Robert Downing played to a very fair house at the Lansing last night. Although Mr. Downing's acting called forth repeated applause, the audience seemed a little disappointed in his support. Mr. Downing has a fine physique, but perhaps he depends a little too much on it. His acting is rather free from ranting and is often both strong and moving, though after the phrases upon which he has lavished especial power, there is always that little pause and glance at the gallery, which is painfully suggestive. The powerful frame which gives Mr. Downing his force in his heavier acting, is rather against him in his lighter work, and in repose his figure has something of the alderman about it, though his neck fulfilled all the rich and seemly promises of his play bills. Miss Eugenia Blair is a beautiful and charming soubrette who could play delightfully in "Little Puck" or in "Chums," but she is too American to wear the toga. One keeps thinking how much more at home she would be in extravagant evening costumes or cunning morning gowns. Miss Blair's impulsive congress and decidedly "clinging" tendencies do not seem to sit well on the woman who is supposed to be the daughter of heroes and mother of hunger. One of the most important features of the play was the acting of a number of university boys who suped as "Roman Citizens," and whose one desire seemed to be to flee to the rear of the stage and hide the awful brevity of their skirts and the awfuller length of their stockings from the eyes of their professors who happened to be very numerous in the audience.
Pickett's "Gaiety Girls" attracted a fair audience at the Funke last night. Some of their work was of merit, chiefly in the specialty acts of the second part. Frank Williamson furnished the major portion of the mirth. Some of the female voices are slightly cracked. The girls will repeat the entertainment tonight.
No play written in recent years for the English or the American stages has drawn out more favorable comment than "The Silver King." Its grand revival at the Lansing theater this afternoon and night will no doubt be seen by a large house. Bring the children to the Thanksgiving matinee and give them reason to be thankful. Prices this afternoon, 25 cents for children and 50 cents and 75 cents for adults.
English melodrama will receive an excellent illustration in "The Span of Life." Sutton Vane's thrilling, realistic drama is to have its first presentation in this city at the Lansing theater tomorrow night. It is the story of a bad man poisoning his half-brother for his money and trying to blast the reputation of a rival in love. Startling incidents and thrilling situations abound, so that there is not a dull moment in the course of the drama. Sale now on.
Miss Rice has selected as the piece de resistance of her programme next Saturday night at the Lansing theater the very successful comedy "Miss Innocence Abroad," which has just ended a very long and successful run in London and Paris. Miss Rice will be seen in the role of Maria , a character entirely different from anything she has hitherto attempted. Sale opens this morning.