Richard and I saw this play with our friends John and David at the Mint Theater on 9/16. This was our fifth show at the Mint: *Philip Goes Forth*, *London Wall*, *The Fatal Weakness*, *Fashions For Men*, and now *The New Morality*. They’re in a lovely little theater (99 seats) on 43rd Street, just west of 8th Avenue, on the 3rd floor of an anonymous office building. You would never know there’s a theater up there. Here’s the opening sentence of the Mint’s mission statement: “Mint Theater Company commits to bringing new vitality to worthy but neglected plays.” They do mostly American plays from the 30s and 40s. The productions are always first-class.
This is a play by Harold Chapin, written in 1911. It’s a charming bit of froth, well done by the small cast (three leads, two supporting characters, and two servants), but I wonder why they chose to do it, out of the thousands of plays they could have chosen. It was amusing but deep as a dime, with none of the hilarity, wit, or charm that would elevate it to greatness. It felt like a period piece that would have been on the BBC in the 1970s, on an off night.
I’m going to show just how deep I am by saying that the highlight of the show was seeing Christian Campbell in the role of the leading lady’s brother - - he looked familiar to me, but I didn’t know why. I looked at his bio and realized that I recognized him as the lead in *Trick*, a cute gay indie movie from 1999, starring Little Miss Tori Spelling! I just read his bio on imdb.com: his older sister is the great Neve Campbell.