"Why, I believe it's a bed!" said the old lady, who had escaped from a brownstone house on Commonwealth Avenue for an afternoon's excitement at the Fine Arts Theatre, to her companion. "Why, it is a bed, and they're in it! These foreigners. I always said to my husband, when we saw those men on the streets of Paris . . ." Nor, perhaps, can one blame the old lady, for the complicated framework of "Wien, du Stadt der Lieder" is such that she could hardly be expected to follow the intricate love problems of Steffi, a Viennese shopgirl, who is almost cast into the willing arms of the almost rich tenor butcher only to be rescued for her unemployed musician by the discovery that there was a mistake in the numbers of the lottery tickets, which makes the course of true love lead to a proper ending on rails of gold.
Hardly touching the Cook's tour, musical comedy, three cafes and two operas Vienna, the play exploits the humorous and amorous possibilities of the butcher, baker, candlestick-maker life of the city. In keeping are the simple, cunning, and ludicrous characters, finely, but not brilliantly drawn by actors who show a tendency to overact their parts. The music is jazz, of whch nothing more need be said, relieved by some good waltzes and humorous bits, which Herr Max Hansen sings splendidly. If one understands German, the lines are worth hearing.
Compared with the recent German films shown in Boston this cinema falls far below standard. Its good qualities are overbalanced by faults which one would more willingly attribute to Hollywood productions; the story is too complicated for a musical show, the setting is not romantic, and the little good music and the undeniably good lines cannot carry the whole burden.