MARCH 2, 1938
NEW YORK, Tuesday—Last night I went again to "Save Me The Waltz," a play by Katharine Dayton, at the Martin Beck Theatre here. It was the opening night and all the critics were there. In the Times and Herald Tribune this morning, the critics give credit to the actors for a good performance, but they say the play has nothing new in the plot and only a few amusing lines here and there.
They recall the fact that Katharine Dayton collaborated with George Kaufman on a satirical comedy called, "First Lady," and they seem to infer that because this play does not teach a great lesson or pick any particular people to pieces, it is worthless as a play. I can only judge by myself and the people whom I have taken with me, and I still feel we had a pleasant evening. I am not a highbrow, just a very ordinary person with reactions such as I think many ordinary people have. I said, in Washington, this play was neither stirring nor uplifting, and I still think it gives one a pleasant entertaining evening.
When I went to see "Our Town," I was moved and depressed beyond words. It is more interesting and more original and I am glad I saw it, but I did not have a pleasant evening. Sometimes we need a pleasant evening, so why must we have all our plays in the same vein? Why can't the critics have standards for different types of plays and give us an idea of the kind of an evening we may have if we go to this play or that? Usually I want to be amused, then again, I want to be stirred. But it is rather rare that you can find out what kind of a play you are going to see by reading any of the criticisms.
The other day Judge Rosenman came to see us in Washington, bringing with him for final approval the binding for the five volumes of my husband's "Public Papers and Addresses," which are soon to be published. The introductions in these volumes will soon appear in one of the magazines, and the notes in many newspapers. My husband, and Judge Rosenman expect to devote the proceeds from these comments to a public purpose, of government interest, which is now being planned.
I have had two lessons in voice in the last few days, but I am afraid it will take me a long time to make these things, which I am learning, enough of a habit so that anyone will notice any pleasant change in my voice. However, it is worth working for and I am enjoying it.
This afternoon I am attending a party given at the Todhunter School by the Juniors.