Motography – September 30, 1916
“Diane of the Follies”
Lillian Gish has appeared in five Triangle plays to date, and is beginning her sixth. Her first play for this company was “The Lily and the Rose,” followed by “Daphne and the Pirate.” “Sold for Marriage,” “The Innocent Magdalene,” and a symbolic drama now being titled and assembled. Lillian Gish will next be seen on the Triangle program on September 23 in “Diana of the Follies.”
In her latest play, “Diane of the Follies,” Lillian Gish gives an imitation of Sarah Bernhardt, with whom she once appeared as a fairy dancer. Lillian Gish’s latest Triangle play, called temporarily, “Diana of the Follies,” is considered one of the best stories of the year by the Fine Arts scenario department.
Lillian Gish in Fine Arts-Triangle Comedy.
Reviewed by Thomas C. Kennedy
LILLIAN GISH essays a role quite different from anything she has previously attempted in “Diane of The Follies,” and as a very temperamental show-girl she does remarkably well.
There is nothing in the way of adverse criticism prompted by Miss Gish’s performance, but after sitting through the full five reels of “Diane of The Follies” one, even if one be most charitable, cannot down the feeling that the producers should have found another story about a show-girl if they were anxious to have Miss Gish play such a part.
Diane has plenty of spirit and breeziness but none of the other characters has, nor does this story by Granville Warwick ever threaten to get anywhere in particular. Diane is a showgirl and she marries an amateur writer and is not happy with him and goes back to the “Follies.” That rather brief sentence would do as an outline of the play. The only semblance of plot comes after Diane leaves her husband and child. The latter becomes the victim of some dramatic illness or other and dies before Diane receives word of the trouble. And that was to be expected from the moment Diane gazed longingly upon the child before taking her departure from Christy. The ending of the play finds Diane again back on the stage and her husband, whom she wishes every happiness and success, continues to live as he did before meeting her.
“Diane of The Follies” presents some quietly amusing situations and Miss Gish by sheer force of her own acting is a bit interesting upon occasions, but these events are too far between. The production is good in all particulars save one, and that one is the show given to the theater-going public of Stamford. If Stamford could applaud a show like that, why there is hope for “Diane of The Follies,” in Stamford at least. This comedy from the Fine Arts studio was produced by W. Christy Cabanne. Sam De Grasse as Phillips Christy does nothing at all. Others in the cast are Lillian Langdon, Howard Gave, Wilbur Higby and Wilhelmina Siegmann.
Were Surprised, Lillian!
Lillian Gish has adopted a course of training as strenuous as a professional pugilist in order to get into the best possible condition for her “rough house” work in the Triangle-Fine Arts production. “Diana of the Follies.” Miss Gish has several free-for-all fights in the picture, including one at her husband’s house and another on the stage of the opera house in which several chorus girls mix in.
In the theater scene one of the chorus girls emerged with a black eye as the result of coming in too close contact with demure Miss Gish. Miss Gish’s portrayal of the temperamental actress in “Diana of the Follies” is expected to make other celebrated temperamental ladies of the screen look to their laurels to preserve their reputations as “Champion Temperamentalists of the World.” W. C. Cabanne directed the production.