MARK TWAIN SPEAKS AFTER BERNHARDT ACTS
Jewish Benefit Audience Enjoys an Unusual Double Bill.
$3,000 FOR THE RELIEF FUND
Humorist Says He and the Actress Are Two of the Youngest Persons Alive.
The benefit matinee for the Jewish sufferers in Russia, which was given at the Casino yesterday afternoon, drew a big crowd from the professional and social worlds. Among those who helped entertain it were Sarah Bernhardt and Mark Twain. During the hour just after luncheon the lobby of the theatre looked as if a greenroom reception for all New York were in progress.
Well-known actresses in their prettiest afternoon gowns sold programmes and flowers at fancy prices. The prices, however, were no more objectionable than the smiles that went with them, and this feminine lobbying proved a popular and profitable device.
Each well-known actor was besieged as he entered with friendly demands upon is patience and pocketbook. Jacob Adler, who came a little late, could hardly force his way into the theatre through the crowd of young women, each of whom insisted upon selling him a programme and a rose.
Inside the theatre, boxes, orchestra, and balconies were filled to their utmost capacity.
Among the actors and actresses who volunteered their services were Kate Condon, Kitty Cheatham, and Chauncey Olcott, who sang; Auguste Van Biene, cellist; Ilka Palmay, in Hungarian dances; Henry Miller and Martha Waldron, in "Frederic Lemaitre," and Margaret Anglin and her company in third act of "Zira."
Sarah Bernhardt presented for the first time the one-act play, in French, "L'Escarpolette," by Miss G. Constant Lounsbury, an American woman who spends most of her time in Paris. The play was given the following cast: Le Chevalier Robert de Bellancourt - Mme. Sarah Bernhardt; Celine - Mle. Seylor; The Marquis - M. Chameroy
The piece is a dainty little production in which an eighteenth century Marquis destined by his father to marry a fiancee whom the young man has never seen, falls in love with a Fragonard portrait of a young girl in a swing. In seeking the Celine of his father's choice the youth, after a bit of mystification, finds that his unknown fiancee is the original of his beloved Fragonard.
Mark Twain, who followed Mme. Bernhardt, spoke of the wonderful French language, which he always felt as if he were "just going to understand."
"Mme. Bernhardt is so marvelously young," he added. "She and I are two of the youngest people alive."
Then the humorist told a story of how when Mme. Bernhardt was playing in Hartford some years ago three charitable old ladies decided to deny themselves the pleasure of seeing the great actress and to send the money instead to some needy friends.
"And the needy friends," concluded Mr. Clemens drily, "gratefully took the money and bought Bernhardt tickets with it."
Both Mr. Clemens and Mme. Bernhardt received warm welcomes.
Among those in the boxes were Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Schiff, Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Guggenheim, Mr. and Mrs. Randolph Guggenheim, Mr. and Mrs. Jackson Gureaux, Mme. Bernhardt, Miss Margaret Anglin, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Lehman, Mr. Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain), and Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Adler.
Ilka Palmay, Ruth Vincent, Kitty Gordon, Josephine Jacoby, Violet Holls, Isabelle Urquhart, and Annette Kohn were among those who distributed programmes and flowers in the foyer.
About $3,000 was realized from the performance.
Miss Anglin was asked by Mme. Bernhardt after the benefit if she would appear with her in Maeterlinck's "Pelleas and Melisande." Miss Anglin expressed her pleasure at the invitation, and it is said some arrangement may be made for a performance of the play in French after the Bernhardt road tour.
A special matinee performance of "La Tosca" by Mme. Bernhardt is announced for Friday afternoon at the Lyric Theatre.
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