The Press: Close Before Striking

The Fantasticks is a sugary off-Broadway musical that has been running for ten years. With serene irrelevance, it has been variously described in the Goings on About Town department of The New Yorker as: "A man, a plan, a canal: Panama!"; "Close cover before striking match"; "Rock of ages, cleft for me"; and "Diddle, diddle, dumpling, my son John." Associate Editor Gardner Botsford explains that he gets bored writing the same straight capsule reviews of long-run shows. So did Robert Benchley when he handled theater listings for the original Life magazine in the '20s. Of Abie's Irish Rose, which ran...

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