The Fitch Plays

H.L. Mencken

Baltimore Evening Sun/December 27, 1910

It is the day after the day, and so we are all a bit bilious and unhappy, and uncomfortable and sleepy. Let us, therefore, turn for a space to the sleepiest of all sciences, which is bibliography. That is to say, let us make up a list of all the plays written by the late Clyde Fitch—an enterprise never yet carried to success. Fitch’s last play, “The City,” is now on view in Baltimore. Since 1890, when he made his bow with “Beau Brummel,” fully 50 other pieces from his pen have been seen here. He wrote in all just 37 original plays and made 19 dramatizations and adaptations. In the year 1901 he turned out no less than six plays and in 1903 he repeated the feat.

The following bibliography is not quite complete as to dates, but it is nearly so. All of the dates actually given may be depended upon for accuracy. A number of other lists of Fitch plays have been floating about the press of late, but all of them are marked by blunders and omissions. This one, it is believed, includes every play that Fitch ever wrote or helped to write. It does not make lively reading, but it is extremely difficult to make lively reading on the day after the day. As dull as it is, it may interest some of the thousands of persons who have enjoyed Fitch’s clever pieces and at worst it may be defended on the ground that it is neither libelous nor vulgar. Here it is:

Original Plays

“Betty’s Finish,” a play in one act, written for Miriam O’Leary. Boston Museum, 1889. Ran two months.

“Beau Brummel,” written for and in collaboration with Richard Mansfield. Madison Square Theatre, New York, May 19 1890. Played by Mansfield more than 1,000 times. (Published by John Lane Co.)

“Frederic Lemaitre,” a play in one act written for Felix Morris and later played by Henry Miller. Daly’s Theatre, New York, April, 1891.

“Pamela’s Prodigy,” written for Mr. John Wood. London, 1891.

“A Modern Match,” Union Square Theatre, New York, March 14, 1892. William Faversham, (-) Seligman, Nelson Wheatcroft and W. H. Thompson in original cast.

“The Harvest.” Fifth Avenue Theatre New York, January, 1893. (-) Conquest and Joseph Wheelock, Jr., in original cast. Afterward expanded into “The Moth and Flame.”

“April Weather.” Daly’s Theatre, New York, April 13, 1893. Sol Smith Russell and Orrin Johnson in original cast.

“His Grace de Grammont.” New York October, 1894 Written for Otis Skinner and afterward revived by him.

“Gossip” in collaboration with Leo Ditrichstein. Palmer Theatre, New York, March 11, 1895. Mrs. Langtry, Effie Shannon, Eben Plympton and Charles Richman in original cast.

“Mistress Betty,” written for Helena Modjeska. Garrick Theatre, New York, October 15, 1895. Afterward rewritten and called “The Toast of the Town.” Also called “The Career of Betty Singleton.”

“The Moth and the Flame,” written Herbert Kelcey and Effie Shannon. Lyceum Theatre, New York, April 11, 1898 W. J. Le Moyne, Sarah Cowell Le Moyne and Bruce McRae in original cast. A new version of “The Harvest” (1893.)

“Nathan Hale,” written for Nat C. Goodwin. Knickerbocker Theatre, New York January 2, 1899. Maxine and Gertrude Elliott in original cast. (Published by R. H. Russell.)

“Barbara Frietchie,” written for Julia Marlowe, Criterion Theatre, New York October 23, 1899. Arnold Daly, J. H. Gilmour, W. J. Le Moyne and Dodson Mitchell in original cast.

“The Cowboy and the Lady,” written for Nat C. Goodwin. Knickerbocker Theatre New York. December 23, 1899. Maxi(-) Elliott, Burr McIntosh, Jameson Lee Finney and Miunie Dupree in original cast.

“The Climbers,” Bijou Theatre, New York, January 15, 1901. Amelia Bingham Clara Bloodgood. Minnie Dupree, Annie Irish, Madge Carr Cook, Frank worthing, Robert Edeson, Ferdinand Gottschalk and George C. Boniface in original cast. (Published by the Macmillan Company.)

“Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines, written for Ethel Barrymore. Garrick Theatre, New York, February 4, 1901.

“Lovers’ Lane.” Manhattan Theatre New York, February 6, 1901. Played by three companies for three seasons Milli(-) James in original cast.

“The Way of the World,” written (-) Elsie De Wolfe. Victoria Theatre New York, November 4, 1901. Frank Mills Vincent Serrano, Clara Bloodgood and Harrison Hunter in original cast.

“The Girl and the Judge,” written for Annie Russell. Lyceum Theatre, New York, December 4, 1901. Mrs. Gilbert, Orrin Johnson and Matbilde Cottrelly in original cast.

“The Stubbornness of Geraldine,” written for Mary Mannering. Garrick Theatre, New York, November 3, 1902. (Published by the Macmillan Company.)

“The, Girl with the Green Eyes,” written for Clara Bloodgood. Savoy Theatre, New York, December 23, 1902. (Published by the MacMillan Company.)

“Her Own Way,” written for Maxine Elliott. Garrick Theatre, New York, September 28, 1903. Charles Cherry and Arthur Byron in original cast. (Published by the MacMillan Company.)

“Glad of It,” Savoy Theatre, New York, December 28, 1903. Millie James, Fanny Addison Pitt, Edward Abeles and John Barrymore in original cast.

“Major Andre,” New York, 1904. Arthur Byron in original cast.

“The Coronet of a Duchess.” Written for Clara Bloodgood, Garrick Theatre, New York, September 21, 1904. Mrs. Thomas Whiffen, Georgia Drew Mendum, William Courtleigh and Ernest Lawford in original cast.”

“The Last of the Dandles,” London Beerbohm Tree in original cast.

“The Toast of the Town,” A new version of “Mistress Betty” (1895). Written for Viola Allen. Daly’s Theatre, New York, November 27, 1905.

“The Woman in the Case,” written fo(-) Bianche Walsh. Herald Square Theatre New York, January 31, 1905. Dorothy Dorr, Helen Ware, Robert Drouet and George Faweett in original cast.

“Her Great Match,” written for Maxine Elliott. Criterion Theatre, New York September 4, 1903.

“The Girl Who Has Everything,” written for Eleanor Robson. Opera House Cleveland, February, 1906 (Liberty Theatre, New York, December 4, 1906.) Later presented on tour by Isabel Irving.

“The Truth,” written for Clara Bloodgood, Criterion Theatre, New York, January 7, 1907, William B. Mack and Mrs Sam Sothern in original cast. (Published by the Macmillan Company)

“The Straight Road,” written for Blanche Walsh. Astor Theatre, New York January 7, 1907. Louise Closser (-) Dorothy Dorr and Charles Dalton, in original cast.

“Her Sister,” in collaboration with Cosmo Gordon-Lennox, for Ethel Barry more, Hudson Theatre, New York, 1907

“Girls,” Washington, March 9, 1908 (Daly’s Theatre, New York,  March 23, 1908,) Laura Nelson Hall, Amy Ricard Charles Cherry and Herbert Standing in original cast.

Fluffy Ruffles,” a musical comedy brett(-), for Hattie Williams, New York 1908.

“The Happy Marriage,” Garrick Theatre New York, April, 1909.

“The Bachelor,” written for Charles Cherry. Hyperion Theatre, New Haven March 4, 1909, (Maxine Elliett’s Theatre New York, March 15, 1909.)

“Miss McCobb, Manicurist,” a one-acter written for Georgia Laurence, American Theatre, New York, 1909.

“The City” Hyperion Theatre, New Haven, November 15, 1909. (Lyric Theatre, New York, December 21, 1909.)

Adaptations And Dramatizations

“The Masked Ball,” written for John Drew. From the French of Alexandre (-)son and Albert Carre. Palmer’s Theatre New York, October 3, 1992.

“The Social swim,” written for Marie Wainwright. From the French, January 1893.

“The American Duchess.” From the French, 1893.

“A Shattered Idol,” From Bal(-) “Pere Goriot,” Grand Opera House, Chicago, July, 1893. George Faweett and J. H. Glissour in original cast.

Well, well! Here is the space all gone—and the list has still six inches to go! More anon!

(Source: University of North Texas, Microfilm Collection)

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