THE MICHIGAN DAILY
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CAI UIWAX, V(%'1'l~ ISER 14, 1967
Waterhole'Fails to Create,
Humor from Inept Drama
Harkness Company Offers
Exciting Contemporary Pieces
- _..__ _.
I ngmar Bergman Series
By RICHARD AYRES
Sometimes, when a movie crew
sets out to make a few million
dollars, they change horses in
mid-stream. If it's a tragedy or
a melodrama they started out to
make, they may discover that the
situation is too unbelievable and
let it lapse over to comedy. This
is clearly what happened with
"Waterhole No. 3."
The first hour of the film, with
a slight change of mood, could
easily have been a Brando-exis-
tential horse opera. James Co-
burn is, in fact, a method actor
with a lot of the same style as
But one can picture him crack-
ing up with laughter after one of
his tough moments (like the gun-
fight in which.the only death in
the film takes place) and saying,
"oh, no, this is too much. If a guy
like me really existed, he'd have
his Pocketbook Camus broken ov-
er his head."
So they decided to doctor up
the script a bit and change the
last five minutes, and they got a
comedy. In fact, the script needed
hardly any changing to turn from
melodrama to comedy. In a mo-
dern, "meaningful" Western, it's
easy to picture the hero locking
up the Sheriff naked and going
to steal his horse; Brando or
Newman might then find the
sheriff's daughter in the barn,
and, with her slightly-concealed
consent, take a roll in the hay.
And so it goes.
All it took to make the change+
was the right kind of smile onr
Margaret Bly's face or the right
motion by Coburn. So now we've
got a comedy on our hands. But
it doesn't act much like a comedy.
James Coburn is not a comic+
character. There is no comic sit-
uation. And the director doesn't'
yet seem to have decided whether
or not he's making a comedy.
Some of the action is made up
of successful parts of other mo-
vies which have been canned and
reproduced in this film. The most
surprising case of this is the gun-
fight at the beginning. There are1
six very specific motions Coburn
makes and angles of the shots
(such as the profile of Coburn
straightening his hat, the shot of
him shaking his hands and walk-1
ing over to "show-down" posi-1
tion) which are taken directlyI
from Coburn's knife-showdown
scene in "Magnificent Seven."
It worked before and it works
here, but you wish Coburn would
think up something new to do
for a "show-down." Furthermore,
the "show-down" is a fragment
which looks nice by itself but
doesn't fit in with the rest of the
movie. This is the problem. "Mag-
nificent Seven" was well inte-
grated and had a specific direc-
tion. "Waterhole No. 3" isn't sure
where it's going and therefore
throws in whatever looked good
in another context.
By ELIZABETH W. BERGMANN
The Harkness Ballet is a young
and energetic group that danced
to an enthusiastic audience last
night in Hill Auditorium. As one
of the few well-financed dance
Nevertheless, although "Water- companies, the company has been
hole No. 3" does not communicate lavishly commissioning new works
any personal feelings, it's nice to from - leading choreographers.
go and watch the film-makers Founder and "angel" Rebekah
enjoying themselves making this Harkness and director Brian Mac-
uneven film. donal are dedicated to the produc-
EMU Supporting Cast Makes
'Harvey' a 17-Karat Production
tion of new and provocative works
in both ballet and modern dance.
The company is essentially bal-
let-trained, and it showed to dis-
advantage in the first two modern
works that were performed. Nor-
man Walker's "Night Song" seem-;
ed disjointed and dull except for
one exciting section danced by
men only. The movement on the
whole was dynamically flat in
contrast to Alan Hovhaness' emo-
tionally packed, "Concerto for
"Feast of Ashes" by Alvin Ailey
was a fiery rendition or Lorca's
"House of Bernarda Alba." The
company made a better showing
in this piece, with Brunilda Ruiz
as a magnificent Adela. The piece
on the whole was effective drama-
tically, but at times seemed stilted
and old hat.
Brian Macdonald, director ofj
the company and choreographerI
for the last two pieces, really
brought out the best in the group.
His "Zealous Variations" to Schu-
bert was absolutely delightful as
it took whimsical liberties with
classical ballet variations.
the company, this piece certainly
showed to best advantage the
strength and vitality of the com-
The Harkness Ballet is aiming
to form a company that can
perform the best modern and
ballet from our contemporary
choreographers. It is a beautiful
ideal, one that hopefully can ma-
terialize. Unfortunately, there
are not too many dancers well
trained in both modern and ballet
As previously mentioned, the
Harkness group is predominately
ballet, trained; this makes their
performance of modern works
weak and it also hampers what
a modern choreographer can
compose for them. Hopefully, this
group will concentrate more of its
efforts on modern techniques so
that it can reach the ideal of be-
ing able to perform all dance
equally well. The Harkness Ballet
has great potential to develop in-
to a really strong and uniqueI
The University Musical Society
opened its Sixth Dance Festival
"THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY"
Saturday, 8:00 P.M.-50c
N EWMAN--331 Thompson
We are now proudly presenting
JAMES CLAVEL'S ^.
66TO SIR, WITH LOVE
_______________ TECHNICOLOR*4 K '
By GAIL LENHOFF
Edward Albee labeled Broadway
the true theater of the absurd.
He was not far from wrong, al-
though admittedly it is a fine
edge that separates the deliberate
inanities of Ionesco's "Bald So-
prano" from the more civilized
and comfortable inanities of Mary
Anyway, the modern intellectual
usually prefers his inanities as
deliberate as possible. Be that as
it is, inanity has become the con-
temporary idiom and the problem
of a producer is how best to ex-
Television fans who relished Art
Carney as Ed Norton, who slosh-
ed around in existential nausea
and sewers before existentialism
was invented, will. probably have
observed performance of same in
Carney immortalized the role
of Elwood P. Dowd, sponsor and
mentor to a gigantic but invisible
white rabbit, well over six foot,
named - you called it, Reader -
Harvey. Carney's body was an
idiom in itself. With one twitch
of his jawbone, he could express
more alienation and despair than
all of Ionesco's works bound to-
And his personal competence
lifted "Harvey" into one hell of
a funny play by pure energy.
Two members of last night's
cast at Eastern Michigan Univer-
sity managed to perpetuate this
tradition. Unfortunately neither
played a leading role. Elwood
Dowd came over as a roly-poly
gentleman far more likely to ways of casting a glance, and
crawl under the bar than sit on sixty-four contortions of the
top of it and tell funny stofies. limbs.
His interpretive abilities flowed To master this requires, in nor-
out clear and smooth as vodka, mal circumstances, a rigorous
that is lacking color and difficult training program of eight years.
to gulp straight. s Ruth Bauer's made it as a fresh-
Veta, his sister was the perfect man. The audience was loving it.
complement, shrieking and kick- . Sh e was dol by
ing up a stream of purple prose
that pierced the eardrums. The Carpenter portraying an asylum
beautiful nurse was not. attendant. Carpenter is roughly
The junior psychiatrist who seven feet tall, with long pendu-
reviewedjMr. Dowd's furry hallu- lous arms and legs that he jerks
cinatory history, appeared to be and swings like an orangoutan.
laboring under a severe case of And like Carney, he is able to
thespian paranoia, leering and deliver soliloquies with an agon-
smirking as though the world, ized shake of his head, not to
the playwrite an the audience mention his knees which rotate
were out to get him. Rest as- in iambic pentameter. When Car-
sured, he escaped. penter entered clicking enormous
Surprisingly,kdespite the weak teeth and hitching up his white
text and 'weaker cast, the playF pants with a lewd grin, the aud-
was a success, largely through the ience burst into spontaneous ap-
abilities of the minor characters. plause.
Myrtle Mae Simmons, played by The climax of the play came
Ruth Bauer, rescued the first act when Carpenter swung into his
by her arresting technique of mov- preliminary moves to seduce Myr-
ing as though under a strobo- tle Mae, Dowd's sheltered niece.
scope. She literally twined, bent Between her stroboscopic efforts
and kicked herself in opposite to escape and his King-Kong-like
directions. inevitable pursuit, the result was
Her facial gestures were as what might be termed sheer spa-
stylized and rapid as though she tial poetry-and ode to body Eng-
had studied' in the Kathakali lish.
theatre, that Oriental genre I can't remember when I have
which employs no verbal expres- enjoyed an evening more and look
sion. The actor communicates forward to the next production by
through an alphabet of signs in- the Eastern Michigan University
cluding nine head motions, eleven players.
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THE MIRISH CORPORATION PRESENTS
JULIE ANDREWS-MAX VON SYDOW-RICHARD HARRIS
in THE GEORGE ROY HILL WALTER MIRISCH PRODUCTION nr"HAWAI I"PANAVISION- COLO1 hvDLaxe
"Time Out of Mind," also by with a wonderful show. Let usI
Macdonald, brought the evening hope that the next two dance
to a strong and biting end. Beau- events in the series are equally4
tifully danced by 14 members of as exciting as the Harkness Ballet.
""M .,::..,. ...>, , .,-. gt ". . .,.. . . .
N111515 NI WILD WEL 00GI
WOERE THE BAD 0GUYS WINl AND THIE 600D GIRLS! fl
FESTIVAL ( . M DI 4
SAT.-SUN. OCT. 14-15
BERGMAN'S I b
This is the widely acclaimed account of a doctor's journey
through a compelling landscape of dream and memory.
Richly visual, startlingly dramatic, a cinematic landmark.
Part 1 portrays a forboding image of i6th century Russia.
Part 2 recounts the murderous plot of the Russian landed
gentry to dethrone Ivan IV. Portions in color.
AKIRA KUROSAWA'S MASTERPIECE
Set in the middle ages it probes the ungraspable quick-
silver nature of truth and subjective rqality. An eloquent
masterpiece brimming with action. A piece of cinema art.
OCT. 20-21 OCT. 22-23 OCT. 24-25
JULES & JIM * L'ADVENTURA LADY VANISHES
the 3rd annual
THE PETRIFIED FOREST
(He's a killer!)
THE MALTESE FALCON
SUNDAY-All Through the Night
Treasure of the Sierra Madre
DOUBLE FEATURES-FREE FOOD
starts at 8 P.M.-$1 .50
Negro Drama Focuses Light
On Hughes''Dark America'
CARROLL O'CONNOR MARGARET BLYE-CLAUDE AKINS
TIMOTHY CAREY-JOAN BLONDEL ,-. mco.w.c. WENCRW
S x JOSEPH T STECK R. YOUNG JOSEPH TS3TECK-ILUM GRAHAAm - ROGER MUER
By RONALD ROSENBLATT
Langston Hughes, until his
recent death was one of the bet-
ter known minor American Negro
writers. Though he never achieved
the creative stature of a Ralph
Ellison or the intellectual influ-
ence of a James Baldwin, Hughes
was a popular writer of plays,
stories, and newspaper columns.
Much of his work was in a
satiric vein, attempting to illum-
inate the problems of American
Negroes through a sort of gentle,
mocking humor. Hughes' best
known creation was "Simple," a
young Negro living in Harlem,
whose thoughts and reflections
form a large part of Hughes'
A Negro actor and director from
Detroit, Powell Lindsay, in keep-
ing with his ambition to create a
theatre that will shed light on
American racial problems, has put
together a dramatic presentation
of Hughes' work entitled "Simple
Speaks His Mind - Langston
Hughes Looks at Dark America."
Lindsay, who has been active
in Negro causes throughout the
United States, directs the play,
which stars Kent Martin, Car-
men Decker, and David Boone.
Martin received Detroit's Best
Actor Award in 1964 for his per-
formance in a Noel Coward play.
The play, which is sponsored
by the Research Association for
Negro History, a Lansing group
interested in making known to
the public contributions by Ne-
groes to history and literature,
will be performed in Ann Arbor
Tonight & Sunday
Part I 1esar
dir. Marcel Pagnol, 1936
tonight at 8 p.m. in ,Trueblood
Auditorium with available tickets
at the box office.
The program which premriered
in Lansing consists of a dramatic
reading of poems, stories, and
humor, with the Earl Nelson
Singers, well known in Michigan
for their faithful renditions of
folk-music, singing blues. There
are also dialogues between the
author and "Simple," narrated
by Lindsay, who has done grad-
uate study at the Yale Drama
The recent unhappy events
throughout America give added
poignance to this attempt to
bring Langston Hughes' humane
wit and humor to the public at
large. Hughes, despite his many
travels abroad; always remained
concerned with the problems of
his native Harlem.
In view of the attention now
being centered on urban racial
problems, tonight's presentation
promises to be actually timely as
well as entertaining.
This saves 50/% ofyour air fare.
To get one, just applyyourself
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