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July 14, 1967 - Image 2

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Michigan Daily, 1967-07-14

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FRIDAY. JULY 14. 1967

Duerrenmatt's 'Physicists:' Two Viewpoints

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By RICHARD KELLER SIMON # ample, when the audience should
Fr'ederich Duerrenmatt's "The be listening to his "Song of Sol-
Physicists'" is worth seeing despite onion" and digesting it, It Is dis-
a less than satisfactory production tracted by his mad antics on stage.
by the University Players. Kathy Ferrand played the frau-
James Coakley's direction sacri- lein doktor to an ovation on open-j
fices credibility too often for un-.ing night. But this play has no
necessary laughs - a technique roam for the mad soliloquy to

By CHRISTOPHER DIONE Real" and "After the Fall"). With:
Friedrich Duerrenmatt's "The this production of one of Duerren-
Physicists" is parody farce, bur- matts most popular works, he has
lesque, and serious "message" play again made surprisingly worth-
all in one, in the dual garb of ab- while entertainment out of some
surdist and realist theatrical long-winded rhetoric, uneven hi-
styles. If there is a reason for the larity, and much precious am-
plays failure to create an integral biguity.

but they trap themselves by kill-
ing the nurses who complicate
their "missions." In the end, they
have to contrive to be mad in
order to escape prosecution.
The major figure, Johann Wil-
helm Mobius, offers a rational
antidote to this ridiculous dilemma
that "the duty of a physicist today
is to remain unrecognized." This
is such a commonplace "truth"
nowadays that we suspect the dra-
matist of putting us on.

which may give the actors some- the audience which won her the !impact on the audience at Lydia
thing to work for, but which de- applause. The doktor must re- Mendelssohn, it is the contrivance
prives the play of its power. "The main calm in her madness. Only of disparate conventions in Duer-
Physicists" is not a farce with a then is it truly frightening. renmatt's writing, not the execu-
message tacken onto the ending. Much of the Players' failure to lion of the production by the Uni-
It is a consistent, unfied, percep- establish the mood of the play versity Players.
tive comedy of manners in the lies in the set, a set which goes Director James Coakley has a
grotesque tradition. It must be out of its way to prevent the right talent for turning suspect pieces
charming and horrible at the same atmosphere f r o n developing, of dramatic literature into thea-
time-not first slapstick, then in- Duerrenmatt's stage directions trical successes (like "Camino
credible, then a parody of itself., carefully specify that the location
Most importantly it must be be- is a converted villa, built in a
lieveable enough so that the audi- grand former era. It has a large
ence pays careful attention to fireplace (not working), an im-
eer y ar efuln. ttenposing portrait in a "heavy gild-
ery orspmutkhen.noghed" frame and a "ponderous"~
The actors must have enough chandelier. One wall has many '
faith in the play to perform it lage wrdw a assdo= 0 R eflecti
realistically. The play is funny, overlooking a terrace and park.
but in order for the, audience to L. H. Stillwell's set, in contrast,
take is seriously, the actors must isBy ANDY SACKS
first take it seriously themselves s more like a broom closet than special To The Daily
a spacious villa.
The key to . Duerrenmatt is NEWPORT, R. I.-The theme of
mood. "The Physicists" presents trouble with Act I-they have lost Thursday night's program was
intelligent polite people with ex- faith in Duerrenmtt's ability to the topical song, and the 1,000
cellent table manners and fine! hold an audience-and' they rush people that came out in -the cold
tastes in haut cuisine but, who are, through the dialogue, going no- foggy night were treated to some-
underneath, selfish, bungling, con- where They substitute slapstick thing less than the traditional ex-
niving, and often capable of s e mur- antics(deadbnurses are treated citing music ofsNewport.
ders. The contrast is between the; as sides of beef) for an under- The topical song has most like-'
gentlemanly conduct of everyday standing of the play. ly seen its heyday and the direc-
affairs and the insane reality that tors of the festival were fighting
increasingly breaks through the Bill Moore (as the police in- a losing battle in this respect
surface. 'The play must establish anstein) give the only two out- They will probably be fighting the
a mood of almost off handed 'lei- standing prformances capturing same battle for the duration of the
sure, of well bred people who take the meaning and Intent of the festival because everyone on the
their material comfort quite mat- play. William Haushalter (as New- island realizes that the folk music
ter of factly. These people can en- ton) comes close to this standard boom is over; but still people come
joy the veal Cordon Bleu in spite, at times, only to become too much with their guitars and banjos, and
of the fact that every possible bad of a Restoration comedy fop at if they are not postponing the
thing has just happened to them. other times. Maureen Anderson death of the folk music craze at
No character can ever lose con- (as Frau Rose) is acting in exag- least they are having a good time.
trol of himself in this play. Mo- gerated farce. The reality of her The topical song concert was
bius must at all times look and problem must realistically -bubble not always so topical or interest-
sound as reasonable as the po- out of her, not be flaunted about ! ing. Perhaps the directors of the
lice inspector. Fred Coffin plays in a self-conscious bizarre hys- festival do not book their best
Mobius in the wrong style. For ex- teria. performer's for Thursday night's

ihe plot is a deilberate parody
of the "well-made" mystery, but it
rotates on a real issue-the guilt'
of nuclear physicists (and, by ex-
tension, humanity) who aren't


equal to the moral aemands made
1 e From the labored argument
on them by their discoveries. This which leads the characters to a
"message" emerges by paradox. realization of this paradox, Coak-
Three physicists in a Swiss sana- ley attempts to isolate the farcical
torium, initially pretend to be mad,s m f y d
as a means of unifying audience
impressions. He reminds his cast,
" e most of whom are probably in-
trigued with the "message," that
this is comedy. The more respon-
sive members play for the comedy
throughout, some brilliantly, oth- MALCOLM MOOS, Pr
C h a n g es ers hesitantly, crowd at a mornings
Katherine Ferrand is astonish- with several other bus
ing Fraulein Doktor Mathilde von viding Services to Go
concert, because the crowds are Zahnd, the hunchbacked, female sentations, ending ton
small until the weekend begins. psychiatrist-director of the sana- cellor of the Federal Re
J. D. Williams, who was recently torium.
released from jail on bond (he Fred Coffin portrays Mobius
was charged with murder) opened with undeniable skill, utilizing an
Seeger. They did traditional cl pitches and tones, but the persond a a
and-response numbers from the of Mobius remains obscured by
fields and prisons of the South but the other two comic pretenders,
their renditions were nothing spa- Newton and Einstein. rren i ir

ogram Officer-In-Charge, at the Ford Foundation is pictured before a sizable
session of the Sesquicentennial Major Conference held yesterday. Moss, along
sinessmen and educators, d iscussed "the Role of the State University in Pro-
'vernment and the Public. The conference is slated for another round of pre-
ight with a convocation to ,be presented by Ludwig Erhard, former chan-
epublic of Germany.
'U' President Observes
10S on Nationo fllee

Hedy West, recently returned
from England, came out in a
ping and yellow mini-skirt with
black fish-net stockings and sang
a protest song called "Farm Re-
lief Blues." Her attire seemed to
weaken her case. She also did two
political protest numbers, one
from SDS and one from the YAF.
Civil Rights Songs
Whatever magic quality the civil
rights song had a few years ago
was gone from Miss West's per-
formance. I'm not sure that it
was the fault of the performer,
though. In the last years we have

NAACP Leader Wilkins Urges
Stricter Enforcement of Rights

been so deluged with protest songs
of all kinds that they seem to have
lost their sting, especially when
the lyrics are dull. Miss West
apologized for leaving the aud-
ience after these songs, explain-
ing that she prefered not to de-
part on such a cynical note. If
the protest song is not dead it
could probably use more solid

The performances of Miss Fer-
rand, Coffin, Victor Lazarow
(Einstein) and William Haushal-
ter (Newton) are excellent enough
to dispel any impatience with the
play's often tiresome progress.
William Moore misses the chance
for an outrageously funny char-
acterization of Voss, the super-
typical Swiss police inspector who
lapses into a most un-Swiss atti-
tude. Margaret Albright is pos-
sibly too strident as the rigid
head nurse, and Marsha Fleisch-
er, as Monika Stettler, damages a
transitional scene for .Mobius by
loving him too inoffensively. The
expanded-chested brutes who play
the Fraulein Dokstor's musclemen
aren't funny, and they should be.
Her most impressive scent con-
tains an impossible combination
of objectives: a fantastic spoofI
of the "mad-woman-fiend-in-'
control-of-nuclear-secrets" dis-
closure, an absurdist-farcical plot'
twist, and a serious statement
about the perversity of a deform-
ed female. "I can love NO ONE!"
she screeches, and the hush in
the audience attests to a real
point. But then she turns grotes-
quely, a Vincent Price madness
in her face, and says: "on-ly ...
Coffin succeeds, insofar as the
script allows, in giving us a strong,;
seriously humanist hero-victim,j
but he can't compete against the
comedy of Newton, the Restora-
tion fop munching an apple.
There are some technical faults;
mis-cued lights, over-large de-
tectives' hats, wall portraits too
small to be seen past the 10th
row, plastic toy revolvers, slips
too often.

"The uses of the University
have become everybody's business,"
according to Elvis Stahr, president
of Indiana University and speak-
., n i fr~o!-nt A - nfk i~r n '- - -

National student organizations,
women's associations, political
parties and teachers' groups cam-
paign for alterations of univer-
sity policies and practices."
TrAMP Functin

than teaching. He suggested, "We
might even dare to introduce a
new concept of the matching grant
-matching support for teaching
with support of research."

er at Yesterday afternoons session a rp i u
All this pressureuaccsesiin to Sepulveda's speech concerned
of the three-day Sesquicentennial All this pressure, according to the special problems faced by uni-
Conference on "The University Stahr, has produced imbalanceseA
ithe faculty's triple function of versities in Latin America, which
and the Body Politic."hyn are "side by side with the govern-
"Among the games people play teaching, research and public serv- ment-or sometines in opposition
today, the one which seems to ice. Ito it-the only dynamic instru-
make the mythical Top Ten most He cited the neglect of un-
often is "What the University dergraduate education resulting imenthe c delgossiblef thor secur-
Could Be Doing for Us." And peo-'from these pressures, and said,
plc on' wate imemaiingin The pertinent question we ask strata, thebte r utilization and
ple don't waste time mailing in ourselves now is whether our uni- the fairest distribution of national
Or so it appears to one who tend versities are changing from the wealth, and the establishment of
the suggestion box," Stahr said. creature of scholars to an amorph- the more democratic and more
The theme of the topic session ous amalgamation of the uses just political regime."
at which Stahr spoke was "Pres- which various private student, 'Prey' of Politicians
sures on the University: Oppor- faculty and administrative groups He said that because of this
tunities and Dangers." Other par- have been able to urge success- special function Latin American
ticipants in the conference in- fully. universities have in the past, been
cluded Cesar Sepulveda, former Stahr said one thing that would the "prey" of politicians seeking
dean of law at the National Uni- aid the nation's universities in power, and have had to jealously
versity of Mexico; Leonard Wood- solving the problem of too many guard their autonomy.
cock, vice-president of the United pressures would be for the "edu-
Auto Workers Union, and James cational leadership" to make a He noted the state could reduce
0. Wright, president of the Fed- comphehensive statement of the the university's budget, suppress
eral-Mogul Corporation. problem to the public. its freedom, and silence or threaten
Included among the pressures on Creative Approach student and faculty leaders. In-
today's university which Stahr He speculated, "If the creative ternal pressuies from withi cold
listed in his speech were indus- approach to problems which typi-;attempts to "capture" factions
try and commerce's interest -in fies research orientation were ap-w.u.
research, manpower development plied to the problems generated withi the university,
and stimulation of economic by pressures, what substantial Sepulveda called for "corpora-
growth. progress toward resolution of our tive representation" within the
"Socially conscious individuals difficulties might we make!" political organization, but he
expect the university to study and Stahtr noted that it is always warned that safeguards to the uni-
make recommendations for solv- easier for a university to receive versity's autonomy should be in-
ing problems of water polution. outside support for research rather icluded.

I %WW W-ML N-.F.JLJL k--l %,A N-F -IL.JL % &- X-/ L. j



BOSTON (P)-Civil rights lead-
er Roy Wilkins yesterday called
on President Johnson to do "a
little cracking down" on officials
who frustrate enforcement of
civil rights legislation.
"The administration s h o u 1 d
summarily act," instead of going
through a "continual process of
persuasion," the executive direc-
tor of the National Association fdr
the Advancement of Colored
People said in an interview.
He said the President has
"charted a way to go" in propos-
ing civil rights legislation.
"The administration's heart is
in the right place, but as Negroes
say down South, 'It do poorly,'"
Wilkins said.
Wilkins' views, expressed during
a lull in the NAACP's 58th annual
convention, echoed concern about
"reluctant" state and federal civil
rights law enforcement. This re-
luctance has been a chief topic
during the convention's first
three days. It ends tomorrow.
"I think the President has
charted a way to go in his mes-
sages to the Congress, in his pro-
posals of legislation," Wilkins
"I feel definitely that the Con-
gress had not always lived up to
the presidential standard, and
that even after enactment, offi-
cials in some of the bureaus and
agencies have thrown either light
or heavy roadblocks in the way.
Cracking Down
"We do not regard this as a
blanket condemnation of the ad-
mirnistration, knowing the prob-
lems of bureaucracy. We would
like to see a little cracking down
by the administration on the peo-

ple who fail to follow clearly de-
fined policy," he said. -
Wilkins did not leave the mat-
ter entirely up to the government.
Effective enforcement, he said, is
"largely a matter of policing by
the people. They're not self-en-
forcing. Any chapter of the
NAACP that has a law against
discrimination in housing and
does not become active in enforc-
ing that law in every possible viyI
is derelict in its duty."I
The 66-year-old executive d?-I
rector, who has held his present]
post since 1955, said he is confi-1
dent the civil rights movement is
successfully f i n d i n g its wayi
Newark Of fi

through what he called "a Gran- support from the artists. For no
sition period." one should ever apologize for
It is moving from "an era of singing them.
knocking down the crude bar- The New Lost City Ramblers
riers and roadblocks" to one "illu- turned in an excellent performance
strated by the problem of enforce- of blue-grass music, playing some
ment, and one where community of their old standards that were
involvement is a crucial factor," coincidently topical. They weret
he said. polished and musically adept as
"The poverty program is an usual,
example of the type of thing the :Judy Collins highlighted the
Negro has to adopt wholesale," # evening. She opened with a very
he said, emphasizing not the fed- slow version of the Beatles' "In my
eral money but that, under it, Life" and Bruce Langhorn sup-
local communities were forced to plied an excellent second-guitar
become involved in deciding what accompaniment. Leonard Cohen's
they needed and how best to go "Suzanne'' was her next number.
about getting it. Her sensitive treatment of this'
song was beautiful and perhaps
" her performance will never again
Wtits Probebe equaled.




Recent Negro Flare-up


NEWARK (A') -- Mayor Hugh
Addonizio met here yesterday
with his special task forces on
community problems. The discus-
sion followed a rock-throwing
disturbance by more than 200 Ne-
groes at a police station Wednes-
day night.
James Threatt, head of the
city's Human Rights Commission,
said the two-month-old task force,
made up of some 30 members
from civil rights groups, labor and
business, would meet to investi-
gate the factors leading to the in-
cident and discuss corrective
The disturbance started with
the arrest of a Negro cab driver,
John W. Smith, 40, who police
said was tailgating a patrol car
and then passed it on the right
hand side.
Police said when the two pa-
trolmen stopped Smith, he be-

came abusive and struck the
About half an hour after Smith
-was locked up in the 4th Precinct
station, police reported, the Ne-
groes gathered outside the sta-
tion, charging police brutality.
By midnight, they began throw-
ing rocks, bricks, and at least one
gasoline-filled bottle, against the
police station. Nearby store win-
dows were smashed and several
stores were looted. Before the
trouble subsided, seven persons
were arrested besides Smith.
In a news conference yesterday,
Addonizio said the incident was
not a "riot." He said according to
the report of Police Director
Dominick Spina, it was only "a
difficult situation" and "an iso-
lated incident."
The mayor said he was satisfied
with the way the police handled
the situation.

"Scarface" Capone_ You've heard of
a"abyFace"Nelson-and now "Legs" Diamond..now meet
"No-Nose" "Knock-Knees"
Hope Diller
You all know Sherdock Holmes- You've heard of Forget Helen Of Troy-
make way for The Cat Burglar-say hello to Todayits
"Bull-Dog" "Pussycat" Jill of
Winters Shirley Eaton St.John

Fourteen Famous Swingers Give You The Do's And Dont's
For The Man With A Roving Eye And The Urge To Stray!





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