"Good Gracious, Annabelle," which has only just opened at the Park Square Theatre, is one of the most delightful comedies that has appeared in Boston for some time. Light and thoroughly enjoyable in action and dialogue, the success of the comedy is yet due in larger part to the highly commendable performance of the individual members of the cast, for, after all, the task of creating roles devolves rather upon those who present, rather than upon those whose imaginations have drawn them.
If, in the opening of the first act, one derives the impression that the humor is to be poor, and the action weak, this fear is quickly dispelled by the entrance of Miss Fisher as Annabelle Leigh, who has a husband somewhere, and Mr. Nicander as George Wimblton, who recognizes the day after New Year's as the only time when he is likely to be sober. Once they have made their appearance the dialogue is transformed into a new and ultimate thing fairly overflowing with life. Characterization and personality appear as if by magic, and the whole action is enlivened and lightened. To them, and especially to Miss Fisher, is due the salvation of the first act.
Then, in the second act, Miss Vokes appears for the first time, as usual in her role of the light-witted servant. And, as usual, she plays the part of Lottie, the under cook, who can concentrate only on Scotch and romance, with the same success, the same ability to score a smile or a laugh at every line, all of which seem to have been written especially to fit her.
Mr. Hampden, characterizing John Rawson, a wealthy Western mine owner, gains in effectiveness as the action progresses, and despite the quite improbable plot in which the author has placed him, makes very creditable account of himself. But light roles do not seem to fit him as well as those more serious ones which he has heretofore taken.
No complete summary of the comedy can be made without at least mentioning the concise and intelligent, conceptions of their parts which Miss Harding, as Ethel Deane, an artist in distress, and Mr. Young, as Wilbur Jennings, an indigent poet, display.
In concluding, suffice it to say that in Clare Kummer's "Good Gracious, Annabelle," as presented with the fortunate combination of naive Miss Fisher, artististic Mr. Nicander, and droll Miss Vokes ably assisted by the other members of the cast, is a comedy which should satisfy the most critical lover of harmless quips, odd predicaments and finished characterizations.