Make a Wish (book by Preston Sturges, based on Ferenc Molnar's The Good Fairy; music & lyrics by Hugh Martin;
produced by Harry Rigby & Jule Styne in association with Alexander H. Cohen) has only two real weak points—its music and
its book. There area number of secondary virtues. Its scene designer, Raoul Pene Du Bois, has splashed it with bright Parisian
color. Its star, Nanette Fabray, is extremely engaging and girlish. Harold Lang and Helen Gallagher are an expert dance team,
who have bounce without brashness, know how to handle a song. Melville Cooper is so finished a character actor that he raises
a laugh where almost no one else would even reach for one. And Gower Champion's choreography is consistently lively. A
students' ball is made downright bacchanalian; and a department-store bargain sale inspires the most hilarious ballet since
Jerome Robbins' Mack Sennett masterpiece in High Button Shoes.
But Make a Wish is no more than a frequently glittering makeshift. There is little story: Miss Fabray is a pretty French orphan
who solves the problem of impecunious youthful love by playing hard to get with well-heeled middle-aged lust. But never did
such a small amount of story entail such a vast amount of book. With almost nothing to go on, it seems to go on forever. Nor
is Hugh Martin's score any real help. There are occasional pleasant tunes, such as "Who Gives a Sou?". But the score is no more
catchy than it is distinguished; and the lyrics, though now & then clever, are never crisp. This is too bad, for Make a Wish offers
a nice meal, barring the meat & potatoes.