Jean Kerr Brooks Atkinson - Essay

Brooks Atkinson

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

By throwing a few brains around where they are not too conspicuous, Jean and Walter Kerr have written a capital light revue, "Touch and Go."… Being literate people who can read as well as sit down in the theatre, the Kerrs know what is going on in the manners of our time, and they say so with charm and impishness in the best stage comment on current foibles since "Lend an Ear."…

A bilious theatregoer might take exception to having a blues song sung in a 1949 revue. Blues songs are most effective in eras that do not need them. And the caricature of the flashback technique in story-telling is a trifle complicated.

But the objections from this column are going to be especially mild this morning. For the Kerrs have accomplished that almost impossible feat of bringing good minds into the squalid mart of Broadway and satirizing intelligent topics with swift dexterity and without feeling condescending about it. In speed, looks and style, "Touch and Go" is in the best professional taste, and mighty pleasant company for a friendly evening in the theatre.

Brooks Atkinson, "At the Theatre," in The New York Times (© 1949 by The New York Times Company; reprinted by permission), October 14, 1949 (and reprinted in New York Theatre Critics' Reviews, Vol. X, No. 22, October 17, 1949, p. 251).