THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Thursdav. March 28. 1968
By THOMAS SEGALL
If there is any truth in the old
theatre saw that a bad dress re-
hearsal bodes well for opening
night, then the Gilbert and Sulli-
van Society's must have had a
simply catastrophic time of it on
Tuesday night. Because last night
the show was simply smashing.
This is the best Gilbert and
Sullivan production that has been
mounted during the two years this
reviewer has been in Ann Arbor.
It was not a flawless show, to be
sure, but the grace with which
small errors were acknowledged
and then disregarded only added
to the delight of the audience.
Which was delighted most of the
What went on between actors
and audience was occasioned only
by what went on between actor
and actor. Dramatics director,
Roger Wertenberger, has given us
a very carefully constructed piece,
but not so careful to avoid the
daring and the unconventional.
Duing Ida's second act solilo-
quy "I built upon a rock" there
were a full fourteen people on the
stage, yet Ida seemed utterly alone
as they gently turned from her.
Her desolation was reinforced:
they were as statues. They were
there and not there.
Not only was visual imagery
bell-clear, so was the diction. We
have partly to thank musical di-
rector Bradley Bloom, who must
have put in long hours with both
chorus and principals. But we
also have to thank choreographers
Kathleen Wilks and Lenore Fer-
ber for holding the singers still
while they were singing, letting
them dance between the verses,
and turning their faces out to-
ward the audience no matter
what they were doing. Which was
usually quite clever.
The gentle parody of college
cheerleaders on the Hip! Hip!
Hooray! of Hildebrand's song
"Now harken to my strict com-r
mand" was a deft stroke.
The orchestra did themselves
proud. They played with great
beauty, though they never over-
powered the singers. So many de-
talis were attended to with such
loving care that it is hard to sep-
arate the parts from such a har-
The settings were marvelous, as
were the costumes. Stage proper-
ties were amazingly complete,
from quill pens writing frantic-
ally on horn books to an apple
in the teacher's hand. And what
a sense of dramatic irony Nelson
Hairston and his prop crew have,
for we all know whose downfall
that apple symbolizes.
Susan Morris's Ida couldn't
have been more perfect. She is
too coquettish to be the suffrag-
ette that Ida might have been.
Her sweet characterization proves
Gilbert to be no woman-hater, as
he has been charged by some
critics, but rather an unbridled
romantic. Ida and the girls, it
seems, are merely unhappy at-the
way the men have treated them.
Playing opposite Miss Morris is
Graham Wilks as Hilarion. He
and his comrades Cyril (William
Pollard) and Florian (Milton
Wright) cut dashing, virile fig-
ures. Wright is the most improved
performer in the Society.
All the principals brought
something unique to their roles,
and unhappily space does not per-
mit their proper praise. You must
go and see them.
The show, however, was stolen
by the chorus, and in this pro-
duction they are the real stars.
They sang with great energy.
They danced with grace. They
acted with conviction. They made
the daring staging work. They
made the clever choreography
sparkle. They made the music
soar. They had better be back,
every last one of them, next fall.
Becaise of this fine perform-
ance we must extend a tradition
of another college Gilbert and
Sullivan society located in an-
other part of this country. Recog-
nition goes to the female chorus
member whose smile has most
inspired the opening night per-
formance. The first semi-annual
Merry Molar Award is hereby pre-
sented to Miss Dawn Scrivnor.
jim peters' music
Philharmonia Offers Precious
Dose of Contemporary Music
(Poid Political Announcement)
W HY WAIT ?
Vote for Max Sham
The City Council's job is to see that the
Building and Safety Dept. enforce the
Building Codes strictly. Why wait? .
DEMOCRAT 3rd WARD -APRIL 1
Last night's New Music for Or-
chestra concert lasted just over
an hour, but with the ten-min-
ute intermission and in innumer-
able time spent rearranging chairs
and percussion on the stage, the
music performed amounted to
much less than half of that time.
The half-hour attempt at bring-
ing the music of young composers
to the stage was not successful,
but each minute at least offered
in live performance the seldom
heard sounds of music today. So,
though not perfect, the half-hour
The concert was divided be-
tween contemporary chamber
work and pieces for full orchestra.
However, I tend to feel this dis-
tinction is now no longer mean-
ingful. The first half featured the
Contemporary Chamber Ensemble
conducted by Sydney Hodkinson,
while Theo Alcantara led the Uni-
versity Philharmonia in the final
The four composers featured
are presently in residence at the
Howard Students Demand
University. Three are students and
the other, Eugene Kurtz is a
Guest Lecturer in Composition
Kurtz' "Conversations for Twelve
Players" was composed in 1966 for
a Festival of Contemporary Am-
erican Music in Paris. I was sure
the twelve instruments would
find their way exactly and ob-
viously into the twelve notes of
the twelve-tone row. But, the
twelve tones were not as apparent
as I expected, and I'm still not
sure if Kurtz has used serial
Beginning with whining wood-
winds over neutral strings, the
piece gradually reveals characters
represented by the twelve instru-
ments. Cello and percussion are
dominant, interrupted often by a
piercing horn and trumpet re-
partee. The sound is busy and
builds to a loud argument between
strings and winds which is hastily
silenced by a huge smash of the
The Chamber Ensemble has ex-
cellent timing and the intricate
rhythms, stuttering pauses, and
snips of melodies came over with
precision and control. But how
can I write about Hodkinson's
interpretation-he seemed more
a referee and expressive metron-
ome than interpretor.
I think the second piece written
by the ensemble's conductor was
most successful. This ten-minute
bit of ferocity entitled "Interplay"
actually bunces one sound against
the next, clarinet against piccolo
rebounding from saxophone to
percussion. The piece seems to
divide around an alto flute solo
which introduces just the sligh-
test hint of melody, setting up
a backboard for more rebounds.
But composer Hodkinson de-
mands much from his performers;
members clicked their tongues and
hissed and offered various mouth
noises while the bass player rhy-
thmically pounded his instrument
and the flautist produced hollow-
air z's - air instead of music.
I liked the simple declarative
sentence which ends the piece (a
flute solo), coming after a section
of icy sound from high clarinet,
piccolo and glockenspiel.
The Philharmonia's two num-
bers seemed to echo the chamber
pieces of the first half. Composit-
ion students Peter Klausmeyer
and William Albright surely do
know how to write, but I grew
tired of the now familiar neutral
mass of sound punctuated errati-
cally with chromatics from var-
Klausmeyer's "Three Pieces for
Orchestra" centers around a tired-
ly atonal section reminiscent of
Ravel's "La Valse." Even .,the
whirling subject of the third sec-
tion comes through lifelessly.
Was it some lack of enthusiasm
in the Philharmonia or merely
too dry orchestral color?
Part One of "Masculine--Fem-
ininex," which was composed with-
in the past few months, was the
finale. Albright concentrates on
string timbre in the first section
of this projected three-part piece.
Metro Kozak's violin solos re-
quired jumps between pizzicato
and bowed lines, but this piece,
as well, struck me as more of
the same artful "sound" of con-
There's a solo for five maracas
near the end of the Albright piece;
with inspiration such as this, it's
little wonder that Alcantara's
Philharmonia just sat there all
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(Continued from Page 1)
emphasize the study of subjects
relevant to black people.
"They (the students) would like
Howard to be more relevant to
the community. The students want
to see projects or programs that
allow them to work in the com-
munity, working with young people
in ghetto areas."
These are not unusual desires
for contemporary college students,
but of course they can't be separ-
ated from the quest for a black
identity that is going on on cam-
puses and in ghettoes around the
At Howard, the search for this
identity is intimately tied to de-
mands for better education and
more student say in campus af-
fairs. The implication of the ad-
ministration's overall stance is
that students should toe the mark
there, because they'll be obliged
to keep on doing so in the white
For increasing numbers of stu-
dents, though, that's what they've
been hearing too long.
At the start of it, there were
few indications that the protest
had a black power dimension.
True, Stokely Carmichael came
out and offered his support in a
brief speech, and the students
referred to each other as brother
and sister. But there were few
other signs of the Black Power
By the weekend, though, more
signs bearing slogans such as
"black is back" were visible. The
administration building had a sign
saying "Black University" promin-
ently displayed in the front. The
marshalls had been renamed the
"Askari," which is Swahili for
None of these indications signi-
fied a major shift in the direction
of the protest. They did suggest,
though, that the sense of unity
generated by the occupation was
based on a realization by stu-
dents that their power could not
be simply categorized as student
power, but rather partook of black
power as well.
If last week showed anything,
though, it showed that Howard
has a student body that is ready
for something better than it has
been getting. A lot will depend,
therefore, on who the board of
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Howard survived -the student
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