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ABOUT "BOY MEETS GIRL"
By GEORGE ABBOTT
(Mr. Abbott produced the original Broadway version of "Boy Meets Girl")
Boy Meets Girl is, I think, the best play that has yet appeared about Hollywood. It is the real thing. And it is the real thing because Bella and Samuel Spewack are reporters as well as dramatists and they report what they see and observe, not what convention would want them to see. They have captured Hollywood so definitely th9t I am sure that you cannot see this play without a great consciousness of the kind of place that it is. You don't see the long line of eucalyptus trees outside the widows, but you must know that it is there. You must know that down in the court below C. F. 's window are a dozen strutting assistant directors and executives and innumerable glamorous girls posturing for the benefit of all.
Most of the writings about the great film colony have overlooked an important expression of the Hollywood consciousness. That is the eagerness for culture. We have been given to believe in the past that a cross-section of Hollywood would reveal to us only a great number of not very bright actors ruled over by crass and illiterate producers. But the fact is not quite that. There is a great eagerness for the bigger and better things. In the studio lunch rooms, I have seen a group of executives puzzling their brains over a heavy game of "Guggenheim." And I am sure that the stranger who went to one of their parties expecting, and need I say hoping, to find a gigantic orgy would be shocked and surprised to witness a group of earnest faces puzzling over the latest word game from the metropolis at the other side of the country. Hollywood is secretly ashamed of itself and therefore makes a tremendous effort to do the right thing. The bad taste at times exhibited in the films is not exhibited in the private lives of those who make them. They read the best books, cultivate the best art (mostly very, very modern), collect first editions, dress with great and exaggerated care, observe the conventions, and are all ladies and gentlemen.
The character C. F. exemplifies all this. Law and Benson also, although they are quite obviously rebels against their status. And the other characters all combine to a truthful picture of this great. factory of mediocrity, as it is.
If, however,. authenticity were the only virtue of Boy Meets Girl, it would die unsung.
It is the wit of the Spewacks that casts over the whole thing a gay charm. They know how to write lines which are not only funny to read but which crackle when spoken in the theatre. In fact the Spewacks write so well that I wish that an act might be added carryall the scenes that we have cut out for purposes of stage production. I am sure you would all like to see the scenes which features Rosetti and C. F. in the projection room examining the film tests of the various babies from whom they wish to select a success to Happy. Unfortunately, this scene -- which was one of my very favorites -- had to be cut out because the audience, when the play was tried out in Philadelphia, felt sorry for the poor unfortunate babies who were not going to get the job. But in .its place you have the voice of KNX -- and I like that, too. The idea seems to be that I like Boy Meets Girl.
Theatre and Performance Studies
La Salle College, "Boy Meets Girl" (1958). The Masque Programs. 93.