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Boston should be willing to suffer a temporary theatrical eclipse once a season if it can come out from behind the cloud with such vernal splendor as mid-April has brought in its train. And Boston's Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays will be only less happy for some time to come than its Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Winthrop Ames is producing Gilbert and Sullivan's "Iolanthe" at the Plymouth on the odd days of each week and "The Pirates of Penzance" on the even days.
But the odds are not quite even on the two plays. Reviewers combine to produce the opinion that "Iolanthe" surpasses "The Pirates" by half an octave. To those who saw "Iolanthe" in New York there is an echo of the sets of the first play in those of the second. This seems inevitable for a road company, but that echo carried throughout the whole of the second performance. John Barclay, that skyscraper of a man, who plays the part of the first lord in "Iolanthe" makes the most of the role of the pirates' apprentice. William Williams, The Lord High Chancellor, is not quite so satisfactory in the part of that General who has fathered so many eligible daughters to catch the pirate eye. His voice is always recitative, and as a consequence not half so sufficient in the second play.
How futile to cavil at trifles! After the first five minutes of your visit to fairyland, Iolanthe and her sisters will have captivated you completely, and you will find that you have gone back at least ten years. And inevitably you will join the ranks of those who sigh at the mention of either play and chortle "Oh, yes, the march of the Peers," or "When a coster leaves off beating up his mother."
On good spring nights the Yard should ring to "Bow, bow, ye lower-middle classes" in place of "Rinehart", and nothing could be more appropriate this week than "A policeman's lot is not a happy one." So, bow, bow, you slaving underclass men, to the inevitable, and order your tickets in advance.
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