Criticism of Miss Adams's Company.--Second Performance Tonight at 8.
Last evening "Twelfth Night" was produced in Sanders Theatre, in the Elizabethan manner, with a cast headed by Miss Maude Adams. The same scenery was used that gave the Harvard production of "Hamlet" its unique and historic charm. As far as possible Sanders Theatre was transformed to reproduce the Globe, the Fortune, or some other theatre of Shakespeare's time, the boxes being occupied by "gallants" in the costume of the period.
Notwithstanding the novelty of the surroundings, last night's performance possessed a certain amount of finished ease. The peculiarly intimate relation between audience and players not only resulted in a far further appreciation on the part of the spectators, but allowed the actors a subtlety of method which, with our modern arrangements, could not have proved effective. The position of the stage, the lack of any curtain, and the absence of the usual waits contributed largely to this continuity and naturalness of impression.
Miss Adams, as Viola, showed her usual charm and originality. Her characterization as a whole was carefully thought-out; and her comedy scenes especially were most gracefully and delicately handled. All her points were enthusiastically received by an audience which delighted in applauding her. The Olivia of Miss Josephine Victor was marked by warmth and a keen perception of the romantic phases of the character--a conception which not only gave the part its true dramatic value, but which offered the actress a chance to display her utterly fascinating personality.
Mr. Ernest Lawford, as Malvolio, accented the comic side of the role far more than the pathetic or grotesque, but carried out his interpretation with taste and distinction.
The scenes with Sir Andrew, Sir Toby, Maria and Feste were not only excellent examples of what might be called "team-play," but displayed sharply-defined bits of characterization. Their low-comedy was amusing and inoffensive,--an unusual combination. The incidental music, composed for the occasion by William Furst, was often attractive, and always adequate.
As a whole, the play was presented strictly for its own value, and was in no way distorted to emphasize the relative importance of the various parts. At the close of the performance Miss Adams was presented with a wreath of laurel, and, after several curtain-calls, a regular Harvard cheer was given for her.
The University owes its thanks for a rare and charming experience not only to Miss Adams and the members of the company, but to Mr. Charles Frohman and the committee of the English Department.
The second performance of "Twelfth Night" will be given in Sanders Theatre this evening at 8 o'clock. Reserved seats at $1.50 each may be obtained at Kent's University Bookstore. General admission tickets at $1 each will be on sale at the Auditor's Office, Memorial Hall, after 7 o'clock tonight.