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January 29, 1970 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-01-29

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Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

r

theatre
In the dark of the mind

Unfurling a new
Marlboro banneri

By JOHN ALLEi k
Dark of the Moon,. a folk-
drama that unfolds the tragedy
of Barbara Allen against a back-'
drop of the Smoky Mountains, is
delicately poised between the
realms of the real and the un-
real. The passions of its char-
acters are genuine enough; yeti
the characters themselves are
evanescent archetypes of human
(and sometimes not-so-human)
beings. Their movement merges
with dancing, their speech with
chanting.
The University Players have
brought this strange amalgam
of mystery play, drama, pageant,
andmasqueto the Trueblood
stage and done both it and
. themselves justice. Even before
the houselights dim and the per-
formers enter, Dark of the Moon
begins to work its peculiar mo-
tions upon the mind: scene-
designer Ron Beebe's massy,
gray-black drapings loom over
he audience from beginning to
end, drawing the audience into
the otherworldly atmosphere of
the action even as its dark con-
figurations maintain the dis-
tance of fantasy. It is this Para-
doxical power to hold the audi-
ence at arm's length and simul-
taneously to embrace it that is
at first a weakness in the pro-
duction and ultimately its
strength.
Perhaps the language itself is
the greatest barrier to involve-
ment .It seems at times there
are no verbs in the play: "He
gone . she dead .etc."
Lines written in a heavy hill-
billy dialect are delivered in a
straightforward manner char-
. acteristic of the Queen's Eng-
lish. After the initial discomfort
of this strict stylization wears
away, however, one begins to
groove on its ability to combine
the two worlds of the drama:
the real world of the people in
the valley and the world of
witchcraft which intrudes upon
their lives and leads to a double
tragedy. (F o r contemporary
audiences familiar with Rose-
mary's Baby the tragedy takes
on intersting vibrations.)

By R. A. PERRY
Much has changed since the
Marlboro Music Festival was
founded in 1950 by Adolph and
Herman Busch, Louis and
Blanche Moyse, and Rudolph
Serkin. "I Remember Mama"
was then a favorite tv series,
"How Much Is That: Doggy in
the Window" sold a record-
breaking number of singles, and
people sauntered into a movie
house in the middle of the film,
The music which then emanated
from the weathered sheds in
Marlboro, Vermont; shared in a
mood less frenetic and apocalyp-
tic than that which inevitably
affects and afflicts the arts in
the sixties. Any "Music f ro m
Marlboro" recording from the
early fifties - such as Colum-
bia ML 5426 of Beethoven and
Dvorak wind music - reveals
that performances served to as-
sauge world-weariness not in
imitate it.
But the highways chewed their
ways even through Vermont and,
as the sixties progressed, o n e
could witness the changing style
of the Marlboro participants.
The older, European musicians
retired or died, and younger in-
strumental artists, leaving their
posts at busy metropolitan or-
chestras, came to share in the
informal exchange of musical
ideas at Marlboro.,bringing
with them the unavoidable new
awareness of global angst and
of contentless media, these out-
standing musicians effect a
chamber-music style in which
tension between voices, technical
prowess, and a certain aggres-
sive love become hallmarks.
Last night's concert at Rack-
ham Aud., sponsored by the
University Musical Society, pre-
sented six young musicians con-
certizing under the aegis of the
Marlboro banner. This pick-up
group-Richard Goode (piano),
Paula Robison (flute), Jos-
eph Turner (oboe), Larry Combs
(clarinet), William Winstead
(bassoon), and Richard Solis

(horn) - were more tentative
than the older Marlboro "regu-
lars" but they nevertheless ex-
hibited the latter's "sixties style."
Such inclinations were most
evident in Schubert's oJp. 160
Variations for Flute and Piano,
based on the song "Trock'ne Blu-
men" which appears in Die
Schone Mullerin. The mood of
these variations is essentially
tragic or at least melancholy, but
as played by Miss Robison and
Mr. Goode, the variations ap-
peared more adventuresome and
ostentatious. Playing too loud-
ly, too heavily (especially in the
left hand), and far too aggres-
sively, Mr. Goode did not help
matters much. Miss Robison's
tone is slightly fuzzy and brea-
thy, but her technique is good
and her stylizations appropriate;
she was too often swamped by
Mr. Goode, who began the sixth
variation without checking on
his partner's readiness, causing
the flutist to catch up.
Mr. Gode's self-centered play-
ing (his piano .mannerisms
would make Victor Borge blush)
vitiated the ensemble cohesive-
ness necessary to make Mozart's
gorgeous E-Flat major Quintet,
K. 452, fluid and plastic. Lovely,
limpid woodwind playing re-
peatedly found interruption in
Goode's attacking touch.
By far, the best of the eve-
ning's entertainment came from
the performance of Carl Niel-
sen's Quintet for Winds; pung-
ent, witty, slightly repetitious,
the Quintet received an alert
and sympathetic rendering that
proved this "pick-up group" of
wind players' long preparation.
s7

Thursday, January 29, 1970
I
ANN ARBOR BLUES FESTIVAL
GENERAL MEETING
SUNDAY, FEB. 1, 4 P.M.
AT
SOME COMMITTEE POSITIONS STILL OPEN
QUESTIONS: 769-0594 or 665-8736
T THE BEST SELLER THAT BURST INTO HEADLINES WITH ITS
EXPLDSIVE EXPOSE OF THE SPY SCANDAL THAT SHOOK THE WORLD!

I

-Daily-Richard Lee

gather for a revival meeting un-
der the ominous wing of l
Preacher Haggler - played with
grim gusto by Ron Beebe. The
interplay of ensemble and in- 1
dividual performers reaches a-'
kind of climax in this scene,
with Mary Joan Negro as Bar- "
bara Allen and Christopher Root
as Marvin Hudgens investing
their roles with special force. 1
Miss Negro is vital and en-
trancing throughout her per-
formance, as is Michael Rein-
hart as John, the witch-boy who
chooses to be human in order to
pursue his love of Barbara Al-
len. Others in the cast who de-
serve note include Eren Ozker
as Miss Metcalf, brimming with
frustrated sexuality, Roy Mash
as the erratic Uncle Smelicue,
and Sr. Francesca Thompson as
the oppressively weird and mag-
ical Conjur Woman. Marilyn
Scher, Catherine Spingler, and
Wanda Bimson punctuate the
play at regular intervals as a
trio of lovely - but -deadly

Devotees of realism will find
little to engage their attention
in Dark of the Moon; but those
who are willing to leave realism
to housemaids and college ad-
ministrators and who enjoy the
fantastical and ritualized should
find much to praise and re-
member in this production. For
that matter, college adminis-
trators in particular may find
Dark in the Moon intriguing: it
explains so many of the things
that otherwise seem inexplicable
in the lives of student's .. .

F

r

r.

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Help 'm a Woman
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Right on for
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