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Page 105 text:
' t lVeci l Mca f 3. ; ji jg N taking up one of that class of papers devoted to the discussion of gf theatrical matters and entertainments in general, we found some criticisms on the series of performances given by the Massachu- setts Agricultural College Opera Troupe, assisted by others. The following remarks w ere among them : — " The series of entertainments which the management of the Agricul- tural Hall in Amherst is now presenting to the public, is of the best order, and the list of artists includes some of the most noted that the theatrical world knows at present. The immense audience that every Wednesday afternoon fills this huge building, is of the most refined class and the dlite of the city. Owing to repairs now going on in the galleries, they are not occupied at present, and consequently the class of people who would natur- ally seek the ' Nigger Heaven ' is compelled to take the back seats in the body of the hall. This is unfortunate, as the noise of cracking peanuts and the occasional din caused by floods of tobacco juice emanating from these young men, is annoying in the extreme, especially as they are apt to come at a time w hen the audience is most interested in w hat is taking place on the stage. We would suggest to the management that this be stopped, and if necessary oblige these men to keep out entirely, for their criticisms are unjust and show that they have no power of appreciating true talent. " The people were fortunate in securing the services of Monsieur Leviathan Bridgestock as stage manager. This foreign gentleman spent the greater portion of his younger days in practice for this position, and it was only through the utmost exertions of the business manager and the prospect of an immense salary, tHat we can enjoy his services. The grace, dignity, and accomplished manner with which he performs his duty is truly remark- able, and enables him to gain the applause of the critical audience that at- tends these entertainments. % " The part of prompters, for which position Mile. Theresa Holmanes and Mr. Franklin Fletcherarium have spent so much time in preparing them- selves, is good, only we would suggest that they modulate their voices a 87
Page 106 text:
little, and not be too eager to assist. The attitudes which are taken at the times when prompting is necessary are most interesting, and so grace- ful and perfectly at home do the actors seem, that we would like more of this feature. " Among the most prominent artists who have appeared this season is Mr. H. Chapin Edgarton, in the character of Moses in the Oratorio, the return of Israel. The expression of feeling that he manifested was truly remarkable, and so finely did he appeal to the feelings of the people that many were moved to tears. We are sorry to learn that the stage is soon to be deprived of one of its most shining lights, and that journalism is to be so un-f ortunate as to have himi among its ranks. " The appearance of Madame Charlotte Minot on the stage in the part of Liberty, shows her excellent German training. The sternness and yet softness of her voice, and the easy and undulating manner which every movement on the stage so gracefully brings out, makes the goddess appear truly majestic. " Mr. Jameson P. Breckinridge, the celebrated American actor, took the part of the politician in the last act of the play, The Bloody Shirt. His actions as well as words portray in a forcible manner the American politician of to-day. " Senora C. Abelia Bowman, and Signor W. Francis Carrestices have been expected to delight the immense throngs that gather weekly in this magnificent building. They have not appeared yet, but the stage mana- ger confidently expects that " they will appear next week. " The tragedy in w hich they take a leading part is the celebrated one entitled " Rolling and Accumulating. " " On one occasion the people were agreeably startled by the " debut " of several persons aspiring for stage honors. They appeared in the comedy, " The Kindergarten, " and in every particular and in all their actions on the stage, they showed their subjects in a brilliant light. The simple, ' childish, and we might indeed say infantile expression of voice, feature and positions which they manifested — and we think them perfectly natural — kept the audience in continual laughter, and was the cause of several ineffectual at- tempts at encore. Among these embryonic artists were Guttler G-eorge, Miss Redding Merton, Mr. D wight E. Wells, and Miss May O. Parker. " As it was the intention of the managers that something practical should form a part of these entertainments, they soured the services of Mr. Peter Austin, among other scientists and historians — like Mr. Fairfield Ham- ilton and Mr. J. Hills Lawrence — to lecture on the subject of the horse. The skillful manner in which li handled the topic, and the graphic way he had of describing the animals at times when they were in a critical condition, showed that he was fully conversant with the subject. The worth of his paper can be judged from the fact that Hon. Levi Stockbridge requested the
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