"Next stop the Old Maids' Home."--thus the Hasty Pudding Club in its the-atricals characterizes the Vincent Club. Were an impartial reviewer of "When South Meets North", this year's Vincent Club production to apply a fitting phrase he should say, "Next stop the Ziegfield Follies."
It is safe to say that for the rest of the week "standing room only" will be the cry at the Plymouth Theatre when the Vincent Club is in action upon the stage. Indeed, it is doubtful if the Plymouth has ever had a more sprightly, graceful, and charming chorus play there. This year's performance is well above the average Vincent show in every particular; to the author, Miss Ruth Graves, and to the producer, Mr. J. Jack Caddigan, highest credit is due. To be sure, there seems at times a lack of humor in the production, and the few lapses into burlesque are all too welcome, but the acting, dancing, costumes and tunes more than make up for this fault, if such it may be.
Miss Helen Bennett, in the role of Donald Bayne, and Mrs. Dudley Ranney, as Barbara Leslie, carry the greater part of the play upon their shoulders, and acquit themselves in a manner which leaves nothing to be desired. Mrs. Ranney has the charm and sprightliness of a professional ingenue; her dancing is excellent. Miss Jessie Means, the South American senorita displays unusual talent. The Spirit of the Ouijaboard, Miss Helenka Adamowska, always charms; her acting in this difficult role is noteworthy. All of the principals have real voices for both the lines and the lyrics, a quality which is often found lacking in the usual amateur show of this sort.
The octette is unusually finished in its numbers, but takes a rather pessimistic view of the situation when in one of its songs it sees fit to state that "the Hasty Pudding hasn't caught us yet". In the "Dance of the Flying Fish", Miss Janice Liggett and Miss Elizabeth Caswell execute an exceptionally graceful dance number. At the end of the first act the Dance of the Dumb Bells is a mirth-provoker and well deserves the many encores it always receives. The Orchid show between the acts contains the most colorful and attractive of any of the costumes in the performance.
At the opening of the second act Miss Mary Sigourney displays her talents on the xylophone and later in the Cock Fight Dance with Miss Louise Hoar bears out the impression that she is one of the most gifted performers in the production. The Tutti Frutti Song serves as a medium for Miss Louise Fessenden to charm her audience with a voice which is rich and sweet. As for her choice of fruits, it is most commendable. The advertising number headed by Mrs. John Thayer, as Jim Wiggin, is a cleverly conceived number. Miss Cornelia Hallowell as Aunt Jemimah gives an appreciative audience a good chance to laugh; the chance is not overlooked. The Gold Dust Twins, Miss Rosanna Fiske and Miss Dorothy Neyhart, and Miss Linda Wellington, as Cream of Wheat are the other black-faced comediennes. If they can all flap pan-cakes, wash dishes, and cook cereal as well as they act, the girls of this number deserve laurel wreaths. The Drill this year is as perfectly executed as it has ever been. The Fan costumes are most attractive.
"When South Meets North" will always maintain a high reputation. It is a show which anyone would want to go to, even if he forgot that it was given in the interests of that most worthy institution. The Vincent Memorial Hospital.