Reprinted from yesterday's late editions
It has taken the Cultural Arts Committee of Cleveland's United Labor Agency to perceive John L. Lewis as potential for a one-man stage portrait. Writer James A. Brown has achieved an illuminating work, "John L. Lewis: Disciple of Discontent," which veteran Robert Lansing has been performing before labor groups. monday night an invited audience of national leaders saw the single local performance in L'Enfant Plaza's American Theater.
Throghout the script incidents of labor and war, of presidents and politicians, of the powerful and the powerless might have come from current reportage, not labor's historical record.
Lansing and Brown benefit inmensely from Lewis himself, a deep-voiced, heavy man whose bushy eyebrows were as forceful as his roaring erudition. in commenting on FDR's curse on both the houses of labor and management, Lewis began: "It ill behooves one who has supped at labor's table." About the Taft-Hartley bill he thundered: "You cannot starve labor and fatron industry under the banner of patriotism."
Such ringing verbiage plus sly humor provide lines Lansing relishes. Physically, he strongly suggests the once-famed image, bristling eyebrows, hair parted just off the middle, the heavy slow-moving body. Except for allowing his own dark hair to creep under the back of his wig, Lansing's is a vivid characterization. Too bad it was for one night only.