Friday, May 15, 2020



Tom V.V. Tammi, Fred Stuthman.
"In Lieu of Reviews"

Reviews of live theatre being impossible during these days of the pandemic, THEATRE'S LEITER SIDE is pleased to provide instead accounts of previous theatre seasons--encompassing the years 1970-1975-for theatre-hungry readers. If you'd like to know the background on how this previously unpublished series came to be and what its relationship is to my three The Encyclopedia of the New York Stage volumes (covering every New York play, musical, revue, and revival between 1920 and 1950), please check the prefaces to any of the entries beginning with the letter “A.” See the list at the end of the current entry.

Tom V.V. Tammi, Philip Campanella, Christine Summerfield.
CONDITIONS OF AGREEMENT [Drama/British/Circus/Family/Romance] A: John Whiting; D: Gene Feist; S: Holmes Easley; C: Mimi Maxmen; L: Robert Murphy; M: Philip Campanella; P: Roundabout Repertory Company; T: Roundabout Theatre (OB); 5/29/72 (1)

The New York premiere of a British play first produced in London, posthumously, in 1965. It had the briefest run of any play in the Roundabout’s prolific history.

In it, an Oxford widow, Mrs. Emily Doon (Ruth Warrick), is visited by her lover of 20 years previously, a one-eyed clown named Peter Bembo (Fred Stuthman), who needs a place to stay until he can get back on his feet. Also arriving is a shopkeeper neighbor, A.G. (Humphrey Davis), secretl in love with Mrs. Doon. His wife died during a circus performance of Bembo’s and he never tires of telling of the circumstances. Mrs. Doon’s disabled son, Nicholas (Tom V.V. Tammi) returns from his honeymoon with his bride, Patience (Christine Summerfield). He is aware of his mother’s hatred for him and displays suicidal tendencies. Bembo and the son plot to get A.G. out of town. A.G. is accused of having killed his wife himself and, following a faked suicide by the son, is sent packing.

The Pinteresque menace of the piece was so ineptly developed that Richard Watts dismissed it by writing, “It dawdles and repeats itself.” Mel Gussow described the characters as “confused” and Jack Kroll believed the plot dissolved “in a melodramatic blur.” It was “not merely mystifying but a nagging bore as well, chimed in Douglas Watt, yet Joseph Mazo thought it “a brilliant and fascinating piece of theatre,” albeit poorly done.

Previous entries:

Abelard and Heloise
Absurd Person Singular
“Acrobats” and “Line”
The Advertisement/
All My Sons
All Over
All Over Town
All the Girls Came Out to Play
Alpha Beta
L’Amante Anglais         
American Gothics
And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little       
And They Put Handcuffs on the Flowers
And Whose Little Boy Are You?
Anna K.
Anne of Green Gables
Any Resemblance to Persons Living or Dead
As You Like It
The Au Pair Man

Baba Goya [Nourish the Beast]
The Ballad of Johnny Pot
Barbary Shore
The Bar that Never Closes
The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel
The Beauty Part
The Beggar’s Opera
Behold! Cometh the Vanderkellens
Be Kind to People Week
Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill
Bette Midler’s Clams on a Half-Shell Revue
Black Girl
Black Light Theatre of Prague
Black Picture Show
Black Sunlight
The Black Terror
Black Visions
Les Blancs
Blasts and Bravos: An Evening with H,L. Mencken
Blue Boys
Bob and Ray—The Two and Only
Boesman and Lena
The Boy Who Came to Leave
A Breeze from the Gulf
Brief Lives
Brother Gorski
Bullshot Crummond
The Burnt Flower Bed
Button, Button
Buy Bonds, Buster

The Cage
Candide (1)
Candide (2)
The Candyapple
Captain Brassbound’s Conversion
The Caretaker
La Carpa de los Raquichis
The Carpenters
The Castro Complex
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
The Changing Room
Charles Abbott and Son
Charley’s Aunt
Charlie Was Here and Now He’s Gone
Chemin de Fer
The Cherry Orchard
The Chickencoop Chinaman
The Children
Children! Children!
Children in the Rain
Children of the Wind
The Children’s Mass
A Chorus Line
The Chronicle of Henry VI: Part 1, Part II,
The Circle
Clarence Darrow
Cold Feet