Theater: Musical Anesthesia

Pickwick. Charles Dickens is becoming an author in name only. His theatrical adapters are rapidly divesting him of his works. Two seasons ago, Oliver Twist was pilfered and became Oliver Exclamation Mark. Now the musical-forgery squad has cribbed a few episodes from The Pickwick Papers. To vulgarize the dead is bad enough, but Pickwick does something worse—it anesthetizes the living.

If drama were taxidermy, Harry Secombe could scarcely be faulted. Perhaps Madame Tussaud's should put in a bid for him at the end of the run. His Mr. Pickwick is a no-neck John Bull...

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