Theater: Unpalatable

Dinner at Eight has cooled. No line in this 34-year-old George S. Kaufman-Edna Ferber comedy is more than tepidly amusing. What with social changes and altered tastes, a faint, distant aroma of the '30s clings to the play—and astonishingly little else.

The comedy has been exhumed, but it resists revival. In that bygone era of playmaking, there was a vogue for entangling a group of unrelated characters on the crossed-up switchboard of life, whether in a hotel (Grand Hotel), or an ocean liner (Outward Bound), or a theatrical club full of struggling ingenues (Stage Door). This Dinner party is being given for...

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