Margin For Error


November 7 & 8, 1940


Majestic Theatre


The Nazi Consul in New York is so odious that he tries to get his sceretary to commit suicide so that he will not reveal the Consul’s theft of funds. Certain facts of importance to the German government have been leaking out of the Consul’s office, and he is being recalled to Berlin. Knowing of his wife’s affection for an American newspsperman, the Consul suspects her of being the informer, and he threatens to deport her to Germany unless her lover brings out new headlines in the Consul’s favor. In addition to stolen funds, the Consul has accepted bribes from a Dr. Jennings, whose daughter and son-in-law are in a concentration camp, supposedly to set them free. When Dr Jennings finds out the Consul has failed to to keep his promises, (his daughter has died and his son-in-law has gone insane) he shoots the Consul as he sits listening to a blaring radio speech of Hitler’s. All of the others in the room had their backs to the Consul so no one saw the crime committed. As he attempts to solve the crime a vastly entertaining Jewish policeman slips in some of the shrewdest and most humorous ribbing to be found anywhere. To add to the policeman’s bewilderment, it is revealed that the Consul has also been stabbed and poisoned.

Author: Clare Boothe

Historian’s Corner

Mrs. Ralph Spicer, who played the maid, Frieda, spoke only in German throughout the play. The ushers for this play were originally supposed to wear uniforms, but after some discussion at a board meeting, it was felt that the ushers would not be wearing uniforms just proper dress clothes.