The Theater: Old Play in Manhattan, Jan. 28, 1952

Desire Under the Elms (by Eugene O'Neill) opened a new season for the American National Theater & Academy. As a choice-on-paper, this major O'Neill effort is far happier than most of ANTA's previous offerings. As an actual stage piece, it leaves much to be desired under the elms. In it O'Neill boldly grappled with the most rooted intensities and twisted passions. But for all its insistent starkness, Desire lacks stature, and the ANTA production, by acting everything out in italics, tends to accentuate the play's shortcomings.

O'Neill's mid-19th-century chronicle of the greeds, lusts, hates...

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