The double bill presented by the Harvard Theatre Group at Agassiz Theatre is billed as a Workshop Production. The idea behind it was to substitute something for the Reading Theatre, a project by which novice actors, directors, and technicians would get a chance to flex their muscles before tackling a major production.
The performances in the two Tennessee Williams one-actors accomplished this and something more; they provided an enjoyable evening for more than 100 spectators who attended the opening night.
Moony's Kid Don't Cry, the shorter of the two, was the opener and had a cast of two. It is, of course, not a play in the broad sense; it a fragment, an episode in the lives of two people, and as such relies on the individual portrayals for its basic appeal. I found both Donald Stewart and Madelon Hambro more than capable of meeting this challenge; they were able to establish full characterizations in a short period of time with apparent case. Although local theatergoers have had the privilege of watching Stewart before, Miss Hambro, an Emerson student, is new here, and in her debut she indicated that he rtalents can be a definite asset to the HTG in the future.
John Kerr, another veteran, had the lead in the second play, A Long Goodbye, and he was excellent by any standard. He was a character of despair, and through his careful, subdued delivery he set the mood of the play. Cyres Del Vecchio was especially impressive in a supporting role and both Elinor Fuche and Barbara Falen were more than adequate as Kerr's sister and mother.
The first play was directed by its leading player, Stewart, and Michael Mabry handled the second. Whether we are to credit Stewart the director, or Stewart the actor, Moony's Kid seemed just right in pace: The Long Goodbye, another tone piece, was even and absorbing throughout.