers Current tactions ; Leader Is Versatile Soloist; Croons And Plays Trumpe Music plus personality seems the most fitting description of Louis Armstrong and Orchestra, who are Aibee Theater headllners this week. In musical circles, Armstrong !s admitted to be one of the foremost jazz trumpet players of the day. Behind him is a band of 10 musicians. Their duties are simply to beat out accompaniment to the Armstrong trumpet work and Armstrong's singing. Seldom Is there need for an instrument to assume the lead. Armstrong takes care of this with his voice or horn. His style of singing, of playing;, bM The original acted version. It may be recalled, gave broad hint that Crlchton would aettle down with Tweeny in a little public house In the Harrow Road, "at the more fashionable end." There are only two hints as to Crichton's future In the original play, hints so vague as hardly to deserve the phrase. To Treherne's question, "What will you do, Crlchton?" the erstwhile "sovereign" shrug his shoulders. "'God knows,' It may mean," Is Barrie's only comment In the stage directions. And then the final lines of the play: Lady Mary "Tell me one thing: You have not lost your courage?" Crlchton "No, my lady." In those lines there Is the hint, too, that when "The Admirable Crichton" comes here, its audience will be in the mood to take It as it finds It and conduct no such Inquiries Into the philosophy of radicalism as first met the play. have filled the house for each presentation. Plays such as the Dramatic League proposes sending here are of a quality to require high-salaried stars. It would be a matter of real regret if the league should decide that they couldn't afford to send their productions to Cincinnati. Yet it hardly is reasonable to expect that any producing organization should take the reception given "Mrs. Moonlight" with a hearty and philosophical laugh. Producers and most other people just aren't that way. who quickly fall afoul of the law. Additional vaudeville players Include Jim McWilllams, "pianutist;" Rosette and Luttmann, dancers; the Yaropl Troupe, gymnasts; Morton and Parks, funsters. Empress "Rumba Girls," opening at the Empress Theater this afternoon for a week's engagement, features Harry Steppe, Hebrew comedian, and Jerri McCauley, singing and dancing star. Miss McCauley leads a troupe of other women, including Gladys Mc Cormlck, Arda Karlova and Sally O'Donnell, brunette prima donna. Four men add to the speed of the show. They are Ned Dandy, charac ter comedian, who keeps Steppe stepping; Jim Hall, entertainer; Pal mer Cody, Juvenile, and Tim Benson, character man. A midnight show will be given Saturday. attracted the attention of many dance band leaders of the country, who are Instructing their trumpet men to try to catch the Armstrong manner. The Boswell Sisters, recent Albee Theater headllners, give generous praise to Armstrong In explaining their success. It was he. they say. who trained them in the singing manner that has brought renown. Some two years ago be filled an engagement at the Showboat, a night club in Chicago. He has filled lengthy engagements in New York, Los Angeles and New Orleans all centers for advanced jazz musical development a well as In Chicago, Two Stars Secured As Special Feature Of Burlesque Show That the sponsors of burlesque are always trying to present the very best talent and shows possible If attested by the appearance In "Rum ba Girls,' opening at the Kmpress Theater this afternoon, of Harry Steppe and Jerri McCauley, a itar combination which would do credit to any attraction. Steppe is back In burlesque this season a'ter an absence of several years, during which time he played both on Broadway and on the road, including Cincinnati, in vaudeville, musical comedy and revues. Steppe's forte is Hebrew characterizations and one of the few remaining comedians still doing this type of character. He writes his own comedy scenes and many In which other funsters are seen. Miss McCauley, while one of the newer members of the burlesque world, is nevertheless popular. Her first appearance in a burlesque show took place on the same stage on which she will open today. That was three years ago, after Henry Dixon, veteran burlesque and Broadway producer, had discovered her In a Chi cago cabaret. Since then Miss McCauley has risen to the top rung in burlesque. A tltlan-haired, peppy comedienne, fhe has a way about her and a personality which wins instant fnvor. Show Boat Tonight maiks the end of the engagement of Bryant's Show Boat troupe in their presentation of "Hamlet," at the foot of Iwrence Street. The Show Boat has been In the Cincinnati harbor for six months, offering old style melodramas and vaudeville between acts. The company has achieved much success and are leaving behind many friends. Arrangements have been made for the boat to return in the sptlng and again present a repertory of plays that had their hey-day in the early nineties. Zoo Now that a name has been found for the pigmy elephant at the Zoo Glmpy there Is much speculation as to how the little pachydern will take to It. A christening ceremony will be held in the near future, according to present plans. Susie, the gorilla, will be one of the guests of the occasion. The Zoo is now clothed in its autumn colors, and Is well worth seeing for its scenic effects alone. Greystone Al Sky's Orchestra will entertain dancers at the Greystone Ballroom, Musio Hall, tonight, and he will be followed in the bandstand Tuesday by Louis Armstrong's Orchestra. Saturday evening, Greystone will hold Its annual Halloween ball. Fifty dollars in gold will be prizes for the most oeautnui anu most comical costumes. The grand march will becin at 11:30 o'clock and dancing will continue until 1 o'clock. Mlrhael Hauer's Orchestra will be in the bandstand. On that evening he will feature his vocal trio, Carl Taylor, Harry Yoder and Clyde Reynolds. Horseshoe Gardens Dance numbers that are new and a novel entertainment program will be offered by Cliff Burns and hi; Green Mill Orchestra at Horseshoe Garden Dance Palace, Ward Avenue, Bellevue, Ky., tonight. The De Lylc Sisters, Charles McCarthy, James Morris and Wilson Lang will perform. The gardens are open Thursday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Preparations are being made for the Halloween carnival scheduled for Saturday night. Prizes for the most unique and prettiest costumes will be given. SECTION THREE SIX PAGES utt Co e- W)tt Itgljt Way Church Mouse Turns Into Insidious Cat In Play, Adapted From Hungarian Viennese Girl ObvU ously Sets Cap For Bert Lytell English Venture Struggles For American Recognition Wealth And Success Is Time-"(p Pop 'The' Devil" 'Be comes "Everybody's Welcome" In Musical Ver sion Of ComedyOscar Shaw And Ann Penning ton Star. By Frederick F. Schrader. ai. r.onnisi'ONDENri to trr lyvrim. New York, October 24. HE CHURCH MOUSE 11 a mall ita o tt rf i rar atrViliS 2i has shown poor judgment rl In making its habitation in a church, since a church freely dispenses consolation but hardly anything in the way of those ub-stantlals which sustain physical life. Ladlslaus Fodor, the Hungarian playwright, has chosen the church mouse as a symbol of poverty and humility which he has Incorporated In the personality of Susie Sachs, a little Viennese who has tasted poverty to the bit'er dregs but shakes off her humility In a despairing ef fort to be selected one out of a hundred a p p 1 1 c a n 1 1 by Baron Thomas von Ullrich as his personal stenographer, '.he young Baron following the congenial and ambitious occupation of President of the Vienna Universal Bank. She all but forces herself Into the job and does so well In managing the Baron's affairs, business and social, that when he beholds her without her church-mouse trappings and her office uniform, but in the latest Pa risian sartorial conception cut decollete very he Just can't resist the temptation of discharging her and becoming her husband. That is the sum and substance of "A Church Mouse," which William A. Brady is presenting at his Playhouse. It is perhaps a meager little comedy, Orphans Are Invited By Shrine To Watch Puppet Performance Arrangements have been completed by Syrian Temple, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, to bring Tony Sarg's Marionettes to Taft Auditorium Thursday for afternoon and evening performances. The afternoon performance will start at 2 o'clock, when Thackeray's "The Rose and the Ring" will be the attraction, and the evening performance, at 8 o'clock, when "Alice In Wonderland" will be shown. . The affair will be a special treat to Cincinnati orphan and crippled children, for Judge Frederick L. Hoffman, Illustrious Potentate of the Shrine, have arranged to have some of both groups as guests of the Shriners at the afternoon performance. The original Tony Sarg Marion ettes will be seen. For the last 10 years this company has toured the United States and Canada, producing a new play each season, presenting these plays with complete scenic equipment and costume investiture equaling any metropolitan theatrical production. Although there are countless marionette companies now, there were none traveling when Tony Sarg made his first production In this country titer several aeuona la perform igy Innocently obvious in this Hattoa Americanized version, but it Is entertaining because the excellent acting makes one condone much that la obvious. That the piece has been more or less devitalized is known to those who saw a German version of the original In these parts not long ago. In the part of Susie, old playgoers recognize In Ruth Gordon much of the petite charms of the one-time fa. mous Lotta Crabtree, and In the Ini nocuous but graceful vehicle quall-ties which attracted the public to Minnie Palmer's style of plays of years ago. Which Is to say that Mis Gordon is a thorough little spellbinder, with a vivacity and a surety of touch that cannot fail to delight the heart, and that "A Church Mouse" is just the sort of background for her fascinating personality and style of acting. Bert Lytell makes a first-class character of the jovial, good-natured, flirtatious Baron. At the Forrest Theater, Ronald Jeans's English play, "Lean Harvest," with Ieslie Banks the featured player, is In the problematic stage whether it will equal the success it had In London. It Is a delightfully produced and acted drama, dealing with the career of a young man who) grows rich and. in the process, loses all he holds dear. It is the tragedy; of ambition that o'erleaps itself. He first loses his provincial sweetheart because she is content to marry him at once and be happy In humble circumstances, while he wishes to make a success in tha business world before marriage. Continued On Page 2, Section 5. London, England, where he had a. studio theater above the Dlckena Old Curiosity Shop. This company carries 100 wooden, actors manipulated by a company of eight dramatic and musical artists, on a complete miniature stage, with elaborate lighting equipment and scenery, designed by Tony Sarg. It Is the maestro's motto to hav a laugh or a stunt In every threa minutes of the two hours of a pew formance. Permission for a group of Univert sity of Cincinnati Applied Arts stus dents to be a behlnd-scenes audi ence was granted yesterday. Thai courtesy was requested by Miss Alice! V. Little, assistant professor of applied Arts, for a group of her stu-dents who are building a marion ette theater and experimenting wlthi marionettes. They have already; progressed to the point where a nuirw ber of puppets have been con structed. The visit of Tony Sarg's Marionettes will furnish them with an opportunity to see at first hand tha workings of a- marionette theater, They will not only watch the peW formance, but study the set-up anJ lighting of the stage, and the eons gtcuctlon of tha puppeta, V

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