It is something more than a treat to find a plot in a musical play. There's one in "The Balkan Princess," and a very pretty little story it makes, too. Princess Stephanie of Balaria is bound by the laws of her charming country to marry one of six nobles, or abdicate. When the time comes to select her husband she finds that only five have arrived. Where is the sixth? Ah, where? Count Boethy, the Prime Minister, tells her that the Grand Duke Sergius, the missing noble, has refused to enter the palace. That misguided person prefers to write Socialistic articles in the press with such headlines as "Why the people of Balaria could dispense with their Princess." The Princess is naturally piqued at these treasonable insults, but admires the Duke's independence. She thinks out a scheme very quickly - they always think and write quickly on the stage. She will find him and compel him to come to the Palace. Hearing that he frequents a certain Bohemian restaurant, she goes there, incognito. Naturally, almost the first man she sets eyes on is the Duke, but she doesn't know him. She falls in love with him; he falls in love with her; they fall in love with each other. At the end of a happy evening, Sergius proposes a toast, "The downfall of the Princess." Spurnery from the Princess. "I am the Princess; arrest that man!" Poor Duke Sergius goes off to the Palace, a prisoner. Now the Princess loves him all the while, and rather than marry one of the remaining nobles she signs the document abdicating the throne of Balaria. Now she is only an ordinary woman, and not bound by such absurd matrimonial laws as a Princess. She is free to marry whom she pleases. The Duke Sergius, however, having seen how noble and good she is, destroys the document, takes his stand with the others, and the curtain falls upon one of the happiest and handsomest couples ever seen on the musical comedy stage.
What a charming Princess Miss Isabel Jay makes! And what a fine specimen of mankind is the Grand Duke Sergius as played by Mr. Bertram Wallis! To Mr. Lauri de Frece and Mr. James Blakeley are due most of the fun in the piece, and it is genuine humour, too. An exquisite mounting, tuneful music, pretty girls and pretty frocks add greatly to the success of "The Balkan Princess."
Playgoer and Society Illustrated - Vol I, No. 6