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Drama News and Reviews
Zasu Pitts' Mousey Heroine An Amusing Olney Star By Jay Carmody It says in the program notes of the Olney theater this week thai Zasu Pitts has been called the Queen of Comedy. This is loose talk It is more accurate to think of Miss Pitts as the Mrs. Mouse o1 Comedy. Under either label, she is quite a funny woman; funnj enough to retrieve a chestnut emeritus like “Post Road” from it! overpowering banalities. As comedy stylists go in this style-conscious era. Miss Pitts ha! Kepi going at a pioiiuioie speed for longer than most. She has turned a flutter into a fortune and the play that gives her the vaguest excuse to act herself is not a total waste. “Post Road” is just this vague. * * * * The fact is that time and events, if not Wilbur Daniel Steele’s play, may have enriched Miss Pitts’ ef fect upon audiences. Earlier in life hers and everybody else’s, the spectacle of her inability to cope with anything was highly amus ing. Now that no one is able to cope with anything, it is comfort ing to see that she has survived, if she is not actually waxing stronger. If there is that much strength in her notorious weakness, who knows what humanity can en dure? * * * * There has been no change what ever in Miss Pitts’ tricks for mak ing a theater full of people think things are merrier than they pos sibly could be. She still flutters her hands and arms in a way that makes them seem detached from the rest of her w'hich, by the way, has grown more plump without having become more solid. She speaks still as if her words were coming out of a worn medicine dropper. This not only gives them shapes that are different but also invests them with unusual mean ings. The net effect of all this is the implication that if she cannot cope with life, neither can it cope with her. It is in the latter respect that she has the advantage over most people whose frustrations are too entirely one-sided. One suppposes that Miss Pitts will just go on forever and there Is something comforting as well as amusing in this, especially in the summer theater which is not famous for comfort. * * * * “Post Road” might have been written for Miss Pitts. At least; that is the most plausible excuse j ■ I ■ I ! EVENING PARKING 40c 72“m° CAPITAL GARAGE 1520 N. Y. Avn. N.W. Between 13th and 14th IN PHILADELPHIA- ) \ YoeU went in May at The Barclay. I Brenfttnllj' situated on Rltten boose \ Square, center city. Convenient 1 to everything. Rooms $5 tingle I Snltes $14 and op. j JBbSW Arthur T. Murray. J Managing Director Author Steele could make for it The play offers her the role o! a spinster who operates a tourisl home on America’s most playful highway. No gentlewoman was ever endowed with fewer gifts for handling this kind of tourist traffic which, in the Olney com edy, is specializing at the moment in kidnappers. These are not high class kid nappers, although they steal only the richest babies. Yet, neither are they the sadistic types whose practice is to seize the property of innocent inn-keepers of Miss Pitts’ type. They undertake to mask their occupation with a complex of pretenses which are artful enough at least to fool a woman who wants so earnestly to be de ceived. The highlight of Miss Pitts’ capacity as an accessory to tha group is revealed in her defiant claim that the baby is her own. This insane chivalry of her spin ster’s heart naturally endears her to the kidnap band, but only until its members discover that she vir tually means it. She means it, at any rate, intensely enough to find a way eventually to get the oaby into the solicitous hands of the police—along with the kid aappers. * * * * “Post Road” falls into the cate gory of a comedy melodrama, but the comedy would be woeful with 3ut Miss Pitts and the melodrama is on the whole even less. Once having had the idea for the play. Steele could do little vith it save people it with charac ters who serve as filing cabinets for an unabridged collection of :omedy cliches. To tick off a few 3f these, there is the brother-in law who is out of a job; his half fiear tedly shrewish wife; the unc tious Bible-quoting minister who is head of the kidnap gang; the fake doctor and his nurse. The best any of these can do is provide an occasional assist to Miss Pitts in making “Post Road” i passably ample exhibit in the summer theater; in other words, i good enough excuse to bring a star to town. ¥ ¥ ¥ ¥ John Becher and Wanda Lyon, a couple of reliable resident Olney acting company members, contrib ute zestful portraits of the inane in-laws to Miss Pitts’ spinster; Rudulph Watson returns after years of wandering to remind the community how adequate he was in roles like the minister’s; and Bruce Adams plays the doctor with a suitable suavity. S. Syrj ala continues as Olney's designer although he also is busy for the rest of the season on the same duty with Robert Mont gomery’s television plays. The “Post Road” tourist home living room he has turned out this week indicates that Syrjala has trav eled New England’s main highway with a sharp eye for its discom forts, especially those which are sold as antiques. ■ -... - : AMUSEMENTS. AMUSEMENTS. If BETTY BETZ Yi l> TEEN-AGE A l picture 'j / # »f THE YEA* * f jj^AWARD | RONALD REAGAN* COBURN HUSSEY GWENN SPRING BYINGTON-PiperiAiiiEs«iii)BKKm (O. ' . AIR CONDITIONED today RKO KEITH’S MUSICAL’S STAR—Judy Gar land plays the leading role in “Summer Stock,” due tomor row as the Capitol Theater’s new screen attraction. Where and When Current Theater Attractions and Time of Showing Ambassador—“Tea For Two”; 1:05, 3:10, 5:20, 7:25 and 9:35 p.m. Capitol—“Mystery Street”: 11 a.m., 1:45, 4:30, 7:20 and 10:05 p.m. “Going Native”; 12:35, 3:25, 6:10 and 9 p.m. Columbia — “Broken Arrow”; 11:15 a.m.. 1:20, 3:30, 5:35, 7:40 and 9:45 p.m. Dupont — “The Third Man”; 1:30, 3:30, 5:30, 7:35 and 9:45 p.m. Keith’s—“Louisa”: 11:15 a.m., 1:25. 3:30. 5:40, 7:50 and 10 p.m. Little—“Dumbo”: 12. 1:55, 3:55, 5:55, 7:55 and 9:55 p.m. Metropolitan — “Convicted": 11:35 a.m., 1:35, 3:35, 5:35, 7:40 and 9:40 p.m. National—“Mississippi”; 12:50, 3:40, 6:05 and 8*40 p.m. Palace — “The Black Rose”; 11:30 a.m.. 2:05, 4:35, 7:10 and 9:45 p.m. Playhouse — “Panic in the Streets”: 11:20 a.m., 1:15, 3:20, 5:25, 7:35 and 9:45 p.m. ' Plaza—“Pagliacci”; 11:45 a.m., 1:20, 3, 4:40, 6:25, 8:05, 9:45 and 11 pjn. Trans-Lux — “Destination Moon”; 11:05 a.m., 12:50, 2:40, 4:25, 6:15, 8:05 and 9:55 p.m. Warner—“Tea For Two”; 11 a.m.. 1:05, 3:10, 5:15, 7:20 and 10:40 p.m. Sneak Preview; 9 p.m. AMUSEMENTS. MORE FUN FOR EVERYONE!! 40»h BIC YEAR • NEW THRILLS • NEW RIDES AmpU fraa parking, or faka a_sa__ m__ u* x_ --- ' Hollywood Diary Katina Paxinou a Victim Of That Old 'Oscar' Jinx .....By Sheilah Graham..— 1 1 HOLLYWOOD. Katina Paxinou, famous act ress from Greece who won an Academy award in “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” is dangerously ill in Athens. Katina is a victim of the Oscar jinx. She made only one picture after winning the award — “Mourning Becomes Electra.” That finished her here. Errol Flynn’s former mother in-law, Mrs. Eddington, went on a big shopping spree in Beverly Hills buying some dresses, etc., for the next Mrs. Flynn—Patrice Wymore. One of the reasons Gene Tierney took that role in “Ri viera,” opposite Danny Kaye—who usually makes a stooge of his leading lady—is because she gets to wear some beautiful gowns in the picture. It isn’t the gowns themselves that got her, but the fact that Husband Oleg Cassini would design them and that would mean his staying here in stead of returning East. Smart gal, Gene. Which reminds me, after Dan ny Kaye finishes this picture at 20th-Fox, he will go to MGM to make a picture for Don Hartman. They haven’t decided on a special story as yet, and are considering several. Kaye and Hartman be came friendly during Danny’s Goldwyn days when Hartman did his early pictures there. * * * # Geraldine Brooks has been get ting around town with a dif ferent beau almost every week. The other night it was Mike Stokey, the television man. But regardless of the many fellas that Gerry gets around with her favo rite seems to be Bobby Cohn, the Columbia producer. It’s always the quiet romance that’s the real one. Michael Gordon no sooner com pleted directing “Cyrano de Bergerac” than he was signed to direct “I Can Get it for You Wholesale” and was on a train for New York to get some background shots of the garment center. While in the big town, Gordon will look over some stage actors to see if he can find a suitable AMUSEMENTS. LAST 2 DAYS! unknown to play opposite Susan Hayward. What’s the matter with Holly wood? Gloria Swanson, in spite of all the critical raves she re ceived for her performance in “Sunset Boulevard,” hasn’t been signed by Paramount or any stu dio for a picture. Those producers should try to get in to see Gloria at any theater where her picture is playing. * * * * Betty Grable’s daughter, Vickie, walked right past her mother when Betty appeared on the set of "Call Me Mister” wearing a black Japanese wig and costume for one of her big dance numbers. Sounds like a press agent’s story, but it happened. Oddest sight of the week: Ger trude Berg, who writes and plays in the homespun “Goldbergs” on radio and TV, is living in the magnificent Bel-Air Hotel while making her movie. No leaning out the window here to talk to the neighbors! When Paul Douglas goes back AMUSEMENTS. — NATIONAL SYMPHONY announcer itt Twentieth Season 1950-51 HOWARD MITCHELL, • Conductor Opening Concert WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 25 *0—WEDNESDAYS—*0 t Series—Odd and Even 10 Concerts Each 6 Sunday Concert, at 4 PM Baginning NOVEMBER M MAKE YOUR ( RESERVATIONS NOW! Symphony Box Office—Kltt's, 1880 O Street N.W. NA. 7332 “FAITH OF OUR FATHERS” Paul Green's Symphonic Drama with cast of 150 SISQUICENTENNIAL Amphitheatre 16th St. * Colorado Ave. N.W. 8:30 Nightly, exc. Mon. 4,000 SEATS Prices: .90 — 1.80 — *.40 Be* Office: TAylor 1875 East to do “The Barker" on a radio program with Ginger Rog ers, Wife Jan Sterling goes with him. This should kill some of the silly rumors of trouble be tween this very-much-in-love couple. It looks like a romance with Shelley Winters and Jerry Paris, but it isn’t. She wants him for a role in “Night Music,” which Shelley will stage at the Circle Theater. When Rita Hayworth and De anna Durbin were at the same fashion show in Paris recently, they just couldn't get near each other—there was so much pound age between them. If either gal ever wants to make pictures again, brother, what a lot of diet ing! (Released by the North American Newspaper Alliance.) AMUSEMENTS. mic !' RICHARD ft WIDMARK I PAUL U DOUGLAS i BARBARA 1 BEL GEDDES I » LAST WEEK! 5 AIR CONDITIONED The PLAYHOUSE ism AND N Sliltrs St DSOD >SNEAK PREVIEW WARNERthehtheonit 9P.M.TONIGH TOME AT 9 P.M. / A BRAND NEW WARNER BROS. FEATURE IN ADDITION to nrr nnftl KATIIDK / TEA FOR TWO at 11;IW j>.M.1:05 3:10 5:15 7:25 and 10:40 Preview it 9:M P.M. att DUIn ftMIUKtoJ Starts Tomorrow pened ollywoodl ■«; * “Sunset Boulevard” is jthe story of young Joe Gillis, a Hollywood writer. It is also the story of Norma Desmond, ... and of young Betty Schaefer who loved ^ J oe with all her heart! * A Paramount Pucture starring WILLIAM HOLDEN GLORIA SWANSON as Norma Desmond I ERICH von STROHEIM as Max von Mayerlmg With NANCY OLSON • FRED CLARK LLOYD GOUGH • JACK WEBB and Cecil B. DeMille • Hedda Hopper Busier Keaton • Anna Q. Nilsson H B Warner • Franklyn Farnum Produced by Charles Brackett Directed by BILLY WILDER I LAST TIMES TODAY “TEA FOR TWO.” Doris Day Gordon MacRae - ■ - - - - t WARNER Opens 11 A.M. AMBASSADOR Opens 1 P.M. A AMUSEMENTS._ Now Playinx thru Bun.. SePt. U Bichard Skinner A Evelyn Frryman _PRESENT li^h^COMEDT MYSTERY “POST ROAD" MATS., t:40 Sat., Sun. EVES., 8:40 incl. San Ticket! JORDAN'S. ISth A O. RE. 1»« 3rd RECORD WEEK lESnHATIIH COMFORTABLY COOL [ DUFFDONLEVYDOW sunt TOMORROW 0m» 1M» B.A. Tatfeu *TIWART rm .45unbroken arrow* COLUMBIA TECHNICOLOR IAMUSEMENTS. 6LENN BRODERICK FORD CRAWFORD KSwagfi jusjiisjissjaissussji > ALL-TIME HITS! W. B. FIELDS I MAE WEST BINS BROSBY “BELLE DF ‘MISSISSIPPI’ | THE IO’»” "PAGLIACCr "Th* tinging in PAGUACCI it lopt." Wothinglon Fort DOORS OPEN 11 A.M LATE SHOWS. SEPT. 12-13-14-15-161 U|MYJgjjyOHT^^DJiorSHINjy[ w/f Education..Exhibits W\ Entertainment..Racing paT SPECTACULAR HITE REVUE p^Ajinest VAUDEVILLE ACTS I I • mmst* TECHNICOLORS II *l» COMDITIOHED » COMFOUTtBLY COOL E || ■ him *1 »> (Com BUI art IT Mam* • Mar W IT MMWM • mm tr HMCY WACKN • uu * MACK COCOON tncM *» CHARLES WALTERS • mm *? JOE PASTERNAK • « wtM-Muna-iuim ncnw . |jj| * ** ] r> j 0* ARTIE DANN H Clown Prince of Comedy THE BEACHCOMBERS M nicil Tuneful* I J I JAMES t BEVERLY PAYSEE ...h. o.. s, J NORA TOOMEY It CO. w-d,, «h> i ! •starts TOMORROW ''Comfortably cool Ends Today •iHtli Edition Gono Ford's “GOING NATIVE" CAPITOL ♦ On Scroon ..Ricardo Montalban “Mystory Stroot"