Theater: Gathering Toadstools

My Mother, My Father and Me, by

Lillian Hellman, gathers up a Jewish family of toadstools to prove that modern U.S. life is poisonous. In this emetic comedy, Playwright Hellman retches over psychoanalysts, alcoholics, beatniks, sentimental Negrophiles, romanticizers of the American Indian, epicene writers, slick shysters who run homes for the aged, the eel-spined younger generation, the middle-aged materialistic middle class, the hot-and-cold war-babied economy, the affluent society, and—horror of horrors—store-bought bread. This catalogue of latter-day evils presumably calls for the wrath of Jeremiah. Unfortunately, Lillian Hellman only manages to turn bile into bilgewater.

Her Halpern clan is a family of cartoon monsters....

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