• U.S.

The Theatre: Show Business: Nov. 14, 1938

2 minute read

>Last season English Playwright J. B. Priestley’s Time and the Conways flopped badly in Manhattan; this season his I Have Been Here Before flopped worse. Priestley wrote in an English magazine last week: “I have always felt that there was an inexplicable sense of menace in New York, as if something . . . were plotting against the soul of man.”

>No show the Broadway critics puffed last season became a flop, none they panned became a hit. But this season the public has been reversing critics’ decisions right & left. In spite of critical praise, Missouri Legend slowly sickened and died. In spite of criticules, Hellzapoppin, consistently puffed by Walter Winchell, quickly rallied, jumped out of bed and took the town. And with qualified reviews, Knickerbocker Holiday has become a success, Kiss the Boys Goodbye a smash hit.

>To a play contest sponsored by the Allied Authors of New York went a script written by Convict No. 59727 of San Quentin Prison. Though burdened with four different titles, it was minus part of Act I. Cause: prison censorship. Author’s explanation of cause: “It was a love scene and may have been considered rough.”

>Veteran Producer William A. Brady—husband of Actress Grace George, father of Actress Alice Brady—last week announced the formation of a permanent Manhattan stock company reminiscent of the age of Frohman, Daly, Wallack. Plays new & old will be presented each season at intervals of six weeks. First play, opening late this month: G. B. Shaw’s You Never Can Tell.

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