Theater: Show Bet

Photo Finish. Peter Ustinov, writer, director and star of this comedy, remains mute for the first five minutes of it. Propped up by a pillow, he half-sits, half-lies in bed, a snow wreath of great age framing his petulantly mischievous features. He looks like a cross between a grumpy polar bear and a tipsy Greek philosopher. As his equally ancient wife ("a nagger's nagger") frets, scolds, and pokes at him, Ustinov's countenance becomes a weather map of changing frustrations. His eyes ski off at rakish tangents. His jaw chomps erratically over what could be a mouthful of elastics. His arms and...

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