The Cherry pickers
- Joseph Arthurs 1896 four-act melodrama is a story of the renowned Eleventh Hussars "Cherry Picker" Regiment in northern India during the British-Afghan War. The exciting action peaked in act 3, set in a gun room of the fortress under siege. There the half-caste hero is rescued by the half-caste heroine, who escapes the clutches of the English officer attempting to seduce her, and who manages to unchain the hero a mere split second before a slowly revolving cannon is fired at his chest. Augustus Pitou arranged an initial performance on 18 June 1896 at the Academy of Music in Newburg as a means of establishing copyright, particularly for the thrilling effect in the gun room. The New York production opened on 12 October 1896 at the Fourteenth Street Theatre. Edward A. Dithmar's review in the New York Times (18 October 1896) noted that he had "rarely seen melodrama so effectively mounted, even in a Broadway theatre." Comic relief came in the form of "the quick wit and generous impulses of the much-married, hot-tempered Irishwoman in India." The role even provided actress Jennie Satterlee with a "tipsy scene."
The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. James Fisher.
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