"Hidden" is Sufficiently Tragic But Gets Nowhere, Though Excellent Acting Lends Power
A Jekyll and Hyde motif in intricate feminine psychology is the basis of the play "Hidden", which opened Monday evening at the Bollis Street Theatre. Out of it is constructed a powerful play of rather sinister simplicity. There are five players in the cast and of them two are of slight importance. The scene remains unchanged for the three acts, always the same room in the same house in New York. The acting being excellent, the play is thus concentrated upon its central theme with a force that, on the opening night at least, made the audience almost uncomfortable with suspense as the hidden nature of a woman in love, hidden even from herself, develops into an obsession and then becomes a painful hallucination. She ends by suicide.
The tragedy is complete enough but it becomes almost fantastic in its very direct simplicity, for the play is nothing outside of its plot. Yet the play is effective in the way it is intended, for which result the acting is in large measure responsible. Philip Merivale in the part of Nick Faring, Mary Morris as his wife and Beth Merrill as his sister-in-law are the central figures.
The total effect of the play is unpleasant; chiefly because it seems to mean nothing. The unfortunate lady, distracted during her period of repression, is driven to suicide when she tries to escape. One feels that the play is aimed to be more sensational than sensible. It verges on morbidity, and though its force cannot be denied, it seems, at best, to be spent in tilting with a windmill.