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March 27, 1928 - Image 4

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1928-03-27

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THE MICHIGAN DAILY Tl

T

THiATER
BOOKS
MUSIC
TONIGUT: The Rockford Play-
ers present Kenyon Nicholson's
"The Barker" in the Whitney
theater at 8 o'clock.
TONIGHT: The Mimes present
George Bernard's Shaw's "The
Devil's Disciple" in their theater -
at 8:30 o'clock.
"THE BARKER"
A review, by Vincent Wall
With the duteous Charles Chaplin
fulfilling a covenant to his people in
"The Circus" over at the Majestic, and
the Rockford Players' performance of
"The Barker" at the Whitney, the
local playgoers have been treated to
sundry furtive peeps at the life of the
tank town mountebank in his idle mo-
ments. Be it said for "The Barker"
that, although the casting taxed the
versatility of the company to the ut-
most, it is a very good melodrama, oc-
casionally humorous in its blatant
ribaldry, and well played in its emo-
tional moments.
There is, it is true, a distortion of
values in the various performances.
But imagine, if you will, Kate Hol-
land Patton who is so bound into the
tradition of the dowagers and matrons
of Mayfair and Long Island cast as a
Hootch dancer with loose morals and
a wiggling torso; or Frances Dade
playing a lady known as Lou-a taw-
dry little baggage with a heart as
scarlet as the gown she wore; they
capture tile illusion some way or
other, and are very charming sluts.
You can't tell me Mrs. Mansfield
couldn't do Little Lord Fauntleroy.
The rest were equally good. Charles
Warburton creates a remarkable
"Nifty" Miller who titles the show
as the spieler out front. He 'is-like
the other troupers with the Gowdy
Big City Shows, groping for happiness
-and finding it in the arms of a
cheap Hula girl and in the love of his
son, Chris. As played by Robert
Henderson, Chris is much like his
other juveniles-too much like some
of them, but he is effective in his
scenes with Frances ;Dade. Franz
Rothe as Colonel Gowdy; Samuel Bon-
nell as Hap Spissel; Harold May as
Sailor Aest, the tatoo artist; Velma
Royton as Maw Benson-all were ex-
cellentJn their moments.
In short the Players declared a
moral holiday and went whole heart-
edly into the work of portraying the
life that goes on behind the canvas
posters of the midway. "The Barker"
is almost a great play, and as given
certainly is a good one. The pro-
duction has its faults--as most of the
others have had-but the action sel-
dom lags, and the whole is both amus-
ing and entertaining.
"THE DEVIL'S DISCIPLE"
A review, by Kenneth Patrick
Publicity-like history to General
Burgoyne-is all lies, or else Shaw
must become a little tin god to some
of us. It is hard to see how G. B. S.
could prefer "The Devil's Disciple"
to any of his others, or maybe we're
all crazy. In the same manner that
Richard Dudgeon and his black soul
are saved by a neck, so is Shaw saved
a debacle by a scene-next to the
last. And that of course is price-
less. The play itself serves as an

admirable weapon for the Irishman
to use against his old friends, the
English, and he riddles the good ship
Britannica until she sinks in the suav-
'est of manners. "The Devil's Disci-
ple" seems to be a battle between wit
and hokum, with the latter slumping
suddenly after a few lively rounds.
With the smoothness of "The Bar-
ker" still in mind, a disposition of the
players and the playing is not so easy.
What can be more evident than the
fact that "Ben Hur's" and hangings
are not in the province of Mimes? It
is criminal for them to waste, their
time and their facilities on the mak-
ing of third rate spectacles, when
they can be first in their field. To-
night's work is well worth attention
of the campus, for it contains two
splendid performances, brilliant wit
that is Shaw's alone, several good
uniforms, and a good display of
technical efficiency. But the mechan-
ism creaks regardless. Grand opera
will always flop in a Little Thea-
ter. A justifiable note on the
show is that Mr. Shuter has been
prevented from seeing a single re-
hearsal on account of illness, andj
that a new director has had to labor
under the handicap of an unwieldly
vehicle, an unwieldly cast, and new
surroundings.
Kleutgen turnst from his Cohan and

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