Holyoke Opera House: The Girl From Maxim’s

by Laurel | November 27th, 2011

Playwright Georges Feydeau

Playwright Georges Feydeau

On 27 November 1900, The Girl from Maxim’s was performed at the Holyoke Opera House. The piece opened in Paris some months prior to the New York production and was well received, with reports of the farce being “How wicked, yet how funny!”

“It is a farce which drives the spectator breathlessly along the road of hilarity by means of a rapidly moving series of mechanically conceived situations. The Girl from Maxims was bluntly suggestive and crudely salacious, as are all these off-color French Farces, which are turned into English, but it was also bright and ingenious in its machine-like way, and in addition very well acted.”

The original American production began 29 August 1899 at the Criteron Theatre in New York City and closed after 54 performances. More than a year later the production was on the road and shown in many places, including Holyoke. The play is based on La Dame de chez Maxim, 1899 written by Georges Feydeau, a notable playwright of the Belle Époque era. Since the original, the play has been adapted and produced in many forms including various film versions.

Below is a selection from a Victor recording, believed to be from the original production performed by the Metropolitan Orchestra, so you can have an idea what some Holyoke residents were enjoying 111 years ago. Digital clip courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Adapted from The Springfield Republican and other sources. Image public domain via Wikipedia.

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