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Just two and a half hours from South Station stretches Cape Cod, a hundred and twenty miles of vacationland dotted with over ten summer stock companies. From the groups at Falmouth and Dennis with a star on the boards every week, to the groups of "hopefuls" at Provincetown and Chatham, one finds a wide assortment of summer theatre entertainment.
One of the most famous of all summer theatres in America is the Cape Playhouse at Dennis. Known in the past for skilled performances by its patron Gertrude Lawrence, the playhouse has grown in popularity, and this season's selections completely justify its superior reputation.
Last week Olivia de Havilland opened in the role of Bernard Shaw's "Candida." One Richard Shepard, making his first professional appearance, stole the show as the precocious Eugene Marchbanks. This weekend Mady Christians is appearing in "Black Chiffon"; the week of July 30th Claudette Colbert will star in a new play by Noel Coward entitled "Island Fling"; the week of August 18th Roody MacDowell will appear in "The Youngest"; and on August 20th Imogene Coca, of television notoriety, appears in "Happy Birthday."
The Falmouth Playhouse at Falmouth on the south shore near Buzzard's Bay also has a noteworthy program. Jackie Cooper plays through the weekend in the 1947 comedy hit, "John Loves Mary." Beginning July 16th Veronica Lake stars in John van Druten's "Voice of the Turtle"; on July 30th Constance Bennett begins in "The Skylark"; on August 6th Arthur Teacher appears in "Clutterbuck"; and if you're thinking of a week on the Cape after summer school is over, you can see Carol Bruce in Rodgers and Hart's "Pal Joey" which begins on August 27th.
The Provincetown Players gained renown in the theatre world by introducing Eugene O'Neil's earlier plays such as the "Hairy Ape" and "Anna Christle." Their Playhouse was built on a wharf and the sound of the water splashing on the floor below the seat created an excellent atmosphere for O'Neil's drama of the sea. The Players of that era are gone, but their Playhouse remains with a group of young talented actors and actresses. This weekend at the Playhouse Arthur Miller's modern adaptation of Ibsen's "An Enemy of the People" is billed.
In the frothier spirit of summer, a company of song and dance artists is performing a different musical comedy each week at the Music Circus in Hyannis. Unfortunately the theatre is an "in the round" affair with the consequent loss of the sumptuous sets which are synonymous with musicals.
The season opened last week with a mediocre performance of Moss Hart's "The Great Waltz." The dancing was above par, but the singing and acting were disappointing. This week The Circus is presenting "Bloomer Girl," and in successive weeks, "The Student Prince," "Annie Get Your Gun," and "Finian's Rainbow" will be performed.
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