When Holbrook Blinn first created Pancho Lopez, erstwhile Mexican bandit, he made him gorgeous and highly picturesque, but possessed of a certain oleagenous quality that was more reptilian, than romantic. With his black hair well greased and his thick curl closely pasted to his oily forehead, one felt that on a hot day he might ooze out through the cracks in the stage. Avoiding this, Mr. Mowbray makes his Lopez dustier but not so greasy. It is a pleasant change.
The play shows alarming symptoms at the start of becoming either a way-down-East nature study with one of those everlasting lovable characters in it, or a big battling melodrama of the Western plains. Having proceeded for some time in both of these directions, it suddenly realizes the mistake, and introduces a most ingenious and accomplished Mexican bandit. From then on it is sure fire stuff. It would even be funny in Mexico.
Mr. Mowbray, as heretofore mentioned, had the difficult and important part of Lopez. He might easily have spoiled the entire production by smoking one cigarette too few or taking one too many mouth fulls of chill con carne. As it was however, he carried things off splendidly and even spoke a little excellent Spanish. Of course this Department doesn't know any more about Spanish than the man in the moon, but it has its own ideas about recognizing it. As long as an actor can keep going at the rate of a hundred words a second, without using too much English or making too many funny noises, then he is talking good Spanish. Nobody knows what it means anyway.
A small epitaph should be written for May Ediss, who used a Cockney accent and the leathern boots of a cattleman's daughter. Of course the West is a queer place and odd things happen out there, but not quite as bad as that. Richard Whorf in direct contrast to Miss Ediss was thoroughly in harmony with the setting. He has learned the clumsy rolling gait of a cowboy off his horse and the slow drawl of the Western plains. It's too bad, he wasn't given a bigger part. Mr. Clive, also, confined his undoubted talents to a few lines.