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Some one has said that it is man's duty to find out all he can about women. If this is so it is the duty of every man to view Artists and Models--in New York.
Opening last week at the Majestic after long runs in New York, Chicago, and points west, Mr. Shubert once again displayed for conservative Boston an all too ripe review--the lines diluted, the cast watered, the costumes, after the first few scenes at least, padded. Even the actors and the chorus seemed to realize that they were in Boston, that laughs would come hard, and --"oh what's the use."
However diverse the opening night criticisms of the Boston papers were in some matters, they all agreed that flesh predominated. And this is true of the first few scenes. But shortly after the rip snorting Charleston number, featuring the Hoffman's scrub team --we know it wasn't the 'Varsity, because in New York the left tackle had had her appendix removed--there was a subtle change.
The opening scenes had been fast, the costumes faster--and the audience sat stunned, shocked, filled with inhibitions. Whoever was running the show must have realized that as far as the spectators were concerned, the show was a flop. Then, he too remembered that he was in Boston. He acted quickly. "Break out the winter underwear!" was his shout. And as the review progressed more and more cheesecloth appeared, and one and two leaf costumes blossomed into whole shrubs.
From that time on, the clapping never ceased, for this latest of Artists and Models is a good show no matter how many leaves are used. The Hoffman girls are talented; they fence, dance, sing, and climb ropes, artistically if to no good purpose. There is plenty of humor, most of it supplied by Phil Baker--he of the accordion.
But after all is said and done, the real hero of the review is an unnamed individual, planted in a stage box. His repartee with Mr. Baker towards the end of the show literally stood the audience on its collective heads. And the beauty of the whole thing is that it is not until five minutes have elapsed that one can be sure that he is not some fresh spectator who is taking the Shubert headliner for a ride.
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