The Theater: Critics' Choice

The New York Drama Critics' Circle, polling its annual vote for the season's best American play, last week got into its usual politico-dramatic wrangle. On the first ballot nine votes (a three-quarters plurality, or 15 votes, was needed to win) went to Lillian Hellman's passionate, anti-Nazi Watch on the Rhine (TIME, April 14). Next came three votes for William Saroyan's dreamy The Beautiful People (see below), which had opened the night before.

Six ballots and three hours of electioneering produced no decision, but the Saroyan bloc grew stronger. Then the Circle decided that a...

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