The Theater: New Play in Manhattan, Feb. 20, 1956

Middle of the Night is TV-and-movie-famed Paddy (Marty) Chayefsky's first Broadway play, and Cinemactor Edward G. Robinson's first Broadway appearance since 1930. The result is disappointing.

The fault is not Robinson's. As Jerry Kingsley, a well-to-do. 53-year-old widower who falls in love with a girl of 24 (Gena Rowlands), Robinson is neither cinematic nor Little-Caesarish. He plays with feeling and skill. Age-conscious to begin with, made brutally aware of the perils of marriage as he proceeds, he is ruefully realistic, but always with an ear cocked for romance. The part comes off; the play does not.

To begin with, Playwright Chayefsky's forte is...

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