'If Miss Cissie Loftus is entirely sincere in here statement of her reason for breaking her contract to appear at Koster and Bial's, she has set an example that ought to be followed by every decent and self-respecting woman and man on the stage.
'the management of Koster and Bial's music hall is now, as it usually is, giving a vilely indecent exhibition in the course of its variety show. It has hired a couple of degraded women to exhibit themselves half naked in a pantomimic reproduction of the well-known picture, called ''An Affair of Honor,'' [i.e. Émile Bayard's ''Une Affaire d'Honneur,'' shown at the Paris Salon, 1884] representing a couple of ''cocottes'' fighting a duel with rapiers. Miss Cissie Loftus who, in private life, is Mrs. Justin H. McCarthy, signed a contract, in England, to appear at Koster and Bial's this week. When she arrived in New York and became aware of the nature of the nasty performance with which she was to be billed, she promptly notified the managers of Koster and Bial's that she would not degrade herself by appearing in the same bill with the undressing act, and that unless ''An Affair of Honor'' was at once taken off the stage she would not appear on it. The managers notified her that they would not permit her to dictate to them, and that they would hold her to her contract. Whereupon Miss Loftus broke her contract and refused to fulfil her engagement.
'It is to be hoped that the managers of Koster and Bial's will take the matter into the courts. For we believe the courts will uphold Miss Loftus, and that in the course of the trial the managers of Koster and Bial's will have numerous opportunities to learn what decent men think of them.
'The outrageously indecent character of the exhibitions given in such New York theaters and music halls as the Manthattan theater, Sam T. Jack's, the Dewey, Koster and Bial's and others, is a common theme of comment in the New York papers. They get worse and worse yearly, as the public appetite for nastiness grows by what it feeds on. The police can't or, rather, don't stop them. But the decent and self-respecting men and women of the vaudeville stage and of the legitimate stage could easily stop them by united action along the line marked out by Miss Cissy Loftus. There are so many of these that they could dictate to managers in this matter, if they would only stand loyally together. The wonder is that they have not done so long ago. It seems impossible that any decent and self-respecting man or woman could bear to appear on the same stage with Charmion, the Barrisons and their like, to accept a part in such a play as The Turtle, to be sandwiched between flagrant indecencies in the vaudeville bills of Sam T. Jack's and the Dewey. But they constantly do these things.
'The doubt of Miss Cissie Loftus's sincerity, allowed to appear in the opening sentence of this article, is suggested by the fact that after refusing to appear at Koster and Bial's she is appearing at the Casino. For in the matter of decency it seems to us that there is precious little choice between Koster and Bial's and the New York Casino, unless the Casino has very recently reformed.'
(Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, New York, Wednesday, 4 January 1899, p. 6c)
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Madge Lessing's little joke, Berlin, 1914