Though the success of the moving picture proves that "The song of Bernadette" contains material for effective dramatic treatment, Joan and Walter Kerr's stage adaptation has none of the impact of the screen version. "Bernadette" is not due for a long or profitable run in Boston; and a miracle as potent as that which brought forth the healing waters in the Grotto of Massabielle would be required to make it a Broadway success.
Elizabeth Ross acts the part of Bernadette Soubirous, passingly well; her voice goes up and down in the right places, and she assumes the proper expressions at the proper times. But the Bernadette of the play simply is not the same pitiful; yet glorious Bernadette whom Franz Werfel portrayed in his best selling novel. The supporting roles are over-acted; the speakers try to convey in each line all the emotion and conflict of the play with the result that the audience is deluged by a flood of bombast that leaves it reeling and listless.
The one ingenious feature of the play that deserves favorable comment is the pleasing stage effects, secured by projection of painted slides on a screen. Except for this innovation "Bernadette" drags through three acts and ten scenes, which leave the spectator wishing he had stayed home and re-read the book.