Tony Mastroianni Review Collection

Godfrey & Co. Wow 'em at Warren

Cleveland Press July 21, 1965

There really are several reasons for going to Warren this week. There's the deservedly popular play, "Never Too Late"; there's Maureen O'Sullivan recreating the role she originated on Broadway and which she repeats in the forthcoming movie version of the play; and there is Arthur Godfrey making his local acting debut.

The play needs no defense and little explanation. It is one of the cleverest adult comedies -- in spite of its one gag plot -- to come along in some time. It is all about the consternation that sweeps through a home when a middle-aged wife and mother announces to her equally old (or perhaps even older) husband and her grown daughter and her son-in-law that she is about to become a mother again.

A repeat viewing of this play not only reminds you of all the good laughs that are in it along with some you may have forgotten, but also the insight into human nature many of the lines reveals.

MISS O'SULLIVAN is first seen as a harried, overworked housewife who waits on husband, daughter and son-in-law with saintly patience.

But with the diagnosis of her pregnancy she becomes radiant. She also gets a hairdo and a new wardrobe. The family gets nervous, embarrassed and angry.

Now as an actor Arthur Godfrey isn't going to cause Paul Newman or Marlon Brando any consternation. But he needn't apologize for his efforts either.

UNLIKE SOME of his television colleagues who hit the summer theater trail, Godfrey has obviously put a lot of hard work into his part. There are moments when he almost can make you forget who he is.

His timing is good, he blusters and bellows well and the third act drunk scene with his son-in-law is a gem. He's a little awkward when he has nothing to do, but that isn't often.

As the son-in-law Richard Mulligan plays the part broadly -- sometimes to the point of overacting -- as he milks it for all of its laughs.

BETTE LIEB is a pert and pretty blond who offers a controlled study in mounting exasperation and anger in the role of the 24-year-old daughter about to acquire an infant brother or sister.

The opening night audience liked everyone and everything that happened.