Skip to main content
Source File: cat.j00015.xml

Page Image

Nebraska State Journal

April 18, 1894
page 3


The best minstrel show of the season was given by the Lincoln Light infantry to a whole Lansing full of people last night. The audience was large in every sense of the word. The officers of the National guard and the Omaha Light infantry company occupied the boxes. The performance itself was very much better than most amateur performances presented by the gilded youth of a town, probably because a minstrel show is better fitted to the capabilities of amateurs than many other theatrical ventures.

At promptly 8:15 the curtain rose upon a dark scene and the program began. The music was exceptionally good for amateur music. "Mamie Come Kiss Your Honey Boy" was well rendered by Mr. Moore . Mr. Frank Burr's variations and amendments to the somewhat ancient and familiar strain, "Move On," were very clever and drew forth repeated encores from his hearers. Mr. Chris Camp's solo was very good and his floral tributes were unique and loaded with meaning. Mr. Yol A. Bostrom's version of "Love Me Little, Love Me Long," was the musical hit of the evening. He must compose rapidly, for he good-naturedly responded to six encores and never gave us "the same thing over again." His local hits were particularly gratifying. Mr. Ed Butler sang the newest song that has been heard in Lincoln for an age. He had a good voice, which is something unusual in a soloist, and sang with such ease and self-possession that he can scarcely be called an amateur. His floral offerings were of such a deep and suggestive nature that it was well that he temporarily belonged to a race that is born to blush unseen. As it was one could almost see his blushes through his burnt cork. The curtain fell upon part 1 with a very pleased and contented crowd on this side of the curtain.

Part 2 was opened by the popular magician, Mr. Will O'Shea, in a sort of reminiscence of Hermann . Mr. O'Shea did many astonishing feats, though some of his tricks failed to "go off."

Mr. Bostrom's "few minutes" were just a few minutes too many. They had all the essential coarseness of minstrel fun without its wit.

Messrs. Burr, Moore and Curtice performed very creditably on the mandolin and guitar. They make a strong trio. Mr. Harry Wilson attired as an ice cream summer youth handled the clubs with great enthusiasm and success. His manifold "circles" and his throwing of the clubs was very skilful.

The great feature of the second part, and perhaps of the entire program, was the triple bar exhibition by Messrs. Bing and Wittman . Evidently these gentlemen do not work at the bars in a dilletante way. They go at it like professionals of the first order. Everyone, from the circus loving youth in the gallery to the ladies in evening dress, got excited when the gymnasts began. There was a dazzling splendor about their tights and a dash and daring about their performance that made one think he was witnessing the great standing bill that is running now in Madison Square garden . From what one remembers of Barnum and Bailey and Robinson and other circuses, one would say that Lincoln would have to look a long time among the professionals before she would find better bar performers than Messers. Bing and Wittman. They executed with apparent ease and very apparent grace some of the most difficult feats known to triple bar gymnastics.

Mr. Burr's round dance was very fetching, though he fell a little short of the mark where the kicking was concerned. Men never do kick well; their ideals are not lofty enough. They had better leave the kicking to ladies, they are too modest to ever attain any very high degree of merit in that line. Finally the leopards did change their spots and the Ethiopians their skins and the Lincoln Light infantry appeared and covered themselves with glory in their drill.