ATCHMAN, WHAT OF THE NIGHT? by Jed Harris
Kirkus Star

ATCHMAN, WHAT OF THE NIGHT?

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Averse to ""long"" books of any kind, producer-director Jed Harris had the very good sense to make this one short -- and the attendant talent to make it pungent, witty, and monumentally readable for all. The autobiographical account begins and ends with The Heiress, which Harris likens to an ""obstreperous drunk...one minute his knees give way and he collapses on the sidewalk. You get him on his feet and he unaccountably begins to odel. Then he darts into the middle of the street in the path of a speeding taxicab"". Nothing ran down the 1947 adaptation of Henry James' Washington Square, however: neither on unsuccessful prior production, recalcitrant angels, nor dyspeptic, misled first-night reviewers. Harris managed to get Wendy Hiller from England and Basil Rathbone from Ovida Bergere. He played God to a dead horse and beat it into sensitive, successful theatre. There are occasional digressions. Particularly amusing, in its absurdity, is his Our Town anecdote. The unions, it seems, had for a time refused to recognize the dramatic importance of Frank Craven moving some sets all by himself. Another triumph for Jed Harris, his ""Watchman..."" is a delight...

Pub Date: March 1st, 1963
Publisher: Doubleday