Theater: The Damned & the Dim

Night Life, by Sidney Kingsley, contends that people are selling their souls for a mess of pottage, which the playwright exchanges for a pot of message. Having bemoaned the decline of love, honor, courage, idealism and even healthy humor, a leading character announces, "The poets have given up on mankind."

A rather special segment of mankind occupies Kingsley's boozy, smoke-hazy, symbolic inferno, a red-velours-lined Manhattan key club. But essentially the members of this eclectic hell divide be tween the damned and the dim. The damned shine phosphorescently. The dim give off flickers of goodness. Among the damned: an ambisextrous movie queen (Salome...

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