Theater: Taming The Adorable 'Iggins PYGMALION

by George Bernard Shaw

During an otherwise sedate tea party in the second act of Pygmalion, Peter O'Toole rises from a chair, stumbles into a fireplace screen with a jangling crash, whirls around to recover his balance, ensnares and dances with a grandfather clock, then ends by flinging himself into another chair and reclining silkily with a look of nothing having happened. The bare stage direction exists in George Bernard Shaw's text, but the moment -- and the + character judgment it reflects -- is in large part O'Toole's contribution to his literally smashing, if belated, Broadway debut at age 54, after nearly three decades...

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