Theater: Through a Glass in Pitch-Darkness

ALICE IN CONCERT A musical by Elizabeth Swados

This is a tale of two ladies. One of them (Meryl Streep) is very, very good, and the other (Elizabeth Swados) is very nearly horrid. Her work, that is. For a woman who has acquired an exaggerated reputation as a composer, Swados displays an anemic talent for making anything remotely resembling good music. For someone who is 29, she is strangely fixated on the '60s. Her songs, both for Alice in Concert and her previous show Runaways, a short-lived paean to urchin street vandals, sound, at their very best, like numbers that the composers...

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