Fred. W. Zaulig
Variety / Vaudeville
30 March 2019
“When the opening of the Waverley Theatre was announced the theatrical public generally looked upon it as an adventurous, fool-hardy undertaking. With all the theatres already in full operation in the city, it seemed impossible that any new candidate could hope for success.
“Good news, however, like bad news, sometimes flies fast. The first night of the new theatrical enterprise resulted in a felicitous success. The little theatre, elegantly renovated and made thoroughly comfortable, was crowded by an audience which was really and genuinely entertained and pleased. To be sure, if a fire had broken out, nearly every soul of them would have been roasted alive, so insufficient are the means of exit; but, then, folks at a theatre never think of that. Every night since, the Waverley has been crowded, and the larger theatres suddenly find in the successful new competitor a rival that is by no means to be despised.
“This success is owing to the engagement of a very clever burlesque company and the selection of a burlesque really much more witty and funny than any other now on the stage. ‘Lucrezia Borgia’ is easy to burlesque. The leading character finds an admirable representative in Mr. Lewis, whose ‘make-up’ is admirable, while his action is droll, yet indescribably genteel. The other characters are well taken by pretty young ladies and clever actors. Miss Elise Holt is, however, the brightest luminary. She is little, pretty, has the least touch of a bewitching lisp, plenty of vivacity, and is altogether fascinating. Perhaps she overdoes the trick of laughing on the stage, and appearing to be overcome by the witticisms of the other performers; but even this familiar subterfuge is so charmingly enacted that it does not detract from the real attractiveness of her performance. The lady has a cold, and sings under disadvantages just now; but this does not affect her dancing or her general vivacity, and has not prevented her from assuming within a week a position as one of the most popular burlesque actresses in the city. It is not a very high range of dramatic art that is required for burlesque; but while there is a public demand for this species of entertainment, it is of course desirable that it should be well done—as it is by the Holt Troupe.”