The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Blumenthal, Oskar

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BLUMENTHAL, bloo'mĕn-täl, Oskar, German dramatist and critic: b. Berlin, 13 March 1852. He founded the Lessing Theatre, Berlin, in 1888, of which he was manager in 1888-97. Here contemporary farce and comedy held the boards. Blumenthal at first tried to elevate the tone of the comedy stage but commercialism forced him to abandon his ideal for the production of hackneyed farces on current events. Sprightliness of dialogue is the most distinguishing character of his plays; the most successful of them are ‘The Big Bell’; ‘A Drop of Poison’; ‘The Black Veil.’ He has published several volumes of critical and miscellaneous essays.