Theater: The Reign of Good Old Nick

THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart

Alexander Woollcott, critic, lecturer, radio raconteur, died in 1943 but he has never passed away. The reason is that his friends Kaufman and Hart renamed him Sheridan Whiteside and painted an indelible portrait of him in his primary colors—venom, egocentricity and gush. Ever since this farce-comedy opened in 1939, it has induced fits of manic laughter.

The present revival at Manhattan's Circle in the Square Theater is a gutsplitter. An accident immures Whiteside (Ellis Rabb) in an upper-middle-class home in a...

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