Theater: Ancient Moderns

Shaw and Ibsen were iconoclasts who became icons. Two of their plays, revived off-Broadway last week, show the kind of dust they can still kick up and the kind that has settled upon them.

In Misalliance, first produced in 1910, St. George Bernard Shaw goes forth to slay the dragon of family life with his own jawbone. The two renowned fathers in the play are exposed as shameless old rips, their sons and daughters as scamps with serpents' teeth. The emancipated heroine, Hypatia Tarleton, says, "I just don't want to be bothered about either good or bad. I want to be an...

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