With the arrival of the Chauve-Souris in Boston, there may be said to be at least two theatrical performances of the very first class now playing. John Galsworthy's "Loyalties" is one of the best serious dramas to appear on the American stage in years, while the Chauve-Souris players are the best vaudeville company if they can be classified as such in the world. The beetle-browed Baileff and his villainous English, Katinka and her Wooden Soldiers both already familiar to many are but two of the figures which the Chauve Souris has made famous.
The Chauve Souris has not won known by novelty alone. In striking contrast to the average Broadway chorus, the Russians, from the principal down, take in their parts an interest which is joyous to behold. It is not difficult to understand why they have become not only a Russian, but a Parisian and an American institution. "Loyalties" is a play which treats a difficult and ever-present situation with consummate skill. Its characterization and its acting place it far above most of the so-called problem plays" which have cluttered the modern stage.
These two performances, although better than any that have been seen for some time, stand not alone. The theatre, on the whole, has shown a vast improvement since the New York Theatre Guild entered the field and has received an added impetus from the outside through visits such as the recent one of the Moscow Art Players. The cinema, too, has improved with performances like "Scaramouche", and "The Hunch back of Notre Dame", adapted from novels of proved worth. "Chauve-Souris" and "Loyalties" are only unusually good example of the recent tenor of productions and the critic who is fair enough to realize this will, instead of joining the vulgus in deploring the decadence of the American stage, look to the future with high hopes.