The "Third Little Show" raised its curtain last night at the Wilbur to the no small amusement of a considerable assemblage. At times the audience seemed to be unwilling to let the proceedings reach their natural conclusion, but in spite of the frequent explosions of applause Miss Little and her confreres managed to bring the performance to a much unwanted finale. Although the review has not yet reached a smooth perfection, there is every indication that the "Third Little Show" will follow the primrose path of "The Second Little Show" with the everlasting bonfire a long way off.
Miss Beatrice Lillie tittered, sang, and ended in a blaze of glory "On the Western Plains" a la Ruth Draper with a dash of Mary Wigman. At this juncture it was only the fire laws that kept the audience from rolling in the aisles. Her best scene, however, was one in which she represented the theatre-going difficulties of the dowager with a propensity for losing things and numerous clothing to dangle in the faces of her neighbors. It was button-bursting, blatant pantomime in the very best manner.
S. J. Perlman's skit, "His Wedding Night" with Walter O'Keefe and Ernest Truex in the principle roles was one of the most springtly spots in the show. It all happened in one of the very best of English families in an atmosphere of cricket bats, disappointed ladies and general shenanigans. This, plus Mr. O'Keefe's explanation of Mr. O'Neill's forthcoming three day drama marathon, dominated the hilarious first act.
The second act was not equal to this beginning, chiefly because it contained most of the musical ventures which were distinctly below par. Miss Sandra Gale's attempt to revive the "Moanin Low" motif was distinctly a failure while the remainder of the singing depended more on the vitality of the singers rather than their vocal abilities. Walter O'Keefe's "When Yuba Plays The Tuba" was the only song that really succeeded.
Carl Randal's dancing was usually thoroughly amusing and his "L'Apres Midi Don Juan" with Gortrude McDonald was distinctly superlative. The chorus depended more on its pulehritude than its dancing ability and the substitution was not unpleasant.
As a modern review, "The Third Little Show" is an obvious success. The matter of lavish sets and multitudinous choruses is left to the movies. The excellent humor of the individual scenes carries the show and with a small amount of necessary revision and rearrangement the result should approach the first rank.