Brooklyn Life from Brooklyn, New York on April 1, 1899 · Page 31
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Brooklyn Life from Brooklyn, New York · Page 31

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Brooklyn, New York
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Saturday, April 1, 1899
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Page 31
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26 BROOKLYN LIFE. IT is about twenty years, if I remember rightly, since Anson Fond wrote "Her Atonement," the five-act melodrama that will be the attraction at the Montauk during the fortnight just in sight. It ran for several years, and was then shelved, until the golden era of "THE TURTLE." (Act 3) Columbia. war plays set in, when Charles Frohman made up his mind that a revival of it would be just the thing for his annual production at the Manhattan Academy of Music. Early in the year he brought it out there with a mise en scene that was nothing short of lavish, and his judgment was rewarded by the immediate success of the revival. Fresh from this run, which closed last Saturday night, it comes to the Montauk, where a continuation of its successful career may be relied upon. The story of "Her Atonement" is made up of the closing chapters in the life of a country girl (Martha West), who follows her lover (Charles Le Roy) to -New York, after he has deserted her and her child. Failing to obtain justice, she shoots and kills him just as he is about to sail , for Europe". This happening at the moment that the brother of another girl (James Morton) has threatened to shoot the fellow, and while it was known that Le Roy had 4 large amount of money in his possession, suspicion is directed against the two persons mentioned and Le Roy's valet. Martha W est is discharged for lack of evidence, the valet is convicted of stealing the money only, while young Morton is allowed to go to war. Three years later the latter returns a hero, only to be arrested immediately for the murder of Le Roy. Meanwhile, Martha West has been a nurse in the field, and has in that capacity been so attentive to Lieutenant Morton that he has fallen in love with her. Naturally, when the trial comes up, and she goes into court to see him about to be convicted by circumstantial evidence, she rises to her feet and proclaims herself the guilty one. She is thought to be crazy, however, and no one will believe her until, in the next and final act, she takes poison, and by dying makes "her atonement." As the scenes are laid in New York and Jersey City, during the Civil War, advantage is taken of that fact to make "Her Atonement" a military play. Soldiers figure prominently in several of the scenes, especially in the second act, where the New York Volunteers are shown leaving for the war embarking in a North River ferryboat, again in midstream, and then on board a train. In their number is a detachment of the Astor Battery the genuine article, an anachronism that most theater-goers will gladly overlook. The play is very effectively staged, some of the scenes being unusually fine. As for the actors, mention of them has not been left until the last because they least deserved it. On the contrary, the cast is one of the strongest points of the production. Annie Irish plays the heroine, and the other leading roles are in the capable hands of Kate Denin Wilson, Jessie Busley, Louis Aldrich, Richard Bennett and Henry E. Dixey. AFTER being dark a week, the Columbia will reopen its doors next Monday night with the first production in this borough of "The Turtle" an adaptation by Joseph W. Herbert of Leon Gandillot's three-act farce, "La Tortue," which was a Parisian sensation during its run of two years at the Theatre des Nouveautes. Done into h.iglish, it was first seen in America at the Manhattan Theater on the th rd of last September, and, as possibly everyone knows, it was the ta.k cf the town the morning after the premiere. Just why it was town talk is equally well known, although, as a matter of current theatrical news, it will bear repetition. It was, in fact, highly sensational, in spite of its slow-sounding name. Scenes that were . not only risque as to situation, but coupled with language that stepped over the established line of frankness, were integral parts of the action; so, on the whole, "The Turtle" was set down as the ne plus ultra of spiciness. Whether it was, however, is a question. Certainly old play-goers can remember productions of other days in which like talk was indulged in, while even within the past year or so quite as grave charges as to risque" scenes have been made against several plays. Judgment of "The Turtle," then, must depend a great deal upon the point of view Those who like that sort of play will like it very much, indeed, and the chances ire that, that con tingent is numerous enough in Brooklyn to fill the Columbia all of next week. But I am not going to foster the prevalent idea of those who have yet to see "The Turtle" for the first time that it is attractive only because of the qualities just referred to at length. On the contrary, it is primarily a very amusing farce. The plot is slight, and concerns chiefly the proverbial fickle-mindedness of woman. L e" o n i e Champalier, wife oi a retired grocer, whom she has nicknamed "T h e Turtle," wants to be divorced from him because he is too slow to suit her temperament. Directly he is .free, L ft Mug -1 4r v i J1 x 1 0 ffjn i ' t "HER ATONEMENT." (Act 4.) Montauk. GRACE GAYLER CLARKE. Gayety. ,,,, .,.. however, he remarries, and the first wife is repentant, and wants him back before he has left the church with his new bride. This fact, and certain peculiarities of the French divorce laws, lead to complications ' that need not be recited in advance. The farce is very cleverly acted, and , in some respects with the rare delicacy that distinguishes the Parisian stage. This applies particularly to the work of Sadie Martinot and W. J. Ferguson, who play M. and Mme. Champalier. They are of the original cast, as are also Mrs. McKee Rankin, Agnes Findlay, M. A. Kennedy, Henry Bergman and Harry Allen. Others who will appear in the Columbia production are E. W. Morrison, Maud White (a very pretty actress, who is pleasantly remembered in other plays), and Sallie Berg. The three scenes are placed at the Champalier country house, Auteuil; in thebridaljchamber of the Hotel d'Armenonville, at Avignon, and in the corridor of the same hostelry. All are handsome, giving "The Turtle" a charming setting. rpHE Amphion will also reopen on 1 Monday, the attraction being the Jaxon Opera Company, which finishes this week an engage-

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