1880-1883 Garlow scrapbook

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It is encouraging to the frequenters of our east side theaters, where we have so magnificent a temple of the drama as that with the above title, to recognize the positive improvements which theatrical representations have recently undergone in this elegant and spacious establishment. We has hardly recorded the clever representation of "A Celebrated Case," with a cast of signal excellence, when we were attracted to the first production in the same theater of a drama written by Mr. John A. Stevens, one of its managers, entitled "The Prairie Waif," and prepared expressly for exhibition by the new dramatic combination organized by Buffalo Bill. The title is an expressive one, and suggests the story on which it is founded, as well as the character of the artists engaged in its performance. It manifests also an improvement in the taste of the chief actor, and a disposition to make the east side theaters consonant with the desires of the people who frequent them, and who would become more numerous as the character of the plays represented in them acquired additional literary and dramatic merit. In "The Prairie Waif" we have a well-digested plot and an exceptional list of entertaining and talented artists. Mr. Cody, who prides himself in his accepted name of Buffalo Bill, assumes the chief character, and does so with a full recognition of its stage demands. His style of acting has been conformed to a better model, and he has selected for his company artists who are mindful of the public demands for clever acting. His elocution is more comformable to good taste, and his stage associates have been chosen for their personal qualifications as well as for their dramatic experience and skill. In "The Prairie Waif" we have several artists who are worthy of note R. C. White, Harry Clifton and G. T. James, who have made that drama their model for imitation. A pretty and interesting young lady of no common pretentions to both beauty and talent, named Miss Lizzie Fletcher, assumes the responsibility of representing Onita, the heroine of the play, while the comedy part is judiciously assigned to Miss Connie Thompson, who may be said to have been almost literally born on the stage, and is the daughter of parents who were at one time noted as talented artists, both in this city and in some of our larger Western theatrical towns. In the selection of this drama its comedy necessities have been liberally supplied by the engagement of Mr. Jule Keen, who is assigned to the low comedy dialect part of Hans, in which Miss Connie Thompson plays the opposite character of Sadie. These are the main characters who appear conspicuously in the plot of the drama, and who contribute their by no means unwelcome aid to render it an exciting and impressive entertainment. Mr. Cody's participation in the performance deserves more than mere passing mention. He has become an actor who has learnt the valuable secret of repose, and has cultivated an elocution which is devoid of the bombast so peculiar to artists of limited experience. The story of the play is especially sympathetic and picturesque, and the scenes are surrounded by an atmosphere of romance that adds to its effectiveness; while Mr. Cody does not fail to avail himself of the use of accomplishments as a rifle shot, which imparts an additional interest to the stirring incidents of the representation. The lighter portions of the performance are made especially amusing by the comic humor of Mr. Keen and Miss Connie Thompson, the latter of whom adds several comic songs to her repertoire, and sings them with humor and spirit. As Mr. Cody's benfit will take place here to-morrow night, an opportunity will be afforded the numerous frequenters of the house to pay him such a professional compliment as he justly deserves.

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[?] AMUSEMENTS. AT THE ACADEMY Last evening at the Academy of Music the Buffalo Bill combination presented the popular drama entitled, "Prairie Waif" or "a story of the far west," to an immense audience, the house beingpacked from parquette to gallery and even standing room being at a premium. This troupe is ome of the most popular traveling, and the play one of the best border dramas ever placed upon the stage. It is different from those presented here before by the same company from the absence of vulgar expressions in it. The plot is simple, yet very instructive, interesting, and laughable.

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