It's funny how some little thing, irrelevant to the general scheme of the play, catches your fancy and stays in mind long after the rest of the spectacle has vanished. An example of this is one Franker Woods, as the program has him. If we were not dead certain from accounts in the daily press that Fred Stone is at present a broken-legged individual, or at best a golfing convalescent, we would go up to this Mr. Woods, and holding him gently between the thumb and forefinger say "You are Fred Stone!" For never have we seen such a resemblance. This fellow looks exactly like Fred, and has a voice which would deceive Mrs Stone. If his dancing were slightly better, we would be convinced beyond doubt and Charles Dillingham and Will Rogers couldn't make us retract. But as things are, it is just an optical illusion; one of the better, none the less.
To digress no longer, "The Silver Swan" is first-rate musical entertainment. It is the only commendable "operetta" we have seen in several moons. It has much better than average singing, catching tunes, and a pleasant eyeful of costumes and sets. The humor is well carried off by Florenz Ames, assisted from time to time by the above-mentioned Mr. Woods. As the leading lady Myrtle Clark is all that could be desired.
Any "operetta" of this type owes a debt to Gilbert and Sullivan. The present composer, Mr. Maurice Jacquet, puts his opus in that debtor class though, no doubt, unintentionally. Traces of those British gentlemen and of Johann Strauss abound. But in spite of these resemblances, the songs have a freshness and a catchy quality not to be credited most other imitators.
The scene, Vienna of the 1840's, is tastefully laid out and the soldiers' uniforms and sweeping gowns of the ladies of the ensemble have much to do with making the picture fetching. The lighting effect at the opening of the last act achieves one of the prettiest results the Boston stage has witnessed.
As a change from straight musical comedy a piece of this sort is most refreshing. Particularly it is so, after the countless disappointments brought by "Student Prince" imitations and such. Colorful, gay, and above all tunefully refreshing. "The Silver Swan" takes its place well up in the ranks of worth-while musical entertainment.