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February 25, 1968 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 1968-02-25

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Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Sunday, February 25,;1968

Page Two THE MICHIGAN DAILY

-.

music

theatre

Detroit Has 'Experience'

Meadowbrook's 'Lear

' Will Improve with Age

By BOB WINSHALL

i

The much-heralded Jimi Hen-
drix Experience blew into Detroit
Friday night, and the repercus-
sions were more than you'd expect
from a simple rock show. Preceded
by three other rock groups, Jimi
and his two sidemen (bass and
drums) did not perform -until 2%/
hours after the concert began.
When the equipment for Jimi's
act was finally assembled on stage
-4. amps and 10 speakers for a
guitar and a bass-the trio began
the Experience.
You were first struck by Jimi's
cool as he played, with a relaxed
stance, loose arms, expressionless
face. This was in sharp contrast to
the fast, ear-spliting, mind-bend-
ing leads that he coaxed out of his
guitar.
He didn't coax an equivalent
response from the audience, how-
ever; he made little attempt to
reach his audience except through
his music, which would have been
all right except that difficulty with
the equipment caused a muddling
of the voices and instruments. He
never smiled once. It was hard to
say if he was that way because
he was so calm and relaxed or be-
cause he was cold and bored.
Jimi's music, for those of you
who aren't experienced, consists of
a driving bass line with a heavily-
accented drum backup, sharp,
highly-amplified g u i t a r leads
Jimi's slow, unmelodic voice, and
gross brutality.
His fast songs have a frantic
quality to them, accentuated by
the complex mixture of the three
loud instruments, which threatens
to burst the listener's head, wheth-
er he be straight or stoned. Slow
songs like "Hey Joe" are soft and
dreamlike, encouraging you to nod
your head and sway your body to
the slow but insistent beats.
There was such inconsistency;
even when he did what should
have been a sensational and emo-
tional act-a bump-and-grind with

the guitar head protruding be-
tween his legs-he seemed coldly
deliberate, as if to say, "Isn't this
the filth you want to see and
scream at?" It was an affront to
the audience, very different from
the frenzied humping of a per-
former like Howling Wolf.
At the end of the performance,
Jimi was supposed to have said,
"I'm sorry-everything went wrong
-it was a bad night." If that was
a bad night, I can't wait to see a
good one. Using techniques rem-
iniscent of Buddy Guy, Jimi play-
ed the guitar with his teeth, with

one hand and behind his back.I
About his guitar-playing, the
L.A. Free Press once stated, "Hen-
drix doesn't just play a guitar-
he rapes it, abuses it, violates it,
eats it and masturbates it." The
rape and abuse were part of the
finale as Jimi, poised like a mata-
dor for the moment of truth,
charged and pierced an amp. It
seemed that a cold anger was
driving him to repeatedly smash
the sound system.
It was indeed a strange scene:
the maker of *the sounds was tak-
ing the instrument that produced
the sounds and destroying the in-
strument which allowed us to hear
the sounds.
He alternately thrust the guitar
like a lance and rubbed it against
the amp. He then sat on the guitar
and' attempted to rip out the
strings. By this time, those on the
main floor were on their feet. The
most frightening thing was that
the audience began clapping and
cheering at the destruction, like a
scene from the movie "Privilege,"
except that the cops were knock-
ing around the audience instead
of the performer.

By RICHARD KELLER SIMON
It is worth the trip to Oak-
land University to see the John
Fernald Company production of
"King Lear."
It was good enough on open-
ing night to indicate that it
will become much better in the
course of run. (Meadowbrook
Theatre is presenting it through
March 24). On Friday night,
"Lear" was erratically moving.
The "good" characters were
human and understandable;
the "evil" characters were not.
Yet, enough actors were in
the spirit of the play to carry
the mood across to the aud-
ience. One was able, rather
easily to ignore the weak char-
acters and the weak scenes,
without being annoyed by
them. Hopefully, this mood of
humanity will take over the
entire production in the com-
ing weeks.
"Lear" had obviously not had
enough time to grow on all the
actors. It is a play about com-
passion, that teaches its char-
acters compassion, and de-
mands compassion of its ac-

was just bad. Joshua Bryant
(as Edgar) was fine as Mad
Tom, but boy scoutish and ju-
venile as a son. (In the last
scene, Lear over Cordelia, Mr.
Bryant even put his hand over
his heart).
When, the children had the
stage to themselves, one prefer-
red to ignore them. There were
two particularly stupid mo-
ments. One was Edmund kiss-
ing Goneril. done in bizarre
melodramatic style. The other
was the accumulation of dead
bodies at the end of the play.
Regan and Goneril are brought
out on the stage, all tangled
together, and Edmund proceeds
to die right on top of them.
The audience laughed. It was
too contrived.
The play moved to its great-
est heights when Gloucester

and Lear meet each other for
the last time. Gloucester says,
"Let me kiss that hand," and
Lear replies. "Let me wipe it
first. It smells of mortality."
Nothing else came near to
matching this moment.
Colin Pinney (Kent) was
magnificent. In a production
where many actors tried to
achieve pace by rushing
through lines, thereby keeping
the audience from understand-
ing the language. Pinney spoke
clearly and well. He was funnier
than the fool (Richard Cur-
nock) and more Lear's child
than was Cordelia. The Fool
jabbered away at his repartee
so quickly that he just con-
fused. The "Lear" fool is a par-
ticularly difficult one, and when
Curnocks spoke more slowly he
did the role justice.

4
*

Fernald's Program Cover

dance

i

Dance Show
By CATHERINE SPINGLER
The variety of the program,
the evidence of talent and tech-
nically smooth production pro-
vided a stimulating evening for
the audience at the Concert
Dance Organization performance
at Barbour Gyrhnasium last night.
The high point of the evening
was "Transfiguration," choreo-
graphed by Elizabeth Weil Berg-
mann. Powerfully dramatic,
danced 4ith controlled ability by
Mrs. Bergmann and James Pay-
ton, the work seemed to evoke
the horrors of the Inquisition or
the power of an executioner over

JIMI'S newest release, "Axis:
Bold as Love."

'Stimulating'
a Christian martyr. Defiance, des-
pair and brutality were conveyed
directly with no melodramatic
overtones.
"Tinsika Taka," choreographed
by Ann Chammah, was witty and
well executed. The constantly
shifting patterns of gold and red
were so well designed that the
viewer was never aware that eigh-
teen dancers had taken part in
the work until they all appeared
for the curtain call.
A dance called "Nothing and
It's Possibilities," choreographed
and danced by Janet, Wynn Des-
cutner, left one with the peculiar
feeling that he had just witnessed
the fantasies of a very lonely
person. Dressed in a depressing,
shapeless gown, meant to conceal
form and content, working with
a single straight chair, Mrs. Des-
cutner alternated gay lyric dan-
ces with imagined partners with
an almost frenzied portrayal of
a trapped soul. The lighting de-
signs of Peter Wilde added a
great deal to the dramatic in-
terest of the dance as shadows
played across the face of the
dancer and the space around her.
"Water Study," a dance by
Doris Humphry, reconstructed
from a Labanotation score by
Mrs. Descutner,was a represent-
ation, in abstract, of water move-
ment.I

tors. As an actor, it helps if
you like the character you are
playing. If this is impossible,
at least you can be syipa-
thetic and understanding. You
must not like the role as much
as you appreciate the character.
To do the first is to show your-
self off (the bastard Edmund
prances around the stage with
an eerie glint in his eye; Gone-
ril does a rather stiff Lady
Macbeth). To do the second
is to show the play off. The
humanity of the evil charac-
ters is infinitely harder to at-
tain, but infinitely more valu-
able for the impact of "Lear."
The emphasis of the Fernald
production was on Lear as man
(not as father) and Gloucester
as man (not as father). The
directorial focus (there are
scenes cut from the script)
made all the children suffer,
good and bad, while it did not
make the central figures any
less human.
Eric Berry (as Lear) got off
to a slow start in the first
scenes of the play. He alterna-
ted between a high raspy
shout, as King, and a gentle
quietness, as Friend-of-the-
Fool. If Berry had degrees be-
tween the two, they did not
become noticeable until the last
half of the play.
The first Lear used a fren-
zied alternation, while the sec-
ond Lear (from the storm scene
onward) used a slow beautiful
build. From the moment when
he screamed at the thunder
and defied the rain, to his last
whisper, he was truly superb.
The fact that the audience
could not hear the other char-
acters speak very well during
the storm only added to the
glory of Lear.
George Guidall (as Glouces-
ter) was uniformly good. His
only bad moments were in cer-
tain line deliveries. When Ed-
gar says to him "Ripeness at
all," he agrees instantly. It was
puzzling in light of his previous
recalcitrance. But this sort of
objection is small indeed. Guid-
all made the Gloucester blind-

ing scene powerful by himself,
without aid of the other ac-
tors.
Unfortunately, the children
were another story. Jill Tan-
ner (Goneril), Barbara Caruso
(Regan) and Lorna Lewis
(Cordelia) were never com-
pletely credible. Of the three,
Miss Caruso was the best; her
Regan was less stick-like than
Miss Tanner's Goneril, and less
egotistical than Miss Lewis'
Cordelia. Goneril was amusing
but Cordella was embarrassing-
ly bad.
Of course, the play suffered
most from the failure of the
good daughter. Miss Lewis
never seemed to care about
anything but herself. When
she finds her father, she acts
like the Good Fairy out of any
children's story. Instead of
speaking to him, she speaks to
the audience (it had the ef-
fect of upstaging him needless-
ly). She did not speak, she pro-
nounced. Cordelia never found
the gentleness which her fa-
ther achieved.
Gloucester's two sons be-
come v e r y minor figures.
Booker Bradshaw (Edmund)

GUILD HOUSE
---802 Monroe
Monday, February 26
NOON LUNCHEON
25c
PROF. ALEXANDER ECKSTEIN, Dept. of Economics
"CHINESE MOTTO AND
THE THIRD WORLD"
Tuesday, February 27
NOON SYMPOSIUM
'SOCIAL CHANGE''
Lunch 25c
speaker to be announced

:

FIT AVE

Sun.-"Sneak"-9:00
Sun.-"War"-1-3-5-7-10:20
Mon. thru Wed.-7:00-9:00

0

Helsinki Shines in Native Music

By MICHAEL BEEBIE
Last night at Hill Aud. Jorma Panula con-
ducted the Helsinki Symphony in an excellent
concert that featured the music of three Finnish
composers-Rautavaara, Sibelius and Kalmi. The
whole performance was dominated by excellent
musicsianship and the lucid interpretations of
Panula, especially the pieces by the Finnish
composers.
Einojuhani Rautavaara's "A Requiem in Our
Time" for 13 brass and percussion instruments
made use of Gregorian hymns and tropes. The
"dies irae" used the rhythm and melodic outline
of the 12th cen'tury tune rather than the precise
melody.
The final movement, "Lacrymosa," com-
pleted the suite well. The composer's use of con-
trast between the woodwind-like muted trum-
pets and an excellent, well-phrased baritone horn
solo captured the mood of tribulation that is in
the original hymn.
Jean Sibelius' incidental music to Hjalmar
Procope's drama "Belshazzar's Feast" presents
a suite of tone poems which overshadows the
play of Sibelius' friend.
"Oriental Procession" revealed the subtle
control which Panula wielded in his use of
dynamics to emphasize the subtle nuances of

the themes. In "Night Music" the flute soloist's
very good phrasing and tone contrasted well
with the strings to produce a thin, clear texture.
Throughout the composition, the string sec-
tion played with conciseness and unity. Even
when in an accompanying role, the strings man-
aged to sound soft yet full-bodied.
Not until Uuno Klami's "Scherzo" and "For-
ging of the Sampo" were the strings given an
opportunity to dominate the orchestra. In these
two movements from Klami's "Kalevala" Suite
the strings performed with tone and sensivity.
They were especially good when contrasted wth
the other sections to create the smooth, quick
changes of texture and mood which marked the
"Scherzo."
In "Forging- of the Sampo," Panula's careful
control of dynamics and tempi created an air
of fair magic which built to a well conceived,
percussive ending.
The second half of the concert was devoted
to Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5 in E minor.
Panula's intelligent phrasing and dynamic
shading brought out the subtleties of the themes,
but the tendency of the different sections in
the orchestra to act as separate units rather
than parts of a whole was a liability to the over-
all mood of the Symphony.

lucxa w
LHSTERIS

HELD OVER Thru Wednesday
"QUALITY AND IMPACT"
-Ellen Frank, Michigan Daily
"I WOULD LIKE TO SEE IT 20 TIMES"
-San Francisco Chronicle
"WW II WITHOUT ITS PANTS ON"
-Ramparts Magazine
MICHAEL CRAWFORD " JOHN (Beatle) LENNON
Snggsted For Mature Audienoes

SNEAK PREVIEW-TONIGHT 9:00
FIRST RUN DRAMA IN COLOR FOR ADULTS
"HOW I WON THE WAR" WILL FOLLOW AT 10:20
THU RSDAY-"LA GUERRE EST Fl NI E"

a U

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AWAR D
NOMINATIONS. ..
TECHNICOLOR PROM WARNER BROS.-SEVEN ARTS

I

Study in
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The Guadalajara Summer School,
a fully accredited University of
Arizona program, conducted in co-
operation with professors from
Stanford University, University of
California, and Guadalajara, will
offer July 1 to August 10, art, folk-
lore, geography, history, language
and literature courses. Tuition,
board and room is $290. Write Prof.
Juan B. Aael, P.O. Box 7227, Stan-
ford, California 94305.

"P

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Department of R omance Languages

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SUNDAY Matinees
not continuous

drama by ANTONIO BUERO VALLEJO
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; Between Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor

TICKETS ON SALE

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meets the "GEORGY GIRL"
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STORY OF THE YEAR!

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in METROCOLOR and FRANSCOPE
Wed., Sat., Sun. 1-3-5-7-9
Mon., Tues., Thur., Fri., 7-9

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.For-the inos'tmature

METRO-GOLDWYN MAYER PREsEM, A JOSEPH JANNI PRODUCTION
JULIE CHRISTIE - TERENCE STAMP
PETER FINCH
. . ..'U? U 'i

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