The house, on Thursday, was small but exceedingly enthusiastic. The farce was well received, and, with the exception of one or two hitches, passed off smoothly.
"Rosemi Shell" was then "hurled in the faces of the public regardless of all expense." The title-role was filled by a gentleman who took the part on the morning preceding the entertainment. His conception of the part was admirable, and he never so much as forgot a word of his lines through the entire performance.
Piermi Shell showed his grand histrionic ability principally in the second act; his acting and singing were remarkable. The Baron and Baroness de Bestfille filled their respective characters very creditably, and the latter created a grand sensation by his appearance and his song, "Duda-day."
De Ferny "slung an enormous amount of dog," and on Friday evening received a grand floral ovation from his numerous admirers. His abilities as acting manager were admirably shown in the excellent training of the chorus and smoothness of the play throughout. Andrew and Susie received a great deal of applause for their songs and acting, and last, but not least, the part of Mulein Hay was filled to perfection. His sneezing song received a double encore on both occasions, and his dog (it was a real dog) created much amusement.
The farce of the "Ugly Customer," which preceded the burlesque, though rather slow in itself, was, however, well acted.
The audience, at the performance on Friday, was much larger than on the preceding night. The Thursday programme was repeated.
On Saturday afternoon the burlesque "Alonzo the Fair and the Brave Imogene" was performed before an audience larger than that on the night before. The illness of the original Alonzo made it impossible for him to appear; but the part was taken at a day's notice, and performed in such a manner that the audience had no occasion to remember the hasty preparation. The part of Mephistopheles was admirably acted, and his singing was, on the whole, the best in the burlesque. Faust looked and played well, though his singing was occasionally out of tune. Imogene was surpassingly beautiful and entirely natural. Her scene upon the return of Alonzo was trying, both to the feelings of the audience and to the wig of the heroine.
The "make up" of Siebel, "pretty page with the dimpled chin," was astonishingly good; while his acting and singing were a complete success. The part of Dame Martha was also taken at short notice, and was both acted and sung to perfection. The duet of Martha and Mephistopheles was encored, and was one of the best features of the performance. The Knickerbocker chorus was intended (we have since been informed) to represent a combination of all the late schemes for "Dress Reform." The effect was certainly startling, but we fear that the dress was not entirely understood by the audience. As a whole the burlesque was an "immense" success.
The farce "Romance under Difficulties " preceded "Alonzo," and was enjoyed by the fortunate few who occupied the front row of seats. The rest of the house watched the pantomime, and strained their ears in vain to catch the words of the actors. It was evident, however, to every one, that the part of Timothy Diggles was remarkably well played.