Lee W Keippel.

The deaths of David and Romie Doc Hodell in Newaygo Country, Goodwell Township, White Cloud, Michigan in 1922 online

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Online LibraryLee W KeippelThe deaths of David and Romie Doc Hodell in Newaygo Country, Goodwell Township, White Cloud, Michigan in 1922 → online text (page 5 of 60)
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stood or appreciated by refined people. It
smacks of the variety-hall adventure, and is
certainly neither characteristic, nor is it essen-
tial as revealing the private trials of the better
class of people on the stage.

Mr. E. E. Rice, Mr. Dixey's astute man-
ager, has purchased a new burlesque on the
London Lyceum " Faust,*' containing the
same number of scenes as the drama. Mr.
Dixey will make up as Mr. Irving in Mepkis^
topheles. The libretto is by a Mr. Joseph
Tarbrar, who has also arranged the lyrics and
music. It is expected that after a tour Mr.
Dixey will return to New York, and prepare
this burlesque in conjunction with the author.
♦%

On the occasion of Mr. Dixey's last appear-
ance in London, an apropos addition to his
famous song, " It's English, you know," was the
following neat and appropriate " farewell
verse" by Mr. Cunningham Bridgman :

*Tis always a hard thing to bid friends ** Good-bye "
In EngUsh, you know,//a/» English, you know ;

It sends the salt water up into one's eye
When friends are so English, you know.

And so as I hope to return to your shore —



That is, if you really don't think me a bore -
Instead of farewell, let me say au revoir^
In English, /V^irtrA-English, you know.



ings that we say and the things that we do
Are English, you know, quite English, you know.
So don't forget me, and rll not forget you,
Who are English, quite English, you know.
*

Two of the London Crystal Palace concerts
this year will be conducted by Sir Arthur Sul-
livan. The first programme will be his own
setting of the " Golden Legend," which is to be



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THE THEATRE.



given on Dec. 4, when Mme. Albani will sing.
On Dec. 11 Sir Arthur will direct a mixed
programme, including Beethoven's fourth
symphony and concerto in G, played by Mile.
Kleeberg. The regular concerts will begin on
the 1 6th, and for these Mr. Augustus Manns
has made up an interesting programme. It in-
cludes Mackenzie's "The Story of Sayid,"
Villiers Stanford's " The Revenge," and
Dvorak's " St. Ludmila," all conducted by the
composers, besides a Liszt programme, and a
Berlioz programme ("The Childhood of
Christ ") on Nov. 20, a Weber centenary pro-
gramme on Dec. 18, Prout's new symphony in
E, and works new to these concerts by Liszt,
Cowen, Praeger, Mackenzie, Gadsby, George
Bennett and others.

***
LORTZING'S posthumous opera, ** Regina,"
will have its first public performance at Augs-
burg, Bavaria, this winter.

« «
The once famous singer, Adelina Spech,
for whom Adelina Patti was named, died a
few weeks ago in Rome. She was in her day
considered the rival of Malibran, but her sud-
den and remarkable corpulency compelled her
to withdraw from the stage at the age of
twenty-four.

It is said that Liszt's posthumous pianoforte
method, to which all pianists have been looking
forward so eagerly, is not complete in the man-
uscript. Last autumn Liszt had considerable
correspondence on the subject with his biog-
rapher, L. Ramann, but there is doubt now
what will be the outcome of it all. Apropos
of Liszt, the Mayor of Weimar has requested
Frau Wagner, in the name of the city, to be
allowed to transfer Liszt's body to Weimar,
where he offered to erect for him a mausoleum.
Frau Wagner has not decided what to do.

* *
I AM sorry to learn that Joseph Jefferson,
several times within the last two weeks, has
been compelled to give up a performance be-
cause of illness. Mr. Jefferson is now well ad-
vanced in life, and for nearly forty years has
been upon the stage. In all this time he has



never missed an engagement until now. It is
declared, however, that he is still vigorous, and
his present indisposition is nothing serious.
♦**
Mr. John T. Raymond appeared in a new
play in Detroit, last Monday night, entitled,
"The Woman Hater," which was written for
him by Mr. David D. Lloyd, author of " For
Congress." Mr. Raymond's character in this
piece is Samuel Bundy, a well-to-do bachelor
who pretends to dislike women. The scene
is laid at the Fifth Avenue Hotel. Bundy is
engaged to be married to four women, three
of whom appear in the play, while the fourth
is always just about to appear, to the discom-
fiture of Mr. Bundy. After many complica-
tions he is married to one of the four and com-
forts himself with the hope that he has seen
the end of his troubles. But when about to
start on his wedding tour he is mistaken for
another person and locked up in a private
asylum for insane. All the patients, like him-
self, are sane, but each regards all the others
as insane. Mr. Lloyd is also the author of
"The Dominie's Daughter," which will very
likely be produced at Wallack's Theatre the
latter part of the season.

Some time ago The Theatre rather
sharply criticised the magazine entitled Liter-
ary Life, of which Miss Rose Cleveland is
responsible editor. The typographical appear-
ance was a sad reminder that the cellar print-
ing office still exists in Chicago. Through this
suggestion Mr. Joseph Fleming, the artistic
member of the firm which prints The The-
atre, forwarded, by request of Mr. Elder, the
publisher of Literary Life^ the design for a new
cover. This was duly accepted and with much
grace. It will adorn the next number of the
magazine.

An American recently met M. Francisque
Sarcey, the clever French dramatic critic, and
suggested that he should visit the United States.
" Why ?" asked M. Sarcey. " It is a great
country, and is worth seeing," answered the
American. "Besides, you are well known
there, and you would be received kindly."



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Sarcey regarded the speaker with a half-hidden
cynicism. ** I am not convinced," he said.
" Must I go to America to get something to
eat ? I have all I can eat here." That ended
the discussion.

*♦*
Mr. John Gilmour (as his name is given
in the programme), is the leading actor in Miss
Lillian Olcott's company, at Niblo's Garden.
This is such a weak company, that a man of
moderate talent might reasonably be expected
to shine in it. But Mr. Gilmour is something
better than an actor who makes a good im-
pression among bad surroundings. He is the
sort of actor that is valuable in a strong, well-
balanced stock company. A tall, fine-looking
man, with a frank face, clear and bright eyes,
a sweet and rich voice, a quick intelligence,
and dramatic instinct — that appears to be Mr.
Gilmour as he is seen in " Theodora." It is
tmfortunate, in the circumstances, that Mr.
Gilmour's reputation is not to his credit in one
sense. He is a Canadian, and he has produced
American plays at Montreal and elsewhere
across the border. But he obtained these
plays by questionable means. Mr. Louis
Aldrich insists that Mr. Gilmour ** stole " Mr.
Campbell's " My Partner."

A SYNOPSIS of Mr. William Warren's life
and career upon the stage was printed in The
Theatre last week. This article was con-
densed from a still longer one, printed in Har-
per* s Weekly, In the present number of The
Theatre the reader will observe a portrait of
Mr. Warren, which is both faithful in a strictly
photographic sense, and faithful in a much
larger and more artistic sense. Mr. Warren
has a face that, once seen, is not easily for-
gotten. It is a well marked, thoughtful face,
and it brings back to one who regards it
earnestly, some of the most brilliant memories
of the Boston stage.

Mlle. Aim^e has announced her inten-
tion of producing this (Monday) evening, at
the Union Square Theatre, a play entitled
*' Marita," which is described as a three-act
musical comedy, arranged by Mr. Barton Hill.
* Marita " is actually an adaptation of Sardou's



clever play, *' Piccolino," which is now in Mile.
Rhea's repertory. In what sense *' Piccolino "
can be spoken of as a musical comedy is not
clear to us. The play is very bright, with a
brisk and clear action and a pleasant story.
Marita is a modest young girl, who is be-
trothed to a French artist, Frederic d'Avril,
Their love-making is bucolic and honest, but
when Frederic gets back to town, he falls in
love with the Countess Elena, Marita dis-
guises herself as a boy, calls herself Ficcolino,
and starts in search of him. After undergoing
the usual tribulations that befall a woman who
loves, is discarded, and then loves again,
she marries Frederic, gives up trousers, and
also the name of Piccolino. Mile. Aim^e's
interpolated songs may give this romantic little
play the air of a musical comedy.

*♦*
The frontispiece this week is a copy of a

photograph made from a celebrated painting,
by Otto Knille, now in one of the German gal-
leries. The original is remarkable for its
exquisite coloring and elaborate detail. An-
other charming illustration in this number of
The Theatre is "The Trio."

**♦
Very recently a young and charming girl,
well known in the society of Washington, New
York, and Ohio, contemplated going on the
stage, but her marriage to a young man who
bears a distinguished name changed her plans.
She had been much encouraged by Madame
Modjeska, who expected to introduce her this
season. In answer to a letter from the fair
bride stating the circumstances and desiring to
be released from her engagement, Madame
Modjeska wrote as follows :

Clarendon Hotel, Nbw York, Sept. 17, 1886.

My dear Mrs. : I was so happy to hear from you and

to know that the dream of your life has been realized.

I shall miss you, of course, but it is far better for you that
you are not going on the stage after all. Our life is not all
strewn with roses, and an existence of a young, beautiful girl
in our profession is sometimes very sad, believe me. You
were bom to shine — but not on the stage — you will shine in
society and be the pride of your husband and yours, and
when you are old you will have a circle of devoted fnends
around you, which will make your life sweet and easy.

An actress is appreciated only at the time of her glory —
when she has given to the world all that was best in her, she
is like an empty .bottle — no one cares for her any more. Oh !
it is far better for you as it is, and I congratulate you with
all my heart.

Mr. Bozenta joins me in greetings and good wishes.

With many kisses and blessing,

I remain yours always,

Hblsna Modjeska.

Every good woman on the stage will appre-
ciate this letter.

Trophonius.



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THE WEEK.



THE MAIN LINE.

Several of our native dramatists have en-
deavored to construct plays out of this very
simple material : an ignorant Western girl, very
pretty and very wild, whose lack of worldly
knowledge merely enforces the pictures<jueness
and natural charm of her character ; a still more
Western young man, gruff and burly, who per-
sists in a conviction that he is the person
chosen by Providence to be the girl's husband ;
another young man, this one from " polite "
civilization, who falls in love with the girl, and
is, therefore, obliged to encounter the passion-
ate and even savage protests of his rival. In
" The Main Line," a new play which was pre-
sented last Saturday evening, at the Lyceum
Theatre, the authors of it being Mr. Henry C.
De Mille and Mr. Charles Barnard, the same
material is used again, this time, however, with
a certain delicacy and novelty of effect, though
not with a perfectly balanced or entirely
strong dramatic effect. "The Main Line '
might be described as an ingenious and
somewhat interesting play, which falls short
of its own purpose. There is a pleasant
unforced, natural movement in the first and
second acts ; the third act reveals two startling
situations : the fourth and last act is poverty-
stricken and conventional. How Mr. De Mille
and Mr. Barnard could have permitted them-
selves to bring so promising a play to so impo-
tent a conclusion is hard to understand. More-
over, this conclusion is not merely impotent;
it is too evidently a desperate attempt to wind
up an intrigue which had been left in mystery
at the climax of the third act — a climax that
should and might easily lead to a still bolder
result.

The heroine of " The Main Line " is modeled
after the fervid, untutored, warm-hearted little



creatures that Bret Harte depicts in so droll
and so pathetic a manner. Her name is Possy
Burroughs, and she is the daughter of the
station-master at Rawson's Y, a railway junction
in the mountains of Colorado. A brakeman who
hangs about the place, is the lusty, wild-
western lover, who insists upon marrying
her against her will. This brakeman is not
quite a villain, perhaps ; but he does not hesi-
tate to use his influence over the station-master
to carry his point with the girl. At an embar-
rassing moment Possy fSls in love with a
tourist from the East, an artist, who also falls
in love with her. Unfortunately he is engaged
to Miss Dora Van Tyne, a character (if it can
be called a character) of not the slightest im-
portance in the play. Lawrence Hatton is not
heroic enough to know his own mind for many,
days consecutively. He breaks with Miss Van
Tyne, and, shortly afterwards, concludes that he
had done wrong. And so he forces poor, love-
sick Possy \o send a telegraphic dispatch to Miss
Van Tyne, recjuesting her to give him back
her hand. This is a very ungallant, not to say
brutal, thing for a nice young man from the
East to do, and there is no particular reason
why he should do it. But if he should not do
it, the authors of the play would miss their
brightest opportunity for an effective situation.
The climax of the third act shows the de-
parture of Lawrence Hatton from Rawson's
Y, on top of a freight car ; Jim Blakely, his
rival, is also on top of the car. But Jim has
now the promise of Possy that she will be his
wife, for she had given him the promise after dis-
covering the perfidy of Lawrence, The freight
car rolls away on the track, and is supposed to
disappear with a train in the distance. Suddenly it
detaches itself from the train and comes rushing
back down -hill, towards Rawson's Y. Possy is,
for a moment, dumb with terror. Then she turns
the switches, giving a free track past the sta-
tion to the detached car. At the same instant,
the whistle and rumble of an express train,
coming in an opposite direction on the same
tiack, are heard. Possy is in a dilemma.
She must either sacrifice the passengers on the
express train or sacrifice her lover. Her first
impulse is, naturally, to save her lover. But.
in a flash, a sense of exalted duty takes pos-
session of her. She gives the express a right
of way, and lets the freight car sweep to de-
struction. It turns out, in the last act, that
the person on top of the freight car was the
wild-western bully and not the perfidious
Lawrence. Two years after the accident, by
means of one of those impossible contrivances
that are held precious by the average drama-
tist, all the important characters of the play
meet at the same instant at Rawson's Y. And
so Possy gets back her lover.



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Mr. De Mille and Mr. Barnard have written i
what they would probably describe as a real-
istic play, and vet it would not be difficult to
point out incidents and characters in '* The
Main Line ** which belong wholly to the stage,
and not to life. The character of Lawrence
Hatton is particularly obnoxious; there is a
painful incongruity between what he is appar-
ently meant to be and his own actions. It is
not felt that everything in the piece occurs with
rational motive (ox its occurrence. The closing
scene is discursive, and is clumsily accounted
for, and the humorous personages whom the
authors have introduced by way of contrast,
rather than for any well-defined purpose, are
almost painfully commonplace. The best thing
that one may write of "The Main Line" is
that it possesses substantial merit enough to |
gloss over its faults and weaknesses, and to |
make these less glaring than they would other-
wise be. Moreover, the play has a quaint and
picturesque charm of its own. It suggests the
romance of the railroad, and it throws a halo
of imagination around the smokestack of the
locomotive.

Miss Etta Hawkins is a pretty and sincere
little woman, and her Possy is a touching
performance. Mr. Mason has. clearly enough,
little faith in his business, and is both slow and
unsympathetic. Mr. Charles Overton has pecu-
liar ideas of the dress and manners of a
gentleman. The other characters are in fairly
comi>etent hands, Mr. F. F. Mackay, an ex-
cellent and experienced actor, being chiefly
prominent in a part which offers him slight
opportunity. It is believed that " The Main
Line " is interesting enough, after a fashion, to
achieve success. But one who observes it
must not be too exacting. (7. E, M.

THE SCAPEGOAT.

Mrs.Henrietta Chanfrau has been play-
ing in the Fourteenth Street Theatre this week
a new play called " The Scapegoat," which had
its first performance in Philadelphia two weeks
ago. It is by Sir Charles L. Young, the author
of the play, *' Jim the Penman," which Mr. Pal-
mer will snortly produce at the Madison Square
Theatre. In Philadelphia ** The Scapegoat "
was sharply criticised as slow in movement and
full of frequent worn-out devices. The New
York papers have been divided, and it has been
either harsh criticism or great praise. The
Post^ it seems to me, was unnecessarily severe;
the critic of that paper is usually well designing
and honestly independent in his notices, but in
this instance I am surprised by several remarks
which appear unkind.

The story of the play is this :

Theelderson of a noble family, who is a wild
but good-hearted boy, Victor Broughton, has



been wrong^ly convicted in New Orleans of a
murder which was really committed by the vil-
lain. Lord Parkhurst. While awaiting sen-
tence the prison was burned and he is supposed
to have perished, the villain having identified
his body. The latter returns to England and
assumes an ascendancy over the younger
brother, who succeeds to the estate. To
England comes also Victor Broughton, dis-
guised as a tramp, who escaped from the fire,
and at the same time the heroine, Linda Col-
more, an actress whom the hero had married
under a false name in Chicago.

Meanwhile Parkhurst makes desperate love
to the actress, but she is warned against him
by a friend — Lady Broughton, The final dis-
covery of her husband and the villainy of Park-
hurst by the actress in a most dramatic man-
ner finishes the play.

The first act does not open encouragingly ;
the relating of what had happened, with
introduction of the characters, is not spirited
enough. The comedy part also starts in a
clumsy way. The second act moves with more
interest, and the dialogue is brighter, but even
here there is much unnecessary detail. The
third act tells the story, and there is some little
wonder excited in the audience as to a future
development which is mainly given over to
proving the guilt of Parkhurst,

But there are a number of very strong situ-
ations in "The Scapegoat," and there is cer-
tainly sustained interest in spite of the fact that
the revelations of the play could be easily
guessed in advance. Many of the lines are
neatly turned, and at times the comedy is
sparkling. There is, perhaps, too much mor-
alizing over theatrical life, and there is a great
deal of sentiment expressed which has a clap-
trap effect. But as this all brings loud applause
from the galleries, and not a little from the
people down stairs, who are, very likely, uncer-
tain as regards their own position, the wisdom
of cutting it out would be denied by the busi-
ness management. Altogether the piece is well
calculated to please a miscellaneous audience,
and it will delight the " Mary Janes," who,
being the large majority, will insure its finan-
cial success.

As to the performance of the company, there
is much to be considered. Mrs. Chanfrau plays
Linda Colmore with discretion. She exhibits
more dramatic strength than she has been gen-
erally credited with, and on several occasions is
touchingly pathetic. She is a fine-looking
woman, with charming manner, and dresses in
good taste. She has a personal magnetism
which brings one into immediate friendship, and
this resulted in several enthusiastic calls before
the curtain Monday night. Horace Vinton
makes a consummate villain. To my mind his



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THE THEATRE.



Parkhursi was an admirable piece of acting.
He faded in the last climax somewhat, for his
voice was husky, and some of his words unin-
telligible, but in previous scenes his manner
was absolutely the disgusting insinuation
which is frequently introduced in real life,
and which he mtended it should be.
Mr. Sydney Drew, who is very plainly a
brother of Frank Drew, w^as exceedingly droll
and artistic as Z, J. He is very like Francis
Wilson in his appearance and comedy, and the
enterprising manager will watch him. Mr.
Leffingwell has an unsatisfactory part as Victor
Broughton — an attempt at a decent sort of a
fellow who confesses himself a rou^ and a
gambler. Miss Helen Bancroft, an English
eirl who is very English and angular, is grace-
ful and interesting. She displayed all proper
earnestness, and there is no reason why she
should be the object of the Posfs ill-mannered
remarks. Miss Boniface cheered the people
and the players by her healthy and happy effect.

D. W,



" HOME AGAIN ! "

Mr. Dixev has been considerate enough to
come back to us, at the end of what may be
described as a rather mysterious engagement
in London. He has come back to us more
exalted, more illustrious than ever. He can
talk glibly now of his friend, the Prince of
Wales, who, by the way, appears to be the
faithful backer of all our comic singers and
buffoons. Last Monday evening Mr. Dixey
was hailed with enthusiasm at the Fifth Ave-
nue Theatre. The house was crowded with
Mr. Dixey's admirers. His least significant
motion on the stage provoked an amount of
hilarity, which threatened occasionally to burst
the wails of the theatre, just as too great a
force of steam bursts a boiler. The star-
spangled banner waved in all parts of the
house. Dixey sang " Home, Sweet Home."
Mr. Rice's new quickstep dance, "Adonis,"
rang with patriotic fervor upon the brain of
the huge and superheated multitude. Every-
body was happy. The bird of freedom
screamed, and the wonder is that Dixey neg-
lected to stand on his head. But he had blood
in his eye, and it would have been more
prudent for him to soak his feet between the
acts in mustard and water. Mr. Dixey has
been too long in danger of congestion of the
cerebrum.

Mr. Dixey is a great man. He is an inter-
national episode. His personality perv^ades the
universe. The stars warbled at his birth, and
the bright angels that are supposed to hover
about the heads of virtuous and noble men
caress him in the exuberance of their love
and solicitude. Here, at last, is a man who



conquered the fog of London, whose name has
rattled (in our imagination) along the deep-sea
wires with a clang of triumph. Here is our
representative, our Actor, our Artist, our Hero.
He is the Talked-About. the exquisite result of
Hesperian civilization. He is the salt of the earth,
the lily of our valleys, our rossignol, our Dixey.
Side by side with the incomparable John L.
Sullivan, he stands as the perfect illustrator of
American progress. Famous poets, thinkers,
statesmen, even actors, lurk in his shadow, as the
modest star lurks and disappears in the shadow
of the moon. What, we ask, would our stage be
without its Dixey, this glorious product of the
newspapers and the advance agents? If we
should lose him — ah ! the very thought of
such a disaster upheaves us like an earthquake
— our columns would gape with empuness.
Not to have Dixey to write about, to cajole
about, to argue about, to dream about, would
be the final climax and collapse of our repor-
terial energy. The itinerant brass band would
be hushed, and the flag of our country would
droop like a wet towel. But Dixey is alive.
His nimble feet are more nimble than they
were. His sweet songs and gentle actions
purify the cesspool of the stage. The dollars
of three generations pour water-wise into his
coffer. His influence is like the quality of mercy,
not strained. He is the People's idol, the Tony
Pastor of the nabobs. A few hardened sin-
ners may still worship the art of Booth and
Jefferson ; we adore our Dixey, and we have
placed him on an enduring pedestal. Let no



Online LibraryLee W KeippelThe deaths of David and Romie Doc Hodell in Newaygo Country, Goodwell Township, White Cloud, Michigan in 1922 → online text (page 5 of 60)