Moss Hart’s Memoir “Act One” Opens as Broadway Play

April 18, 2014 1:03 AM

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NEW YORK–As “Act One” would have it, no love is quite so intense and tempestuous as that between a playwright and his play. In fact, in the endearing new stage adaptation of Moss Hart’s memoir–long a theater world bible–any other affection revealed over the course of two and three-quarter hours in the Vivian Beaumont Theater is a pallid affair compared to the fervor of the dramatist savoring and agonizing over the reactions to his first Broadway play.

James Lapine, Stephen Sondheim’s collaborator on “Into the Woods” and “Sunday in the Park With George,” here directs his own adaptation of Hart’s account of partnering with George S. Kaufman on the 1930 comedy, “Once in a Lifetime.” And though Lapine’s overlong script could use some editing, and som...

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