Edith Oliver

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 163

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["Now Is the Time for All Good Men"] rates quite high on what ordinarily matters most in a musical [the score, the staging, the acting, the direction]…. The trouble is the words. Now, banal words in a musical can often be dismissed, but these are not banal; in fact, a few of the scenes and lyrics are bright and refreshing. The rest of the book, though, is full of message—preachy, inspirational, and awfully intrusive. The idea of setting a musical in a small old-fashioned town in Indiana and then showing the nastiness and violence that lie beneath its nostalgic charm is defensible, but in this case the irony is too pat and heavily applied and too blunted by sentimentality and complacency. Nevertheless, Mrs. Cryer is young and talented and indignant, and young, talented people have much to be indignant about. (pp. 133-34)

Edith Oliver, "The Theater," in The New Yorker (© 1967 by The New Yorker Magazine, Inc.), Vol. XLIII, No. 33, October 7, 1967, pp. 131-38.∗


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