The Ninety and nine

   Opening on 7 October 1902 at the Academy of Music, the melodrama by Ramsay Morris ran for 128 performances. The old-fashioned cheap thrills still had the power to please, as hinted in the New York Times review (8 October 1902): "Quick music, lights down, then a sudden flare and the stage at the Academy reveals a giant engine, wheels revolving, autumnal landscape swiftly moving, and the forest fire fiercely burning. Tom Silverton, the hero, stands at the throttle fighting smoke and flame and death, rushing on to his work of mercy. And when the engine, with its cars, apparently arrives at the endangered village, the three thousand (there were somewhat less) anxious villagers, instead of piling pell mell into the cars to be whisked away to safety, forget all about the danger, fall on their knees, and sing the Doxology. But a little incongruity like that couldn't deter that Fourteenth Street audience last night, which at this point was apparently transported to the very pinnacle of melodramatic transports."

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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