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Colored Stars And Angels

Colored Stars And Angels image
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"Git dat side. Miss ütriker; comeyer Lyddy, an' lpt all fo' sipranos git togedder," said a f&wn-colored damse witU a beaver hat on the stage o Booth'8 Theatre ; "an' den as Mi Mo'ton sez we'el conimeuce wud 'Roll Jurdin, Roll.'. The muidens thus addressed quiekly formed around the speaker witn several more sopranos and a host of altes contraltos, tenors, baritones and bass; s of vaiymg profundity. Tlie singeis werè of all abades of color and of all sizesand ages, from the "old aunty" witha bandanna around her head to the picaninny with worsted liair. ".Lordy, lordy, I hasat seed yousince we lef' Hamborg," said a vivacious oc toroon of thirty is she very affectedly einbraced a still darker damsel beneaÜ a Derby wiüi a red fenttaer. "Dat's Miss Garry ïomas, one ob de finis sipranno siugi-rs in de worl Georgy A.11ÍB, de won dey oall dp cullured nyitingale, lin't a marker to her," said a coHl-black tnan, whose short body stoort over a air of huge f eet set at au angle of forty-fivè degrees to it. 'Lid you see dat Miss Tnylor diit suuy at de Equanum las' summer, dat dey calis de American cantan triae, sbe knocks de socks clean off her. Dat emmaii (puintin? to a tan-colored youtli) is Misttr Pintmdi, her husbin. se Misttr Mc se Richards. I plays in Ie plantaahun scène au' in de whislin' oio. I'se biu a whjslin' uow gwine on ix year." At tnis pointthe assembleu 150 singeis struck up: "Buil frog aressed in soers clothes Gwine down de hiU to aboot somo crows. VVait tili I git on my golilin abues Al' go 'buui de sírcete an' prauce wid de news ' Mister Mose Richards puckered up his Jiijipopotanius-like li[s s iL to whistle, b.ut changing his mind continued: "I use ttr cook au' wait fo' I vveutto whistlin'. When I couldn't wait 1' when I CDUldu'tcoiik j I waited. I'sb bia waitin' now fo' dis ! job IV some time an' I doan want to i git coüked on it," at whieh severa.] other of the "Uncle Tom's Cabin"cuiapany lhUghed boisterous y. "Dafs Miater Peteiñon, de oney 'nginal jaw bone player in de worl," conünut:d Mr. Richards, pointing to a man with a tmodle uuder liis arm whicli contained suuiething its;'iiibliugr San:Süii"s weapow of war. "lie calis hiself Jawbone Jawge, fiorn Jawboneville. Oh, we've got some nice folks- but here comts de preacher." A shert, thick-set, stately man approachi'd with a pair oi: gold-rimind speciacies on nis uose. "Doctor Siuipson, dis is a geminan from de WorV," said Moze. The reporter inquired if it was truè tbttt lie was a preaclier. 'Oh, yes sah," he replied with great dignity, 'Tse a Biplis' mishionary iu Brooklyn. l'se bin dar fo teen years. JDey's a mitey bad set, an' dar souls is jes as small as de mish'iiary fund. I cum from oïk Vginny," he answer to a questioii liom the reporter, "an' l'se got to do dis to meliorate my own condishun an' dat ob de cullerd people, so dat when I heerd dat Henry Ward Heecher had got up dis play I jis kinkiuded dat none ob dem Methodis' mish'naries shood git ahed o' me." Wliile the performers were engaged in singing: "Away down 8ouL nhr.r I was bom. 1 picked de cotton and I hced de corn." the reporter interviewed Mr. Jawge W. Johnson, who liad been to Europe. lie s.úd : "Dem Germana got terrible bas voiees.but Al Davis knocked 'cm. He could sing down to B flat. 1 couldn't git down dat low to save my life, but l'se got down pooty low in my time." As the chorus were singing the affecting lines - "Way down do road side not f ar off Buil frog diedíwid de hoopii' cuuh." Commodore Tooker and Mr. W. II. Morlón, the manager, approaehed and informed the reporter that the troupe of singel s, banjoists, tambourinists. bone players &c, in "Uncle Tom's Cabin," would over one hundred aad sevenly-five people. This happend on Tuesdny. On WedLsilay ninety-sevenyoung women of all sizes, from what Commodore Tooker calis "dumpy ducks" to those whom, in speaking prof i ssionally and with an eye to stage effects, lie acterizes na "stately Venuses," callod at Booth's theatre in response to a delicate demand by the commodore for "havlng pretty, but sédate faces that can be kept in sad repose." They were wanted, the advertisduient explained, to appear as angels in the apotli osis 01 glimpse of Beulah Land," whieh is to wind up '-Únele Toni's Cabin." ïlnlittle business office to which thtv were shown, although eiitirely desiitute of furniture, wüs not large enough to accommodate more than one-balf of the young women who were undismaj ed by the somewjiat exacting requirements. Such as were not able to get into tlie room huddled together in faded shawls and thread-bare cloaks on the landing at the head of the t-iiis. "Do you want to be an angel, MinnieV'asked the Commodore with one of his sweetest smiles, addressing a young woman who had pushed lier way up to lus desk and stood with hands crowded intoa very small mnñ' and elbowstilted up, gazing at a huge coloied poster of Únele Tom and LittleEva. "VVellii'you please," replied Mimiie, still keeping hereyes ou the illuminated iace of the good little girl in the picture, "I shouid Uka to be." "llave you ever been oneV" inqnired the Commodore. "No, sir, but I" ve been a fairy and 1 can stand 011 one leg as still as Lothing for three minutes, and Tve good eyes for the ight, and please, sir, l've gut a sick mother and a"-. "Be an angl Mlnnie, by all means," said Mr. Morton, the manager, jotting down the young womau's address In a üote-book and promising to send her a postal caid next day. The success of the flrst applicant inspired tlie remainder with luibounded confidence. Tliey pressed forward in a body, those in the hall struggling desperately toget into the oilice and those in the office elbowing and crowding one another mercilessly. The Commodore was, however, quile equal to the emergency. "Ladies," said he. "in a long and varied txperience with angels 1 have obsei ved that they invariably remain quiet until spoken to." "Oh, your'e joking," said a woman in the back of the room, and another murmured that he was "too sweet to live." The tone of the voice in which these remarks were made and the somewhat discordant laughter that accompanied them seemed to have a terrifying effect upon one or two of the more stiabbily-dressed guls, wlu forgetting their desL-e to bekome ai gels, seemed to think only of gottin tiiick to the street. The Commodore however, quiekly brought tbings to Ijusl ess basis by requesting the yonn women to forra a line for tlie legistr of their naiaea and addresses. Of the niuety-seven applicants, a least twenty were above furty years o age. At the end of one hour the Coui modore had received the ñames of a nnd had prom i sed them Individuall] a notification the next day by posta card as to their respective" chancea o becoming angels. WJjen the door clos ed upon the last apfilicaiit h6 looke( ir.quiringly np at Mr. Morton and said "How many ?" "Sixteen," replied Mr. Morton. "Ilumph," said the Commodore, "you're very fastidious. 1 checked off two dozen, any one of whom I'll back to make as pretty an angel a-i you'U iind thia side of the north star." Yesteniay there was (o have been a "rehearsal" for the bloodhounds which n connection with the colored peojile and the angels, are to take part in the forthcoming play. The afternoon was, however. so thoroughly íilled u wi'li otlier iliings that the dosjs weie ïot given a chanca.-


Old News
Ann Arbor Democrat