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February 28, 1970 - Image 2

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-02-28

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THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Sc-turdov. Februorv 28. 1970

SNAturd174v7 F -hr AAry &.W,170---- I -

.0

Waltzing with
The Merry Widow'

1

DAILY OFFICIAL
BULLETIN

By JIM PETERS
Anyone who has heard loyal
Don Ameche's ecstatic pitch for
his "50 Great Music Treasures"
knows something about T h e
Merry- Widow; for its friendly
melodies have been big business
in the semi-classical department
store for years, providing stereo-
phonic bliss over fresh TV din-
ners. But the Music School's
production, which opened last
night at Lydia Mendelssohn and
runs through March 3, is aim-
ed more at believers than at
those who feel culturehcomes
from RCA Victor.
Once again, it is Josef Blatt
who has rescued this boozy pro-
to-type of musical comedy from
the adoring strangle-hold of its
enchanted admirers. Using a
translation from a London com-
pany, first produced in Amer-
ica in 1961, maestro Blatt has
convincingly persuaded his per-
formers that hard work is fun,
no matter how ungrandoise the
musical experience.
I cannot say Franz Lehar's
coddled masterpiece is good mu-
sic, but it is greatly amusing
theatre; and, the only thing
lacking from thishproduction is,
perhaps, a certain level of polish
necessary to sustain the work
through the burden of its tepid
score.
This criticism stems mainly
from the fact that the singing,
in the major roles, was better
than the acting. Roberta Alex-
ander, as the sought-after widow
Sonja Sedoya who comes to
Paris to retrieve her lost lover
-on her terms, was brilliant;
her voice is bright and shiningly
solid with a clear upper range
which seldom lost its power.
Her sotted Romeo, P r i n c e
Danilo, featured Edmond Davis
in a role which he must find very
comfortable. His rich baritone
is highly textured and showed
no strain either in upper or
lower registers. His recurring
-melody "I go off to Maxim's"
prepared us masterfully for the
lyrical "There's magic in the

waltz" scene with the Widow in
Act I.
Yet, Alexander and Davis
spent more time appearing aloof
and unapproachable than de-
livering their lines with convic-
tion; even Danilo's banister-
slide entrance augered for more
than the bickering with Parisian
society which followed. T h e
music gives no help, since most
of the lines are spoken; so fine
singing does little to balance
the mood.
The comedians were excellent.
Antonio Perez as the perfect fool
Baron Popoff could not handle
all his lyrics without strain;
but his clowning in Act II, cul-
minating in his heroic a tutu
dance routine, was very impres-
sive. Daniel Berry's General
Novikovich reminded me of some
bad impressionists doing Rich-
ard Nixon, but he is a good
crier; and the Nish sung by
Samuel Chapin proved that even
impotency can make one laugh.
Two lesser intriguers, Nancy
Seabold and Kenneth Scheffel,
were mismatched. Her soprano
fluency overpowered Scheffel's
tenor whose power evaporated
in cencerted sections.
The cast of courtesans, lay-
abouts, and dandies forming
the chorus moved well under
director Ralph Herbert's staging,
Bly's play
cance lied
A special premier performance
by writer-in-residence, Robert
Bly has been cancelled. The
play was to have been perform-
ed this evening in the Residen-
tial College.
Bly will give a poetry reading
tomorrow evening at 8 in the
Rackham Lecture Hall and will
close his two week stay on
campus with a lecture, "The Re-
turn of the Old Gods," at 4 p.m.
Monday in the UGLI Multipur-
pose Room.

a series of vignettes framed by
silence with each act, though
their ensemble in the musical
numbers needed to be tight-
ened.
Blatt's University Opera Or-
chestra provided a fitting, open-
sounding background for the
frivolous goings-on; but I felt
that a few more strings would
have improved the overall sound.
There were moments, as in
Scheffel's "My Love is like a
rose," when the singers needed
more support.
Sets and costumes brought the
last days of the "Belle Epoque"
to life. With skill, the minia-
turization of all the evocable
opulence to simple settings gave
real place and time significance
which, I feel, worked to restrain
the wearisome sentimentality of
the score.
The Merry Widow does n o t
have something for everyone; it
offers purely emotional satis-
faction of a kind which drove
Haendel from his Italian opera.
Last night's production pretend-
ed to do no more, but I think
I have to agree with the Baron's

The Daily Official Bulletin is an
official publication of the Univer-
sity of Michigan. Notices should be
sent in TYPEWRITTEN f o r m to
Room 3528 L. S. A B I d g ., before
2 p.m., of the day preceding pub-
lication andby 2 p.m. Friday for
Saturday and Sunday. Items- ap-
pear once only. Student organiza-
tion notices a r e not accepted for
publication. F o r more informa-
Placement Service
GENERAL DIVISION
3200 S.A.B.
ANNOUNCEMENT:
. Summer Intern Program, Washington;
(Continued on Page 8)
CANTERBURY
HOUSE presents
A FREE ORAL
LOBOTOMY
a community health
weekend for Ann Arbor
FRIDAY & SATURDAY
8:30 P.M.
"If you walk in the woods
you must feed the mos-
quitoes."

TOWN MEETING
TO DISCUSS STARTING A HOUSE FOR
* RUNWAYS 0 DRUG, HEALTH, LEGAL ADVICE 0
i A PLACE TO HANG OUT e
You Name It, and We'll Try to Do It, Together
-EVERYONE WELCOME---
SUNDAY, MARCH 1, 3 P.M.
CANTERBURY HOUSE 330 Maynard

Chili BUILD
Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 28 and 29
CONT M T (Le Mepris
JEAN LUC GODARD ( 1963 )
BRIGIT BARDOT
JACK PALANCE
FRITZ LANG
-"Godard is the greatest director alive and still work-
ng"--Ellen Frank
7 & 9:05 Architecture
628871Adtru
.b:>

enlightening quip,
so much fluff in
hole."

"I never saw
such a key-

pr

I

Keeping your head
over Jenny'

A=PTATE

*

HELD OVER
2nd
BIG WEEK!

n

By NEAL GABLER
Someone at the Daily should
have known better than to send
me to the State Theater to see
Jenny. I'm an incurable roman-
tic; that is, I'm a sucker for
any film, with a guy and a girl
and a park and a SOLI (semi-
obligatory lyrical interlude). It's
some kind of dubious distinc-
tion, then, when a film of this
sort can't lure me with its
charms. And although I was on
the verge of succumbing several
times, I managed to keep my
head over Jenny.
There's just nothing here on
which to pour the syrup. The
very premise is rickety. Jenny
(Marlo Thomas) is pregnant
and unmarried. Delano (Alan
Alda) is' classified 1-A and in
search of a fatherhood defer-
ment. Got it? They wed in what
you would have to call a mar-
riage of convenience. Except
sweet little Jenny takes it ser-
iously, a n d insensitive Delano
doesn't. All I can say is: Mar-
rying a girl who looks like Jen-
ny beats going to Vietnam or
Canada.
As you c a n probably -glean,
from the plot-line, Jenny is a
very contemporary love story. It
touches 'all the bases - t h e
draft, pre-martial sex, grass,
breast-feeding (in living color);
there are even pictures of
Tricky-Dick and RFK in t h e
background just in c a s e you
miss how hip this flick is. Di-
rector-writer George Bloomfield
strains so hard for relevance, I
wouldn't be in the least surpris-
ed if he gets laid up with a her-
nia. But there is more to rele-
vance than a pregnant chick
and a guy caught in the draft,
even w i t h a picture of RFK
taped pver their bed. And for
all its "now"' symbols, it comes
off with the depth of Mod
Squad.
On the brighter side, the per-
formances are first-rate. Be-
cause we're given caricatures
rather than characters, it does
strain one's empathic gland.
Nevertheless, Marlo Thomas is
engaging. What else? She wears
a bashful smile that says, "Oh!
Aren't I foolish!" Unfortunate-
ly, the cold eye of the movie
camera is less charitable than

television to the poor girl, and
she comes out looking her
thirty years. As for Alan Alda,
he has a face like a clenched
boxing glove, sort of sappy yet
winning.
It would t a k e nothing less
than Paul Newman and Barbara
Streisand, however, to rescue
the film. Watching Jenny is like
peeling an onion - plenty of
tears but God only knows why.
It is too insubstantial to achieve
the poignancy it wants. I can
see myself years from now tun-
ing in the late, late show, and
there will be Mario and Alan.
I'll shake my head ("Were
movies really this bad?") and
wait . . . for Broderick Craw-
ford in Highway Patrol.
* * *
This seems an appropriate
time to say a brief word about
shorts, since there are three of
them, in addition to a cartoon
and a preview, preceding Jen-
ny. Shorts have a dull-witted
unintelligence all their own. Un-
less you are a devotee of Read-
er's Digest or a masochist or
both, I advise you skip the first
twenty minutes of this show. I
mean, do you really care about
Marineland and the Negev Des-
ert?
The Michigan Daily, edited and man-
aged by students at the University of
Michigan. News phone: 764-0552. Second
Class postage paid at Ann Arbor, Mich-
igan, 420 Maynard St., Ann 'Arbor,
Michigan 48104. Published daily Tues-
day through Sunday morning Univer-
sity year. Subscription rates: $10 by
carrier, $10 by mail.
Summer Session published Tuesday
through Saturday morning. Subscrip-
tion rates: $3.00 by carrier. $3.00' by
mail.
WHITE
"singing songs that cap-
ture the deepest feelings of
people. He captures and
keeps his audience."
-Michigan Daily
0
SAT.-1 P.M.
WOODY GUTHRIE
WORKSHOP
with DICK REUSS
SUN.-3 P.M.

Program Information 662-6264
SHOWS AT:
1 :00-3:00-5:00-7:00 & 9:00 P.M.

-t

I

I

I

extIz" Starting
I Nex: *'~March 5

"'THE IPCRESS FILE' IS A TAUT, TINGLING FILM!"
-MCALS
alp
TECHNICOLOR
R*gW - TECHNISCOPE

Ntw York Post'
WINS Raio

NICHION]

DIAL
5-6290

A FRANKOVICH PRODUCTION
t IC1;5
TECHNICOLOR[
iron Co'onm'b'P'te t_
TODAY AT
1-3-5-7-9 p.m.

1

.4

I's

I

By order of the Washtenaw County Court the continued showing
of "I Am Curious (Yellow)" has been temporarily inioined. As
soon as court proceedings are favorably completed we will con-
tinue the showing of this film.
DOUBLE FEATURE-STARTS TODAY
"BEST PICTURE OF THE YEAR!"
-Judith Crist, New York Magazine
--Wanda Hale, N.Y. Doily News
"ONE OF THE YEAR'S 10 BEST!"
-N.Y. Post, Cue Magazine, Holiday, Detroit Free Press

Sawm* sBy MARTIN LAVUT *.io GEORGE BLOOMFIELD sTmrYs DIANA GOULD
"WAmCNG" . NILSSON pRomm cr EDGAR J. SCHERICK( onwiwM' GEORGE BLOOMFIELD
.A SUBSI4A OF Y AER c Iow.Ri ISTR Bu"ED9Y
B'ROAOGA5TING COMPAinES, iNC.I NERAMA RELEASING COIPOR TiOM

I

"OH! WHAT

A

im4c

41F
r4

4 1

LOVELY WAR# Gi
"ONE OF THE YEAR'S 10 BEST!"
-Michigan Daily - Newsday - Cue Magazine
-Holiday - Group W Radio - The Villager
"I strongly recommend "Medium Cool." Needless
to say this is an important film that dares to experi-
ment. It may very well be the most stimulating
cinematic experience you will have in a long time."
-Neal.Gabler, THE MICHIGAN DAILY
beyond the
age of innocence..
into the
age of awareness

'1

Need

9

,

For
Monetary
and

we say mc
Charlie
Brown
61 d

)r ?

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