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The Playgoer

At the Colonial

By M. F. E.

The Colonial Theatre advertises that it is now presenting George M. Cohan in a play of his own composition, "The Return of the Vagabond." But the Colonial is guilty of a slight exaggeration: it very definitely has Mr. Cohan, but it has no play. Here is naught but Broadway's most famous hoofer himself--no misfortune, however, for those of us who are devotees of the worthy gentleman. In much the same way, there is a full cast, but there is really only one character.

In this sequel to his old-time success "The Tavern", the author tells us that he is presenting an "American Melodramatic Satire". For a scant two hours or so, the Vagabond (Mr. Cohan, if you have not divined so already) directs in entertainingly unorthodox manner a very orthodox group of stage people through the intricate contortions of a melodrama to end all melodramas. Bank robbers, policemen, governors, midgets, and fascinatingly naive young ladies put themselves completely in the hands of the Tavern's unidentified guest, and he has them caper about in the fashion most likely to please his laughing audience--and with no other evident intent.

As for Mr. Cohan himself--he is magnificent! He grimaces, he mugs, he jigs, he philosophizes whimsically, and he gestures vigorously with his jained Rosseveitian chin. "The Return of the Vagabond" is not a good play: as a matter of fact, it makes no pretense of even being a play. However, a real hoofer will never let his audience down, and this is always good theatre.

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