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The Playgoer


By E. C. B.

"Eye on the Sparrow," a comedy presented by Girvan Higginson and written by Maxwell Selser, is a disconcerted tale of a disconcerted woman. The point of the title is that since God watches the fall of the merest sparorw, surely He will keep an eye on the Thomas's, the central family of the play. He does, more or less, but He takes it off frequently enough to let them get into predicaments that would be very desperate, except that no one, particularly no one in the audience, cares very much anyway.

The widow Thomas is an extremely loquacious, scatter-brained person, who, is develops, is meant to be irresistibly attractive in a plump, helpless, middle-aged way. Her charm is unfortunately obscured, with the result that a perfectly honest suitor, a sinister looking Italian who deals in rugs, is mistaken in the first act by most of the audience for a crafty villain with some base design to his wooing. He subsequently appears, however, for no worse end than to supply the impoverished family with some sorely needed cash at the opportune moment. This change of face is not intended, and if only someone in the show would explain that Mrs. Thomas is charming, the confusion would not arise.

There is a good deal of aimless wandering about by an earnest daughter, pursued by both worthless playboy and promising young lawyer; by a crackpot son who gets sucked into the Communist maelstrom and tossed out again; and by a chivalrous judge who fell in love with Mrs. Thomas a long time ago without ever meeting her. Out of this not very diverting hodgepodge, for a while there promises to come to the fore a rankly sentimental attachment between the madame and her devoted, long suffering butler. But just as she vows not to marry again but to open a restaurant with him, she decides to wed the judge, and the play ends, as confused and aimless as ever.

Catharine Doucet should be doing quite well in the lead, assuming that she has fully mastered her lines by now. The rest of the cast is likewise much better than the material it has to deal with, except for Leslie King, who is meant to be an asinine German author whom Mrs. Thomas has picked up in her travels, and who supposes that any form of broken English carriers the impression of a German accent.

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