The adjective "amusing" seemed to be on the lips of most of the departing audience as it filed out of the Wilbur Theatre last night. And "amusing" is as good a one-word description of "The Truth Game", which had its Boston premiere, as one could well devise.
Of course there is a great deal more that might be said about this little piece, which so effectively combines a farcical love story with a great deal of satire touching, all in all, a rather wide variety of subjects. High society is gently lifted to a prominent positions on the proverbial handle bars shortly after the opening curtain and the final speech of the evening leaves one with the impression that the ride is along and satisfactory jaunt. Miss, Billie Burke, sometimes known as Mrs. Florenz Ziegfeld, is the delightfully diverting center of this half of the play; while Miss Katherine Warren, as Rosine Browne, is the emotional storm center. Between the two and quite dominating the stage is Mr. Novellow himself. This very handsome and accomplished actor author scores the outstanding hit of the evening. His part is the unifying link which knits the otherwise diverse elements of the play into an intriguing and generally unified whole; and Mr. Novello leaves little to be desired in his rendering of this congenial role.
The story of the play, which has to do with getting married on no money or not getting married on no money or not getting married on plenty, is really not of much consequence. The characters, and to a lesser extent, the situations are the important elements; and for the most part these are skillfully drawn and cleverly, if not always realistically, developed.
There are, of course, small matters which would benefit by improvement. For example there is Miss Viola Tree who overacts the part of a gawky noble woman until it literally hurts. She is, to be sure, egged on by the loud guffaws of a disconcertingly large proportion of the audience, and so perhaps after all she is only giving her public what it demands. We just can't be reckoned as part of her public. But the point is a relatively minor one, and Miss Tree excellent work of so many others.
"The Truth Game" is excellent entertainment, and while it doesn't go very deeply into anything, it succeeds admirably in being superficial just where a great many others have tried and dismally failed.