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Mail Tribune 100, Nov. 8, 1919

The following news items were drawn from the archives of the Mail Tribune 100 years ago.

Nov. 8, 1919

SACRAMENTO BEE IS ENTHUSIASTIC OVER POST PLAY

One of the few dramatic masterpieces of any season is that brought to this city by Guy Bates Post in “The Masquerader,” which opened a three days’ engagement at the Clunie theater last night. This play, made from the famous novel by Katherine Cecil Thurston, was produced under the direction of Richard Walton Tully, a Native Son, famed for “The Bird of Paradise,” “Omar, the Tentmaker,” and other more or less spectacular productions.

Post may be described as a convincing actor in a powerful play supported by a capable company, and aided by scenic incesture, music and every mechanical device needed to comport with the motif of the drama.

This is a compressed version of the novel, altered, augmented and adapted to the requirements of the utmost dramatic effect of which ingenuity and technic are capable.

New characters are introduced essential to the dramatic version. New episodes are interpolated. Trick devices familiar in the world of the stage magician are necessary to the enactment of the dual role.

The result is a much more powerful, artistic and emotional effect than the book itself produces upon the reader, for the novel is seldom read at a single sitting, and if it is, the reader’s mind is too fatigued to receive the unity of effect which the two and a half hours of the drama evoke.

Tully is a master artist at conceiving the spectacular in scenic setting. Post has ideas in harmony with Tully’s.

In order not to spoil the charm of surprise for those who have not seen the play, too much cannot be told in this. It can be revealed, however, that Post carries his own curtain, relieving the eves of the garish and illusion destroying advertisements on the customary drop; that special music goes with the interpretation, skillfully designed to awaken the proper emotional receptivity in the audience; that the lights are not extinguished suddenly, but gradually, permitting the pupil to adjust itself to the transition from reality to make-believe; that there are nine shifts of scenery accomplished so speedily that the illusion of the drama is not suffered to wane, and that every adjunct to the higher art of the stage is adopted, as far as the scope of possibility in a traveling production will permit. — Kenneth Campbell in Sacramento Bee.