Kansas City Journal,
Kansas City, Missouri
Tuesday, February 1, 1898


"Pudd'nhead Wilson," with its unique characters, its quaint comedy, its dramatic situations and its alluring story, which elements have been so combined in Twain's original sketch and Mayo's admirable dramatization as to make the play one of the most thoroughly interesting presented on the American stage in years, was seen at the Coates last night, opening the third engagement of the piece in this city. Mr. Edwin F. Mayo has succeeded Mr. Theodore Hamilton in the title character, which was created by the elder Mayo. The young man played Sheriff Blake so exceptionally well last season that much was expected of him when he was promoted to the role of Pudd'nhead, and it is to be presumed that the most sanguine expectations were fulfilled by last night's performance, save so far as Mr. Mayo's work was marred by hoarseness. His voice was so seriously affected that it was like that of a feeble old man, yet his enunciation was so good that every word could be heard. In appearance the young man bears a striking resemblance to his father in this character. He also strongly suggests the original Pudd'nhead in the general denotements of the character and in many bits of mannerism. The part was played with sustained merit form beginning to end, although the acting was at times over deliberate. Few actors have dared to be so deliberate as the elder Mayo was in this part, but the young man takes even more time in certain scenes, when, as a matter of fact, he would be more effective if he took less.

Mr. Frank Campeau is retained for the part of Tom Driscoll, which he continues to play most artistically and effectively. Remembering the excellent work of Miss Eleanor Moretti and Miss Emily Rigl as Roxy, it is a high compliment to Miss Ada Dwyer to say that she is the best of the three. Yet this is the truth. She not only rises to greater dramatic heights, but she gives a clearer definition of the character. Mr. W. R. McKay is all right as Sheriff Blake. Mrs. Frances Graham [sic] Mayo is as clever, sweet and charming as ever as Rowy, and Miss Belle Stoddard, the new Patsy, makes much of this part. Mr. Donald Scmedt, Mr. William Arthur and Mr. D. Rivers keep up the humor of the "wise men of Dawson." Mr. Macey Harlam and Mr. Willard Curtis preserve the distinctive character of the twins, and Mr. Augustus Balfour and Mr. Edwin Nalod play satisfactorily the parts of Pembrooke [sic] and Judge Driscoll, respectively. Mr. Menifee Johnstone makes a good deal of the exceedingly difficult Chambers. The play is here for the week. There will be matinees Wednesday and Saturday.

Tim Murphy will be seen at the Coates next week in a double bill, consisting of "Sir Henry Hypnotized" and "Old Innocense." The latter part of the week the stage will be occupied by the Frawley stock company.