THEATER CRITICS ACCLAIM ZANESVILLE'S DICK BASEHART
By Clair Stebbins
Dispatch Staff Writer
Whatever they wrote about the play or movie in which he appeared,
theatre critics have almost invariably had a kind word for the
performance of Richard Basehart, Zanesville-born actor who spent
four of his boyhood years in a Columbus orphanage.
Just ten days ago, for instance, a play with Basehart in the
starring role opened at the Belasco Theater in New York. Its
title: "The Day the Money Stopped." Its author: Pulitzer
prize-winning playwright Maxwell Anderson.
The critics called it "far from stimulating" and "something less
than a sensation" but the references to Basehart's acting were
uniformly complimentary. Typical was the appraisal of John McLain
of the Journal American who described the actor as "extremely
persuasive and droll in his impersonation of the ne'er-do-well
and he is herewith welcomed back to Broadway."
BROOKS ATKINSON wrote in The New York Times that "Richard
Basehart pours a lot of skill, variety and animation into a
character that is basically inert."
On the very day that the play was opening at the Belasco, a
motion picture in which Basehart has a substantial role was
having its premiere a few blocks away at Radio City Music Hall.
It was the film version of Dostoyevsky's novel, "The Brothers
Karamozov," which opens Thursday at the Ohio Theater in Columbus.
With Yul Brynner starred as Dmitri Karamozov, Basehart plays the
role of Ivan, one of his brothers.
MEANWHILE, "The Day the Money Stopped" has in truth, met
that unfortunate day.
Basehart and others of the cast are sad, "I thought it was very
funny," said the star. "So did the audiences; people laughed
Mrs Eleanor Roosevelt was there. "She was delighted," said
Basehart. "so was Katherine Cornell."
But the critics thought it was not good theater fare and,
in the face of their unanimous veto, it folded.
"Next time someone gives me a script to read," the actor
quipped, "I'll tell them to send it to the critics first. Save
me a lot of time."
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