A Glimpse into the Theatres

While the American armies are getting ready to invade the territory of the Central Powers, German and Austrian playwrights are invading the American stage. Several of the most successful plays, including “Maytime,” “The Tailor-Made Man,” “The Riviera Girl” and “The Deluge,” are the handiwork of German and Austrian authors, although their names do not appear on the program and the origin of the plays is carefully concealed from the audience.

Judging by the instantaneous success of the “Dreimaederlhaus,” produced by Rudolph Christians at the German Theatre in New York, another German-made play will shortly be seized upon by American producers. The “Dreimaederlhaus” is a charming operetta based upon an incident in the life of Schubert, the great composer. The music is skilfully chosen from Schubert’s own music. The play is full of charm and it is admirably presented.

It is surprising how, in spite of many limitations, Director Christians is able to achieve such remarkable scenic effects. His playhouse has some of the artistic qualities of a little theatre conducted entirely for connoisseurs and of a popular playhouse. His actors appear one day in a tragedy of Schnitzler and the next day we see them dancing and singing to some tuneful ditty in a musical comedy.

The fact that the German Theatre in New York continues without disturbance is an excellent testimony to the fact that the metropolis has grasped the meaning of President Wilson’s message that we are not waging war against the German people. Neither, it follows as a necessary corollary, are we waging war on German art. Of course, the German Theatre studiously avoids producing any play that could give the slightest offense. Mr. Christians’ productions are always interesting and we are glad to note that the English-speaking press is giving serious attention to them.


It is difficult to teach an old dog new tricks. But remember, as Alexander Harvey suggests, how many tricks an old dog really knows! This is apropos of a criticism recently pronounced against Bernard Shaw by a writer who maintains that the great Irish dramatist is beginning to repeat himself, that he has nothing new to offer us. The production of “Misalliance” at the new Broadhurst Theatre is the incident which caused this gentleman to deliver his judgement. After reading his remarks we witnessed the performance and were never so agreeably disappointed. For “Misalliance,” so tedious in book form, sparkles delightfully on the stage. All the tricks of a dramaturgic master are employed by Shaw to interest his audience in a discussion of parents and the duty they owe their children. Shaw, like Oscar Wilde, is never so happy as when his characters are comfortably seated and talking. And in this play the amount of talking is prodigal. To get his dialogue over Shaw uses and uses expertly every device of the conventional theatre. Shaw’s directions call for one long act for the entire production, but William Faversham, who produced the piece, wisely split it into three sections. Although everybody in “Misalliance” talks tremendously on every conceivable subject one is constantly interested. It is amazing the way in which this play grips. The audience listens spellbound as though it were witnessing one of Jack Scribner’s burlesque shows on the Bowery. Mr. Faversham is to be congratulated on the good work he is doing. “Getting Married” last year and “Misalliance” this year prove that it pays to put on plays the public likes.

J. B. R.

Previous | Top | Issue 11, November 1917 | Next


If you have found this material useful or enlightening, you may also be interested in


Ordo Templi Orientis, O.T.O., and the O.T.O. Lamen design are registered trademarks of Ordo Templi Orientis.


All copyrights on Aleister Crowley material are held by Ordo Templi Orientis. This site is not an official O.T.O. website, and is neither sponsored by nor controlled by Ordo Templi Orientis.

The text of this Aleister Crowley material is made available here only for personal and non-commercial use. This material is provided here in a convenient searchable form as a study resource for those seekers looking for it in their research. For any commercial use, please contact Ordo Templi Orientis.