THE MICHIGAN DAILY
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 1967
E~AG~ TWO THE MIChIGAN DAILY THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 1967
BOMBARDMENT OF SIGHTS, SOUNDS:
Gilbert and Sullivan s 'Mikado'
Commits Theatrical Hari-Kari
By THOMAS SEGALL !
Unhappily, the news from Men-'
delssohn Theatre is not good. The
Gilbert and Sullivan Society's
"production of "The Mikado" has
seriously missed the mark.
This is not just a matter of
.opening night jitters, a missed
cue here, or a clumsily executed
scene there. Unpleasant as it is
to say, this production had little
to do with Gilbert and Sullivan,
and little to do with good theatre.
Its gravest failing is simply that
it failed to tell the story, and that,
after all, is rather crucial. The
biggest problem was understand-
ing the spoken and sung words,
most of which were unintelligible.
There are a number of key
parts of the dialogue such as
Pooh-Bah's (Zalman Usiskin) first
act speech which explains how
things got the way they are. This
was delivered with so much ex-
By FRITZ LYON'
The Speech . Department Lab
Theatre's predilection for present-
ing one-act plays by George Ber-
nard Shaw this semester has not
been particularly rewarding, with
the exception of "The Village Woo-
ing" two weeks ago.
Style is often the problem, and
many of the student directors have
neglected the restraint necessary
for British comedy and inappro-
priately injected American bur-
lesque into Shaw. Too often, the
actors resort to a frantic exaspera-
tion, perhaps suited to the lines
but not to the mood of the plays.
In spite of a similar handicap
in this week's production of "The
Inca of Perusalem," directed by
Susan Demirsky, Shaw's verbose
dialogue and extended builds were
played with enough skill and va-
riety to capture the humor without
boring the audience.
Chiefly responsible was William
Moore (the Inca) who combined a
properly stiff manner with well-
meaning arrogance to produce a
bumbling aristocrat worthy of the
best Shavian comedy.
Kathleen McGill (Ermyntrude)
portrayed the more difficult role
requiring audacity without the
traneous motion and Pooh-Bah's 1ijul puns thrown away. When
irritating habit of dragging the
pace that the audience lost the gist
of his message.
Distraction is the primary tac-
tic of Director James N. Holm, Jr.
Our attention is forever being
drawn away from an important
song by extraneous stage business,
as in Pish-Tush's (Dale Helms)
first act song, 'Our Great Mikado,
Instead of having a mime quar-
tet act out the words of the song,
a rather amateurish thing, Gilbertf
and Sullivan would have been,
much better served if Pish-Tush
.had just come down and sung the
song to the. audience so that we,
could understand it.
Not only did unrelated "bits"
substitute for an interesting story,
the preoccupation with stage busi-
ness was so great that legitimate
bits were passed over and delight-
typically American brash, coarse
quality that usually accompanies
that audacity among local actors.
Although she was not entirely suc-
cessful, her enthusiasm and stage
charm made up for an occasional
lack of reserve.
The second play on the bill,
"The Truth About the Truth," by
Benn Levy, directed by Ed Van
Cleef, wasn't nearly as good. Also
a comedy, this play is like tele-
vision-imitation Pirandello, and
the dialogue is miserably uninte-
resting, depending on the device
of the situations to cover the ab-
sense of wit.
The saving grace is Marilyn Mil-
ler (the maid) whose raucous
Brooklynese delivery during the
first ten minutes of the show was
Unfortunately, the play deterior-
ates into a stock comedy soon af-
ter, and reasonable performances
by the actors can't lift it up again.
This could easily be the fault'of the
play and not the production.
The two plays together provide
an hour and a half of good student
theatre without the usual cost of
admission. At the Arena Theatre
in the Frieze Building, 4:10 Thurs-
day afternoon performance.
N a n k i- P o o (Graham Wilks)
threatens to hang himself unless
alowed to marry Yum-Yum (Su-
san Morris), her guardian refuses
If Ko-Ko (Michael Harrah) can
draw the line, says Nanki-Poo, so
can he. But the rope had already
been pulled tip out of sight on
that skyhook, the connection was
not made visually, and Gilbert's
double meaning was missed.
None of the requisites for Gil-
bert and Sullivan were fulfilled.
Clumsiness took the place of
grace. Diction was poor. Joy was
lacking. Even on a technical basis,
the simplest tenets were violated.
Most of the players sang to the
wings rather than turning their
faces out toward the audience.
This year's Mikado can only
comesas ardisappointment after
two quite good productions mount-
ed by the Society last year. What
consolation could be found was
due principally to one of the old
guard, Susan Morris.
Miss Morris is an accomplished
actress and singer, and made a
most charming Yum-Yum. She
has great technical control, both
of her body and voice, and she
'knows when to be still on the
Some very nice moments were
also provided by Michel Harrab
in the role of Ko-Ko, the Lord
High Executioner. After a rather
harrowing and dissonant begin-
ning, Mr. Harrah proved himself
to be a delightful comedian. He
comes from a theatrical rather
than musical background, and it
shows in his timing and diction.
He was most successful in his pat-
The orchestra, under the dir-
ection of John Planer, was ade-
-Bosley Crowther, New York Times
-Wanda Hale, New York Daily News
By KEEWATIN DEWDNEY
The role of the modern artist
is to collect energy in the form of
electricity, water, chemicals emo-
tons, instruments and ambitions
toward the redefinition of sensory
That is, his preoccupation is no
longer with his tradition or lack
of it, but rather with the processes
of interaction between man and
his environment. In most general
terms, the modern artist creates
environments. He coordinates the
inputs to the various senses, look-
ing for effective ratios.
The Light Brigade, a light show
that I am currently presenting
at Canterbury House, incorporates
light and sound on many different
levels. The collaborations which
produced the show, collaborations
between specialists like scientists
(Lloyd Cross), musicians (Bob
Scheff, Karen Naditch, Ralph
Kaplan, and Jerry), dancers (Hope
Palmer, Martha Wehrer), idea
men (Nick Bertoni, Ron Schae-
fer), film-makers, etc., were es-
sential to the show. It would have
been impossible without this com-
One of the most interesting com-
ponents is Cross'' Light Fantastic."
a laser which is projected in time-
varying patterns on a screen. A
special plastic diaphragm, placed
directly in front of instrument-
linked loudspeakers, vibrates in
nodes characteristic to the pitch
and amplitude of the music driv-
The diaphragm is reflective and
reproduces the laser beam in a
kind of wild TV scan which is
nothing more than a profoundly
sensuous synchronized picture of
the music. This projection occurs
in the centre of the "Magic Man-
In concentric rings toward the
outside of this eight-foot circle are
a blue light also bounced from a
diaphragm, eight movies, and
florescing Eastern designs.
At one point dancers patterned
with florescent paint flank the
mandala. Soldiers and Nurses.
1858. The Light Brigade. Electrons
streaming from a TV screen form
a light brigade according to Mc-
I think I wanted to express
something about the TV genera-
tion. This is the only intellectual
content I can think of as belong-
ing to the show. Beyond that, it
is a sensory proposition. Intellec-
tual conteniL is perhaps enhanced
with ieadings by Judy Succop and
myself. The readings are suggested
The Maltese Cross Movement,
"wh'ch p oduced the show is simply
, cod: lction of local energies whose
contiibutions will vary. The Mal-
tese C oss Movement hopes to pro-
cuce an amazing underground film
night sometime in January, featur-
ing the work of Larry Jordan and
Other projects of the Maltese
Cross Movement include computer-
made films (no cameras, projec-
tors, film etc), hypersynchronized
films, stories and poetry, electric
happenings, and so on.
The bias to this community of
work (if there is any bias) is sim-
ply to be aware. The Light Brigade
is a form of awareness.
-Daily-Richard S. Lee
PULSATING TO THE BEAT of electronic music and bathed in a
sea of color, a dancer participates in the sound and light show held
at Canterbury house yesterday. The girl, a member of the "Light
Brigade" show, unwinds her tensions along with her skirt.
"ROGER CORMAN'S BEST PICTURE. A quite remark-
able film, striking and imaginative."
ALVELY S ETH
Samuel Z. Arkoff & James H, Nicholson
- Roger Corman's Production of
-PSYCHEDELIC COLOR x.
NATIONAL GENERAL CORPORATION
FOX EASTERN THEATRES w Mon. thru Thurs. 8:00 P.M.
FOX VILLaGE Fri. 6:00-9:00
375 No.MAPLE RD.-769-1300 Sat.-Sun. 2:00-5:15-8:45
IN SUPER PANAVISION' AND METROCOLORMG
BY A STRIKING AND ORIGINAL TRAGI-COMEDY
STUDS TERKEL with
Organist Robert Clark of the
University Music School will give
an all-Bach concert, at 4 p.m.
Sunday (Nov. 19) at the Mariner's
Church in Detroit's Civic Center.
The program will include "Pre-
lude and Fugue in E minor,"
"Trio Sonata No. 6 in C," Advent
and Christmas chorales fr'om the
"Orgelbuchlein," and "Fugue in
Clark will give another concert
at the Mariner's Church on
March 10. Other University fac-
ulty recitals at the church will be
by Marilyn Mason on Dec. 10 and
Robert Glasgow on Feb. 11.
QNERATION, the inter-arts
magazine, will 'present Walter
Clark, professor of English, in a
reading of his own poetry on
Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m. in the Mich-
igan Room of the League
WUOM will rebroadcast two
speeches from the recently com-
pleted UAC Controversy '67 series
this weekend. The speech given
by Mark Lane, and the discus-
sion that followed it, will be re-
broadcast at 8:05 p.m. Nov. 17.
At 1 p.m. Nov. 18, the station will
present the lecture by Barry
The University Sesquicentennial
Major Ceremony continues today
with Session II of "Fertility and
Family Planning: A World View."
Edgar M. Ioover, Ph.D. will speak
on "Some Causes and Conse-
quences of Fertility Trends" in
Rackham Lecture Hall at 9 a.m.
Session III; a lecture by A. S.
Parkes, Ph.D. on "The Biological
Aspects of Fertility Control" at 2
p.m. in Rackham Lecture Hall.
VICTOR KILIAN VERNA BLOOM
Directed by MARCELLA CISNEY
Designed by ELDON ELDER,
Admitance will be denied
to alI under 18 years of ape
21O S. Fifth Avenue
Shows at 1:00-3:35-6:18-8:57
lust bugs the Establishment as
COLUMBIA PICTURES PRESENTS
IN THE BURTON-ZEFFIRELU PRODUCTION OF