The Cercle Francais will give its nineteenth annual dramatic performance on December 12, 14, and 18. The graduates performance, and the Cambridge public performance will be given in Brattle Hall on Tuesday, December 12, and Thursday, December 14, respectively, at 8.30 o'clock, and the Boston performance on Monday, December 18, at 8.30 o'clock in Jordan Hall.
The plays selected for this year are Moliere's "L'Amour Medecin," a short and amusing comedy in prose, and "L'Anglais Tel Qu'on le Parle," a modern farce by Tristan Bernard. With the former will be given a ballet for which the songs and music were written by Lulli. This music has not been heard since the ballet was danced before Louis XIV at the first presentation in 1665; and it is only through the kindness of M. Julien Tiersot, the librarian of the Conservatoire de Musique at Paris, who has furnished a copy of the original manuscript, now in the Paris archives, that is possible to reproduce the exact musical environment of this play. The orchestra will include an historic harpsichord, lent for the occasion from the Chickering collection. In vivid contrast to this classic comedy will be the extremely lively and amusing farce, "L'Anglais Tel Qu'on le Parle," an example of the modern French realistic school.
"L'Amour Medecin" is a gay, swift trifle, full of the broad humor of burlesque that carries itself in any tongue, and strikes the eye in the action of the players before the words reach the ear. Sganarelle's daughter is sick of love for her Clitandre. Her dull old father is too stupid to see the only cure. Wiser is the daughter's companion, the sage Lisette--wise beyond her years. She tells slow-witted Sganarelle that it will be a death-bed unless physicians are summoned. There is safety in numbers thinks the old man, and four doctors answer his call--pure figures of burlesque, and a little bitter burlesque, for Moliere had small faith in the pretentious practitioners of his time. They are portentously solemn, self-important, foolish and comic. It is the fifth physician who replaces them (no other than the disguised Clitandre) who works an expeditious cure. This short farce is all prose, all travesty, and all a thing to be acted in the liveliest and broadest fashion.
From Sganarelle's house the spectators are taken to the office of a hotel in Paris, in "L'Anglais Tel Qu'on lo Parle"--from the woes of the sighting Lucinde to the plight of the more energetic Miss Betty Hogson, daughter, but sorely hampered for lack of so much as one French word. An interpreter would serve him, but the hapless Hegson knows not one syllable of English. None the less he finally makes himself understood and his talk and translations are burlesque at its drollest.
The cast of characters has been revised and now is as follows:
The members of the Ballet are: M. S. Winpenny '09 (etoile), G. A. Leland, Jr., '07, C. C. Stetson '07, P. Bigelow '09. L. F. Gilbert '06.
Special seats will be reserved for Harvard men until next Friday, December 8. Applications for tickets, at $1.50 and $1.00 should be sent at once to E. C. Edson, 20 Ware street, Cambridge.