The Theater: New Musical in Manhattan, Jul. 2, 1951

Seventeen (book by Sally Benson, based on Booth Tarkington's novel; music by Walter Kent; lyrics by Kim Gannon) is chiefly a period musical, with more tinkle than Tarkington, more of life in 1907 than of love at 17. Some of it is agreeable enough. But the infatuation of Willie Baxter for Lola Pratt seems much less a fondly done comic valentine than a conventional lace one, and a genuine American classic of youngness has become a mere frolic of youth.

As the lovesick Willie, Kenneth Nelson has his Tarkingtonian moments, captures some of the fearful gentility and capering solemnity of one whose...

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