Theater: Down With the Superbrain

The Child Buyer. When G. B. Shaw wrote Man and Superman, he preached the intensive cultivation of man's brain as the crowning end of man. The Child Buyer, adapted by Paul Shyre from John Hersey's novel, sees the sedulously cultivated brain as man's perdition. But any resemblance between Shaw and Shyre-Hersey is only thematic. The Shaw comedy is still full of Mozartean eloquence, gusto and grace; the Shyre-Hersey play drones along with tongue-clattering one-note monotony.

The child buyer (Lester Rawlins) purchases highly intelligent "specimens" for United Lymphomoloid, a vast penumbra of a corporation with top-secret government contracts and a futuristic 50-year...

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