Theater: Shredded Wit


Made into a Musical and Directed by Burt Shevelove

Nature tries to avoid genetic mutations. Broadway will hybridize anything if it looks like box-office loot. Burt Shevelove, a clever and intelligent man, obviously had a dream collaboration in mind when he thought of mating some svelte Cole Porter songs with Philip Barry's sophisticated play Holiday.

What has happened? The Porter score has been excised from several disparate musicals and fitted with procrustean zeal to the Barry play. Holiday has been shred ded, which necessitates a narrator to fill in the gaps. Though he plays this role with guileful urbanity, John McMartin...

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