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The Playgoer

At the Cambridge Summer Theatre

By I. M. H.

"The Show Is On" is glorified vaudeville: glorified to such an extent that at the very beginning it receives the verbal sanction of one William Shakespeare who assures us that the entire production is under his personal supervision. Before very long Shylock, bursting in upon Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, is required to account for his presence in "Hamlet". Later there is depicted a feud in the best Montague-Capulet fashion, between John Gielgud and Leslie Howard, each of whom gives Beatrile Lillie a front seat ticket for the other's performance, each knowing that the performance will prove only a minor side-show to that amiable woman's extraordinary volubility. But Mr. Shakespeare is soon retired to an honorary presidency, and the dazzling variety of talent united in this single production is given free run.

Beatrice Lillie swims enchantingly over the sea of heads in an illuminated crescent, advising the gaping spectators to take a balloon some afternoon and go to the moon. Mitzi Mayfair displays her pretty pertness in many guady vehicles, but perhaps to best advantage in the role of a little old lavender lady, who is pleasantly ruffled by Gil Lamb, the man with the ludicrously disjointed skeleton. Bert Lahr is everything comical from the outdoor man who rhapsodizes on the uses of wood, to the juggler of jazz who squeezes all the latest kinder-gartenish pranks in noise into one amazing din. But the array is next to infinite, with Paul Haakon dancing, Gracie Barrie singing, and an abundant troupe of resplendent beauties trapsing about in the most enticing outfits. The entertainment, being far from uniform, is also not uniformly good. "De gustibus" you know, and what looks like joyous lustiness to some will strike others as pretty crude comedy. Everyone, however, is guaranteed to come out with the memory of his own trio or quartet of favorite acts, which will have satisfied him he had his money's worth.

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