Proprietor / Lessee:
Manager / Director:
Play With Music
23 September 2012
“It is, we think, fortunate for Miss Bateman, that she broke last evening the run of ‘Leah.’ Her powerful impersonation of the leading character in that play has been sufficiently recognized here and in Europe. There is not a word to be added in kindness or otherwise, to the mound of words which it has created. But, from peculiar and separate prosperity, one is apt to form mistaken ideas of individual capacity. People were already beginning to say that Miss Bateman could play Leah, and nothing else. She has taken the readiest and happiest means of enlightening “people” on this subject. Her performance of Bianca—witnessed last night by a large house—is immeasurably beyond anything she has yet done on the New-York stage. We can speak even more firmly: there has been nothing equal to it for fifteen years by any artist. Miss Julia Dean was exceedingly good in the rôle of the jealous wife, who, to snatch her husband from the arms of another, condemns him to death. Her bearing in the council scene was admirable. It has remained with us as a memory of real artistic worth. But Miss Bateman is incomparably better. The blindness of passion has never been so well illustrated. The eagerness of Bianca’s denunciation, and the consequences, swooping back on her with irresistible force, have rarely, if ever, been so well portrayed. The fourth and fifth acts are so human and appealing; so true and overwhelming in their utter desolation of woe, that there is really nothing but a pocket-handkerchief to be said. A finer performance of the part can hardly be desired. In saying this, we are simply covering up, loosely as becomes a critic, a profound conviction that the part cannot be better played.
“The support vouchsafed to Miss Bateman was poor. Mr. J. C. Cowper plays the part of Fazio in the ‘Ercles vein. He has all the gurgularities of his profession to perfection. He speaks from the pit of his stomach to the top of his voice with facility. He enjoys also the literary advantage of being able to change the text of his author. There was barely an adjective which he did not change last night, and adjectives in this play are teamed—they go in pairs. His exits were absurd, and we try in vain to think of a moment when he was not stilted and superfluously demonstrative. When we mention that Mr. Burnett was the Duke of Florence, and Miss Mary Wells the Countess Aldabella, we have surely said enough.”