Press Clippings for the week ending
Saturday, 14 November 2009

A random selection of clippings
from newspapers and magazines

Pauline Hall at Chase's, Washington, D.C.,
week beginning 20 August 1906

Pauline Hall

Pauline Hall (1859-1919), American actress and singer

(photo: unknown, probably New York, circa 1895)

'Chase's has picked for the present week of polite vaudeville, commencing at the matinee to-morrow, a number of the choicest attractions of the new season, and especially prominent in the number of offerings this week will be Pauline Hall, affectionately esteemed "Queen of Comic Opera." It has been several seasons since Miss Pauline Hall appeared in polite vaudeville, the interim being occupied by starring tours in revivals of the comic operas she made famous in the days when those tuneful composition were most admirable and best appreciated. In the knowledge that the Chase patrons are staunch admirers of Miss Hall, Chase's went to extraordinary efforts to bring about the singing of the prima donna for the present week. Miss Hall will sing the vocal gems from her famous roles in the operas with which her name is inseparably associated, and she will enhance the popularity of this revival of old favorites by appearing in the costumes appropriate to each of the noted parts.'
(The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., Sunday, 19 August 1906, Third Part, p.4d)

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Les Merveilleuses,
the comic opera at Daly's theatre,
first produced on 27 October 1906,
with music by Hugo Felix,
reopens after various changes,
including the title to The Lady Dandies
at the same theatre at the end of January 1907;
Huntley Wright, Gabrielle Ray and others join the cast.

Huntley Wright

Huntley Wright (1868-1943), English actor and singer,
as St. Amour in The Lady Dandies,
a part in which he succeeded W.H. Berry at the end of January 1907.

(photo: Ellis & Walery, London, 1907)

'At Daly's they do things in a grand style which distinguishes Mr. George Edwardes's productions at this theatre from other plays of the same order if not of the same class, and Mr. Edwardes, in all these years, has given us nothing more beautiful at Daly's than The Merveilleuses, of which the title has now been changed to The Lady Dandies, a wise reversion to the title, or something very like it, chosen for the play before it was first produced. It is a change for the better, for Merveilleuse happens to be just one of those words which an Englishman may pronounce in such a way that nobody can understand what he means - or what he says, which is not exactly the same thing. The name of the piece is not the only thing that has been changed, and on Wednesday evening Mr. Huntley Wright returned once more to the scene of his great successes, and with the return of Mr. Wright to the fold Daly's is itself again. With the interpolation of new songs, for which Mr. Lionel Monckton has written the music to the words of Captain Basil Hood, who has done M. Victorien Sardou's "book" into good English, the dalyfication of this "comedy opera" is complete. Mr. Wright has now the part of St. Amour, the Prefect of Police, which was first played by Mr. W.H. Berry. It is not into the background, however, that Mr. Berry retires. In his part of Tournesol, the "police agent," he is as funny as ever, while the character of St. Amour has expanded wonderfully at the magic touch of the ready and inventive Huntley Wright. Mr. Wright acted and sang and danced and joked as if he felt glad to be back at Daly's, and the audience laughed as if they were glad to see him back. His satirical, topical song, "Only a Question of Time," made a great hit, and although I have no great liking for the growing custom of introducing all sorts of personalities - social, political, and domestic - into musical plays, I must acknowledge that the audience seemed to find immense enjoyment in the verse which says "It is only a question of time (And the prominence given her part), And the charming Camille [Clifford], [Edna] May become Nelly Neil, Which is [Charles] Frohman for Sarah Bernhardt."
'Another new-comer to The Lady Dandies is Miss Gabrielle Ray, who has an accent all her own in dancing as she has in singing, and this I will say, a daintier dancer I never wish to see, though Miss Ray must make haste to get rid of her air of self-consciousness if she wishes to make the best of her talents. The student of theatrical astronomy may discover a whole constellation of stars at Daly's just now, and the beautiful music of Dr. Hugo Felix is admirably rendered. Miss Evie Greene, who has a new song since the first night, is in great form; I have never seen her look better, nor act better, nor sing better than she looks and acts and sings as the "merveilleuse" Ladoiska in The Lady Dandies, and Miss Denise Orme, the purity and sweetness of whose voice would melt a heart of india-rubber, is a sheer ecstasy. Mr. Robert Evett, as the hero, and Mr. Fred Kaye have warmed to their parts, and I should say the same of Mr. Louis Bradfield's performance of the "Incroyable" if I had not found it already admirable when the piece was first produced. Musical plays have a curious elasticity, and I find it difficult to realise what has been taken out of Les Marveilleuses [sic] to put so much more in. Certainly the new infusion of fun does not diminish the attractiveness of The Lady Dandies, and there is a long life, if I am not mistaken, and a merry one, in store for the piece.'
('Carados', The Referee, London, Sunday, 3 February 1907, p.3b)

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The Servant in the House
with Edith Wynne Matthison,
Washington, D.C. and New York, March, 1908

Edith Wynne Matthison

Edith Wynne Matthison (1875-1955), English actress,
in the title role of the 16th Century morality play,
rediscovered by William Poel and first produced on the
commercial stage at the Imperial Theatre, London, 11 June 1902.

(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, circa 1905)

'Charles Rann Kennedy's drama, The Servant in the House, which is being awaited with so much interested since Henry Miller's declaration that it is "one of the greatest plays of this generation both in largeness of theme and originality of treatment," is soon to be presented here, preliminary to its New York production by a cast that would in itself attract decided attention. Edith Wynne Matthison the delightful actress who made such a hit in Everyman, and as Shakesepeare's Rosalind and Viola, has returned to America to create the leading feminine role while Mabel Moore, another noted English actress, who figures in the recent Court Theater triumphs, will also be in the cast. Walter Hampden, who distinguished himself as leading man for both Viola Allen and Nazimova, will be associated with Tyrone Power whose Lord Steyn and Judas with Mrs Fiske and Ulysses in Stephen Phillips' poetic drama are still fresh in public remembrance, with Charles Dalton, Arthur Lewis, and others. The play will be an early offering at the Belasco.'
(The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., Sunday, 1 March 1908, Third Part, p.3c)

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© John Culme, 2009