"Love in the Snow," Boston's latest musical romance, draws brazenly on a wide variety of sources, and imitates many more. It runs the gamut from Victor Herbert through Gilbert and Sullivan and Guiseppi Verdi, and ends on a climactic rendition of "Vesti La Giubba." The surprising thing is that the sum total is not chaos, but a lively and tuneful evening's entertainment. Though strongly reminiscent of past musical hits, and in part admitted cribbing, Ralph Benatzky's score is pleasant and melodious. It has to be, to compensate for uninspired lyrics and a book exceeding even the broad bounds of tolerance usually accorded musical productions.
The meagre plot opens in a Scandinavian version of North Conway. From there it follows the amorous adventures of beautiful Princess Martha through Victorian salon, Royal Palace, and Civic Opera house, as she decides between her secret love from the snow country and her handsome blue-blooded husband.
Nancy Donovan combines her fine lyric soprano voice with a winsome personality, good looks, and real acting talent in an excellent performance as Martha. She is ably seconded by Robert Pitkin (of "my object all sublime" fame), Le Roi Operti, Betty Luster, and several others. But Robert Douglas is sadly inadequate as the opera singer who is Martha's first love; he is fat with disturbing regularity, and his vocal shortcomings are not overcome by other saving graces.
The purist will protest the many loose ends. "Love in the Snow" is fraught with many incongruities in book, in setting, and in score. The play at times becomes a revue, with an irrelevant but pleasing dance sequence interlarded between several ballet numbers. But the customer who comes to be diverted will not object, for he will not have been disappointed mss