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The Boston Globe

Theater & art

Stage Review

A brief holiday from war in ‘On the Town’

Certain eras exert an unshakable hold on the American imagination. We can’t seem to get enough of the 1920s, for instance — a fact that was surely not lost on Baz Luhrmann when he decided to film “The Great Gatsby,’’ or on HBO when it picked up “Boardwalk Empire.’’

The 1940s is another such era. In our reductionist cultural shorthand, we think of the ’40s as a more innocent time, at least on the homefront, far from the World War II battlefields where illusions were scarce.

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