The Theater: Old Play in Manhattan, Oct. 27, 1958

Lorenzaccio (by Alfred de Musset) launched a three-week visit of France's Theatre National Populaire—a people's theater which under the adventurous leadership of Jean Vilar has become popular indeed. Though French dramas of greater fame—Moliere's Don Juan, Corneille's Le Cid—were to follow it on Broadway. Musset's 124-year-old romantic tragedy made a booming opening gun. For one thing, despite its many-pronged story and far too many scenes, Lorenzaccio has considerable operatic stir, psychological lure and ironic force; for another, in the economical way that this Lorenzaccio takes on both life and luster, it provides a lesson in staging.

A study in disillusionment, the play...

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