From New York, where the American stage begins, NBC presents BEST PLAYS, transcribed, with John Chapman.
BEST PLAYS, a series of hour-length dramas based on famous theatrical books begun by the late Burns Mantle, now edited by the distinguished drama critic of the New York Daily News, John Chapman.
THEME ... TO A CONCLUSION
Good evening. Almost six hundred years ago, a man named Geoffrey Chaucer coined a phrase. He couldn't spell very well, apparently, so what he wrote must have sounded to him something like this -- "Mordre wol out, certeyn, it wolnat faille." We've been practicing up on spelling and pronunciation during the last few centuries and have figured out that what Chaucer meant was "Murder will out, certainly, it can't miss." And so it can't. It rarely misses in the theater.
The season of 1940-41 was an excellent one for murder, and for comedy, in the best plays of the Broadway theater. Owen Davis had adapted a novel by Frances and Richard Lockridge, "Mr. and Mrs. North," about an attractive young couple blundering their way into the detective business and this play was a hit.
Joseph Kesselring wrote another one about murder by the dozen which he originally titled "Bodies in Our Cellar." This turned out to be "Arsenic and Old Lace" which had one thousand, four hundred and forty-four performances. Only six other plays in the history of the Broadway stage have run longer. In the company on the first night of January ten, Nineteen Forty-One were Boris Karloff, Jean Adair and other fine comedians.
Now, in this BEST PLAYS performance, we have Mr. Karloff and Donald Cook as two strangely different brothers. Mr. Cook currently is starring in the Broadway hit, "The Moon Is Blue." Our company also includes Jean Adair and Edgar Stehli from the original production and Evelyn Varden as the nice little lady who likes to give all her guests elderberry...