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April 03, 1968 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 1968-04-03

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Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Wednesdov. Aoril 1968

PaeTw HEMCHGN AL

IF T N.% nv nrl QJ. Y PIII-.?I1 11 W

0

theatre

Midsummer Night': A Confusion of Styles

U.S. Bombs Targets
In Panhandle Region

By DEBORAH LINDERMAN
So many attractive people
and so much considered imagi-
nation are involved in the
Stratford Theater's production
of A Midsummer Night's Dream
that one feels misanthropic for
pronouncing it a disappoint-
ment. Even making allowances
for a "foreign" stage which
seemed often to cramp both the
company and the dimension
that the play was geared to,
and for a certain opening-night
woodenness, the production is
curious. It seems fairly shred-
ded by a queer convergence of
"styles."
For one thing, it has been up-
dated, and this mode in Shakes-
peare production has its an-
noyances. Presumably the ra-
tionale is that Shakespeare is
universal and so why not see
how he fits any time, any place
(enter, for example, Richard
Burton as Hamlet, in tuxedo).
But the end result sometimes
has the opposite effect of giv-
ing the play the quality of a re-
vival, as though the merits of

"pure Shakespeare" are doubt-
ful.
However, one need be neither
anti-innovation nor a Shakes-
peare idolator to wonder why
this Midsummer Night's Dream
is put squarely in mid-19th
century France (the tasty cos-
tuming tells us so straight-
away). If one effect is to min-
imize a too high and sentimen-
tal potential for gossamer and
moonshine, another is to give
it an awkward Republican air.
Thus, the characteris-
tic Shakespearean point-coun-
terpoint, between the court
and the "rude mechanicals"
each absorbed with a marriage
song, somehow assumes an "in-
teresting" democratizing: the
moral matter of class plays un-
wontedly over the contrast be-
tween loftiest and 'humblest.
These are the hyper-civilized
bourgeoisie and the guild folk.
These'us and Hippolyta, the
majesty taken out of them, are
played as a pair of drawing
room sharpies with cigar and
fan; Bottom is done. with an

over-affability that makes him
seem more your friendly grocer
than the traditional self-pos-
sessed lout who lords it fatu-
ously, unshakeably, over his
fellows.
It is probably true, of course,
that when they are removed
from an idealized Classical-
Elizabethan world and trans-
ferred to the atmosphere of
French satire, we are told un-
equivocally what fools these
mortals be. The play does have
a -strong strain of parody in it,
for the three sets of lovers are
not so much real people as
lovesick nonentities, caught, in
all the dire throes of fickleness
and ardor. And the tradition of
French satire may very well
sharpen the stereotype, but this

is as much sense as one can
make of it.
Another flaw in the produc-
tion is related to this "dull-
ness' of the lovers, for though
force of personality is certain-
ly not in question, they should
not be dramatically -dull. With
the exception of Helena, who
is played remarkably with a
kind of noisy straightforward-
ness of the plain girl, the com-
edy of non-entity doesn't quite
come off. And here, as else-
where in the play, dramatic
dullness is compensated by a
lot of "business." When, for
instance, Helena suddenly finds
that both suitors, Lysander and
Demetrius, have switched their
affections from Hermia to her,
a cumbersome lot of swordplay

between the two swains inter-
feres with word-play, instead
of enhancing it, as if the script
itself were too flimsy.
Similarly, Puck's jauntiness
is embellished with much dash-
ing off and double-taking; this
kind of thing needs rapid-fire
timing to seem natural and not
come off ahead of its cue. In
the performance I saw, this
precariousness was not over-
come. The same overwrought
quality ran through wjth Snug
winking incessantly at Theseus
and everyone cavorting around
in a whipped-up way that com-
promises the native low-key of
the Pyramus and Thisbe bur-
lesque.
The "point" in A Midsumnmer
Night's Dream, as in every

StrangeThings- at Canterbury

dream, is that anything might
happen, and the best, maddest
scenes are those in the "bot-
tomless" forestwhere everything
does. The set is a ' spangled
scrim, the . costumes of the
fairies are at once rich and
scanty, and the mood has a
strangely psychedelic flavor-
quite decidely contra 19th cen-
tury France-altogether appro-
priate to the "visions" of the
slumberers. Douglas Rain's bot-
tom with the ass' head is the
entire crux of the play's humor;
the head, which is immobile,
seems to roll its eyes, Titania
passionately and absurdly en-
twines herself around its ears
and Rain brays faintly brid-
ging syllables.
But the chaos of the dream
can be real and threatening, as
well as comic, and it is one of
the best features of the pro-
duction that the fairies are not
played as delicate slips of
things. Titania and Oberon are
life-size, with fierce jealousies
and passions though Titania is
perhaps too uniformly imperi-
ous for comic requirements. Be-
cause the "dream" is real-
dramatically realized - the
spectator does feel that he has
truly come through something
when the fifth act begins.
The sets are light, and scenes
fall steadily into each other;
choreography and song are po-
tentially fine, but again seem
tailored for a larger stage.
Rain's Bottom is polished and
sure; Puck has_ a gimmicky
jerkiness and what seems to be
an Australian drawl which,
though it fits the meddler that
"he" is, just adds another
quirk to the play. Yet it seems
that all the peculiar diversity
might be unified by somemast-
erly stroke which would give it
verve; it is as if the whole af-.
fair only waits to have life
breathed into it to make it fill
out its seams and emerge as
"very midsummer madness."

(Continued from Page 1)
policy Sunday night, Johnson had
left the impression that ' air at-
tacks would be confined to the
immediate area of the demilitar-
ized zone between South and
North Vietnam.
Since then, Fulbright said, raids
have extended more than 200
miles north of the zone.
Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin
said last night the time has come
for the United States to under-
stand the only way it can escape
from Vietnam is to "cease its ag-
gression."
Kosygin, visiting Iran, spoke at
a banquet in his honor. The com-
ment was his first on the Viet-
nam situation since Johnson Sun-
day night order to curtail the
bombings.-
No Reference
The Soviet leader, made no ref-
erence in his speech to Johnson's
move or to the President's deci-
sion not to run for re-election.
On his arrival earlier in the day,
he declined to comment when
asked by newsmen for his views
on Johnson's decision.
In London, the Soviet ambassa-
dor to Britain has turned a cold
shoulder to a British overture for
Vietnam peace talks based on the
President's bombing cutback, but;
Moscow and Hanoi maintained!
official silence yesterday.
Seeking a resumption of the
Geneva conference on Vietnam, of
which the Soviet Union and Bri-
tain are co-chairmen, British For-
eign Secretary Michael Stewart'
met for 45 minutes Monday night
with Ambassador Mikhail Smirn-
ovsky and told him he was ready
to fly to Moscow to see Foreign
Minister Andrei Gromyko.
Not Encouraged
"Mr. Smirnovsky restated some
of the familiar Russian and North
Vietnamese positions so you could
not say I was encouraged," Stew-
art said in a television interview
afterward.
But, he added: "This move will
not have been wasted. It will
prove in time to be part of the

process that in the end will get
peace.'
Smirnovsky told newsmen John-
son's limitation of the bombing of
North Vietnam was "incomplete"
and "not unconditional," as the
North Vietnamese had demanded.
His remark echoed comments in
a dispatch from Washington by
Tass, the official Soviet news
agency.
Expected Delay
The. delay in official reaction.
from Moscow and Hanoi was not
unusual, but various unofficial
comments indicated Moscow and
Hanoi would reject Johnson's
overture for peace negotiations.
Officials in Europe familiar with
Vietnamese affairs. predicted that W
Hanoi would reject peace talks on
the ground that parts of North
Vietnam were still' being bombed.
However, the North Vietnamese
delegation in Paris relayed a copy
of Johnson's speech to Hanoi.
In Cairo, a member of a visit-
ing Viet Cong delegation said the
President's speech indicated "the
Americans mean no peace and
our people have no choice but to
continue fighting." The delegate,
Pham Van Quang, observed that
Johnson said he was sending more
troops to Vietnam and was seeking
an increase in war expenditures.
I
DIAL 5-6294

A look at
Daniel Okrenit
by A Reader
To the Editor.:
I have just seen The President's Analyst and recalling Daniel
Okrent's review of that movie I feel I can no longer remain silent.
Mr..Okrent seems to have no idea that the critic's job is to provide
analysis of a film by examining what is in the film itself; it is not
'his job to find the most fashionable current critical stances, identify
with them and then stand pat.
His review of Closely Watched Trains was silly enough. Critic-
izing a superb film for its lack of flashy cinematic technique the
type of which he so vehemently objected to in The Graduate, was
hypocritical and foolish, if not perverse. Anyway, Deborah Linder-
man's review, a fine analysis of Closely Watched Trains on its own
terms, rather than in relation to what techniques are in vogue,
contrasts nicely with Okrent's Olympian pronouncement that the
movie might have been a good play.
Another Okrent effort concerned Elvira Madigan. He was not
content to tell us why he enjoyed that movie but found it neces-
sary to (supposedly in clarification) tell us why we liked A Man
and A Woman and why (forgiving our ignorance and lack of sen-
sitivity) we really shouldn't have.
We are, however, reassured of Mr. Okrent's own sensitivity
in his review(?) of Cop-Out, which was worthy of that Muovie
in its pseudo-chicness; for he tells us that such terrible films make
him "physically ill." I hope that he has sufficiently recovered.
Finally, we have Okrent's column on The President's Analyst,
wherein he allies himself with fashionable anti-Uncletomism, anti-
middle class, and anti-Hollywood forces, almost totally disregarding
the movie while making his judgments. He calls Godfrey Cam-
bridge "the white man's black man" (Sidney Poitier has become
too obvious nowadays for this favorite New Lefty taunt, so Okrent
found a new target) which has nothing to do with the quality of
Cambridge's performance. He criticizes the portrayal of the hippie
group as "inaccurate" (we all know that a middle-class American
director couldn't possibly know (what the hippie movement is "real-
ly" about, don't we?) even though the portrayal is meant to be
satirical albeit fairly sympathetic. And he condemns the movie
simply because it's from Hollywood (obviously those sell-outs
couldn't possibly make a good film; we all know that the great
filmmakers are in the Village or Paris).even though doing so is as
unfair as to condemn a review simply because it is by Mr. Okrent
(as- some of my less thoughtful friends have done).
- ..--David Morris, '89

NOMINATED FOR
4 ACADEMY
AWARDS

Truman Capote's.,,
IN COLD
BLOOD
~"LEAVES ONE
CH'LLED!"
-N..Times
Wdnen io the sqeen and daeetdby
ichard Brooks
Positwey no one under,16 admitted uflI%
.accomoanled by a parent or guardan

-Daily-Bernie Bltker
The Third Incident Company's Points of Interest opened last night at Canterbury House. An
experimental presentation in cinema-theater, the show is directed by Alan Finneran, Grad, and
was created for his Master of Fine Arts degree. Canterbury will present the show's last perform-
ance tonight at 8:30 p.m. Admission is $1.00.

TONIGHT AT
7-9 P.M.

1
WAMW

DIAL
8-6416

4
a

ANDRE KOLE
FRIDAY, APRIL 5
MICHIGAN UNION
BALLROOM
7:30 P.M.
GET TICKETS NOW
ON DIAG $1.25
SPONSORED BY
CAMPUS CRUSADE FOR CHRIST

"Exquisite is only the first word that surges in my mind as an
appropriate description of this exceptional film. Its color is
absolutely gbrgeous. The use of music and, equally eloquent, of
silences and sounds is beyond
verbal description. The perform- . '
ances are perfect-that is the only
word." - Bosley
Crowther, N ew>
York Times. "May
well be the most
beautiful film ever
made." - News- "
week.

Ending Thursday
GEORGE SEGAL
PHYLLIS NEWMAN
GODFREY CAMBRIDGE
in"A
'BYE, BYE BRAVERMAH"'

11

COMING: 1
"THE* iE U
FOX"
-someties truth is more exciting

I

761-9700
Vth Forutm.
HELD OVER
Mon. thru Thurs. 700 and 9:15

11

CINEMA II
presents

WORLDWAR III
in three award-winning films
"End of August at the Hotel Ozone"
"Summer War"
"Dodge City"
FRIDAY, APRIL 5 7:00,& 9:15 P.M.
SATURDAY, APRIL 6 7:00, 9:15 & 11:15 P.M.

I

NAINLGNRA OPR O

EATIOA E EALCORPRTO
FOX EASTERN TtEATRESM
STARTS TODAY FH VILL 6E
375 No.MAPLE RD.-"769-1300

Mon.-Thurs. 7:00-9:20
Fri. 700-9:20-11:20
Sat. 3:00-5:00-7:10-9:20-11:20
Sun. 1 :00-3:00-5:00-7:10-9:20

® r- Program
Information
NO 2-6264

1 :15
3 :15 PAAMUMIRicies F
5:15
7:20 ( W
9:25
amrAmNN

I

I

I

THIS WEEK
THURSDAY and FRIDAY, April 4, 5
A MIDSUMMER
N IGHT'S DREAM
Directed by Max Reinhardt, 1935
Based on the play by William Shakespeare. Star-
ring: JAMES CAGNEY, DICK POWELL, MICKEY
ROONEY, OLIVIA de HAVILLAND, and ARTHUR
TREACH ER.
SATURDAY and SUNDAY, April 6, 7
THE PASSION OF

NOMINATED FOR
A CADEMY AWAR DS!
BEST PICTURE
OF THE YEAR!
BEST ACTOR
.: SPENCER TRACY
BEST ACTRESS
KATHARINE HEPBURN
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
CECIL KELLAWAY
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
BEAR RICHARDS.
BEST DIRECTOR
STANLEY KRAMER
BEST SCREENPLAY
WILLIAM ROSE
BEST FILM EDITING
BEST ART DIRECTION
BEST MUSIC AND SCORE

Starts TOMORROW

LOOK OUT, RAVI

I
4

... It's SELLERS on SITAR

(?)

THE MIRISCH CORPORATION presents
A BLAKE EDWARDS PRODUCTION

CLOSELY
WATCHED
TRA 14S
A Carlo Pood promatatim
Distributedby EXSijma III-A Filwata O mpa7
HIGH CAMP

I

L ~ I i

I,

I - ~ U I - ixx

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