The Theatre in Boston
During the summer months we may expect productions of pure foolishness to hold away in our theatres. It is no longer a moot question whether they are desirable, for they have been proved conclusively to represent a form of dramatic relaxation--relaxation to the extent of putting a public which has witnessed a few of these into a receptive mind for plays with more mental meat in them. Truly a good influence. "Mary's Ankle," which is now on exhibition at Ye Wilbur Theatre is just that type of play. It takes not one ounce of brains to appreciate it and thus will make a big appeal to those wearied by examinations and to the poor, overworked R. O. T. C.
The play becomes rather noisy and boisterous as it progresses, and then suddenly veers off into a sentimental channel with ardent wooing on board a steamer bound for Bermuda. Of course when we are in December sanity we would not stand for such stuff, but right now when the very essence of June is within us, we can go to Ye Wilbur and laugh heartily or sigh and pray to some god to put us on that steamer. The ankle in question is at all times lovely, and it is the most prominent part of the rather confused plot, for by the treatment of a sprain suffered by this same ankle, a poor but attractive doctor secures a means of livelihood a series of adventures, and a charming wife. For, you see, sometimes a little ankle has great potentiality.
Miss Irene Fenwick as Mary was attractive--that is, she sobbed in the right manner, she limped effectively, and she sat in her steamer chair gloriously. Miss Zelda Sears as Mrs. Merrivale and Miss Louise Drew as Clementine contributed the only real humor of the evening. The former, a much bemedecined hyprochondriac, and the latter, her slavey daughter, were presented by the author with bits of dialogue which succeeded in extracting laughs from the audience, although some few lines smacked too much of a close perusal of medical text-books. Such books should be on the Index Expurgatorum, as far as the general public and dramatists are concerned. Mr. Walter Jones as G. P. Hampton and Mr. Bert Lytell as his nephew, the doctor and hero, have evidently seen the stage before, and they prove it in "Mary's Ankle." Indeed, the caste is decidedly good, but one cannot help feeling that it is a fearful waste of time for so many doctors of that better class to keep showing "Mary's Ankle.