The Theatre in Boston
When theatregoers heard that Donald Brian had left his former co-partners, Julia Sanderson and Joseph Cawthorne, there was general dissatisfaction. It was felt that "united we stand, divided we fall" would be quite applicable to this move. To witness "Her Regiment," now playing at the Shubert Theatre, is proof that such a view is correct, for even Victor Herbert's music is not enough to warrant Mr. Brian's appearance as a sole star. It is true that Mr. Brian has been surrounded with a cast of mediocrity, which might excuse leniency in judgment. He dances as well as ever, but even stepping around as he does cannot take away the conviction that "Her Regiment" is pretty thin stuff.
Plot the play is without. The musical numbers are not that kind which one has difficulty in driving out of his head. Few of them make any impression at all. One exception to this is a song entitled "Oh My!" which Mr. Brian, aided by a male chorus which can actually sing, succeeds in getting across. There are no great beauties in staging, no splendid costuming. The humor, decidedly reminiscent, takes one back to good old antediluvian days and many of the lines which are presented to Mr. Frank Youlan, who upholds the comic muse, might well have been left out for all the mirth they provoked.
One bright spot in this dull play was the dancing of the Misses Cissie and Georgie Sewell, who were charming at all times. It was to be regretted that they were not on the stage more often, for their grace almost put the audience in a good frame of mind. A military dance that these young women presented was unquestionably the most delightful thing in the performance.
In view of the war-tax on theatre seats and the fact that the public is using a little more discretion in selecting its amusement, managers are doing themselves a dangerous turn to offer such plays as "Her Regiment" as first-class productions. This play might be made successful if a number of musical-comedy artists, the breed still exists, were gathered together and a large amount of reconstructing was done. As it is, it is a dangerous vehicle to exhibit slender or average talents.