Theater: Supremely Sophisticated Lady

WOMAN OF THE YEAR

Book by Peter Stone; Music by John Kander; Lyrics by Fred Ebb

In ballet, elevation means the height of a dancer's leap and seeming suspension in the air. In a musical comedy, elevation could mean a playgoer's inner leap for joy while suspended in an evening of sheer pleasure. Except for Lauren Bacall, Woman of the Year is a show of hazardously low elevation.

Bacall is a tigress of a performer, and she stalks through the musical like a supremely sophisticated lady who would never dream of sheathing her claws. From...

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