Theater: New Play in Manhattan, Apr. 21, 1941

The Night Before Christmas (by Sidney Joseph & Laura West Perelman, produced by Courtney Burr) is not a bedtime story. It is a mottled Sing Sing folk tale of a silver-haired confidence man past his prime and a slop-house plug ugly who pair up to crack a bank vault for Christmas. They buy a tired Manhattan luggage shop next door to the bank and start tunneling. Obstructed by unwanted customers, garrulous neighbors, former penmates, they dynamite, not the vault, but a nearby cafeteria, while Santa Claus stuffs their stocking with a cop.

The screwball...

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