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January 11, 1970 - Image 2

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-01-11

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THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Sunday, January 11. 1970

..- . .. ,.- 7 , ...

- theatre-
NY theatre with Oywin and four-wletter deeds

By DEBORAH LINDERMAN
NEW YORK - Salvation, a
rock musical in the shallow and
noisy genre of Hair playing at
the Jan Hus Theatre, is a loosely
compiled set of jaunty and pre-
sumably audacious songs. It is
based on a simple set of ironies
which converge in the single
message that the old ways of
getting to heaven are supremely
square.
For example, in one song is
repeated the phrase "What God
said" (especially the shalt-nots),
the point of this refrain being
that the Word was hardly groovy
as compared to four-letter deeds.
This "iconoclasm" is not only
religious and sexual, but politi-
cal (Viet) and social (lawe).
The words and music, written
by C. C. Courtney and PeterI
Link-who also appear in the
performance - are strung to-
gether in variety-show fashion
without much plot for them to
hang on, wherefore the contin-
uity of the thing depends on the
motif of a revivalist meeting
which is turned on and off as it
is needed.
The play begins as a group of
instrumentalists who call them-
selves Nobody Else saunter onto
the stage and elaborately tune
up. Some pyschedelic projec-
tions are flashed onto three
screens on stage, and a heckler
in the house rushes onto the
stage and seizes a mike. He turns
out to be Minister Monday
(played by C.C.C.) and he
preaches a revivalist sermon
which leads to the theme song
"Salvation", which leads to Mon-
day's being stripped (down to
his red underpants), which
leads to the rock-drug-sex-roll
rebellion against anything that
might possibly be labeled sacred.
A mention of the song title
will give you an idea of what is
to be regarded with irreverence:
"Honest Confession is Good for
the Soul," "There Ain't No Flies
on Jesus," "Deuteronomy XVII
Verse 2", and "Back to Genes-
is." And the following song titles
will, by the rules of switcheroo
in the scheme-of-things, indi-
cate the realm of the sacred:
"If You Let Me Make Love to
You Then Why Can't I Touch
You," "Footloose and Fancy-
Free," "Let's Get; Lost in Now,"
"Tomorrow is the First Day of
the Rest of My Life."
I should like to think that the
ironies went both ways, against
both categories of the revered,
but it goes in one direction only.
Although the jokes against old
pieties are excellent, the piece is
1

not so witty about the cliches of
the swinging scene.
The company itself, however,
does really swing. Whatever it
lacks in self-irony about its own
preachments, it has in huge re-
serves of energy and spirit. Its
members frequently laugh at
their own jokes, and their evi-
dent delight in themselves is
charming. It spreads through
the house wreaking, I suppose,
its just conversion.
Everybody has seemed to like
Three Men On A Horse, which
I seemed to find a rather empty
play having a Damon Runyon
gist-fierce but loveable crooks
-but nothing near the dash or
atmosphere of real Damon Run-
yon. The play was actually writ-
ten in the thirties by John Cecil
Holm and is here directed by
George Abbott, who directed it
then. Since its style "is mildly
fetching, and its script funny on
paper, I can only conjecture that
this style and this fun are car-
ried on for too long in this
production and this age; and so
wear themselves and the audi-
ence out.
The events of the drama pro-
cede from the sublime and glor-
ious talent of its protagonist, a
milquetoast doormat of a man
named Erwin Trowbridge who
happily earns $40 a' week writ-
ing verses for a manufacturer
of inane greeting cards. How-
ever, going to and from work on
the Ozone Heights-New York
bus line, he plays the horses.
He lays odds only in his head,
never placing an actual bet,
and he has a most uncanny tal-
ent for picking winners, He has,
in fact, never picked a loser.
By an implausible quirk of
destiny, he falls in with three
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tough and dapper thugs who
happen to be earnest about win.
ning at the races. They have to
do a good bit of work in order
to win Erwin (whom they call
Oywin, of course) away from his
devotion to J. G. Carver, his
greeting card employer. They
manage to kidnaphim and per-
suade him to take a cut of his
own sizeable winnings.
Even kidnapped and getting
rich, Oywin is still preoccupied
with writing Mother's Day ver-
ses and still troubled about fail-
ing his commitment to his true
vocation and J. G. Carver.
Jack Gilford as the doormat,
and Paul Ford who, as Mr. Car-
ver is as intimidating as any of
the three horseplaying crooks,
give shrewd and funny per-
formances in opposite and com-
plementary ways. The correct
ugly-thirties sets are by Boyd
Dumrose.
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DO IT NOW!-Deadline Wednesday

A,

Sat. and Sun.,Jon. 10, 11
ThroughA Glass Darkly
Dir. Ingmar Bergman, 1962
Fascinating Bergman film explores question
of God's existence! Harriet Anderson plays
schizophrenic.
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By NEAL GABLER
After a two and one half
year absence James Bond is back
in On Her Majesty's Secret
Service. Sean Connery, as you
probably know by now, has
bowed out to be replaced by
George Lazenby, an Australian
model chosen fromamong thou-
sands of contenders for the
secret agent's mantle. There are
hints of the Connery days here
-a janitor whistling Goldfinger,
Bond rummaging through a case
containing devices from yester-
films. And when Lazenby loses
a girl (?) he says, "This never
happened to the other fellow."
Except for his new body, how-
pver, Bond is pretty much the
same, and that means the best
in film adventure.
Admittedly, Lazenby lacks the
cool sophistication Connery was
able to project. When he orders
Dom Perigan '57 somehow it has
hollow ring. Nor does he move
with Connery's grace. Lazenby's
Bond is less central and more
physical, and there are prob-
ably more fisticuffs in this Bond
adventure than in any of the
earlier pictures.
Can you imagine James Bond
entering a room without a cau-
tious scanning of the premises?
Unthinkable! But it, happens.
And what about arch-villain
Blofeld (Telly Savalas)? Why
doesn't Bond finish him off
when he clearly has the chance?
And why does 007 casually go
skiing with the baddies right on
his tail? The film provides no
answers, but then what did you
expect-Bergman?
Bond flicks, like Doris Day
comedies, all have a patented
formula. There is always deft
direction, carried off very well

this time by Peter Hunt. Quick
cutting. An incredible story
dripping with the Bond brand
of droll humor. Beautiful women.
Finally, there is John Barry's
score which in this latest outing
is once again excellent. On Her
Majesty's Secret Service uses the
formula and uses it well.
The early Bond films depended
on plot and action-James Bond
verses a. diabolical fiend. Gold-
finger marked a watershed. It
was a satisfying blend of fam-
iliar Bond action with a few
twist-an unbelievable array of
gadgetry. Thunderball, continu-
ing the trend, tried to dazzle
its audiences with gimmicktry,
and I believe it was the least
successful of the Bond films.
After all, real adventure is al-
ways focused on man; Engineer-
ing students are perhaps the
only persons who identify with
machines. If the characters are,
overwhelmed with, machinery.
there is bond to be a diminution
in excitement.
You Only Live Twice started
a swing back in the other direc-
tion (a return to Nature?), and
this new film completes t h e
cycle. Like From Russia With
Love, the best of the series, On
Her Majesty's Secret Service is
much more a traditional sus-
pense yarn than a catalogue of
outrageous artillery. It has some
good old-fashioned chase scenes
--one on skis, one with cars on
an icy highway and one in bob-
sleds - that rank among the
finest I've ever seen. Would you
believe James Bond eluding cap-
tors as he speeds down a slope
on one ski?
The plot is !vintage Fleming.
Operating from a Swiss alpine
"clinic", SPECTRE this time

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PROF. KLEIN, conductor
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