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Across the iced pavement from the new home of terpsichore and a ham sandwich the ancient boards of Brattle Hall resound this week to the thudding steps of an even more ancient comedy. The Dramatic Club has found its soul in the heel of Italy. Aided by Gilbert Seldes, American correspondent to the "New Criterion" and a member of the Harvard class of 1914, the play boys of the Cambridge world have at last achieved success: "The Orange Comedy" is funny, completely so.
From the moment when this throw back to the Eighteenth Century begins to send laughter into the happy hearts of the better Bostonians to that sudden descent of the curtain which ends the show there in no time when anyone dares to remember that he paid so and so for his ticket. Perhaps Mr. Leo Bulgakov of the Moscow Art Theatre is doing better justice to Gozzi at the Provincetown than could ever be done on the shores of Brattle, but Stark Young would have to admit that this is an improvement over "Brown of Harvard"-with all due justice to the mauve menagerie.
As Harlequin, Harry Bingham reaches heights seldom attained by man. To be Thespian, he positively soars. For it is not everyone who can see through the mazes of the commedia dell' arte into the truth at which Gozzi is driving: that comedy is buffoonery, that buffoonery is life.
Good old slap stick comedy! There is a great joy in seeing and hearing the sound thump on the pants of the retreating actor, to see all the king's horses and all the king's men fall thudding down upon the stage. Mix this with a little romantic irony and two quarters of a pint of boisterousness-result, applause. The first night audience at "The Orange Comedy" applauded often and more often. Nor was it the feeble courtesy to friend and foe 30 often a part of amateur theatricals: it came from the moist palm of approval.
Predicts Bright Future
As Pantaloon, A. M. Abramson displayed certain evidences of a theatrical future. He has the art of gesture which means much in these provinces where the arm of a traffic cop is usually the ultimate. Charles Hicks in his double role is also far, far out of the ordinary. Although predicting his future is a trifle unnecessary, one can suggest that it will be amusing. Space prohibits a consideration of the whole cast, for it is more than large.
Yet courtesy and a sound respect for capable work forces recognition of the efforts of the "ladies of the ensemble." They are attractive, well costumed, and not over Dialadroit. Sarah Sherborne, the capable little entire act dancer is exquisite.
Truly, enough in the panegyrical man nor has been stated to convince anyone that this is for once the Dramatic Club at its best. The lighting under the supervision of Kandell Foss, the scenic effects, all are commendable. So for anyone who H'tes to see the old commedia without going to Scollay Square, there is but one direction to take. And that across the ice from the new home of tersienore and a ham Sandwich.
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