New-York Theatre (1866-69)
Play With Music
28 July 2016
“Mr. Baker, as the curious Frenchy father of the young lady who ‘wanted to make her debut on the stage,’ was peculiarly good, and good without imitating Mr. Chanfrau, who has won a great reputation in this line of acting. Mrs. Gomersal, as the heroine, and Mrs. Wall, as the tragic queen, played with vivacity and were greeted kindly by the large audience. But the great affair of the evening—great is the only word which can clearly describe the idea—was the small two act, nonsensical trifle which has been dignified with the title of a burlesque upon “Lady Audley’s Secret.” Mr. Mark Smith, prodigious in proportions, huge in lungs and vociferation, was the heroine. Those who know that gentleman’s attitude and diameter of figure can imagine how he looked made up in the [xxx?] and dimity belonging to modern femininity. He was immense, gorgeous, and of course brought down the house whenever he opened his lips or cut a figure. The piece, of itself, has few merits in composition or plot, excepting in one or two points where the beholder is treated to some sudden surprises; as for instance, when Lady Audley, in the midst of a pathetic wail over the fate of Mr. Talboy, bursts out to the tune of ‘Pat Maloy,’ as a Fenian in disguise. There are some tolerable hits at the times, and many ‘gags.’ The latter Mr. Smith will do well to bring in contact with a sharp pair of scissors. Mr. Talboy (Miss Alicia Mandeville) was still in manner and gesture, but gave some musical matter in a fair voice and with some effect. Mrs. Wall, Miss Cole, as well as all the gentlemen in the cast did as well with their words and songs as it was possible for them to do…”
Much about the newly-opened theatre, less about the performances, nothing about music.