"A Summer Blizzard" played to rather poor business at the Lansing last night. The company possesses two very clever dancers in the Nichols sisters and a Hercules jr. who can neither act, sing nor dance in Henry Putman . H. W. Murphy did the crushed tragedian with a silent and impressive dignity which suggested the melancholy Dane and was a restful contrast to the loud-mouthed, full-fisted methods of the rest of the company. His thin and flowing locks, his chin, blue-black from constant shaving, recalled the Shakespearian actor all too forcibly. He was a Thespian to the finger tips, which were constantly appearing through his shabby gloves. In the last act Barnaby Reynolds did some clever imitations. That is a complete and charitable invoice of the good attributes of the company. An itemized account of its failings would be longer and more tedious.
"The Summer Blizzard" is the work of a man who believes that a company and a little scenery and considerable nerve are the only requisites for a play. If there is any evil in the Hoyt school of farce it is that the opinion has gone abroad that a little horse play and half a dozen songs are all a play really needs. The play is loosely written and coarsely acted. There is not a man in the company who is not knocked down in the first act and kickeddown stairs in the second.
The comedy is all of a crude, clownish sort that hinges on sounding blows and the physical degradation of the actors. It is a pity, for the most of them seem to be bright young people and deserve a better play. This one could only run successfully in Zululand or the Cherokee strip or among the cannibals of the upper Congo.
Miss Clara M. Richardson entertained a company of about two hundred of her friends with a song recital in the parlors of the Windsor last evening. She was assisted by Mrs. Will Owen Jones in two piano numbers and by Miss Marie Hoover , accompanist. The leading musicians of the city were present, together with the best-known lovers and patrons of music. Their appreciation of the program was expressed in unmistakably hearty applause and by many compliments showered upon the performers in the social hour following the recital.
Miss Richardson sang Donizetti's "La Zingara," Ehlert's "By the Beehive," "Solveig's Song," by Grieg ; "Salve Regina," by Dana ; Handel's "Let the Bright Seraphim," Neidlinger's "Robin" and "Spring Song" and the polacca from "Esmeralda;" by A. G. Thomas . This attractive program was lengthened by two encore pieces, the familiar "I've Something Sweet to Tell You," and a charming souvenir of country life, "The Wooing," by Martinus Sieveking . Miss Richardson has a fine high soprana voice, fresh and brilliant. Her style of singing has broadened since her last recital. The Handel number gave evidence of high ambition and ability to make its gratification possible and pleasurable. Her voice and manner also fit her for ballad singing. There was a wide range in her program, but she proved herself equal to all its exacting requirements.
Miss Richardson had the advantage of a sympathetic accompanist. This difficult work was performed admirably by Miss Hoover.
The piano numbers by Mrs. Will Owen Jones were Liszt's "Tarantelle" and a group of dainty things, "Morgenstimmung," by Grieg, "Krakowiak," by Paderewski , and "Eglogue," by Raff . "Gay Butterflies," by Louis Gregh , was added in response to an encore. Her playing was characterized by a fine appreciation of the poetry in the music and a marked delicacy of touch.