Theater: The Widower Takes a Wife

Poor Richard. Success defines the limits of a playwright; failure may suggest his aspirations. Jean Kerr's Poor Richard is that kind of failure. She comes to the new play still wearing the life-of-the-party grin from Mary, Mary, but something in her mind is now saying that life is not that kind of party at all, and the result is a probing but irresolute comedy. Mary, Mary was a joke-filled shopping bag that existed to be torn so that the laughs would tumble out. Poor Richard is a net hopefully cast to trap character and at least two themes of some gravity—the...

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