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"Front Page" Captures '20s Style
Stage Review by Don Shirley, Times Staff Reporter

The Colony has announced a plan to search for a larger home than its longtime quarters at the Studio Theatre Playhouse. The groupís current production of "The Front Page" would make an excellent calling for landlords who might wonder about the Colonyís prospects.

Director David Rose hasnít thought of anything new to say with the 1928 Ben Hecht/Charles MacArthur newspaper comedy, but then who could? Itís a comedy thatís enjoyed for its old-fashioned values - its lovable cynicism, its steadily accelerating farcical rhythms - and Rose and company have mastered the style and brought home most of the laughs.

Tall, almost - gangly Robert Stoeckle, plays Hildy Johnson, the ace reporter who thinks heís about to forsake the newspaper for his would-be bride. He has a snazzy moment of physical comedy when he keeps typing away even though his beleaguered fiancee (Denise Dillard) has just snatched his trusty typewriter from the table and tries to hold it aloft, out of his reach.

William Dennis Hunt, familiar for his appearances on L.A.ís more experimental stages, is a knockout as bull-headed Walter Burns, the editor who aims to keep Hildy on the job. His eyes crackle with glee over his schemes to scoop the competition on the story of the Death Row escapee Earl Williams (wimpy - looking Beans Morocco in a sterling example of casting against type).

Among the denizens of the courthouse press room, Jim Brochu stands out with his distinctive twang, and Don Woodruff makes a fine fussbudget. A couple of minor charactersí lines were swallowed, with no great loss. Visually, everything is of the period, from the well - trodden room designed by Susan Gratch to Ted C. Giammonaís outfits.
 

Copyright Los Angeles Times 
Reprinted with Permission
The Front Page  at the Colony Theatre