Leah Kleschna


Leah Kleschna
   C. M. S. McLellan's five-act drama, written as a vehicle for Minnie Maddern Fiske, opened on 12 December 1904 for 131 performances at the Manhattan Theatre. Mrs. Fiske played Leah, a thief, who attempts to steal jewels intended for Paul Syl-vaine's fiancée. When he catches Leah in the act, she recognizes him as the man who saved her during a shipwreck years before and they become friends. When the wastrel Raoul Berton (played by George Arliss), the brother of Sylvaine's intended, steals the jewels, framing Leah in the process, Sylvaine protects Leah, but loses his fiancée. Reformed, Leah marries Sylvaine. McLellan's original version offered a more ambiguous ending, but he changed it under pressure from Mrs. Fiske and her husband, Harrison Grey Fiske, producer of the play. It was a popular work in Mrs. Fiske's repertory, but was made into a motion picture without her in 1913, and was revived by William A. Brady in 1924 with McLellan's original ending, achieving only 32 performances.

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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