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Critical Moments

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Most plays are so short-lived that the cast never really gets warmed up to its work before the play is sent to storage. It is only in exceptional cases that a production stays open over a long stretch. The producers then find that the actors reach a point where declaming the same lines daily becomes a trifle maddening. When this state of affairs is reached either the play is closed for a time, as happened a few seasons ago when Katherine Cornell shut down “The Barretts of Wimpole Street” for the summer, or temporary substitutions are made in the cast. The latter method has been followed by Harmon and Ullman whose “Men In White,” the Pulitzer Prize play, continues at the Broadhurst.

Since September 26th last, there have been constant substitutions in the cast. When the Theatre Group produced “Gentlewoman” they drafted some of the “Men In White” players over to the Cort but as soon as that was over they were put back in the play at the Broadhurst. The latest changes concern Eunice Stoddard who plays the role of Nurse Jamison; her part will be taken by Hildur Lanmark; Clifford Odets (Mr. Houghton) who will be replaced by Roman Bohen and Walter Coy (Dr. Bradley) whose role will be acted by Alan Baxter. The lastnamed was in the cast as Dr. Crawford, which role will now be filled by Herbert Ratner.

And, by the way, the moving picture made from “Men In White” is scheduled to arrive in New York sometimes in June. It has already been shown in various cities throughout the country and has met with gratifying success. Regardless of its appearance in this city the play will continue.


I love the way they do things down at the Civic Repertory Theatre where “Stevedore” is playing. Last week the managers of this cooperative venture announced that they had made sufficient money to pay off the costs of production and that a profit was in the treasury which will be equally divided between the authors and actors and a sinking fund of the Theatre Union so that the organization can produce other plays. From now on the show is in the “black” and after cast salaries and house expenses are deducted the remainder will go to the cast and authors as bonuses. The Theatre Union is incorporated as a nonprofit organization.

Not only has the Union a strange method of rewarding its workers but they do such odd things. The cast have planned a party for the authors which will be held in June at the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem. The public is invited, that is, if they pay their way.


S. M. Chartrock, the young Jewish producer whose Gilbert and Sullivan revivals made him a Broadway personage, will spend a very busy summer at Milton, N. Y., where with B. F. Kamsler he will try out ten plays at the Elverhoj Theatre. Sidney Salkow will be the director and Philip Gelb will design the scenery, The season opens on June 18 with G. A. Gerber’s “Genius In Love.” Other plays on the books are “We Dress For Dinner” by Aben Kandel, “Gram” by Adelyn Bushnell and “Shoe String” by K. Glasmon.


Beginning tomorrow and continuing a week from that night one play is scheduled to open on Broadway and that is “Furnished Rooms” which will be brought not the Ritz on the 29th. The following week, however, things will be more active. “While Parents Sleep” is slated for the Playhous on Monday, June 4th; “Caviar” is set for the same night at the Forrest; a revival of “The Black Crook” will open at the Bowery Theatre on June 7th; “Hedda Gabler,” an Ibsen play, will open the same night and a “Showboat Review” will start on a floating theatre anchored on the Hudson on Tuesday night, June 5th.

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