Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
Victor Borge is the only placebo on today's market guaranteed to give you infinite pleasure without at the same time exposing you to cancer, dandruff, bad breath, sore back, upset stomach or any of the other horrors against which the governmnt and media warn us from dawn to dawn.
This invaluable medicine will be available at the Opera House through Saturday night only, and if we're all to psych ourselves up in time for Christmas, a dose of Borge comes just in time.
As the Dane who married the study of English to mastery of the piano, Borge, of course, is known to Americans for presenting the fun as well as the beauty of music and for awakening us to the fairly inexpensive edibility of the Cornish hen, an occupation, we have learned, he has given up because it cost him more to raise them than he sold them at - a preposition I contribute to his collection ofverbal curiosities. As he says, "It's your language."
To theatergoers who may be getting convinced that every actor and actress in the world is appearing in one-character "plays," Borge this time reveals to us a most promising indication. He has doubled the size of his cast and even added snowflakes.
It was 25 years ago, he assures us and I don't believe him, that Borge proved that one man at a piano could pack a Broadway theater for a three-season run.
Since that one-man/filled-theater proposition has proved so unfortunately contagious I take it as a happy sign for the next generation that not only has Borge added Marylyn Mulvey, a beautiful soprano, to his company, but also lures on stage with him an enormous man to turn his pages.
This addition of other characters to his formerly solo performance does, quite seriously, add to his effectiveness as comedian. It gives him an arm to peer over, under of through, a third foot to handle the instrument's third foot pedal. The second male role is mute but effective.
Soprano Mulvey, allowed to reveal a coloratura as lovely as herself, also serves to illustrate Borge's perception of opera plots. He chooses one from the Russian repertoire, generously adds one of those churches with golden onion domes and from above snowflakes alternately scatter or plop.
Finally and, again quite seriously, Borge has mastered over the years a comic's awareness that the smaller the better, the less the more. To play comedy requires taking away, not adding. To be amusing in music is to be able to do it well before doing it funny.