Gabrielle Ray

'Gabrielle Ray said, 'I am always dancing; I love it! When I don't dance, I sing. What else is there to do?'

The Casino Girl – Dublin – The Irish Times – 1901

The Casino Girl at the Theatre Royal, Dublin, week beginning Monday, 16 September 1901

The Casino Girl made her bow to the theatre goers of Dublin last night at the Theatre Royal. She is a very attractive little personage, quite irresistible in her way, full of fun, and endowed with a keen sense of humour, and exquisite taste for dress, and a soul full of melody. Of all the “girl” pieces that have been poured down upon us, this is perhaps the most acceptable. Nice, unambitious, tuneful music, a delightful bevy of most charming-looking young ladies, a sprinkling of good “voices,” a series of splendid spectacles, “business” that would carry a much inferior production through – in fact, a first-class, elaborate, and most artistic variety performance, describes the entertainment. People may object to the “musical comedy,” to the overlapping of the legitimate stage by the music hall, to the introduction of “plays” with no justification beyond the fact that they provide clever artistes with an opportunity to give a succession of “turns” before audiences that cannot be commanded in the music halls. We deplore the tendency to such pieces as much as any lover of the classical drama, but a performance like that of The Casino Girl reconciles one to the “variety” and goes a long way to justify the public in thronging to the theatre where a “musical farce” is being done. It might be better that the people would go to see Shakespeare or Sheridan, but no one can blame them if they are charmed by such a very delightful entertainment as that which was revelled in by a large audience at the Theatre Royal last night.
‘It would be absolutely absurd to tell the plot of the production. “What matters the plot except to bring in fine things?” And certainly a vast deal of most excellent things are here introduced on the flimsiest pretexts. Mr. J. Whilson, for instance, is brought in to impersonate J. Offenbach Gaggs, a burst up grand opera tenor, who takes a company to Cairo and meets with reverses. He is excruciatingly funny and manages to monopolise all attention while he is on the stage. As he is very seldom absent he bears a good deal of the burden of the performance. The piece also serves to re-introduce to us one of the most charming little artistes on the stage, Miss Isa Bowman, who made a name in one of the [Dublin] Gaiety pantomimes. We remember her as quite a child dancing and singing for the children during the Christmas season some years ago. She has developed into a perfect artiste. She sings most catchingly, she dances with exquisite grace, she acts with marvellous piquancy. She is, in fact, far too good for “musical farce,” far too good for anything except a really high-class piece of comedy. Looking back over the heroines of the “girl” pieces we cannot recall anyone who cut a more artistic and picturesque figure. Bright, gay, and natural, by herself alone she would have made the performances a success. We look forward to her doing great things in the future. Little Ganty is a side-splitting comedian. Mr. Max Copland as the Brewer Pasha is inimitable, Mr. Cecil Curtiss sings well, Miss Gabrielle Ray warbles and dances neatly. The entire company is excellent, the music is sweet, the plot is practically non-existent, the scenery is exceedingly nice, the dresses are airy, the business is clever, some of it might be modified with advantage, but on the whole it is admirable. At the end of the day of worry we don’t think one could select a better physic than the variety entertainment which will run at the Theatre Royal during the week.’
(Irish Times, Dublin, Tuesday, 17 September 1901)

May 2, 2013 - Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Casino Girl, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , ,

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