Monday, June 11, 2012

More of Hudson in Another Era

After the previous post, which announced the performance of the musical comedy Nobody Home on December 10, 1915, at the Playhouse in Hudson, I suspect you are all eager to learn how the performance was received. So, here is the review from the Hudson Evening Register for December 11, 1915. If you click on the title of the first song from the show mentioned in the review, "The Magic Melody," you can hear a recording of it archived on the Library of Congress site.

Tuneful Melodies and Plenty of Dance Numbers 
in Musical Comedy.

Zoe Barnett
The presentation of "Nobody Home" adds another to the quite extensive set of good musical comedies which have appeared here at Playhouse. The music is catchy, the cast and chorus full of snap, the costumes rich and pleasing, and stage settings add to the general effect, the second act being especially unique. Zoe Barnett, the leading lady, does not rank up to some others heard here in voice, but she won her audience by her all around work, gracefulness, bubbling good humor, dancing and recitation, the latter being a clever bit entitled "The Matrimonial Fishers."

Like regulation musical comedies, the plot in "Nobody Home" is tenuous enough to please the most exacting. It hinges around Miss "Tony" Miller, a prima donna at the Winter Garden, capitally played by Zoe Barnett. "Tony" has several ardent admirers, but finally capitulates and marries "Freddy" Popple (Percival Knight), whose stupidness really makes one love for him [sic], and Mr. Knight's portrayal of the English character was excellent. Throughout the play a number of amusing situations crop up and are the source of much merriment. The chorus is well trained and knows how to sing.  

"Nobody Home" boasts of fifteen musical numbers and many of them are very catchy. "The Magic Melody," "Any Old Night," and San Francisco Fair," all rendered by Miss Barnett, scored big hits and were given several encores. Lew Christy put over "Why Take a Sandwich to a Banquet" in fine style. Roydon Keith and Mabel Withee, juvenile leads, played their roles in fine manner and sang and danced their way into the hearts of the audience. Miss Withee is probably one of the best looking players seen on the local stage in the last few years. Rose and Arthur Boyland gave several dance numbers in a manner which won much applause.

Roydon Keith
Mabel Withee

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