Vienna Play In Shaw
The Metropolitan Theatre last night seemed quite unde- cided whether to play "Jitta's Atonement" as a straightfaced romantic melodrama of the Pinero complexion, or as a burlesque of the artificially soulful shockers that used to entertain the less frivolous of our grandmothers. .
As one thing or the other, or with some of the shrewd merging of both moods that persisted through the first act, the pro-
duction by John Appleton could have been consistently diverting, but in the last two acts it chopped about vigorously-and pointlessly-between soul balm
and guffaws. Some of the blame, of course, rests with Shaw who was misguided enough to "translate" the play from Trebitsch's German as a reward foi Trebitsch's German trans- lations of Shaw.
It would take a very large amount of very line music, pre- ferably by Verdi, to make the plot sound anything but fatuous. The central character is a Ger- man professor's wife. She loves another professor who feels so guilty about his disloyalty to a colleague that, on the point of death, he exhorts the woman to
give his greatest scientific book to the world, not as his work, but as her husband's. Next-of kin on both sides are then em- broiled.
Marcia Hathaway acted stylishly in each of the two con- tradictory moods in which the play was presented, with warmth of sentiment when serious dramatics were considered de- sirable, with darting wit when it was thought necessary to make fun of the dramatics.
Phillip Colledge acted the pro fessorial lover with paternal kindliness, and side-whiskered Kenneth Warren exploded monotonously as the farcially drawn bore of a husband. June Salter, Edith Schreiber, Ronald Quilter, and Pamela Young gave rough estimates of other roles.