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March 22, 1959 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1959-03-22
This is a tabloid page

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. . .. .. ..... . .. .. . .

tre Withot

(Continued from Preceding Page)
drama is generally budgeted at
$100,000) and concerned with
creative effort, it stands to reason
that the investors -will tend to
patronize the lighter, more com-
mercial ventures.
AS A RESULT, the better works
must yield to plays designed
solely to entertain, just as produc-
tions which merely divert atten-.
tion find themselves better able to
gain the support of not only the
faithful patrons of the New York
theatre, but also those who attend
less regularly and those who are
members of the theatre party con-
By gaining the widest possible
support the attractions are as-
sured of a greater longevity and,
as a result, a greater return on+
the original investment. Thus, as
long as the New York theatre must
rely on individuals who are wholly
concerned with investment returns
to foot the production costs, the
theatre will have to make a com-
promise with art.
It is very interesting to note
how influential and potent the+
theatre party contingent is in New1
York. This jocund band of theatre1
goers is able to establish a produc-
tion as a commercial success longi

at Imaginati'on
before it is ready to make its New
York debutr and, furthermore, is
able to keep it running for an in-
definite period of time eveni after
a critical lambasting that would
have ordinarily forced it to close
within the first week.
An example of the adverse af-
fect these groups generate is re-
flected in the great support af-
forded this season's grandiose
disaster "The World of Suzie
Wong. '
TO BETrTER understand what
-compromise is made with art
in the theatre we can examine
some of the plays which opened
this season and have recently been
nominated for the coveted An-
toinette Perry Award.
This year's musical entrants are
descended from a concept con-
sidered by many to be wholly
American in design. Further, the
state of the musical best reflects
the state of the commercial thea-
tre as a whole,
Thus far the season has not
produced one musical that is in
the genre of the '56-'57 grand suc-
cess "My Fair Lady," or last year's
two outstanding achievements: the
brilliantly choreographed "West
Side Story' and the delightfully
unpretentious "The Music Man."

While- this observer has still
been unable to see the always de-
lectable and- enormously talented
Gwen Verdon in her newest frolic,
"The Redhead," the critics are
united in their high praise for
Miss Verdon, but reserved about
the qualities of the vehicles them-
The basic weakness of "The
Redhead" is also the basic weak-
ness in the other musical ventures
of this season. While the perform-
ances, choreography, costumes and
settings still continue to dazzle
the senses, the quality of the
books, without exception, still con-
tinues to disappoint.
A SECOND example of this basic
weakness present in the mu-
sicals of this season can be ob-
served in the current Rogers and
Hammerstein collaboration "The
Flower Drum Song."
In this particular musical, which
has for its setting San Francisco's
colorful Chinatown, can be seen
such virtues as a pleasant and very
professional score by Rogers and
Hammerstein, a charming ballet
devised by Carol Haney, the ex-'
quisite and often breathtaking
settings and costumes of Oliver
Smith and Irene Shariff, and
beautifully drawn contrasting per-
formances from the fragile Miyo-
shi Umeki and the saucy Pat Su-
zuki. However, the musical as a
whole is never able to emerge as
a work of greatness or beauty as
it is burdened by a book that is
cumbersome and hackneyed.
Thus while the first twenty or
thirty minutes of "The Flower
Drum Song" looks especiallp pro-
mising, the promise is never ful-
filled as the banalties of the
Broadway idiom soon overcome
the distinct charm of the China-
town setting.
As a result, much of the humor
of the musical does not appear to
be as much an integral part of
the creation as a whole, as it ap-
pears to be a misplaced external,
component added to the work for
the sole reason of insuring the
security- of the box office.

BUT BY NO MEANS should it be
thus assumed. that the hack-
neyed ventures the current Broad-
way stage is plagued with are con-
fined to the musical comedy area.
To the contrary these banal ef-
forts are very' much in evidence
in a large number of comedies and
dramas. They are more skillfully
camouflaged, however, as the ac-
tion of the straight play .is more
sustained than the action -of the
As a result, the actors are given
a greater amount of time to fully
develop their characterizations,
and therefore are often able to
inject a quality of greatness into
a play that is primarily symbolic
of mediocrity. Such is the case
with the current Budd Schulberg-
Harvery Breit drama, "The Dis-
In this play the perceptive per-
formance of Jason Robards Jr. as
Manley Halliday is woven of such
beauty and filled with such com-
passion that the production as
a whole is elevated to a level that
is far above what the quality of
the writing truly deserves.
. Although there are many other
examples of the ability of the.
actor to give a play more than the
sum of its parts, space permits us
to discuss only one more. The
previously mentioned Leslie Stev-
en's comedy "The Marriage Go
Round" is a prime example of this
sort of actor's masquerade.
WHILE the virtues of "The Mar-
riage Go Round" are unfor-
tunately few, it must be conceded
that this new comedy of Stevens
boasts of a disarming and risque
plot as well as some scintillating
and sophisticated dialogue.
But having the qualities of the
sophisticated and the risque do not
necessarily add up to a well spent
evening in the theatre for a good
comedy like any other work of art,
must possess a quality which
makes it say something meaning-
ful to its= audience. It is in this
respect that "The Marriage Go
Round" is such a disappointing
But Stevens comedy has two
brilliant players which fare so well
in this commercially calculated
piece -that they are able to trick
the audience into believing that
the boring and superficial writing
is actually an intelligent and vast-
ly entertaining bit of theatre.
Both Miss Colbert and Boyer are

able to beautifully sustain the
piece as they have a wonderful
sense of comic timing and skill.
This is especially noticeable in
their agility of twisting any num-
ber of flat lines about and through
a twinkle of the eye, and a gesture
of the hand able to impart mo-
mentarily some meaning to them
and literally make the, rafters of
the old Plymouth Theatre shake
with the enormous laughter of the
Thus to watch a performance of
"The Marriage Go Round" is to
behold the curious phenomena of
having an audience enthusiasti-
cally respond to dialogue that is
as refreshing as hot cocoa on the
fourth of July.
A ND THIS EXAMPLE of the in-
adequacy of "The Marriage Go
Round" can best sum up the in-
adequacy of the Broadway stage
as a whole.
Unfortunately, the majority of
our playwrights seem to be de-
dicated to the writing of nothing-
ness and the trimming of their
nothingness with the embellish-
ment of the nobler ventures in an
attempt to give it a "sophisticated
quality" and still stimulate the box
office. But this sophistication is
nothing more than sham.
Definitely a theatre in which
there is a sincei'e attempt to create
art in the acting and physical
production of the play, but fre-
quently attempts to discourage
this quality in the conception of
the piece itself, is a theatre in a
state of "middle seriousness," be-
cause two distinctly opposing
forces and concepts are incorpor-
ated in the creation of the same
art piece. Shakespeare said in
"Hamlet" that "The play's the
thing." But unfortunately on
Broadway it isn't.
Island - University News Service
by Maiteland La Motte; Page Two:
Cartoons by Genny Leland; Page
Three: Courtesy Prof. C. T. Lar-
son; Page Five: Daily - Gary Mc-
Ilvain; Page Seven: Daily Photos;
Page Eight: Daily Photo; Page
Nine: Top - Michigan Historical
Collections, Bottom-Daily-Alan
Winder; Page Ten: Michigan His-
torical Collection; Page Eleven:
Daily-Alan Winder; Page
Twelve: Left - Daily - Dave Ar-
nold, Right Top-Associated Press,
Bottom-New York Times; Page
Thirteen: Playbill Magazine; Page
Fifteen: Daily Photo.

'U' Faculty Members Have a Major Role in Far Eastern Aic


For the Best in
Browse at
State Street at North University

sailed the long route to the Far
East in search of goods to bring
back .and enrich Europe. Today
the West is returning to that dis-
tant area of the world, but this
time to guide its masses toward a
better life.
Within only the last decade
University of Michigan faculty
members have contributed exten-
sively to the search for better liv-
ing standards in the underdevel-
oped Eastern states. They have in-
itiated some new aid programs,
advised on existing programs and
evaluated continuing programs.
University efforts are centered
in Japan and the Philippine Is-
lands, but extend as far as Indo-
nesia, Thailand, Laos and Viet-
nam. The goals of the projects
vary from solving problems unique
to newly-independent states to up-
dating techniques of older inde-
pendent nations.
extensive costs of these pro-
grams has come from the gov-
ernments of the participating na-
tions, several American founda-
tions, charitable organizations, the
United Nations and the Interna-
tional Cooperation Administration.
While the projects are conducted
by members of the University fac-
ulty on sabbatical leave from their
teaching responsibilities, the Uni-
versity is not directly involved in
any of the programs.
Since raising living standards
Is a long-range project, some Uni-
versity faculty members are being
asked to continue their work af-
ter completing the original pro-
INDICATIVE of this recurring
assistance is the recent one year
extension of the exchange pro-
gram between the University and
Japan's Waseda University. ;
Since this program was estab-
lished in 1956, the University has
developed an Institute for Re-
search Productivity in Japan. The
Institute enables Japanese stu-
dents to learn applications of mar-
keting, engineering and economics
in industry. University professorsI
guide research projects and give I
lectures and seminars to general
The Japanese university, like-
Joan Kaatz is a night editor
on The Michigan Daily.

wise, sends professors to Ann Ar-
bor where they participate in
course - work, research programs
and seminars.
Following their stay at'the Uni-
versity they often travel around
the nation to observe business and
agricultural organizations in . ac-
tion, Prof. Wyeth Allen, coordina-
tor of the program, said. Many of
the students hold conferences with
the organizational leaders to learn
techniques which may be applied
to business procedures in Japan.
WITHIN the broad category of
technical assistance, but di-
rected more to aiding individual
families, was the housing study
conducted in 1956 in Indonesia by
Profs. C. Theodore Larson and
Stephen Paraskevopoulus of the
architecture school.
Although the country is "blessed
with a wealth of natural re-
sources" and is constantly under-
going change in almost all facets
of life, Prof. Larson noted that the
housing is primitive with most
families living in thatched-roof
Acting in an advisory capacity,
the two professors sought changes
in the housing which could be
easily implemented by a single
family, such as digging a water
ditch around the one-room houses
to catch and settle rain-water that
Nmight dampen the earth floors.
The socio-economic approach to
the problem, used by United Na-
tions agencies, called for planning
research for resource developments
which would lead to new develop-
ments. For example, introduction
of new materials would lead to
new house designs; this, in turn,
would create a new market and
eventually a higher national in-
come standard.
Indonesia's particular problems
were analyzed in reference to its
goals, needs and total available
Prof. Larson illustrated by not-
ing that some American oil com-
panies get their oil in Indonesia
but process it in the United States,
only to sell it back to the country
of origin at phenomenal prices.
The country's income could be
greatly increased if these com-
panies would process the oil in
Indonesia, he said.
ASSISTACE in integrating
Western governmental forms
into the political and administra-
(Concluded on Next Page)

Women Work on Indonesian Housi




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~S20 tthern

BEFORE YOU PACK, shop here for some of the most versatile
cruise and resort fashions. And, because you may not find so
many exciting fashions later, why not stock up for Summer
fun now!
TOP ON THE LIST is Tradewinds group'which brings you the
season's freshest fashion breeze in cottons of rich linen texture.
Here are island colors with polished wood buttons. Tradewinds
are KORASET for perfect permanent creases, are achine
washable and completely press free. Carried.in on the same
breeze, to mix-match and mate, Pacific Floral of striking pat-
tern is styled for that right look from head to toe.

In ~i1


(/cC l-o/4

Court & [


Carmel- cuffed shorts ....
Skippers Hat .........
Slim Skirt ............
Flare Skirt ............
Gob Jacket .............
Smarty Pants (not shown).
Coxswain Shirt . .........


See these Stephanie Koret designs
on television. It's natural to choose
Koret of California . . . 'because
Americans want the best."


Tennis Shoes


Just1 1/2 Btocks
from Main Shop on{Forest

1109 South Uinvniversity

rIrsr ~ wN r~r

Indonesia: Very Poor Housing
SUNDAY, MARCH 22, 1959

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