The Theater: Quick, Rex, the Kleenex

IN THE PRAISE OF LOVE by TERENCE RATTIGAN

This is a soap bubble of a play. It floats about weightlessly. Its translucent emptiness glints with rainbow colors consisting of quippy dialogue and glamorously exploitative star performances. Expiring at last it drops to earth in the form of a sentimental teary splat.

The heroine, Lydia Crutwell (Julie Harris), is dying of an incurable polysyllabic disease. She is keeping this secret from her husband Sebastian (Rex Harrison), since he is a pitiably self-absorbed book critic. She feels that he could not remotely cope with anything as real as life—or death....

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