At the Cambridge Summer Theatre
Lee Harrison talk's book for "The Passionate Congressman" is patent Journalese in three acts, and when supported by a well-picked, if understandably less well-recharged, cast it makes excellent summer theatre entertainment.
Academically, the label "journalese" can become harsh criticism. But what Lillian helm and does in "The Searching Wind" and what Edward Chodorov does in "Decision" if then made good propaganda and poor theatre. For the same reason that a newspaper editorialist and make facts and figures more palatable than a Congressional committee report, talk, by accenting the personal, can make the social issue of race discrimination more acceptable to the requirements of the stage.
On the other hand, "The Passionate Congressman" is subject to the adverse criticism of Journalese: it is flippant; it never in fact explores the problem it is talking about. But it covers up with so many good lines, as when the Supreme court Justice shrugs off the predatory female with "I have never interfered with free enterprises," that social analysis never gets in the way of entertainment.
There are two types of Congressmen, as the play's political bass puts it: the passionate one and the sensible one, be, with the latter seeking only re-election. In the same way, there are two sorts of summer stock managers: the one who re-stages the old standbys and the one who experiments with new talent. John Huntington, who first promoted the Margaret Webster "Othello" and the Margaret Webster "Othello" and the current "Dark of the moon," may well have another candidate for Broadway. jgt