Behind the Scenes with Edwin Booth

By Katherine Molony Goodale | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III
THE OPENING NIGHT

WE opened in Buffalo for a three nights' engagement. Mr. Booth did not play Wednesday matinées nor did he play Sundays. I was expecting this schedule, as it was Mr. Barrett's also, and I was glad I could continue to see the 'opposition' Sundays and Wednesdays. I thus saw much of the talent of the theatre. Mr. Booth uncomplainingly played Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, and Washington's Birthday matinées. There were no other holiday afternoon performances then. On Good Friday he refused to appear. On that day his theatre was dark. This was Mr. Barrett's custom, too; but unlike him, Mr. Booth made no reduction in our salaries for the Good Friday closing, neither did he do so when he was ill -- which was just once -- nor for lost time in travel. He had a way of adjusting those business complications by bearing the pecuniary loss himself.

The opening bills were Richelieu, Macbeth, Hamlet. No Sunday rehearsal! On Monday we were called for eleven, but no Star today. I do not remember another rehearsal the entire season that he attended. No one could help but draw the conclusion that, when Mr. Booth acted at night, he did not intend to tire himself rehearsing.

Mr. Doud was rehearsal authority now, and he put us through this opening day Richelieu, Macbeth, and Hamlet. He for the first time placed in my hands a

-19-

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