The 1954-55, 1955-56 seasons in review from his column for The New Republic plus a handclapful of afterthoughts and...

READ REVIEW

WHAT IS THEATRE?

The 1954-55, 1955-56 seasons in review from his column for The New Republic plus a handclapful of afterthoughts and ""non-reviews"" add up to a fresh batch of Bentley. Our man takes drama and criticism seriously but writes in sprightly fashion- as he chastens Paddy Chayefsky for talking down, relocates Josh Logan as the master of musical melodrama, dispatches Tyrone Guthrie for perverting Pirandello, augurs that if Orson Welles had three legs, he, would have tripped three times. Attention spans from Broadway to the Village and focuses on the more ambitious efforts -- The Living Room Cat, the fate of Joan of Arc at the hands of Anouilh and Shaw, of the Wild Duck at the Phoenix. Underlying concerns come to the surface in the final section of the book, in which Bentley sets forth his concept of theatre and finds himself the champion of sincere imperfection in the search for the human essence against the slick perfection of unchallenging comforts of commercial productions -- of art over craft (he knocks Kerr unmercifully on this score). A known name.

Pub Date: Oct. 24, 1956

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Beacon

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1956