New Plays: No-Shows

Two new Broadway musicals offer a boon to the tired businessman — sleep.

Apart from their petrifying boredom, the one quality that unites both these musicals is effrontery. Her First Roman has the gall to take Shaw's Caesar and Cleopatra and suffocate it in dullness.

This takes inconceivable effort, since making Shaw dull is rather like making sex dull. Shaw's words sing; this cast singsongs, and a woodpecker on a hollow log would have produced a more tuneful score. Richard Kiley's Caesar has faint, weary traces of Shaw's philosopher-king, but Leslie Uggams is a drowned kitten of the Nile without a...

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