The Theatre: Minus the J.

For years reserved, Harvard-bred New York Times Critic J. Brooks Atkinson wrote reviews as sober and dignified as a Times editorial. Atkinson left the pun-making and funmaking to such colleagues of those days as Heywood Broun, Alexander Woollcott, Percy Hammond, George Jean Nathan.

Of recent years, having wrenched the J. from his name, Atkinson—though thoughtful as ever about good plays—has become a Katzenjammer Kid about bad ones. This season he has pulled leg after leg of flop after flop. Of Case History he wrote: "The stepmother goes off her chump." Of Come...

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