Thursday, July 1, 2010

It Can Happen Here

Spending my days in the Cleveland Public Library ...
The Cleveland Press, Wednesday, October 28, 1936

Dictatorship Comes to America in ‘It Can’t Happen Here’ by Charles Schneider

Customers packed in from the drinking fountain in the foyer right down to the piccolo section in the Federal Music Project Military Band ... It is rather a pity that the Federal Theatre’s presentation was not more completely worthy of their applause ... Despite the shortcomings of this staged version of Mr. Lewis’ best-selling novel, the terrifying implications stand out vividly.
Read my original blog entry for more details on this production. General admission? 25¢.

Okay, so the review was one thing, but I also read this on next day's editorial page:
The Cleveland Press, Thursday, October 29, 1936


The Cleveland Unit of the WPA Federal Theater is engaged at the moment in presenting a play which deals forcefully with one of the more vital topics of our day - i.e. the possibility of the coming of Fascism to America.

The drama is taken from Sinclair Lewis’ best-selling novel, “It Can’t Happen Here.” Mr. Lewis is of the opinion that it can happen here, and upon this supposition, he has built a drama that has bite and vigor.

Regardless of the merits or demerits of the local presentation, this play deserves to be seen.
A newspaper's editorial page endorses a play. Weren't those the days.

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