Last night Mr. James O'Neill played the "Count of Monte Cristo" to a half filled house. Doubtless the weather was largely responsible for the aching void in the dress circle, for Mr. O'Neill has always been very popular among Lincoln play goers. Of Mr. O'Neill in the title role little need be said. He is Edmond Dantes so perfectly that the public won't have him in any other role any more than they will have any other man play Edmond Dantes. Last year Mr. O'Neill wanted a change, and he tried to wean his audience to some new play by playing the "Count of Monte Cristo" the first night and his other play the second, but though Mr. O'Neill may grow tired of playing Edmond Dantes, the public is never tired of seeing him play it, so this year he has gone back to his first love. Mr. O'Neill makes a wonderfully light and youthful Dantes, and it is not easy to be light and youthful on the stage. His scene at the office of the procur ur du roi was particularly easy and spirited. As the count he was—well, he was James O'Neill as the Count of Monte Cristo, and whatever may have been his vocal flourishes for gallery applause, we must overlook them, for his virtues were many, his faults they were few. For the role of the romantic actor we wish such trite and choice bits of rhetoric as "the pen is mightier than the sword," and "the world is mine!" could be stricken from the plays they burden and make ludicrous. Mr. Edward Morgan as Villefort was very handsome and, strangely enough, he could act. All the men of the company were good. What they most need is a competent leading lady. Madamoiselle Celeste is a dream of beauty. There are few handsomer women to be found in either the higher or lower walks of the profession, but her acting is weak, insipid and pointless. She is innocent of all art or even of a clever imitation of it, and her voice was a continual and painful surprise. It rather startles one to hear the tones of a cavalry officer issue from such very bewitching lips. She is undoubtedly better than Mr. O'Neill former Mercedes, who was neither fair nor talented, but there is great room for improvement. It is certainly strange that the leading lady of the romantic drama should always be so atrociously bad when she has nothing under heaven to do but wear gorgeous apparal with moderate grace and scream "Edmond!"—or whatever his name may happen to be—with moderated tenderness.
"Tuxedo," like good wine, improves with age. It is now in its third year of uninterrupted success. Its appearance at the Lansing theatre tonight presents many new and startling introductions that one would hardly recognize save for the familiar faces that long since became identified with this popular minstrel farce. The cast embraces Hughey Dougherty , Arthur Rigby , Bert Shepard , Ed Marble , Geo. W. Dukelan , Miss Ida Fitzhugh and others.
Saturday night, January 27, the Lansing theatre offers Eli Perkins , the renowned humorist, who will discourse upon the "Philosophy of Wit and Humor" Many delightful moments are in store for his auditors and it is safe to say he will have a large house, which is richly deserved. The prices are only 25, 50, and 75 cents.
At the Funke opera house tonight the Corse Payton company will give the above named play. Miss Etta Reed will appear as Iza, the artist's model, and her portrayal of this character is Miss Reed's most ambitious effort.