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October 31, 1968 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 1968-10-31

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Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Thursdcav.October 31. 1968

Pae1woTE11CIAN DAL

IT1 ". 7dVv Y/V 1 IV Uc J r1 11V

a,

theatre

Yes,

'Homecoming' can be good

music
Philharmonia: Getting somewhere'

By MICHAEL ALLEN
Go and see the University
Players' production of Harold
Pinter's The Homecoming: You
will laugh many times, you will
be intrigued, and you will come
out wondering what the hell
Pinter is getting at. Whatever
the play might mean though,
this production, directed with
great care and imagination
by James Oakley, presents a'
version of the play which is
convincing, which has six really
promising actors in it, which
has variety and pace and some
magnificent pauses.

Everyone will have a theory
about this play, and some will
undoubtedly see some sort of
allegory lurking behind the
"plot" (there isn't one really,
just a situation that develops).
But an allegorical approach,
would make Ruth, who was
played with an enviable,
sense of control by Maureen
Anderman, too important. She
is not the heroine: the play
hasn't got a heroine and it is
misleading to treat the play as
if it were a secret code that with
time and subtlety could be
eventually cracked. It's not like

poetry and prose
Vonniegut and who?

By MARCIA ABRAMSON
You've probably. more than
heard of Kurt -Vonnegut, Jr.
You probably haven't heard of
Jerzy Kosinski. You probably
will.
Kosinski and the more well-
known Vonhegut are this year's
writers - in - residence. Kosinski
will be here Jan. 9-16, Vonne-
gut Jan. 17-31.
Since the publication of Play-
er Piano in 1952, Vonnegut has
become one of the high priests
for. this generation through his
short :stories and novels, includ-
ing Cat's Cradle and Mother
Night.
Vonnegut moved up in the
literary ranks from a beginning
in science fiction. He has at-
tended Cornell, Carnegie Tech,
Tennessee and Chicago, and
after that took to the precarious
life of a free :lance writer.'
Kosinski comes from the most
radically different background
possible. He was born in Poland
in 1933 and his award-winning
first novel, The Painted Bird,
tells the story of his experiences
in Nazi Europe.
Along the way,. K o s i n s k i
has accumulated degrees in his-
tory, political science, photo-
chemistry and sociology at the
University of Lodz, the Polish
Academy of Sciences, Lomon-
osov University in Moscow, qo-
lumbia, end the New School'for
,Social Research.
. Kosinski has also managed to
work as.a ski instructor, an as-
sistant chemistry professor, a
paint scraper, a photographer
and a truck driver.
All along, Kosinski has worked
on his writing. He came to the

United States in 1957, and had
to start all over in a new lan-
guage. Kosinski told the New
York Times Book Review he
would call up the operator and
ask her to explain difficult
sentences. In three years he
published his first novel in
English.
His most recent novel, The
Painted Bird, won the Prix de
Meilleur Livre Etranger. in
France. Kosinski has also won a
Ford Foundation fellowship.
No specific schedules have
been set up for either writer.
However, Writer - in - Residence,
sponsors promise a more in-
formal "fun" approach to the
program. "Vonnegut is like
that," explains one. "He's not
just going to sit around and
lecture."
A special "happening" is plan-
ned for Nov. 21 to emphasize
the new approach to the Writer-
in-Residence idea. The programs
of the last two years have been
criticized for their stilted, for-
mal atmosphere.
The Writer-in-Residence Pro-
gram is now in its third year;
critic Leslie Fiedler began the
program in 1967, and Irving
Howe visited the campus earlier
this year.

that; it doesn't have an inner
meaning. Its meaning springs
directly from the freakish, ab-
surd, sometimes horrifying-but
in this production mainly fun-
ny juxtapositions of word and
action.
For instance, Max's first re-
actions are crazily unpredict-
able when he finds out that
Joey (Christopher Root gives
a quiet but useful performance)
has just failed, after two hours'
tease, to get the "whole hog"
from Ruth, he says, "My Joey,
she did that to my boy," ignor-
ing completely the topsy turvy
morality of it all; again, when
Lenny suggests that continual
prostitution might make Ruth
prematurely old, Max says, "No,
not in this day and age. With
the health service?"
Max (John Slade) especially,
made this performance. Al-
though he missed out on the
beating up of Sam and Joey,
he was able to swing fromn rage
to pathos in the scene of "re-
sentment" with lumbering old
Sam (Richard Beebe-another
quiet, controlled, completely
convincing performance). And
time and again Max delivered
the punch lines, like "I havent
had a whore in this house sihce
your mother died!", with per-
fect timing.
Other characters react with
the same unpredictableness. At
one moment we are listening
to a conversation between, say,
Lenny (Mack Owen, 'another
first rate actor) and one of his
brothers that is completely com-
monplace, familiar, realistic,
about a cheese roll or Greek St.;
at the next moment we are
jolted out of the sense of the
familiar by a remark that- is so
absurd or bizarre that we are
fascinated by its incongruity,
its destructiveness of the tone
and continuity of the scene in
which it is embedded.
This production emphasises
the funny side of all this: in-
deed, Lenny's brutal ending to
his two stories about the poxy
whore, and the old lady with the
mangle, got lost in the laughter

provoked by his initial build-
up. We are suddenly plunged
into a world of violence and
tomfoolery and inconsequence.
One result of this comic stress
on the part of the director was
to make these inconsequences
less terrifying than they could
be, more like the normal day-
to-day inconsequences of fam-
ily conversation.
This in its turn resulted in
an evenness of pace, rather than
a steady mounting towards
climax as the presence of Ruth
leads to more and more ab-
surdities, absurdities which are
pursued with a naturalness, a
homeliness which are poten-
tially horrifying.
But then, this stress on the
comic is also a stress on the
familiar: it anchors the produc-
tion in the real. Ruth's sudden
breaking off of the orgy with
Joey to say, "I'd like something
to eat," is incongruous but be-
lievable. In another sort of pro-
duction, one which might em-
phasize the fearful aspects of
the absurdities and the gra-
tuitous, freakish, lunatic violence
of Max or Lenny, these sort of
lines would have a different im-
pact, would make the play into
a nightmare rather than some-
thing happening in the north
of London.
The same goes for Teddy (Ed-
ward Leavitt), who is in a situ-
ation which is tragically ridi-
culous, but which here becomes
mutedly funny. Only Ruth's
parting line to him really stings:
"Eddie, don't become a stran-
ger." This is theatre of the ab-
surd; the University Players
make the absurdity of our con-
dition ludicrously familiar.

By JIM PETERS
The University Philharmonia
in concert last night at Hill
Aud. attempted great things.
Conductor Theo Alcantara sch-
eduled some really interesting
music in his program, including
the immensely difficult fifth
symphony by Prokofiev.
The group's performance was
marred throughout by serious
string trouble, especially en-
semble control in the violins;
but the concert was successful,
the performance certainly more
than adequate, and the music
quite pleasing.
Beethoven's overture to his
minor ballet, "Die Geschoep-
fedes Prometheus," was the first
offering. The piece is very short
and quick. It was here that the
strings' troubles were most evi-
dent and most annoying. The
piece is so short that perfect
control and tight string sound
are necessary from the very be-
ginning, or else the overture is
over and the effect of the music
has never really begun.
Violinist Gustave A. Rosseels
joined the orchestra for Cooper's
"Concerto for Violin and Orch-
estra." This recent concerto is
in one movement though it di-
vides into varying sections.
The role of the orchestra in
this concerto is, in the classical
vein, that of accompanist. Amid
string glissandoes and woodwind
trills and scales, the violin has
a brooding but moving lyric.
Rosseels played well; the work
demands a lot of very high-
pitched sound, but the violinist
never lost his smooth, even
tone,' bothered neither by the
dissonances, nor the powerful
sound of the orchestra.
The brass dominate the work,

and the Philharmonia's people
are excellent, strong and biting
as well as mellow when neces-
sary. There is also a lot of
work for the pianist which is
really not heard in the mass of
strings and winds.
But the violin lines over long,
extended orchestra chords with
percussion flashes and brass
emphasis were never lost in all
the sound. Alcantara controlled
the balance well. The strings
were tighter in this selection,
though never perfect enough to
be negligible.
The Philharmonia finished
with one of the most difficult
symphonic pieces, Serge Pro-
kofiev's "Symphony No. 5." Wild
racing melodies and subtle, witty
tunes are joined with long, tur-
bulent sections blasted by tam-
tam and bass drum.
The strings lacked the fine ar-
ticulation needed for the catchy
tune of the first movement. The

wispy theme should stand out
in the melange of sound.
There is no sloppy Prokofiev;
everything is stark black etched
in white. This is where control
is absolutely necessary. And
after working through the two
previousrpieces, the whole or-
chestra was tight enough to
sound really strong and power-
ful.
Alcantara took ,the bubbling
second movement nice and fast;
the whirring never ceased. I
really applaud the woodwinds
and brass of the University
Philharmonia.
I was worried about the seem-
ing lack of form in the first
movement, and this bothered
me again in the adagio third
section. It seemed that only
the fast paced movements were
tightly unified. I don't know
exactly where the problem lay,
but perhaps the very difficulty
of the individual parts forced

the orchestra to concentrate on
technique rather than on over-
all sound.
The fourth movement was
tight, and the big smashing I
sound in the finale was power-
ful. But here another problem
sprang up. Particularly in this
movement, -but really through-
out the symphony, the orches-
tra balance was off: the brass
dominated everything.
I could say with a smirk that y
perhaps this was good since the
brass played most excellently;
but when one is dealing with
Prokofiev it is important to
hear everything--too often the
winds or strings were lost in
the fantastic roar of trombones
and tuba.
T h e Philharmonia worked
hard, harder than usual in de-
lineating the heavy fare pre-
sented by Prokofiev. Alcantara
ventured much, and the result
is all to his gain.

is all to his gain.

NOtW !

MICHIGAN

DIAL 5-6290
Shows at 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 P.M.

This is the story o the self-
Confessed Boston Strangler..
It is a remarkable motion picture based on fact!

This is the madness. The panic.'
did 13 women open their doors
not what you expected.

The search for answers. Why this man? Why
willingly to him? The result is a film that is

p

THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN PLAYERS
DEPARTMENT OF SPEECH

-

If

Dial 8-64 16
ENDS
TONIGHT!
Shows at 6:45 and 9:00
"A SUPERB
M "LeMagazine

Harold Pinter's
THE
HOMECOMING
Trueblood Theatre Box Office Hours
Oct. 30-Nov. 2 Oct. 28-29 12:30-5 P.M.
All performances-8 P.M. Oct. 30-Nov. 2 12:30-8 P.M.
$1.75-$2.25 Fri., Sat.
TICKETS: $1.25-$1.75 Wed., Thurs.,

1

b

"BRILLIANT
CINEMA ART."
-Bosley Crowther.
New York Times

When Sly and the Family Stone play, you can tell that they belong
together. They enjoy their music and they're really into it. So put your-
self into it, Oct. 29, through Nov. 3 at Grandmother's.

TONY CURTIS HENRY FONDA GEORGE KENNEDY
Mike KelIin Murray Hamilton fHort Fryer Ricrd Flecher e dwrAnhalt Fank
Panvislon Color by DeLux '.Su ;for Meuseaudiences

Grandmother's is in Lansing, Michigan, just two blocks
MSU campus. Come up and check the talent.

DAY
Oct. 29
Oct. 30
Oct. 31

COVER DAY

west of the
COVER
$2.00
$2.00
$2.50

I

i

.50
$1.00
$10.0

I

Nov. 1
Nov. 2
Nov. 3

II

There is no age limit for the Sunday show.

Unlike other classics
'West Side Story'
grows younger! r,.

.

I

PI MAY

I

-,---START'N'lGFRIDAY-
KANETO SHINDO'S
"LOST SEX"'

k

LANSING, MICHIGAN - 517-332-6565

+ .. ..

I

THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
CONCERT DANCE PROFESSIONAL
ORGANIZATION THEATER PROGRAM
presents

"BEST
PICTURE!"
Winner of
10 Academy
Awards!-1~.
. m .

"A FRENCH
'TOM JONES'!"
"GRACEFUL
AND WICKED!
QUITE
BEAUTIFUL
AND ELEGANT..
A SHARPLY
SATIRICAL!"
"A DELICATE
MASTERPIECE...
IT OFFERS
BEAUTY,
SENSUALITY, MN
AND
PERFECT
TASTE!"
~ENEW R

I

Starring CATHERINE DENEUVE
that "BELLE DE JOUR" girl !

SW ESRiWESTSIDE STORY"
A ROBERT WISE PMC)VC~iO,
,,NATALIE WOOD
NATIONAL GENERAL COR~PORATION _
FOX EASTERN THEATRES
FOX VILLa6E
375 No. MAPLE RD. -7694300
MON.-FRI. 8:00

BETTY
LEADING SOLOIST WITH

JONES
JOSE LIMON DANCE COMPANY
in a concert-lecture
"DANCES
I DANCE"
with FRIZ LUDIN
Program includes excerpts
from "INVENTION." "MISSA

oISUN. 1 :U0-J:4-6 :30-9:15
SAT. 3:45-6:30-9:15
FRIDAY-NOV. 1 - ONE SHOWING 11:00 P.M.
A Realistic Film that Could Happen
a --.

I

.
Julie Oskar
Christie Werner
first role since her winner of the

>:'

i
T --pap
6nnim, 0 0

P: ^ ET E '.'O'-17A1N
c' , DENEUVE'

1

lit.

i

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.'ukw l-kw-,m Mo

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