GOSSIP FROM THE STAGE
Things of Interest that Are Happening in Playland.
The theatres have had a great week. They have had a great number of great weeks, and there is no reason why the Christmas weeks should not be better than ever. The men home on leave are splendid patrons of the playhouses. They take out, and go out with, their friends to the theatres, and no man ever found a jollier audience. I hear of huge receipts everywhere, of record receipts, in fact, and the musical plays and revues are simply turning money sway, turning it away, too, because there is no standing room or any other room.
I cannot remember having ever seen so many people connected with the stage present at the first night of a new play as were at the Palace Theatre the other evening for the first performance of "Pamela." Authors, managers, actors, and actresses were everywhere. Actresses, it is true, out-numbered the actors by three to one, and the familiar voices could be heard very often when, owing to the crowd, their fair owners were not to be seen. This, of course, only occurred when we were leaving the theatre. From 8 to 11.30 was a long time to remain silent, and there was some ground to make up.
There was much to talk about. The night had been an eventful one, and its great features were many. Lily Elsie sang never so gloriously. "Cupid, Cupid" is the best song Fred Norton has written. Her silver and blue Turkish costume for that wonderful waltz, too, will be the envy of every woman. The waltz was a tour de force. An astute friend of mine says that third-act scene should have been the interior of the salle de jeu. The crowded gambolling-room would have been a more effective background for the waltz, and the quarrel and reconciliation that followed, than the exterior of a little casino.
I have never seen G.P. Huntley happier. He was at his best. Arthur Wimperis had written him a good part, and he certainly was very, very funny. Owen Nares was very much in earnest, very sincere, of course, but I am not certain that his part in a musical play required such serious treatment as he gave it. Mary O'Farrell, Spencer Trevor, Arthur Cheaney, George Tawde, and particularly Clifford Cobbe, were excellent, but the others I did not care about, Lily Elsie looked like a princess, and when it's like that - well, there you are!