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"Leave It To Me!" is the title of the new Cole Porter musical which opened last night at the Shubert to applause that delayed the production half an hour but was more than deserved by all concerned. Calculated to delight the lovers of gay tunes and sprightly if at times questionable patter, the play offers fifteen songs, most of which do justice to their composer, and a laugh-packed book by Bella and Samuel Spewack.
The authors of "Boy Meets Girl" have turned an amusing newspaper yarn into a play that is as illogical and hilarious as most of their writings. An ace correspondent (William Gaxton) undertakes to win for his chief (Edward H. Robbins) the job of ambassador to Russia by discrediting the incumbent, Alonzo P. ("My friends call me 'Stinky'") Goddhe, who is portrayed by Victor Moore. The task turns out to be more than Gaxton had anticipated even with Mr. Moore's complete cooperation until he finally abandons the assignment and tries to make his victim the best-loved diplomat in the world Mr. Moore is immediately recalled.
This in brief is the story, which must be seen to be appreciated. Sophie Tucker is cast as Mr. Moore's wife and the lyrics of her numbers, reminiscent of her past, caused Beacon Hill residents a little alarm. Songs in the serious, philosophic, or romantic vein are carried off by Tamara and Mary Martin, with a little assistance from Mr. Gaxton. "Get Out of Town" and "From Now On" will be heard a lot this winter, and others according to the public's whim.
The mise en scene is especially well handled, with motion pictures occupying many of the waits between the play's fifteen scenes. But audiences will forget the pink parachutes painted over the Kremlin, they will forget the startling beauty of the chorines, and they may even forget the tunes. Yet the portrait of a new Babbitt, from Topeka, Kansas, who likes nothing better than pitching horseshoes with the boys, will remain in their minds as a tribute to Mr. Moore and a charming conception of true Americanism.
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