The Crimson Playgoer
Dame Sybil Thorndike Makes a Noble Struggle Against Van Druten's "The Distaff Side"
"The Distaff Side" received a rather warm reception in New York and New York is said to be a critical town in its sophisticated way. The gentlemen of the press did not attack the play with any violence, they didn't damn it with faint praise, they just accepted it as the solution of the rather considerable problem of Aunt Matilda making her annual pilgrimage to the theatre. "The Distaff Side" remains that sort of play and since Boston seems to contain more Aunt Matildas than New York it should be liked in this cultural center.
Rumor has been unkind to this play for it has said that it is a good play. If you want to enjoy "The Distaff Side" don't go to it with that misapprehension--it's a nice play and Dame Sybil Thorndike must be a very nice woman. It's a reassuring play for it demonstrates with properly repressed vigor that the home is the thing, that women make the home, and therefore women are the thing. It has many nice women in it the grandmother is gruff and self-centered but an fond she is really nice. The middle aged mothers are not pretty women nor clever but they are really nice women. The jaded temptress is flighty, miserably unsuccessful in her constant attempts to be amusing, gives the appearance of having dressed by standing under a tree which shed upon her various garments including the saddest sort of red wig but an fond she is really quite nice. To finish the summation, the youth are sophisticated, inconsiderate and no more comely than their forebears, but, you no doubt are ahead of us this time, an fond they are really nice brats. With such a group of characters it would be difficult for "The Distaff Side" to be anything but a nice play and that we are sure you will find it Scotch and soda is a good antidote.