Theater: Neither Gyp nor Gem

Dear Me, the Sky Is Falling, by Leonard Spigelgass. At a time when the immigrant mother is disappearing from real life, a blandly sentimental portrayal of her onstage is in such great nostalgic demand that Dear Me arrived on Broadway as a presold hit, with $400,000 in advance ticket sales and a golden barge train of 365 theater parties in tow. Its chief asset is Gertrude Berg, a supermom with a heart as big as her hutzpa.

She plays Mama Hirsch, a Westchester matron of the affluent diaspora displaced from The Bronx. Mama Hirsch is not content to throw her weight around;...

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