FEBRUARY 13, 1954
NEW YORK, Friday—On February 18th there will open at the Century Theatre in New York a very unique performance by Japanese female dancers. In Tokyo the grand Kabuki Theatre is traditionally the province of male dancers; men play all the feminine roles. But this new company was assembled by Tokuho Azuma who is the director as well as the principal dancer. She will bring episodes from the Kabuki tradition to the stage of the Western world for the first time and all of the artists with her, like herself, have never before appeared outside of Japan.
I saw the Kabuki dancers when I was in Tokyo and I must say I cannot imagine what this performance will be like since those dancers seemed to me so essentially masculine but, nevertheless, I shall certainly try to see this performance.
To continue my current chronicle of theatres, I saw "The Caine Mutiny Court–Martial." These are remarkable trial scenes. The play is well cast and well acted. One of my old friends who is a lawyer accompanied me as well as my son, John, and his wife. They were amazed, I think, to find that the stage could produce such good trial scenes. My lawyer friend even speculated whether a lawyer, trying a real case, would dare take the risks taken by young Lieutenant Barney Greenwald, even though he agreed they were wise risks.
Mr. Fonda does a remarkable characterization in this play of a brilliant lawyer using his best capacities to free his client and yet regretfully destroying someone whom he would like to be defending.
The one false note I found in the play was the contention at the end that because law and order and liberties were represented by the Army and Navy one could not, in good conscience, even destroy a bad officer. I submit that if one believes in the finest traditions of these services, one would want, above everything else, to remove an officer who did not live up to these traditions and brought upon the services disrespect and dislike.
In spite of my disagreement with the author on this point, I think this is perhaps the most interesting evening I have spent in the theatre for a long time and my youngest boy, who was in the Navy during the War, and his wife both enjoyed it very much.
The fight on the Bricker amendment seems to be going very well from the point of view of those who realize the danger of this amendment. It shows that when the President really wants to lead and when certain respectable and influential groups in our country are really aroused, something can be done in the face of a kind of hysterical fear and mistaken patriotic zeal which is becoming all too familiar at the present time.