PLAYGOER

At the Plymouth

Leighton and Bloch's prize-winning comedy "Spring Again" finally brings the veteran C. Aubrey Smith back to the stage; where he belongs. Long typed by Hollywood as the old-school tie and "all that sort of rot" kind of Victorian Englishman, Smith finds himself in his own element as the lovable old American gentleman, Halstead Carter. An able supporting cast, headed by Grace George and Ann Andrews, and the excellent direction of Guthric McClintic combine to fashion an enjoyable play despite the handicap of an old and unwieldy plot.

The ancient and honorable theme of a modern family living under the posthumous influence of a remote ancestor is again employed in "Spring Again," though this time under a cloak of humorous dialogue. The plot revolves about the long-suffering Nell Carter, played by Grace George, and her sullen rebellion against her father-in-law, General Carter of Civil War fame, who has influenced her life ever since her marriage to his devoted and admiring son, Halstead Carter. Complications set in when Nell proceeds to air what she knows of the General's private life in a radio skit entitled "The Home Life of the General", in an attempt to aid her playwright grandson-in-law, who has so far been rather unsuccessful. Here the plot becomes tangled up in itself, and the play is saved only by its witty dialogue.

The underlying theme of "Spring Again" is slow and ponderous at its best, and the play gains deserved honors only because of its fine acting and brilliant dialogue. Both of these are best combined by Michael Rosenblatt, who merits applause as the year's finest scene-stealer in his role as the Hollywood producer trying to buy the "Home Life of the General" for the screen. "Spring Again" provides an entertaining evening, but don't feel badly if you miss the first act.