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The Theater: Stark-Raving Bonkers

2 minute read
T.E. Kalem


A revue by and with PETER COOK and DUDLEY MOORE

Close to the midseason mark, Broadway has been parched for laughs. Well, the drought is over. A comic geyser is flooding the Plymouth Theater with hilarity. Two British zanies, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, have released it, and these men are stark-raving bonkers. Cook, the tall one, has the imperturbable aplomb of a tightly furled umbrella. Moore, the short one, scurries round like a libidinous opossum. Employing literate wit and razor-edged satire, the pair take off on the Nativity, a homosexual Othello, Germaine Greer’s theories on Women’s Lib and the perils of running a two-course restaurant on the English moors. They make these and other unlikely subjects unconscionably funny.

Cook and Moore first triumphed in New York eleven years ago as part of a demented foursome that collaborated on Beyond the Fringe (the others: Jonathan Miller and Alan Bennett). Three of the classic skits from that show are being reprised in Good Evening. There is the one-legged actor who, hopping across the floor kangaroo-fashion, applies to a producer for the role of Tarzan. Moore, who is also an adept pianist, parodies half a dozen great composers as they might have written the Colonel Bogey March, and Cook does his lugubriously farcical monologue about the miner who dreamed of becoming a judge. A good Good Evening, indeed, with the cheeriest imaginable company.

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