THE customary annual theatricals for the benefit of the Harvard Boat Club were given in Parker Memorial Hall, Boston, on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, May 15 and 16. The bill on Friday evening consisted of the comedy of the "Babes in the Woods," followed by the farce of "Taming a Tiger." The performance of the "Babes in the Woods" showed care and attention on the part of the actors, but seemed unable to excite as much interest in the audience as could have been desired by those who wished well of the undertaking. The fault was decidedly more in the play than in the acting. The plot is extremely uninteresting, and with a few exceptions devoid of either diverting incident or lively dialogue. The long measured speeches which we were compelled to listen to produced a soporific effect hardly anticipated by any one accustomed to witness students' theatricals. It is a pleasure to be able to say, however, that the actors made as much of the play as they could, and did all that was possible to overcome the shortcomings of the dramatist. Mr. McMillan's impersonation of Jeremiah Beetle was wonderfully natural and finished, and was carried through with that spirit and vivacity which always characterizes his acting. Mr. Wigglesworth performed his feminine part gracefully, and carried away his audience by his occasional touches of tenderness and pathos. Mr. Allen's performance showed thorough study and complete mastery of a somewhat difficult part. In the farce we have to notice the great dramatic talent of Mr. Isham, who was decidedly the attraction, the play being nothing in itself. The hall was fairly filled, but not by any means crowded, though the number present did not probably give a correct idea of the number of tickets sold.
Unfortunately for the Saturday theatricals the afternoon proved rainy; yet it seemed to have little influence with the audience gathered to see them. We were astonished to see so large an attendance, and the enthusiasm shown must have been highly gratifying to the actors. We were first entertained with the comedietta of Woodcock's Little Game, which, though performed before, will well bear repetition. Mr. Woodcock excelled, as usual, putting a zest and nature in his acting which did him credit. Mr. Larkings seemed at home with his eyeglass, and self-possessed, though had he slightly raised his voice, he would have been better heard. The ladies were very good; their parts were well acted and showed study; a little more freedom in the pose of the arms might have improved the effect, still we have no fault to find, and compliment them on their costumes. Mrs. Carver appeared well in her rather difficult part, and fainted with good grace. Between the acts the Glee Club and the Pierian favored us with some music, done in their usual good way. And here we would say that the audience is hardly encouraging to the Pierian; though they listen attentively to the singing, they seem to forget that the Pierians are also gentlemen amateurs, and deserve a like politeness, which their good music certainly merits them.
The afternoon concluded with the farce, "Don't reckon your Chickens," etc., which was well calculated to send the audience home in a jolly mood. The part of Glubb showed no trace of having been "assumed on short notice." Mr. Tinkler displayed more taste in selecting his wife than his clothes, and his mode of treating the household Glubbs reminded one of his patent. In her attempt to calm her fluttering heart, Miss Jane received well-merited applause The quotations of Miss Sarah must have been well appreciated by those in front, although nothing but the poetical cadence of her voice reached the farther seats. Maggie was so natural, so straightforward, that every one was pleased to have her turn out the Cinderella of the girls. Simon's music suggested to the college ear the opening strains of D. Pratt's poem "Sound the hugag!" etc. All the parts were well taken, and the play went off with a creditable freedom from hitches.