The Theatre: Big Names Rubbed Out

The Broadway season staggered into the Month of Birthdays with a famished look and faintly bloodshot eyes. Since Christmas night, not a new show—and only one revival, Porgy and Bess—had really managed to click on Broadway. There had been 16 shows in all, half of them by well-known playwrights—Clifford Odets, Charles MacArthur, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, John van Druten, Samson Raphaelson, Henrik Ibsen, Ben Hecht; and last week there was Marc Connelly. But this week Connelly had joined the rest: his Flowers of Virtue withered after four performances.

It has been one of the worst seasons in a generation. Such big names...