Critical Moments

A very serious drama has come to town. It is called “Lost Horizons.” Although it is the original work of Harry Segall, it has been rewritten so many times and so many gentlemen of the theatre have had a hand in its production that when it was first presented at the St. James Theatre the other night, the producer left unmentioned in the program the name or names of the authors.

The temptation to say something about “too many cooks” is nearly irresistible; however, it can be reported that this play with its twenty scenes and cast of fifty, does jell properly with the result that you are offered a stirring drama which should keep you awake.

In very broad terms, “Lost Horizons” may best described as a play demonstrating the truth that suicide is not the answer to life’s problems. In fact, the authors demonstrate what happens when a young actress (Jan Wyatt) commits suicide because her lawyer-lover has informed her that he is no longer interested in her. Her death may mark “finis” for her, but its effect on other people is far reaching.

Committing suicide does not take Miss Wyatt out of the proceedings. She is next shown in the guise of a spirit, finding out what her death has done to her friends. She learns that had she lived, a boy would Lave been saved from the electric chair, some of the girls she knew would not have been betrayed, an author’s play might have been successful and he would not have destroyed himself.

This sort of thing, unless done with extreme intelligence and skill, can become annoying and impossible, but Miss Wyatt’s fine acting gives it an air of belief. The play is also aided by the fine directing of John Hayden. Confronted with the problem of showing such varied scenes as a millionaire’s home in New York; a lodging house in Canada; a bungalow in Los Angeles; a theatre in Kentucky; each of which is a separate entity yet part of the whole pattern, Mr. Hayden’s ingenuity was tested thoroughly and he has acquitted himself with distinction.

‘THE LAST GENTLEMAN’ AND OTHER CINEMA NOTES

George Arliss, who has not been seen on the screen in a new picture since “The House of Rothschild” is playing the lead in Twentieth Century’s production of “The Last Gentleman” which opened at the Rivoli last evening. Directed by Sidney Lanfield, the supporting cast includes Janet Beecher, Charlotte Henry, Ralph Morgan, Edna May Oliver, Edward Ellis and Donald Meek. A review of this film will appear in these columns in Sunday’s paper.

“Have a Heart,” in which Jean Parker is starred, had its premier at the Mayfair Theatre last evening. It is a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer production and tells the sad but inspirational story of a crippled girl who is brought back to health through a love affair. She gets her man! The locale is the Ghetto of New York and the male lead is played by James Dunn. The film is packed with typical cinema action, the usual misunderstandings and the happy climax.

ANOTHER MONTH OF GILBERT AND SULLIVAN

Much to the delight of the management at the Martin Beck Theatre it has been found necessary to announce that the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company will play a third month. The repertory for this period will be as follows:

Week of October 29: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and Wednesday matinee, “The Yeoman of the Guard”; Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and Saturday matinee, “Princess Ida.”

Week of November 5: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and Wednesday matinee, “Patience”; Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and Saturday matinee, “Trial By Jury,” followed by “The Pirates of Penzance.”

Week of November 12: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and Wednesday matinee, “The Mikado”; Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and Saturday matinee, “Cox and Box,” followed by “H. M. S. Pinafore,”

Week of November 19: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and Wednesday matinee, “Iolanthe”; Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and Saturday matinee, “The Gondoliers.”

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