Broadway: New Baby

The womanly baritone laughs a line home. Waves of appreciation break across the stage. The timing matches Bankhead's; the zany movements beat Bea Lillie's. It is just as nobody predicted: Lauren Bacall can pack them in the theater the way she packed them in the movies back in the '40s when she was Mrs. Humphrey Bogart. "Looks like I'm one hell of a Broadway draw," she drawls.

The surprise is understandable. Success may be nothing new to Lauren Bacall, but it is nothing recent either. At 41 she is appearing in her first stage hit, Abe Burrows' Cactus...