Theater: Major Barbara

By George Bernard Shaw

Cherry Jones, one of our best stage actresses, is surprisingly subdued as Shaw's Salvation Army idealist, and David Warner, in his U.S. stage debut, is too suave and nonthreatening as her arms-merchant father, the capitalist who alters her dreams. Still, even if the Roundabout Theatre's new production of Shaw's great comedy lacks some pizazz, it can't douse the fire of a dramatist out to bust open the sentimentality and conventional wisdom that infected both society and the stage. We could use a new Shaw today; until he (or she) comes along, the old one will do nicely.

--By Richard Zoglin

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