The Theater: New Play in Manhattan, Mar. 13, 1950

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep (adapted by Elaine Ryan from Ludwig Bemelmans' novel; produced by Nancy Stern & George Nichols 3rd) strongly suggests that the printed page is Ludwig Bemelmans' proper habitat. It certainly is for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep: the journey from book to stage winds up much more baggage than Bemelmans. Moreover, any show calling for 13 lavish scenes, 50 frenzied characters, a tropical earthquake and the billowing Atlantic Ocean also calls for a composer and a choreographer.

Proceeding by freighter from Biarritz to South America,...