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The stage representation of "Evangeline," which opened at the Park Theatre in New York on Saturday evening last, has some special interest for these living in the vicinity of the Longfellow home, and it will doubtless attract many Harvard men when, in a few weeks, it is brought to Boston. The first night in New York was largely an invitation production. Among the guests present were a few of the Harvard Faculty, several of the faculty of Columbia and instructors from other colleges. Mr. Arthur Hopkins, the producer of the play, is a Cornell graduate. Mr. G. R Bunker '10, recently a Harvard instructor in public speaking, is assistant stage manager and is acting a part. The play itself is the work of Mr. Thomas W. Broadhurst.
Very Impressive Opening.
The story of Evangeline is put into dramatic form exactly, so far s incident goes, as it is told by Longfellow. Indeed some of the lines of the poem are incorporated into one or two of the spoken parts. The opening of the play is thus made very beautiful by the appearance of the "Spirit of Arcadie," who in a mystic forest setting recites, the lines, "This is the forest primeval."
Beautiful Stage Pictures.
The play, as would be expected, is not dramatic, though it has a few brief dramatic moments. It is a succession of stage pictures, pictures that are a marvel of stage craft--pictures with reality, with geographical and historical interest, and at times of rare loveliness. The sprightly opening scenes take us to the old French colony of Nova Scotia, with the spinning wheel and the quaint costumes of Acadian peasants. The soft sylvan scene representing a shore of the southern Mississippi has peculiar charm, and the weirdness of the Indian wigwam and the trapper's hut in the wilds of northern Michigan brings to us again the attractiveness of some old-time plays. In the latter part of the play there is little relief from the sadness of a sorrowful tale, but the sentiment is strong hearted and healthy, the language is dignified, the acting is simple, the whole has impressiveness and charm. It is a good play to see. Lovers of the poem will still find the poem, and youth who are learning the poem will find it vivified.
A Production of Much Taste.
The preparations for this production have been lavish in the extreme; but extreme refinement of taste is everywhere evident, both in stage artistry and in stage direction. Mr. Hopkins deserves support in a rare undertaking toward the best that can be done in dramatic representation.
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