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EMPIRE THEATRE.

"WHOOPEE!"

The best parts of "Whoopee," the new American musical comedy which Messrs. George Marlow and Ernest Rolls are present- ing at the Empire Theatre, appeared on the stage on Saturdav night, _ome time after li o clock, when everyone was feeling a little tired, and beginning to think about last trains and ferries Thnse were the scene of the Halloween party and the parade of gor- geous costumes in the Indian encampment When the curtain came down finally, after little speeches by Mr Rolls and two of the principals, Mr Charley Svlber and Mr Ley- land Hodgson, it was nearly ten minutes to

twelve

The Indian costumes made one of the most bn'liant dlsplajs that the Sidney stage hits seen It was a pity the audience was not allowed more time to look at them One would cheerfully have given up half an hour of the comic interludes and the sentimental singing for another five minutes at this point The procession of girls did not begin to appear round the rock, pathwav on the cliff at the left until the scene was neirly over As soon as the first one appeared in her enormous feathered head-dress a murmur of admiration ran through the audience The leader stepped for« a ra, and round the bend carne another costume in an entirelv different colour scheme A third followed, a fourth, a fifth, until the stage was filled with these wonderful crea- tions, all different and all glowing with the most radiant colours-each one harmonious in itself, and the whole series blending into a spectacle of remarkable beauty As soon as the last one had entered the lights flashed off Just for a moment or two they flashed on again to disclose a row of the ballet unfurling plumage to represent black and white birds a strikinglv effective contrast amid the riot

of colour-and then the curtain came down

The tableau at the beginning of the same scene had been effective in a more restrained way It owed its attractiveness to the group- ing of the Indian figures on the various ter- races of the old fort on the right, standing out In silhouette against a clear, glowing sky The appeal of this, as of all the other scenes, would have been enhanced, however, by a softer lighting of the backdrops, which would more convincingly have expressed distance. The scenery was by Reg Robins

For the Halloween party, the stage had been covered in with low pointed arches, made of tangerine-coloured silk This brilliant but very simple decoration threw into relief the figures of the diners in evening dress as they sat around a semicircle of little supper tables The two ballet dances, one by girls in grotesque head-coverings reminiscent of Mardi Gras the other by girls in pointed caps with streamers hanging from them, were both highlv attractive Miss Jane Sels gave a lithe and graceful solo dance

"Whoopee!" is founded on the farce, "The Nervous Wreck," which was presented not long ago at the Grand Opera House by Mr Frank Neil Practlcdllv the whole of the action in the farce has been retained and there are extra scenes in the Indian reservation and, of course, the songs and dancing, so that It Is no wonder the musical comedy version is long

The part of Henry Williams, "the nervous WTeck," was efficiently acted on Saturdav night by Mr Charlev Svlber who appeared at the St James Theatre last year in ' Rio Rita " He and the new American leading ladv, Miss Beulah Berson were at their best in the song, "Until You Get Somebodv Else, ' sung as thev «at together on the runnlng-baard of a Ford car The broad comedy here suited Miss Ber- son better than the serious emotion that she had more often to portray Mr Forest Yar nall sang well the sentimental music of the hero, and looked suitably handsome Miss Geneviève Mccormack, another new arrival from America, did not make the most of the chances for farce that the part of Mary Custer gave her Mr Lejland Hodgson has sung and acted much better In other musical comedies in which he has appeared In Sydney The cast also Included Messrs James Hughes, Paul Plunket, Freddie Conyngham, Frank Hawthorne, and John Harper, and Miss Queenie Ashton There was much excellent dancing by a well-trained ballet and the stage ensembles were well managed, under the super- vision of Mr Rolls Mr Will Redstone briskly directed the musical side of the entertain-

ment _____________________

Digitisation generously supported by
Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation
Digitisation generously supported by

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