Walter Kerr is known during the latter half of the twentieth century as an author, playwright and especially as the theater critic extraordinarie for several publications including "The New York Times".
In 1948 he might have been a cub reporter under Editor Hank O'Hair and might have received his big break when Brenda Starr took young Walt with her to write play reviews on Gene Marshall in Summer Stock Theatre.
"Anna Christie" by Eugene O'Neil
July 27th Review by Walt Kerr
The audience was in the palm of Gene Marshall's lovely hand the minute she walked on stage and said those famous lines "And don't be stingy, Honey"! I knew Gene Marshall was versitile but even I was impressed with her Swedish accent, her "common" ways and the depth of emotion (and talent!) revealed at Opening Night of "Anna Christie". The rest of the cast had a hard time keeping up with her, but Gene was there, supporting them all the way. The final production "The Merry Widow" will be a piece of cake!
"Midsummer's Night Dream" by William Shakespeare
July 2nd Review by Walt Kerr
Once again our favorite movie star, Miss Gene Marshall, has shown us what a real actress can do in her interpretation of Hermia, the young girl with many suitors but only one love. As this is one of Shakespeare's great comedys, a lot more goes on with easily four subplots in this play. Many "outsiders" were attending the opening night of this local production and most expected that Gene would be the Queen of the Fairies. Obviously they were unaware that this production is put on every year with our local actress in that part (and Helen was grand as she always is).
Gene brought new meaning to her character and was a joy to behold! Everyone has been impressed with the range in the acting ability she's shown in these two plays. It will be interesting to see how she handles "Anna Christie" by Eugene O'Neil. Can she compete with everyone's memory of the great Greta Garbo in the 1930 film? My vote is with Gene Marshall!
"The Importance of Being Earnest" by Oscar Wilde"
June 17th Review by Walt Kerr
The most important news about this play is YES! that was Gene Marshall with the English accent as the adorable Gwendolen in Oscar Wilde's comedy about the British upper class in Victorian days. Gene was wonderful - this was an excellent vehicle for her even though she hasn't done many comedies in her film career . . . after tonight, one has to wonder why. Her timing and her very serious (and hilarious) discussions on why the name Earnest is so important for her husband were outstanding. And Gene, in her
lovely costume, looked the part of a sweet, but wise, debutante determined to form an advantageous marriage.