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November 19, 1965 - Image 2

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1965-11-19

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PAGE TAlb,

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 1965

PAGE TWOTHE MICHIGAN DAILY FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 1965

'A Funny Thing' Makes Hysterical Comedy;
Sop1is Perform BreeZy Bawd Rendition

AcrossV
Campus

II in Trueblood Aud.
8 p.nm.-The School of Music
Bandorama presents the Univer-
sity Bands. William D. Revelli
conducting. at Hill Aud.

1M(sob) ALAN,
k! r IM L.L. . I,.i nv

i air

By FRITZ MILLER
Qne- of the theatrical highlights
of any year in Ann Arbor is the
production mounted by an inspir-
ed and infectious band of Sopho-
mores which is labeled "Soph
Show.
This year's production, "A Fun-
ny Thing Happened on the Way
to the Forum," is breezier and
bawdier than its recent prece-
dents. But this year's sophomore
cast is more than up to it - a
buzzing bursting crew which
meets the challenge of "comedy,
tonight" with a precision and bra-
vado that had the 700 spectators
in Lydia Mendefssohn cheering for
niore than five minutes when the
dust cleared and the curtain had
settled.
Appropriate End
As a matter of fact, the per-
formance ended just the way a
Soph Show should. Heady with
the applause and cheers, the cast
broke character and enthusiastic-I
ally dragged their terse, tireless
director Charles Feuer out onto
the stage for a well-deserved
round of bear hugs and cheers.
The show is based on a half
dozen plays by Plautus (but
sounding more like Aristophanes),

Bert Shevelove and Larry Gel-
bart succeeded in transposing the
humor that was Greece, the baw-j
dry that was Rome into "A Funny
Thing Happened on the Way to
the Forum."
Somehow "Forum" contains a
mixture of harlotry, virginity,
leachery, transvetitism, and young
love in a mixture that is vulgar
but not offensive-probably due
to the pace of the show which does
not allow contemplation of all the
bawdry.
Plot Underneath
Underneath all the rollicking
slapstick there is a plot, fantas-
tically intricate as it is. I wouldn't
dare to attempt more than a briefI
resume. Pseulolus, a slave, can'
gain his freedom if he can ob-
tain a certain Philia for Hero, his
master. Philia is a virgin (of
course), although belonging to Ly-
: cus, a dealer in the flesh ofj
women. She had been sold to a
soldier, Miles Gloriosus. By a se-
ries of complications carefully
worked out by the authors and
an IBM computer, "Forum" boun-
ces from one absurd situation toj
another, and finally to a "Happy{
Ending" (just like in the silentl
movies).

The plot line is admittedly thin
and contrived, yet "Forum" makes
no pretentions about the vaudevil-
lian nature of the show. And theG
conglomeration of characters is
dazzling. Jim Hosbein as Pro-
logue and Pseudolus is completely
in control of his difficult part, one
which ties the show together.
Plays Everyone
Pseudolus, appropriate to his
name, plays just about everyone
else's part at one time or another.
He is irrelevant, clever, lecherous,
and lovable. His voice is excellent
and, well, in short, he is fabulous.
Hysterium, played by Howard
Weinblatt, is a fellow slave of
Pseudolus, and is the Ghost of
Vaudeville Past. As are most of
the characters names, his is sym-
bolic: he runs around the stage
going into fits on cue. Weinblatt
has a tendency to overplay his
part.
One Funny Scene
Hysteriums does pull off one of
the funniest scenes in the show,
in which he assumes the role of
a dead Philia (sort of a Prome-'
thius Embalmed) to sav her from
Gloriosus.
Philia (played by Marcia Huw-'
en) apparently learned her man-
nerisms in Lovely School. She is
danty and virginal (as the part
demands), but her unbroken ef-
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FRIDAY, NOV. 19 prese
fusiveness is just too much. Miss 4 p.m.-Hans Thirring. of Vien- tectu
Huwen has a pleasant voice but na University will speak on "The 8p
seems to be reciting the script. Future of Space Industry" in 170 Speec
Hero (played by Bob Lederer) Physics-Astronomy. form
does not come across, even tak- 7 and 9 p.m.-The Cinema Guild II in
ing into consideration the dead- will present Oliver Twist. 8:3
pan nature of his role. His voice 8 P.m. - The Department of cal,
is unfortunately not adequate for Speech University Players will per- New
the part. form Shakespeare's Henry VI Part men
Cast Cohesion _

SATURDAY, NOV. 20
nd 9 p.m.-The Cinema Guild
nts Oliver Twist in the Archi-
re Aud.
p.m. -- The Department of
ch University Players will per-
Shakespeare's Henry VI Part
Trueblood Aud.
30 p.m.-The University Musi-
Society Opera presents the
York Opera Company in Car-
at Hill Aud.
- I

0

It is the cohesion and spirit of
the cast-as typified by the per-
formance of lesser players-which
are the motivating force for theG
charming evening.
Senex (Marc Spirad) is a subtly-
played, hen-pecked Roman hus-
band. Lycus does a toned-down'
performance as a procurer and
perhaps might have stepped up his
pace a bit.
Two smaller characters, Domina
(Diane Wittenberg) who is Hero's
mother, and Miles Gloriosus (Bill,
Hunt) deserve mention. Miss Wit-
tenberg, both vocally and phys-
ically, fits her unusual part (be-
neath Dominas manly facade lurk-
ed the heart of a. .. man?). Miles
Gloriosus is Vanity personified, one
who could put Narcissus to shame.
Hunt has the thundering voice
necessary for this Mike Hammer
of the Roman Empire.
Last night was truly "something
for everyone, a comedy tonight."
The similar theme expressed in
both opening and closing chor-
uses was "tragedy tomorrow, com-
edy tonight." The only tragedy to-
morrow will be for those who
haven't tickets to SophtShow, be-
cause it is sold out.

Nanny had been
in the family for years.
Then, two died
mysteriously.
Two lived in terror.
Nanny wasn't
responsible.. was she?

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---Crist, Herald.Tribune

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