|[The Twins gave three performances in Cincinnati: Friday evening, 2 January, a Saturday matinee, 3 January, and again Saturday evening. The Enquirer reviewed the two evening performances separately.]|
The (Cincinnati) Enquirer
TWAIN AND CABLE.
A Splendid House Meets Them on Their First Appearance
Ennuied theater-goers, sated with "patent insides" plays like somebody or other's Confectionery, the Work-house Convict, Stuffed Doll, Skipped by Daylight, Consternation, and similar productions, found infinite relief last night listening to the readings given by Mark Twain and Geo. W. Cable. They must have felt flattered by the audience that greeted them, for, in addition to being of goodly size, it was made up of the best of society people. Cable was the first to appear. He is small, dapper, and so slight that his dress suit clings rather than fits to his frame. After being introduced he seated himself at one of the tables on the stage and waited until the late comers had been shown their chairs. His colorless face, encircled with abundance of dark hair, did not suggest risible tendencies, and his long pointed beard, suggestive of a cheap stage make-up for the villain's part, was also against his present calling. Taken altogether, he had the look of an overworked student who was cultivating brain at the expense of physique. When silence obtained he came forward and began the entertainment in a disappointing voice, for it was weak, effeminate, and thin, and had a metallic quality that could scarcely be called agreeable. Throughout the evening his selections were entirely from one of his own works, the name of which was prominently displayed at the beginning of every one of his numbers on the programme, the text following it in smaller type. Either the man is infatuated with his own work or takes this means of bolstering its sale. Ill-advisors have put him forward as a humorist lecturer when the pathetic is far better suited to his abilities. On several occasions this fact was proved, and in "Mary's Night Ride" he reached a point bordering on the tragic. As he reached the climax in this selection his words were delivered with a dramatic effect so thrilling as to send cold chills through every listener. He was heartily applauded for this and had to answer a recall, as on a former occasion, when he gave three quaint little creole songs, of singular and haunting tune. Reciting the English words first, he followed with the Creole patois original in a wierdly musical voice. In strong contrast to Mr. Cable, Mark Twain is tall, awkward, gestureless, with a shock head of iron-gray hair and a deeply-furrowed, tired face. With all these rostrum disadvantages, he enters upon the stage, nevertheless, with the self-possessed ease of a man passing into his own drawing-room. The look upon his features suggests that he has mislaid his eye-glasses and has returned to look for them. Finding a number of persons present, he stops and has a long talk with them, during which they are the most willing listeners in the world. To describe his voice is almost next to impossible. Persons who have heard Frank Mayo can form something like an idea of its peculiarities. It is a thoroughly down East nasal tone, flowing with the steadiness of a brook in words that, though scarcely separated, are perfectly distinct and rich in their delicious drollery. There is not a sentence but what conceals a mirth-provoker of some kind, that jumps out at the most unexpected time and place. Concluding his remarks, he ambles off the stage with a funny little trot, as if he was wild to get out of sight as soon as possible to have a roar all by himself.
Last night's programme will be repeated this afternoon. To-night will be given the closing entertainment, at which the programme will be --
From Dr. Sevier -- Narcisse's views on Chirography; Raoul Innerarity announces his marriage -- George W. Cable.
The (Cincinnati) Enquirer
ANOTHER DELIGHTED AUDIENCE.
Twain and Cable Close Their Season in Cincinnati
There was another fine audience at the Odeon last evening to hear Mark Twain and George W. Cable on their last appearance in this city. Mr. Cable was first to appear, at eight o'clock, when he read an interesting humorous selection from Dr. Sevier, which was applauded so enthusiastically that he continued the story. Mark Twain then commenced to tell how he was interviewed in such a humorous way that his audience at first thought he was only telling something incidentally before he began his reading. In his next selection he read a chapter of his unpublished book "Huckleberry Finn," explaining how "Huck" and "Tom Sawyer" freed the runaway "nigger," which created roars of laughter. He concluded his part of the programme with the most side-splitting part of the entertainment, an incident detailing his duelling experience in the West. The audience fairly roared during the recital.
Mr. Cable's second number on the programme indicated that he would give a selection from the "Grandissime," but he substituted another scene from Dr. Sevier, which the audience seemed to enjoy. He became highly dramatic in this scene. In his closing selection he, with the consent of the audience, rendered two of his weird Creole songs instead of another -- "Mary's Night Ride" -- from Dr. Sevier. The lecturers' engagement in this city has been a success financially, and the entertainments have been highly satisfactory to all who attended.