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Short Takes: Theater: Waiting In The Wings By Noel Coward

1 minute read
Richard Zoglin

This autumnal comedy wasn’t treated kindly by critics in 1960 when it opened in London, and it hasn’t fared much better in its belated Broadway debut. A pity, since it is a delightful rediscovery. We’re in a retirement home for stage actresses, where teacups rattle with the arrival of Lotta Bainbridge (Lauren Bacall), who’s had a 30-year feud with resident diva May Davenport (Rosemary Harris). People chatter and reminisce, quarrel and reconcile, and die. Coward’s wit has a melancholy glow here, and he has crafted one of the most sensitive, least patronizing portraits of old age ever.

–By Richard Zoglin

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