The Theater: Old & New Play in Manhattan

Magic (by G. K. Chesterton) and Hello, Out There (by William Saroyan) provide a double bill that prompts a single verdict. Both playwrights are much better at dialogue than drama. Saroyan's one-acter is more rewarding because it's simpler and more human. It tells of a guy (Eddie Dowling) in a small-town Texas jail who, before he is killed by a mob, talks through the bars of his cell with the jail's wispish slavey of a cook (Julie Haydon). Theirs is a brief rapprochement, a doomed romance, of two desperately lonely, anonymous souls. But the...

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