WASTED OPPORTUNITIES IN "GHOST BETWEEN".
Boston Stock Company Offers Interesting Drama of Past and Present Loves Gilbert Acts Well in Difficult Part.
A play rich in possibilities, disappointing in execution, is the verdict that must be passed on Lawrence's "The Ghost Between," which the St. James is offering as its bill for the week. The plot is strong enough to stand alone; the situations are such as a better playwright's fingers might itch to lay hold of. In the prologue, Dr. Dillard tries without success to save the life of Ethel's husband. Two years later, Dr. Dillard is a millionaire and Ethel is a poverty-stricken widow, immersed in the memory of her husband. The doctor has discovered that he loves her; but his respect to her devotion to the departed restrains him long from saying the word. At last he is moved to it, and makes a compact with her, whereby he has her to adorn his house, but no further. He continues to pay every consideration to her sacred memories, not at all realizing that they are dying with the dead. The intervention of a supposed friend, who has no qualms about infringing on the realm of the departed, awakens him to the new situation. The friend makes love to her brazenly; she repels it only half-heartedly, and the husband comes to understand that her heart is at last open to a new competitor. The husband fights it out with the friend in a whimsical battle for the lady's favor; he, eventually wins, and justifies his title of husband.
But his victory is slight, in the stage version, for the rival is made most unattractive as a man, and after the ghost of the dead husband is laid, the play degenerates into farce. Miss Nudsen is somewhat too colorless for so emotional a part; she gives it with little strength. Mr. Gilbert makes a valiant effort with the doctor's part, and puts into the play much that it lacked in the writing of it. Especially in the earlier scenes of straight comedy is he good; when it came to the ending, his skill was wasted in broad comic effects.