'The Umpire, produced Dec. 2 by the new La Salle management with the personnel of the musical stock about the same as under the old management, has drawn crowded houses ever since the opening and at the present time seems destined to be one of the most popular of the recent productions at the theatre. Joseph E. Howard has assembled a catchy, tuneful, effective score, as usual, and Will Hough and Frank Adams, after their Land of Nod and former La Salle productions, have at least saved their faces with the book and lyrics, though the chopping process had left, last week, some of the speeches and situations hazy and disconnected. Press criticism has been generally favorable.'
(The New York Dramatic Mirror, New York, Saturday, 9 December 1905, p.14b)
The Umpire, La Salle Theatre, Chicago.
'Not in years has a musical comedy scored such an unqualified hit as The Umpire at LaSalle Theatre. Ever since the opening night the piece has played to capacity at every performance. It is by far the sprightliest show seen in the "windy city."
'The Umpire teems with good, wholesome comedy and music that is unusually pleasing. The stage setting and investiture is more pretentious than anything ever seen in this playhouse. A galaxy of pretty girls and the tireless "broilers" make up a show of unusual merit.
'Did you ever see a real football game on the stage?
'If not, you will enjoy the scrimmage in The Umpire. The chorus girls dressed in regulation football attire play a fast and furious game daily. It must not be thought that these damsels merely go through a stereotyped make-believe game. Far from it. The girls give one of the most realistic portrayals of a game that would put some of the so-called champion squads to shame. Not a night passes but one of the players is injured. Twenty-two girls keep the ball moving and several substitutes are always on hand.
'The LaSalle stock company is headed by Cecil Lean, a comedian who, with his infectious humor, keeps his audience in an uproar. Miss Florence Hollbrook as the mischievous daughter of a beer trust magnet is charming. Thomas Cameron can sing and act well; Margaret McDonald has a pleasing personality; William Robinson is an excellent actor; Arthur G. Saunders as the attorney is amusing and Olive Vail carries off the vocal honors.
'That The Umpire will remain at the popular LaSalle indefinitely is assured. So far it has broken all records and is the leading Chicago show.'
(Iowa City Daily Press, Iowa City, Iowa, Friday, 2 February 1906, p.7b)
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