Duncan Sisters a Real Hit in 'Topsy and Eva'
Those Duncan sisters, Rosetta and Vivian, came, saw and conquered Denver Monday night when their "Topsy and Eva," a highly modernized version of "Uncle Tom's Cabin," opened at the Broadway theater to a thoroly sympathetic audience which gladly would have listened all night to the song and banter of the two Chicago girls.
Imagine, if you can, "Uncle Tom's Cabin" set to tuneful music, with a peppy ballet and chorus, dancers stepping the Charleston to the crack of Simon Legree's whip, and the happiest kind of a happy ending, and you have "Topsy and Eva"—a greatly changed "Tom show," but profiting a good deal by the changes. But it might have flagged without the overwhelming personalities of Rosetta and Vivian!
Rosetta as Topsy is the wildest, harum-scarum little witch one can imagine, romping thru the whole play, sometimes reading her lines and again doing a lot of impromptu talking entirely foreign to the script, continually pulling wise cracks and rising at times to fine emotional work. Vivian as Eva is an insurpassable blond doll of a girl, and the two of them win their audience at their initial appearance. They are not a part of the show. They ARE the show.
All of the principals are in good voice, and Alvine Zolle, as Marietta, especially, is a pleasing character. Jessie Bell, as Mrs. Shelby, is a typical lady of the south—accent, slurred r's and all, while Virgil Johanson, as Uncle Tom, and Eunice Harper as Chloe are all that could be desired.
The dance specialties of Marguerite Ball particularly delighted the Monday audience, as Miss Ball combined unusual beauty with exceptional dancing, and unquestionably was one of the favorites of the company.
Such team dancing as was done by the London Palace theater girls has not been seen in Denver previously, and for snap and precision they are in a topnotch class.
A sweet and beautiful play, coupled with excellent work by every member of the cast, and a chorus of really pretty girls, "Topsy and Eva" will be long remembered by those who see it.