The walls of the Lansing were not strained last night. A very small audience and a very quiet one came to see the same plays that drew together such a crowd a week ago. But, whether they had seen the first program or not, those who went last night received their reward. In the first place the glee club sang and sang several new songs—among them their very effective version of "Mary's Lamb," and "Romeo and Juliet," which the Michigan glee club sang last year; but then they did not have so tiny a Romeo and their Juliet was by no means so gigantic. The university may well be proud of its glee club. That a university—and a university town—should so long be without one is a wonder, but it will be a greater wonder if, now that one has come, the people ever allow themselves to rest content without one. Quartets are all very fine, but there is something about the music of a good glee club that nothing else quite gives, and the state university glee club is one of the good ones.
The mandolin club played well, too, and received an encore, and then the curtain rose on the first scene of the Latin play, "The Captivi." It is to be wished that the street in which the scene is laid were not so painfully modern. Costumes and scenery were wonderfully incongruous. Still, as soon as the play began, one forgot all about that. Indeed Mr. Tucker and Mr. Abbott could have made one forget more. Besides, when one heard them a second time their language grew more comprehensible. In spite of the small audience, the acting really seemed much better than a week ago, freer and more natural in every way.
To one who did not understand Greek, spoken or chanted, the real beauty of the Greek play lay in two things; the music one heard and the colors one saw. The music was twofold, first the rich harmony of Menelssohn , second, but none the less beautiful, the speech itself, the "vowelled Greek." One often hears it said that Greek is more musical than Latin, but to realize this properly one must hear, as he might last night, Greek following Latin, like music following speech. Then the costumes, of course these have been criticised. The people who think they know all about it say that the Greek wore nothing but white. But the Greeks were not so colorless a people as some think. They liked bright color, they even painted the columns of their temples, and the women wore robes of any color they fancied.
Certainly the effect last night was beautiful. All the tints were soft with a few exceptions. The purple of Kreon's robe, the black of Antigone's gown, the brazen armor of the rather boyish warrior, the gorgeous red and gold of the Koryphaios , all these stood out strong from the softer framing of delicate yellow, pale green and golden brown. The whole was a picture, a living picture and one to remember.
The actors all did better than they did a week ago. Antigone was more defiant, Ismene gentler, and the guard a little less irreverently colloquial. Kreon, too, seemed to have gained in voice what he had lost in beard, and put more life into his acting. One really felt that the play was a tragedy, and sat duly awed when the curtain at last fell before the kneeling Ismene.
A pleasing performance is assured at the Lansing theatre tonight to the lovers of burlesque such as the Nibbe French burlesque company is prepared to put up. Their olio is resplendent with rich, rare and racy vaudeville gems and the burletta of "His Nibs and His Nobs" is really captivating, replete with pretty girls, excruciatingly funny comedians, exquisite costumes and entrancing music.
Miss Marlowe's repertoire has this year been enlarged by a brilliant revival of Sheridan Knowles' sterling old comedy, "The Love Chase." In the character of its heroine, Constance, the artist is afforded a fine opportunity for the display of her graces and talents. Miss Marlowe presents this delightful comedy at the Lansing theatre Wednesday, February 28.