Theater: The Year Ahead: Hope Tempered by Reason

ON or off Broadway, September is always the month that most nearly resembles Dr. Johnson's definition of a second marriage—"the triumph of hope over experience."

For the ordinary theatergoer, the new season brings the hope of reliving some enchanted theatrical evening of the past. For the actor, the new season holds out the hope of a breakthrough to fame —after which he tends to abandon the theater like a Brando or a Burton. The producer nourishes the hone of a croupier to rake in the chips. The backer, that garishly garbed seraph who roots for his cash on opening night with cacophonous...

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