It has long been true that one is more or less limited in the criticism of a musical comedy. One either likes the thing or one does not, and that is all there is to it. It is an institution that usually defies the laws of cause and effect. In "So Long, Letty," however, now running at the Shubert Theatre, an entirely different sensation is experienced, for here is a play that is highly enjoyable and very apparent reasons for its being so.
Personality in the cast is the primary virtue of "So Long Letty." Oliver Morosco has gathered together such people as Charlotte Greenwood, Sydney Grant, Walter Catlett and Frances Cameron, with well-laid plans. They all have an unexplainable faculty of "getting across" just what they want and it will be a peculiar audience which will not be at their feet for three hours, in more ways than one. Charlotte Greenwood, with her excessively long legs and arms and her naivete is about as ridiculously attractive as one could hope for.
The managers of this play have boasted of its possession of a real plot, and we will not argue with them on this point. There is a plot, which is often in evidence, but it has been made elastic enough to introduce all sorts of nonsense so necessary to the T. B. M. This plot is eclipsed by the general production, for while the settings which represent Califoria as well as paint can, are not extraordinary; the costumers have undoubtedly been given carte-blanche, and the harmony of color which they have obtained is truly a miracle. The styles are much more suited to a warm climate than to Boston, but once inside the Shubert to witness "So Long, Letty," Utopia is at hand.
There is the usual paradox of there being not a singer in the play, but no one in America can sing any more, so the fault is passed over lightly. Many attractive tunes give ample opportunity for some real singing, particularly "So Long, Letty," but Sydney Grant remedies the defect of the absence of voices by some clever instrumental limitations, and this with great success.