Theater: 70 Wanting to Be 17

The Chinese Prime Minister is an urbane liar of a play. In a triumph of style over substance, it serves its mental hash like Beluga caviar, pours its intellectual eyewash like Dom Pérignon. This sleight-of-hand artistry succeeds for two reasons. Playwright Enid Bagnold loves the English language with rare fidelity, and in the present semi-illiterate state of the U.S. stage, pure English makes an irresistible lover for an audience. Equally indispensable is an actress who can do no wrong from first entrance to final curtain. Margaret Leighton's eyes are wounds of inner pain,...

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