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Nebraska State Journal

14 November 1894
page 2


Frohman's company No. 13 appeared in "Jane" at the Lansing last night.  The play was preceded by garrulous and rather aimless farce entitled "The Great Mogul," which dealt with official communications from the geological department of Yale college and in which the leading lady spent the time that any healthy girl should spend in love making in analyzing minerals. The world is painfully familiar with stony heroines, but a female minerologist is going one step too far.  This scientific curtain raiser scarcely needs condemnation; like most scientific things it will fall by its own weight.

"Jane" is at all times and under all circumstances an enjoyable comedy.  The climaxes are so strong and sudden that it would take a genius to make the play dull, and genius is not one of the faults of Mr. Gus Frohman's "Jane" company No. 13.  Like a circus, "Jane" depends on its "grand entrees;" the entrance of Jane as Mrs. Shaketon in the first act, of the baby in the second, and of Pixton in the third.  All these entrance climaxes are sudden, unexpected and they march to music.  The only fault to be found with the play is that it is a delicate and artistic comedy and it requires rather artistic people to play it.  This fact in a No. 13 company is a decided disadvantage.  Last night's presentation of the play was in too low a key.  "Jane" is written in the neatest kind of waltz time and it was played last night in can can measure.  The whole company was provincial, like the territory in which they play.  Mr. Thomas Reynolds seems a good enough farce com dian, but Shakelton was a gentleman if he was a rake.  Mr. Reynolds made him a sort of horse jockey.  Mr. Newcomb's William was anything but English.  He was only an average American servant, indeed a little below the average.  Miss Mamie Johnston made Jane altogether too refined.  It takes the finest kind of a gentlewoman to play a servant well.  Jane should be just a little loud, with a good deal of the strident quality, a genuine daughter of the people whose heart was better than her manners.  Miss Johnston did very well in the famous table scene, but her uncouthness there was wholly incongruous with her mildness in the rest of the play.  The redeeming features of the performance were R. H. Hicks as Kershaw and J. Brandon Tynan as Claude . Mr. Tynan, although he had only a minor role, was the most natural actor in the company and the only one who could make any pretention to polish.  He is apparently a young man, but shows considerable promise.  Even in that dismal curtain raiser Mr. Tynan played a rather trying part well.  Miss Stevens also made a good head of the Pixton firm.

If Mr. Gustave Frohman wishes to engage farce comedy people he should givem them farces to play. There was a time when the Frohman name insured the merit of a play, when of anything with the Frohman name attached we could say, "It is good," but time has changed this very much for the worse. The Frohmans are wealthy enough now to sell their name and it is just so much worse for the confiding public.

Mr. Sieveking's Recital

The first recital of the artists' concert series, projected by Director Willard Kimball of the university conservatory of music, was given on a night when a large attendance could hardly have been expected.  It was hoped, however, that earnest students of the best music to the number of three or four hundred would be present and as the main floor of the chapel was well filled it is evident that the series was launched last night under promising and satisfactory circumstances.

In announcing the course Mr. Kimball said that these recitals would "bear much the same relation to the numbers and work of a general program that a grave scientific address bears to a popular lecture." That was intended to discourage the coming of frivolous and noisy people, and did not mean that the music would be so deep and dull as to be altogether beyond the comprehension of ordinary people.  The program of the opening recital in fact was made up mostly from modern composers and was bright and attractive, as well as interesting and profitable to the close student.  The composers represented were Beethoven , Chopin , Grieg and Liszt and a brief sketch of each was printed opposite his number. The order follows:

Sonata op. 27. No. 2
Adagio sostenuto, Allegetto, Presto Agitato.
Louis von Beethoven
Two studies {op. 10, No. 12
op. 10 No. 5}
Frederic Chopin
Fantasie in F minor Frederic Chopin
Sonata op. 46. piano and vioin Ed Grieg
Allegro molto ed appassionata, allegretto es-p essive alla Romanza, allegro animate
Second polonaise Franz Liszt

A striking characteristic of Mr. Sieveking's playing is the rapid tempo that he is able to maintain.  It was shown particularly in the third movement of the Beethoven sonata, in the Chopin etudes and in the polonaise.  With all his impetuosity, he still plays with surpassing delicacy.  Only a master of technique could play runs with so much velocity without blurring.  The whole performance was refined and finished to a degree that apparently left nothing unaccomplished in the mastery of the keyboard.

The admiration caused by the perfection of Mr. Sieveking's technique has been so unbounded that his hearers have hardly begun to discuss and appreciate his place as an interpreter.  His rendition of the Beethoven sonata was most satisfactory.  The dramatic element in the fantasie and the brilliancy of the polonaise were brought out effectively.  His work through the program gave promise that he will prove in future recitals to be strong in interpretation. On of his most charming pieces last night was a poetic selection from Grieg, played in response to an encore.

Mr. Sieveking was assisted in one number, the Grieg sonata, for piano and violin, by Mr. August Hagenow . The unsusual harmonies of the Norwegian music do not attract as a rule upon a first hearing, but these two artists made this a thoroughly enjoyable number.

Mendelssohn Concert

The Mendelssohn concert orchestra gave a promenade concert in representative hall of the capitol last night in the presence of a large crowd of friends and admirers. The hall was handsomely deocorated with bunting and the national colors. In the centre of the hall was arranged a platform or a dais for the large orchestra to sit upon and this too was decorated with the white and crimson colors which seemed to prevail in all parts of the hail.

The audience was seated around the sides of the hall in the lobby, the hall proper being reserved for promenading and the drill by the Light infantry . It was about 8:30 when Director Howell picked up his baton and the march, "Apollo," commenced. While it was being rendered a number of the following patroncesses, in company with their husbands, promenaded around the hall, led by Adjutant-General Gage and Mrs. A. W. Jansen : Mesdames A. S. Raymond , R. H. Oakley , J. W. Winger , J. J. Imhoff , J. H. McMurtry , F. M. Hall , C. C. Burr , J. B. Wright , A. C. Ziemer , L. C. Richards , C. S. Lippincott , D. A. Campbell , H. R. Nissley , D. E. Thompson .

The program was composed of musical selections by the orchestra. Delsarte exercises and an exhibition drill by the Lincoln Light infantry.

The orchestra has only been organized a short time, but it is making rapid strides toward a prominent place in the estimation of musically inclined people of Lincoln. Several of its members were encored last night and the overture, "Orpheus," was particularly pleasing to the audience.

Mr. Will S. Fulton won a recall on his tuba solo, "Beelzebub."

The fans drill and special posings by a class of eleven young ladies in the light of a magic latern with dark background was one of the most pleasing features of the evening. The young ladies showed careful training and their posings were natural and very expressive.

The drill by the Lincoln Light infantry was what it always is, as nearly perfect as steady, hard work under a competent drillmaster can make it.