At last a real comedy! We wait for this sort of thing and go to what has been advertised as the real product, but too often disappointment is the result. No one therefore who lacks his share of 1916 fun-inspirers should miss "His Majesty Bunker Bean," now playing at the Majestic Theatre, for much more than an average success is realized in this brightest of productions. Cleverness is the keynote which is maintained until the final curtain.
Taylor Holmes, as Bunker himself, is supposedly the bearer of the stellar part. While not detracting from his marked ability, yet advertising Mr. Holmes as the single star is a deception--everyone in the cast is entitled to such distinction. Seldom has Boston seen a more charming ingenue than Florence Shirley, as the Flapper. She appeals without being saccharine, and is so attractively vivacious that it is no small wonder the movie magnates have not attempted to rob the "legitimate" of another "queen." And so on right down the program, Charles Abbs as Pops, Lillian Lawrence as Grandma, the demon and John Hogan as Mason reflect nothing but great credit on the presenters of the jolly piece.
Of course, before going one might know the play ought to be amusing, since Harry Leon Wilson, none other, wrote it. But "Ruggles of Red Gap," also the work of this same man, fell flat, although it had possibilities, and this due to the poor dramatization. Lee Wilson Dodd, however, in the present case, has done his task well, for there is as much dramatic consistency shown as is necessary and thorough sagacity in the arrangement of the dialogue. One rule which has been wisely followed is that of moderation and restraint, and the result is that the taste of caricature and burlesque of some twentieth century humans wins. The modern business man and his family receive a goodly share of these taps, which are pleasantly dealt, losing nothing because they are not venomous.
And so one is whirled from a busy office to a medium's den and to a country estate with good old jollity as guide. It is only to be hoped Bostonians may take many more such trips.