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"The Outsiders" is different from Mr. Klein's other plays and must be judged by different standards. "The Lion and the Mouse", "The Third Degree" and "The Gamblers" all deal with some specific phase of a contemporary American problem. But "The Outsiders" has no such special interest. In fact the question of whether "The Outsiders" get in is forgotten in our anxiety to find whether or not young Blakely gets out.
That is, one who goes to see this play should regard it as a story, not a lesson, an evening's entertainment, not a dramatized American problem. Mr. Klein is writing not for the analytical critic but for the story-loving public.
The first act of this play is very successful comedy, the leisureliness of the action being relieved and even concealed by the deftness of the dialogue. The second act is melodramatic in the better sense. The interest shifts from Blakely, Sr., to Blakely, Jr., and cleverly devised situations replace to a large extent cleverly written lines. The third act is more or less conventional the threads of the story are straightened at last and there is the usual long-postponed embrace as the curtain falls.
This difference of emphasis in the different acts makes the play seem less unified than much of Mr. Klein's other work. But the audience seems keenly interested and much pleased, and since Mr. Klein says he writes for the "people" and not the critics we must admit that his play seems successful. The man who looks for a play of contemporary American problems or a masterpiece of dramatic unity and emphasis will probably be disappointed in "The Outsiders"; the man who wants an evening's entertainment--a "good play"--will not regret the price of his seat.
In his curtain speech Mr. Klein referred justly to the unusual ability of his company. Miss Cowl and Mr. Stevenson deserve special praise for their artistic work
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