Theater: New Musical in Manhattan, Feb. 23, 1953

Hazel Flagg (book by Ben Hecht; music & lyrics by Jule Styne and Bob Hillard) is generally cheerful, insistently lavish and notably loud. Based on Nothing Sacred, a satiric Ben Hecht movie of the '30s the story tells of a vast fraud: a young Vermont girl pretends to be dying of radium poisoning and yearns for lights and laughter at the end. Hazel Flagg stands forth a creature of breathtaking gallantry, reduces the city to wild and wet-eyed idolatry, inspires everything from prayers to parades.

As satire, Hecht's libretto is commonplace and even...

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