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At the Wilbur

By Herbert S. Meyers

Marge Jones directs a fine repertory theater in Dallas, Texas. Unless she has other business in the East, there hardly seems a justification for the long trip to Boston on the grounds of presenting this weak offering.

A rough, hulking brute of a man is married to a woman who believes it her duty to keep him happy and prosperous. He is impetuous, likes to do things for himself, and whenever she gets in his way, he knocks hell out of her. After three scenes of abuse she frees herself from him. "I'm an old beat-up woman," she says. "Physically I can never love anyone else." But mentally she is free.

From this factual melange Sari Scott has written a play, her first. Any resemblance between what she has intended and the present production is unfortunate. The script is full of cliches of the "I hain't never loved no other woman," type. Donald Curtis, playing opposite Carol Stone, seems to be uncertain as to the interpretation of his role and consequently divides his time between two different ones. With the exception of a fine "mad" scene climaxed by an car-shattering scream, Miss Stone also has trouble giving credibility to her part. This is especially apparent because she has chosen to do the whole thing in a deep Texas drawl which is neither convincing nor natural. Jack Warden, the only leftover from the original repertory production, is about as convincing a Texas cafe owner as a New York cab driver might have been in the same role.

There are only three people in Miss Scott's play and such concentrated drama requires professional polish, something which none of the actors seemed to display for any length of time.

For those who are really interested, the play also contains a bit of social commentary. In the last scene Miss Stone is to bring some comic books to her son. She is told that comic books are bad for children and changes her mind.

The only exception to the genuinely poor quality of the production is the fine work done by one Frederick Fox who has done both the set and lighting. The interior of a one room shack is completely believable, and the lighting effects are in the highest dramatic taste.

The posters say this play is here prior to Broadway. I would discourage the cast against any one-way tickets.

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