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The premiere of "Melody," George White's latest production, at the Boston Opera House, was so radical a departure from the usual George White tradition that it must be regarded as a bold attempt at pioneering. If Mr. White is lucky, his show will be the leader of a new trend, a trend back to musicality and romance, a swing of the pendulum back to the Gibson girl.
Ten years ago a George White show was a symbol; a hectic pageant of skits, sheiks, jugglers, tap dancers, Mormons, Turks, Doukhoubars, Greek gods, and Canadian Mounted Police. Sixty scenes and as many chorus girls were only attributes of a production that could be accurately described as "mammoth." But that was another age. An age that has gone the way of two dollar wheat. This bright new year has caught us turning back to the family circle and to what we are beginning to call the sentimental values.
But while we agree with Mr. White's ideas we doubt if he leaves his show in its present form for long. There are too many bare spots, moments when graciousness turns into just plain dullness. More sparkle, more vitality must be had before the New York run is attempted. Everett Marshall and Evelyn Herbert sing some grand songs by Romberg and Hal Skelly still seems to know how to handle his women. With just a little something to do and more help from the chorus "Melody" might uphold a real ideal and, incidentally, be about fifty percent better.
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