The Hasty Pudding has once again served up a dish of varied entertainment, including the customary elements of political satire, night club patter, songs, romance struggling to be serious, and muscular chorus girls realizing that they're caricatures and making the most of it. The inevitable thrust at Yale is unusually satisfying, and some of the extraordinary political situations concocted by the authors yield flows of amusing cracks. An abundance of competent workmanship has gone into this show, "So Proudly We Hail," but it is lacking in the verve that would make it stand out in the history of Pudding theatricals.
The book is by Nathaniel Benchley, '38, Benjamin Welles, '38, and John Graham, '38. They have pieced together a tale of international intrigue including everyone from Mussolini to Princess Elizabeth. The plot concerns a group of American business men, who, tired of being mere economic royalists, decide to go in for the more traditional form of monarchy, and set up the Kingdom of Cafeteria in the heart of New York, seceding from the Union without causing much stir. But they need support, of course, and hence the dictators and democracies come blustering on to the scene. The treatment of the Rome-Berlin axis, and the friendly manner in which the two strong men goose-step arm in arm and kid each other about colonies, is among the best touches of the production.
The music of the songs is the work of Ben Welles, Stanley Miller, '38, and Alan Lerner, '39. The latter two also had a hand in writing the words for them, and were assisted by David Lannon '39. The words do not scintillate, nor will the tunes be indefinitely revived, but at least "Came the Dawn" and "Rainbow in the Sky" are quite agreeable numbers.
As for the acting, Marvin Scaife, '39 must be commended as a most seductive femme fatale in the employ of the dictators, and Vinton Freedley, Jr., '40, as a coyly charming heroine. Benjamin Dillingham, '39, played with gusto the role of the king, and Stanley Miller adds his histrionic talents to his lyric and musical, being cast in the part of the hero.