THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Fue -pr e
By JEROME WEINSTEIN
At the time it was thought that
Around the end of November of original material might still be
this year the curtain at Lydia used, but it was finally decided
Mendelssohn Theatre will rise on that nothing was good enough.
the enchanting city of Baghdad, The safest thing would be to put
and actors and audience will be on produce acknowledged stand-1
transported to the rich and col- ards.
orful panoply of Arabian splendor. The first two productions -
At that time MUSKET will pro- "Brigadoon" and "KISS Me Kate"
duce its fifth annual musical show -were presented at a local movie
--this year it's "Kismet." theatre. But they were plagued
A mere five productions by a with the same bugaboo that had
particular group would not, in gen- hurt the Union Opera-expense.
eral, be enough to establish a Professional Aid
unique Michigan tradition, yet
MUSKET has done exactly that' This was probably due, no doubt,
in the relatively short time it has to the simple fact that students
been in existence sparticipated only in acting in the
Actually, in starting a new Mich- show. Sets, for example, were pro-,
A yigan tradition, MUSKET ended fessionally designed and construct-
anter-teold Uion Openda ed and the costumes were rented.
another-the old Union Opera. MUKTwsnsme
Lavish Parodies MUSKET was in some danger
The Union Opera had its begin- until renovations were adopted.
nings around the turn of the cen- The decision was made to move
tury and was known throughout the show to the Lydia Mendel-
the country for its road tours. The ssohn Theatre and make the pro-
Opera presented original all-male duction completely student run
musical shows which were usually and organized: sets, costumes, mu-
a parody on campus life. sic, staging, acting, everything.
Its productions were lavish, cost- Both shows produced at the Ly-
ing as much as $20,000 in the ear- dia Mendel"sohn Theatre-"hkla-
ly 'twenties, but were of fine qual- homa wand "Carousel" f- have
ity too: twice the Opera played at done well. "Carousel," for exam-
the Metropolitan Opera House in ple, was sold out completely for
New York and in 1925 the show four of its five performances.
was received by President Calvin Plan for Months
Coolidge at the White House. Work on this year's production
The Depression, however, brought of "Kismet" began before Easter
to an end the grand-scale shows when Fried and other committee
of the 'twenties and when World chairmen were chosen for their
War II came all productions respective jobs. Fried explained
ceased until 1949. In that year the that he hoped most of the orgam-
Opera was revived and ran until zational details could be thought
1955 when it closed down for good. through soon enough for actual
Expensive Vaudeville .work to begin immediately in the
John Fried, '62, who is general fall.
chairman for MUSKET this year, He estimated that upwards of
200 people would be needed in the
show on jobs ranging from acting "Many don't wait around to pe-
and dancing to working on orches- tition for committee chairman-
tration, sets, make-up, props, pro- ships and go somewhere else to
motions and programs. work. It's necessary for MUS-
Fried is very confident about KET'S security to have a year-
MUSKET and is enthusiastic about round program."
possible plans for the future. "Car- Fried envisions possibly doing
ousel," he says, "was very dii- an original show in the spring
cult. There's no Broadway show and is reading scripts for it now.
now that can't be handled." The scripts would have to be ex-
Wants To Expand cellent, however, before they would
But it would be important. he be used. Perhaps, too, a road show
feels, if MUSKET could be set up of the fall production could be
on a year-round basis to make it given; this means, according to
more stable. "Most of the people Fried, "putting the kids in a bus,
through in December ahd can't packing the scenery into a truck,
who work on MUSKET are going around a hundred miles, and
through in December and can't doing a one-night stand. Nothing
contribute anything more until more elaborate than that."
the following fall. Fried is particularly pleased
expane wa rougnti aouti tie
Opera's final demise. In general,
he said, the show was "too much
of a burlesque and vaudeville type
affair, but primarily it just be-
came too expensive to operate."
MUSKET was born right after-
wards when significant changes
were made in the Opera's format.
The most important one was to let
women enter the exclusively male
cast (MUSKET: Michigan Union
Show, Ko-Eds Too).
Our easy-do, casual hairstyles
NO APPOINTMENTS NEEDED
Ask upperclassmen about us
Near Michigan Theatre
-Daily-Alan Winder -" - --x- !- - - , - - . -
JSKET'S 'CAROUSEL' PRODUCTION-Last year MUSKET chose "Carousel," from which the
ve scene is taken. This year, "Kismet" will be presented. "There's no Broadway show now that 2204 West Stadium Blvd.
W't be handled," MUSKET Chairman John Fried says, in looking to many more seasons for the sh r t k'g
ident-produced musical shows. ? ? r mss; , # c
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Phone NO 2-9442
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