To see a good play for the second or third time is better than to have the first view of a poor one. There is more real and lasting satisfaction in seeing a play like "Pudd'nhead Wilson" than a whole collection of the frothy nothings with which we are so frequently regaled. Still, it is true that one can have too much, even of a good thing, and therefore, the warning "enough" should be heeded. "Pudd'nhead Wilson" is undoubtedly one of the best attractions on the road. The play is clever and out of the ordinary, and the company is a capable one. Many of its members have been in the cast since the first production by the elder Mayo. The story is one of remarkable interest, and the strong individuality of Mark Twain always finds great favor in these parts. Still, it was plainly evidenced during the engagement last week that most people in Salt Lake had had enough of "Pudd'nhead Wilson." So, while patronage was fairly good, it was shown that this excellent play had about served its time here.
People first became familiar with the story through the book. Then came the dramatization with Frank Mayo in the title role. So remarkable was its success that when he died, his son stepped into his shoes and continued the role.
Edwin Mayo's first appearance here was a trifle unfortunate, for the many who were anxious to see for themselves his reputed resemblance to his father were disappointed to find that a severe cold had seriously impaired his voice.
A repetition of this mishap would have about "queered" Edwin Mayo in Salt Lake forever, and his friends waited anxiously for his appearance. Happily, however, his voice was much improved and only a slight huskiness, common to all actors traveling in cold weather, was noticeable. Quick changes from one town to another, in all kinds of weather, and at all times of the day and night, render the profession extremely liable to colds and throat and voice infections. That is one of the risks they take in coming so far, where so much traveling is necessary. All of Mr. Mayo's friends were rejoiced to find him in such good condition, and he will always be welcome in Salt Lake.
Mrs. Mayo had a trying ordeal to play Roxy before an audience of Ada Dwyer's friends and admirers. Had we never seen Miss Dwyer in the part it is safe to say that we would have thought Mrs. Mayo's performance a remarkable one. And it is with no idea of disparagement to Mrs. Mayo, that to Salt Lake, Miss Dwyer is Roxy. They are entirely different types of actresses. Miss Dwyer is intense and emotional--more tempestuous than Mrs. Mayo--and was therefore better adapted to express the fiercer moods of Roxy. The negro characteristics of easy conscience and quick changes of spirit, could not have been better done than by Mrs. Mayo. In a letter to a friend not long ago, Miss Dwyer said that she felt jealous to think that anyone else was playing Roxy, for she regarded the part as her own. She left it, however, of her own free will, as she felt that the long continued playing of one part was not beneficial to her artistic strength.
A remarkable example of what a long acquaintance with a part will do, is shown in the performance of Mr. Campeau as Tom. He originated the part, and has worked it to such a degree of finish that there is not a facial expression or gesture but conveys the limits of meanness. His peculiar cur-like walk, his mirthless laugh, his uneasy shifting of the eyes, and head, show a remarkable refinement of detail. But while one admires the achievement, he fears for the contraction of the actor's powers, and wonders that he could be content in one role for so long. Another season or two, and Mr. Campeau will be Tom Driscoll to the end of the chapter, no matter what his subsequent achievements may be. He has made a remarkable record in the role, and should not push triumph too far, at the expense of his artistic life.
SALT LAKE CITY.--SALT LAKE THEATRE (George D. Pyper, manager): . . . Pudd'nhead Wilson 14-16; large and pleased audiences. . . . ==ITEM The Pudd'nhead Wilson co. will rest in this city 18-23 with friends.