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April 26, 1914 - Image 3

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1914-04-26

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n

eatrical

ro

May 6 and 7, have sent these non-theatre-
goers to their homes with new ideas and
broader views of the stage and its work.
Plays dealing with the beginning of
Christianity have been especially popularI
with the theatregoing public because of the
picturesqueness and beauty of the time in
which they are set and of the heroic qual-
ity of the men and women who first sought
salvation in the tenets of Christianity. The
period was that of Rome's. greatest splen-
dor, when she was mistress of the world
and her strong arm extended from Britain
on the North throughout the entire length.
and breadth of Europe into India on the
South. The magnificance and wealth of
the Romans, pilfered from conquered na-
tions, were used to make the lives of the
conquerors one long feast of luxury. And
this magnificence and luxury form a splen-.
did background against which to show the
self-abnegation, the humility and the
strength of the early Christians. In the
last twenty years there have been a num-
her of remarkable productions made of
plays which give pictorial expression to
the period. The' various dramatizations of
Sienkiewicz's "Quo Vatlis" earned enor-
mous fortunes for their producers twelve
or fourteen years ago. This drama showed
the luxury and the immorality of Nero's
court in contrast with the simple beauty
and the austere life of the converts to
the Christian religion, which extended to.
the sacrifice, and the willing sacrifice, of
life itself. Preceding "Quo Valis" by some
five or six years was Wilson Barrett's "The
Sign of the Cross," which had its first
production in St. Louis during one of Mr.
Barrett's American tours but which was
not generally seen until after its long run
in London and its subseouent return to
America, where it toured; for eight or ten
years with unvarying success. "The Sign

Mary Magdalene, the erring woman of
the gospels, has been shown as the heroine
in three poetic plays seen in America with-
in the last decade, each by a master poet.
These plays are "Mary of Magdala" by
Paul Heyse, in which Mrs. Fiske and Ty-
roue Power as Mary of Magdala and Judas
Iscariot created a profound impression;
Maurice Maeterlinck's "Mary Magdalene"
which Olga Netherlose presented at the
New theatre a few years ago; and "La
Samaritaine" which Edmond Rostand
wrote for Sarah Bernhardt and which she
made one of the principal features of her
recent farewell tour of America. In two
of these plavs, that by Ma-terlinck and in
that by Rostand, the Saviour was absolute-
ly represented. In the first play "Mary
Magdalene," lie did not physically show,
but His voice was heard off the stage
-speaking the words.of forgiveness and hopc
to the penitent. In "La Samaritaine" the
figure of the Saviour was brought into ac-
tual representation, and it was for this
reason that representations of the play
were prohibited in several of the cities
visited by Vlme. Bernhardt.
On one other occasion in the history of
the theatre in America, the figure of the
Christ has been in actual representation
in Sahni Morse's "The Passion Play" pro-
duced in San Francisco thirty odd years
ago, with James O'Neill impersonating the
Saviour. After two days' representation in
San Francisco the performances were stop-
ped by the authorities as blasphemous, but
Morse did not despair and came to New
York with his play. lie interested certain
wealthy men in the project and a temple
was built in West 23rd Street to house the
prodcction, but on the night set for its
first performance the mayor and police de-
partmeut of New Vork forbid tie perform-
ance, and in despair Morse committed sui-
cide a short time after.

11

11

11

an as Esther, in "Ben-Hur," at the Whitney theatre May 6 and 7.

Ben-Hur Ileads for the love of the Egyptian, Iras

COMINGATTIRACTIONS.
4-Cha rity Vaudeville.
5-Billie11cBurke.
6, 7-Ben-Iiur.
9-September Morn.
1-Mrs. Fiske.
i4ajestie.Theatre.
oplays de Luxe every night from
'clock to io :00 o'clock, Complete
of program daily.
KES ENVIABLE
:CORD AS ARTIST
luBois, Comiedian in "September
orn" Is Well Qualified to
Talk on Pictures,.
~ES "GIRL" AS SUBJECT.
DuBois, leading comedian in the
isical comedy, "September Morn,"
omes to the Whitney theatre Sat-.
Mfay 9, has won an enviable posi-
himself as an artist. Some of his
on the subject of "girl" pictures
idedly interesting. In part, Mr.

RELIGIOUS DRAMA
INFLUENCES STAGE
Such a Production as "Ben-Hur" Does
Much to Better Conditions
hi Theatre.
WALL E'S PLkY CONNG SOON.
The drama of the English stage had its
roots in the mysteries and moralities pre-
.'nted by the various orders of the priest-
hood and the English church in mediaeval
days. And the strain of religion which
filled the productions of the old monks
has come down to the present time and
can be found in the productions that have
had the greatest triumphs of modern days.
A shining example of this same religious
drama is found in General Lew Wallace's
"lIen-lur," a drama that has drawn more
people into the theatre who never set foot
inside a playhouse before, than any other
production ever seen on the stage; and the
performances of "Ben-lur," which comes
to the Whitney theatre Wednesday and1
'hursday nights and Thursday matinee,

"'":.:""""~.' ;.r, SCORES EMPHIATII

A scene from the second act of "September Morn," at the Whitnev' theatre May 9.

of the Cross" told the story of aRoman
voluptuary, Marcus Superbus, whose crimes
and vicious life were brought to a ter-
minus by the purity and beauty of a Chris-
tian girl who conquered Marcus and lead
him with her into the arena to suffer mar-
tyrdom for the cause of the Christ.

a

BILLIE BURKE COMING MAY 5.
At the Whitney theatre, May 5' Charles
Frohman will present Billie Burke in a
new play by Katherine Cushing, called
"Jerry." In Miss Burke's company will
be seen such prominent players as Gladys
Hanson, Alice John and Shelley Hull.

Katherine Cushing, the author of Billie
Burke's newest play, "Jerry," is also re-
sponsible for "Kitty McKay," one of the
biggest successes in New York. Next year
there will be five companies of "Kittie Me-
Kay" on the road. 4

i

taste in girls is a sign of
will surprise many readers,
: the pictures most sought
Utin-clad beauties of the ball
ra. People may prefer to
of the very rich, but this
pictures. The favorite of
ay is the out-of-doors girl.
the picture of the girl who
pen. There is no especial
xhether she be a yachting
I, a basketball girl, a swim-
estrienne. Her fascination
y, her health, the zest of

"Mrs. Bumstead-Leigh" Rveals 3
Fiske as Unusually Fine
Comedienne.
PLAY WRITTEN BY H. J. SMI
Mrs. Fiske, than whom no personage
the American stage is more welcome
Ann Arbor, is to appear at the Whi
theatre on l-iday, May 15, in "Mrs. But
stead-Leigh," an American comedy
Harry lames Smith, in which she sco
one of the most notable laughing succe
in the history of stage humor when
play was presented in New York t
years ago. This success, fairly dazz
in contrast to the serious work with w
Mrs. Fiske has usually been associated,
repeated throughout the West and in y
ous Eastern cities but the farce-for i
practically that-has never before been
sented locally. Mrs. Fiske is now reviv
the play for a limited season, follov
her country-wide tour in "The IHigh Roa
"Mrs. Bumpstead-Leigh" represents
first work of another playwriting disc
ery of Mrs. Fiske. Ile is a graduate
Williams and of Harvard and has bee
figure of some importance in literary w
for several years, through his various si
stories, his connection with the Atla
Monthly of which he was formerly a
ciate editor, and a complete novel or I
"Mrs. Bumpstead-Leigh" follows new 1i
and is both original and amusing,-the
phrase "for laughing purposes only" wc
aptly describe it-and at the same tim
provides Mrs. Fiske with an unusual r
one as different from any other in wh
she has ever appeared as in darkness f:
daylight. Is it easy to imagine the lea
of our stage as being excrutiatingly f
ny ? Well, she is just that in "Mrs. Bun
stead-Leigh," evidencing a versatility t
is nothing short of amazing.
The scenes of the Smith comedy are I
in a Long Island country house and
story concerns the social aspirations :
battles of a family with a "past." TI
family, through the cleverness of the el
daughter, has become allied with the E
lish aristocracy, and to still further
vance the family's social position, the
sourceful daughter engineers a prospecti
alliance between a younger sister and
scion of a pompous, purse-proud Americ
family with an inordinate boast of Revc
tionary ancestry. In furtherance of t
alliance, the "family with a past" vis
America. The coming out of that "pa
and the exposure of the whited sepulch
attributes of the Long Island continge
are the basis of the play's complicatio
None of the seriousness, none of the glom
none of the mentally taxing qualities
sociated with some of Mrs. Fiske's forn
plays are to be found in "Mrs. Bumpstea

public taste is not of millinery ex-
It matters not whether a girl wears
tr not; probably a vote would lean
hat to the bare-headed girl. But if
be any head covering. I find the
-st pleases best-a face in a sun-bon-
lways is popular, I. have noticed
is no marked leaning toward a spe-
ype in coloring. The blonde is no
popular than the brunette, has no
admirers. :I s she a face that radi-
te high spirits of healh? That ques-
he public seems to ask and answer
it buys a picture of a gir-l.
summer girl is more popular than
nter girl but not, I have discovered,
e summer muslins and laces are more
ng than winter furs. It is because
t-door girl looks happier in her ten-
nnels than when wrapped in furs,
a consequence, looks stronger and

on t]
'hen
The
ie wi

ou
1l 1

A scene from Klaw and Erlanger's produc tion of "Ben-Hi-ur," at the Whitney theatre, May 6 -and 7.

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