The man with the ""skeptical itch"" turns in his opinionated and evaluated report on the theatrical scene, sometimes with a wide-angled, sometimes with a close, but never with a soft, focus lens. The general reviews of American, British and Continental playwrights are part of the reviews of their recent plays; there are articles on the state of the theatre, Shaw and his actresses, musical plays, and critics and reviewers. Some of the sections are amplified by an appendix of related jottings. There are dry to scorching comments on acting, actors, playwrights, direction, performances, productions; on the show versus the play, what the audience wants -- and what it gets; and on present day versus high moments in the theatre of the past. Praise and credit are never lavish and are generally noteworthy and the past master of the unqualified adjective and the perennial sock and jab continues his castigation of all he thinks bad in the theatre of today. As always, stimulating.