OOR BITOS by Jean Anouilh


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Master of theatrical art and artifice, Anouilh employs his typical stage devices and elegant dialogue in this 1956 play translated and due on Broadway in September. Narrow-minded, moralistic Bitos, the postwar public persecutor, comes to a wig party dressed as Robespierre, his counterpart, and becomes the object of humiliation at the hands of his malicious, witty host. As obvious as it is unimportant, the plot develops with trickery of history and time, as the contemporary characters shift into Revolutionary roles and back again, revealing Bitos in his vainglorious power for the second-rate clod he really is. Not the plot, but the playing is the thing, for Bitos-Robespierre and his ""friends"" are always in the theater, wig or no. Without any strictly dramatic development the play moves in Anouilh's urbane dialogue and comic theatricality; beneath it all somewhere is the playwright's darker vision of duped or hypocritical actors in a continuous play of life. On of his most interesting, if not his best, works, Poor Bitos is likely to provide an evening of effective entertainment, less as literature than as theatre- which is exactly where Anouilh's strength and popularity lie.

Publisher: oward-McCann