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The musical revue is neither fish nor foul. Whatever it is, Broadway has found a recipe for it. The magic formula usually calls for the following ingredients: a skit about psychoanalysis; an old-fashioned, home-town dance number; a Latin American fiesta scene; a take-off on the movies or movie heroines; and a big production number which parodies some other form of the theater. Throw in the usual mediocre songs and dance routines that don't quite come off, and you've got "Lend an Ear"-- as well as every other musical revue in sight.
You have probably been told by a number of people that "Lend an Ear" is a fine show. The difficulty is that they saw it in New York, where it starred Carol Channing and Yvonue Adair--both of whom are now doing nicely in another show. Without them, "Lend an Ear" is occasionally funny, but more often dull.
The high point of the revue is still that Justy parody of the 1925 road show that got lost, "The Gladiola Girl." In it everyone is competent, and no one outstanding. John Beal, who was given star billing for his part in this and a few other numbers, proves only that this billing was an outright gift. Beal is a pleasant performer, however, who might be excellent with top-notch material.
Charles Gaynor's sketches, lyrics, and music are short on both originality and humor. The success of the revue, therefore, depends entirely on its treatment. Since the current performers in "Lend an Ear" dont't feel particularly enthusiastic about their work, chances are that you won't, either.
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