Theater: Old Old Vienna

The Gay Life (book by Fay and Michael Kanin; music and lyrics by Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz) is one of those musicals that seem to spring from back numbers of the National Geographic. It is full of scenic wonders—a Carlsbad spa with fountains spouting real water, a Christmas vision of Old Vienna filigreed in confectioner's icing, a wedding extravaganza such as only Broadway angels can afford. In and about these Oliver Smith settings cavort the Wiener Burger, garbed by Lucinda Ballard in resplendent turn-of-the-century costumes. Unfortunately, there is little more to this comic operetta than meets the eye, or greets...

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