Although The Ladies of the Corridor
is not strictly a thesis play, its authors do have a point to make. It is that when widowhood comes to American middle-aged women, only those prepared for a career have any chance for happiness. They are mostly bitter, frustrated, bored, and driven to suicide, kleptomania or constant attendance at the movies. In particular, the dramatists are concerned with three of the women. One takes a younger lover and, despite her momentary happiness, proceeds to drive him from her by her nagging doubts of his fidelitv. Another becomes a solitary drinker, has a sordid affair with a bellhop and ends by jumping from a window. The third is a invalid who wrecks the life of her son by blackmailing him into serving her. The kleptomaniac, and the woman seeking refuge in the movies from her knowledge that her children don't want her, are less dramatic figures who add to the drab and hopeless picture of doomed widowhood. The Ladies of the Corridor
is an episodic drama, a sort of "Grand Hotel" of widowhood.
FEE: $75 per performance.
Opened at the Longacre with Edna Best, Betty Field. Frances Starr, and Vera Allen.