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A Hash From the Shelves Receives "Positively its First Production on any Stage"

By R. K. L.

The Boston Stock Company is slipping very quietly out of existence at the end of this week, without soliciting any help, from the audiences before whom it has, labored for seven long years. The St. James players in that time have acted plays good and bad, have achieved mediocrity often and brilliance seldom, but have worked very hard and very faithfully to earn what little applause has been bestowed on them. Beyond the limits of the Back Bay, unsupported by its intellectual or financial air, they have bowed at last to a more commercial art. The future of the St. James Theatre will be doubtless intermingled with motion pictures and vaudeville. Boston is fast attain- ing a mid-Western level of dramatic appreciation.

To a stock company, which was peculiarly strong in its juveniles and character parts, and proportionately weak in its leading men and women, light comedy was the happiest vehicle of production. Appropriately the St. James players have chosen just such a medium for their final appearance. "The Show Shop" leaves them at their best.

For the last time Mr. Hall waded grandly through a character part as the portly theatrical manager, Max Rosenbaum, strictly "cocher". Mr. Hall is sometimes annoying and sometimes pleasing, but always he is different. To play the fat Jew with every mannerism, every whining intonation caught to a nicely, is the hardest thing that this reviewer has ever seen him do.

For the last time Mr. Richards found himself relegated to a minor part and went ahead quietly to play it for all it was worth. As usual the sartorially perfect Nedell displayed all the ham-actorisms with which his work is invariably distinguished. Mr. Collier revelled in a heavy bit, to which he added many an extra ounce of weight. Mr. Collier will play Hamlet some day, if they let him.

The play itself appropriately is a farce concerned with box-office failures, actors contracts, and the formation of casts. It is a burlesque of all that goes on in the making of a great American drama, both in front and in back of the foot-lights. There is an absurd and highly melodramatic dress rehearsal wherein the lights come on at the wrong time. The stage properties become inextricably mixed with painters and carpenters, and the actors pace out their distances like boxers going to the corners of the ring. After everything has been done to assure "Dora's Dilemna", the play within "The Show Shop", a swift and rapid failure. New York throws its arms wide and hails it as the success of the season. Which all goes to prove oh, not very much!

Between acts Mr. Richards appeared with a trombone, about as large as himself and did some very silly and ridiculous things with the assistance of the irrepressible Miss Clark. He left behind him a very pleasant and amusing impression which this reviewer will retain as long as he remembers the St. James players

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