Jordayne Columbo Newspapers - July 30, 1921

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Published in the San Vieta Sun, San Vieta, California




San Vieta Sun
July 30. 1921
Evening Edition
By Annabel Hanson

The Golden West Theater of our own town of San Vieta is currently preparing for the opening of “Fairest Among Thousands”, an 1841 romantic comedy that has not been performed for nearly 75 years. The play was closed down at West Coast theaters when a scandal developed involving the deaths of the then most famous leads in the play. Here in San Vieta, it’s revival after 75 years is due mainly to the efforts of Frank Dowling, stage manager of the Golden West, and Miss Jordayne Piercy, the theater’s manager. Miss Piercy, being understandably busy, Mr. Dowling graciously took a few minutes out of his schedule to speak with us.

“We wanted a special sort of presentation to celebrate our 10th anniversary.” Mr. Dowling explained. “To have a theater of our size and location to become this well known and respected in the past ten years is a remarkable feat. This play got some rave reviews back in 1841, until Lilly Tyson and Justin Eldridge were murdered by a crazy stagehand. I think it will get the same sort of response in 1921. San Vieta crowds haven’t changed that much over the years.”

Dowling glanced toward his theater manager and lowered his voice to a dramatic whisper. “And if not, I can always try the stunt that Charles Ambrose used in ’46. That’s a guaranteed draw.”

(In mentioning Charles Ambrose, Mr. Dowling would seem to be referring to the murder of Miss Tyson and Mr. Eldridge. Not the most tasteful remark, but them Mr. Dowling’s odd sense of humor and lack of propriety is well know in this community.)

Established in 1911, the Golden West Theater has presented the small community of San Vieta the unique opportunity to view such famous personalities as Harry Houdini, John and Ethyl Barrymore, and the mighty Caruso. The theater has built up a reputation as not only a proving ground for inexperienced students of the genre, but as a platform which retiring greats can take their final bows before stepping out of the limelight forever.

The later is the case for both Elizabeth Blake, recreating the role of Suzanne made famous by Lillian Tyson, and Lorenzo Loveless, appearing in his first role for the Golden West, as Peter Golden. Last played by the great Justin Eldridge. While candidly admitting that he and his leading lady were both older than most of the actors and actresses cast in these two parts, Mt. Loveless explained that rather than being a handicap, this may be an asset.

“One shouldn’t try to live up to the performances of other thespians.” he said in that glorious baritone that has set maidenly hearts quivering for 15 years. “Lizzie and I will try a completely different approach than anyone else has. While still working in the limits of the plot and lines, we can create our own personalities for the characters. Miss Piearcy has given us free creative rein with our roles’ personalities, so that we can present a gracefully aging beauty, and a balding, slightly paunchy hero, rather than trying to pretend we are twenty years younger than we are.”

“Fairest Among Thousands” opens in six weeks. It is a production I heartily recommend to the entire family. Thee will be evening performances throughout the week with matinees on weekends. For ticket prices and times and any further information, contact the box office during business hours 9 – 5 daily.

The theater is currently presenting the play “Medea”, starring Miss Mary Fitzgerald-Green. “Medea” will run for approximately one more month.