[Ads-l] Theatrical Show: "Wham!"; One-Word Review: "Ouch!"

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sat Feb 19 22:47:52 UTC 2022

On January 28, 2022 I was asked about a one-word review, "Ouch", of a
show titled "Wham!" According to legend, this terse critique was
delivered by Wolcott Gibbs or Alexander Woollcott. Unfortunately, the
Internet Broadway Database (IBDB) provides no evidence of a show
called "Wham!" The earliest match I located for this tale appeared in
1965. Here is a link to the Quote Investigator article:


I expanded my search to look for other short reviews and posted another piece:


Here is an overview of show names followed by reviews. Each date
corresponds to the year the citation mentioning the review appeared.
Some shows and reviews are apocryphal:

1917: A Terrible Night. Quite so.
1920: Pure As Snow. It is not as pure as snow.
1921: An Awful Night. Quite so.
1921: What a Night! Exactly.
1933: A Moral Crime. It was!
1959: Dreadful Night. Precisely!
1959: Oh, Yes! Oh, No!
1965: Wham! Ouch!
1973: Smile, Smile, Smile. I Didn’t, I Didn’t, I Didn’t.
1979: The Cupboard. Bare.

Feedback welcome
Garson O'Toole

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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