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2 March 1879


NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 9, — When Mr. Arthur Sullivan arrives in this country he will find no less than twenty-two companies playing H.M.S. Pinafore. It is the rage of the hour. The dramatic agencies are besieged by out of town Managers for Pinafore companies, small boys whistle the music in the streets, and for three days the editorial page of the Herald has been dotted over with paragraphs the refrain of which has been the memorable "Never, what, never? Well, hardly ever." How a work so distinctively English in all its characteristics should have taken hold upon the American public is somewhat surprising, but the fact remains, and there is an end to it.

Tomorrow night it will be played at no less than five city Theatres, the Standard, Fifth-avenue, Lyceum, Niblo's Garden, and San Francisco Minstrels. Special preparations have been made for its performance at the Fifth-avenue Theatre, where Max Maretzek will direct the music, and the cast will contain some fine vocalists, notably Miss Corelli, who has been heard here in opera. Thus far, the Standard Theatre has done the cream of the business, and has turned away people every night and at the matinées. It has done so well, indeed, that Mr. Duff, who had leased the Theatre for only one month, has secured an extension of the lease for an unlimited period. Quite an interesting fracas occurred there last evening.

Mr. Henri Laurent, the Ralph Rackstraw of the cast, has joined the company at the Fifth-avenue Theatre, and his place is to be taken by Mr. Alonzo Hatch. Last night, at the end of the first act, the former gentleman sent to the Manager for two weeks' salary due to him, refusing to go on unless it was paid. Mr. Duff came to his dressing room in hot haste and corresponding rage. There was an animated discussion, ending by Mr. Duff sending for a policeman and the recalcitrant singer locked up on a charge of disorderly conduct, so that all was not serene on H.M.S. Pinafore that night.

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