Theater: Fresh Season, Moldy Play

Mrs. Dally, by William Hanley. More Neanderthal men have crossed the American stage than ever lived in prehistoric caves. These slopeheads invariably gnaw their English, scratch their armpits, and lock jaws and claws with some naggingly neurotic female. A play dismally devoted to such characters opened the Broadway theater season amid the blanketing hush of the New York newspaper strike. Even without the so-called "death watch" of waiting for the daily drama critics' reviews, there was little proof that Mrs. Dally had ever been dramatically alive.

The heroine (Arlene Francis) is a middle-aged housewife—...

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