"Kiss The Boys Good-Bye"
The trumpets have blared and the drums have rolled, publicity has poured forth in torrents and "Kiss the Boys Good-bye" has roared into town, hot off B'way and the pages of "Life." This ought to be enough to brand almost any show as anti-climactical. But "Kiss the Boys Good-bye," surprisingly enough, lives up to expectations.
Clare Booth's little hymn of hate about the magazine-movie game has the same politely barbaric wise-cracking of her first play, "The Women." But it has an element which "The Women" didn't have,--a well constructed plot that swings the audience along from crack to crack without a let-down. Another element, sort of added attraction, is some thought-content,--not much, it's true, but some. The characters of Madison Breed and B. J. Wickfield are drawn on a slightly higher level than the broad, low, and beautiful plain of sex, even though they make frequent excursions downward. The girl-lead, Cindy Lou, while undergoing ordeal by hell-fire and brimstone in the process, eventually lands on the top of the heap in the final scene, showing that Miss Booth may have some surreptitious respect for her and the things she stands for.
With such a play, actors must make caricatures, not characters. Hence one can only judge the cast on their satirical ability, not their acting ability. But as satirists, the road company does a good job. They are not the original cast that appeared on Broadway, but for entertainment purposes they might have been just as well as not. Elizabeth Love, playing Cindy Lou, has none of the hamish inclinations which far too many road actresses have. She gives a performance that hits above specifications, combining magnolia-and-mint-julep sweetness with the righteous violence of a "snit" to make a very believable and likeable Cindy Lou.
"Kiss the Boys Good-bye" might be funny even with mediocre handling, but with a cast that's on the up-and-up, the play at the Wilbur adds up to a sum total of swell comedy.