Civic arce tickles
By JOSHUA PECK human being. She fares well though and seque
ARCE IS A tricky genre. There are admirably holds up her end. ' his hij
constant decisions to be made, Joe Medrano and Aileen Mengel add of loo
ith by playwright and director, about an exotic touch, playing the Russians, exist
hether laughter, audience iden- Boris and Olga. Medrano had an easier chara
The Michigan Daily-Friday, September 8, 1978-Page 9A
You Can't Take it With You
By Kiufman & Hart
Ann Arbor Civic Theatre
Lyvdia Mfird'1rokn T'huoter
PealopeSycamore ... ..Cathe Wright
Paul Sycamore ................ Ed Leher
Mr.'DPetaa......... Dave Harbison
. .Art Norgiega
M risVaiiderhof......John Stephens
,lc. . ..... ...Linda Wacker
Henderson... ..........Alan Hoffman
ony Kirby .. .............Dave Brazer
Boris Iolenkhov........ ....Joe Medrano
Gay Weilington ..............Pat Rector
Mr. Kirby.....................Marty Smith
Mrs. Kirby.....................Sandy Hudson
lga ...........Aileen Mengel
TFed Heusel, director; Dave Gilbert and
Chris Stevens, prodswrn; Joe Medrano,
- wi desiginer;SusanMorris, uightiinpg
deigaer; Miriam Marshall, routam.' deinr;
k=Jon Broken"hre, iner d,'i ner
ication from a human perspective, or
me delicate mixture of the two is to
the principal motivation for any
iven line or scene.
Naturally, the best farce blends
oments driven by each of these ap-
roaches; the difficult thing is making
best choice for each twist of plot and
nvelling of character. It is possible to
efine the chief difference between
ood and bad shows of this style as the
rtistic sensitivity with which these
hoices are carried off. From this stan-
point, and from more than a few
thers, Ann Arbor Civic Theatre's You
'an't Take it With You is a reasonably
ood show; a respectable amateur
The Kaufman & Hart script concerns
e home life of the wacky Sycamore
mily, a crew that reinforces the
eaning of the word "unique." Mrs.
yeamore, for example, has been a
laywright for eight long years.
othing strange abort that, but the
tory of how she came to choose that
vocation is: a typewriter was acciden-
lly delivered to the house.
MR. SYCAMORE and his friend Mr.
ePinna amuse themselves making
reworks in the basement. Daughter
ssie, gloriously rotund in this produc-
ion, dances mirthfully about the house
hile her husband Ed accompanies
er, banging childishlyA away at his
ylophone. Thieother members of the
ne-meMber household help out, each
upplying his individual brand of
Director Ted Heusel has done the
inest job this critic has ever seen on the
CT stage. His familiarity with the
ompany's abilities is outstanding.
ith a very few exceptions, and these
fault of the script, his demands on
s acters are limited to what each can
ealistically hope to achieve.
One example is a scene in which Mr.
yeamore (Ed Lesher) was apparently
intended to be the focus of attention.
Lesher, while generally a fair actor, is
nervous here, and, for some reason,
ttuely... wjtboiz, Stage, presence.
Whereas most AACT directors overlook
such dilemmas, Heusel skillfully crafts
the scene around Lesher, drawing at-
tention to the other players through
blocking and line emphasis.
.,THE PERFORMERS range from
superb to appalling. Head and
shoulders above the rest is John
Stephens as Martin Vanderhof, the
Sycamore patriarch. The sweetness
and gentility of the man are always
close to the surface. Stephens' solid
conception of his character's function
carries him pointedly through the
show: Vanderhof, though not without
his quirks, is a diplomat, a link between
the madness of his household, and that
of the world. It is his soothing manner
that irons out, the troubled love af-
fair; the major conflict. Stephens is the
best reason togive VYu Can't Take It
With You a chance.
Cathe Wright's Penelope Sycamore is
farcical business run wild; she inspires
laughter, in fact, more than her share,
but her jangle-nerved, scatterbrained
busybody imitation leaves one
struggling for a glimpse of a real
time with his leading role in AACT's
Finishing Touches last spring; his por-
trayal here is a combination of Soviet
stereotypes with each carried to an ab-
surd extreme. Fortunately, one of those
qualities is loudness: Medrano, unlike
some members of the cast, manages to
make every word heard.
To the contrary, Mengel conjures an
excellent rendition of the Russian
spirit. Her manners, and especially her
accent make hers a winning, if too
THE~ SYCAMORE'S daughters,
Alice, the most ordinary member of the
family, is in one respect the comedy's
protagonist. She falls in love with the
boss' son at her office, and is sub-
ntly torn by the realization that
gh-society clan and the collection
nies at her house could never co-
as in-laws. Linda Wacher's
cterization leaves too much to be
ed to overlook. Some of Wacker's
edly emotional moments are so
trously melodramatic as to seem
of of stage-sentimentality. Unfor-
ely, this is not the director's inten-
quelin Radlow puts forth a'strong
as the less-than-graceful Essie.
any exuberance lends a buoyancy
characterization, such as when,
med by her grandfather that he
ves of her plans to beget a child,
ionchalantly skips up the stairs to
st that, husband Ed in tow. It is the
tude of such moments over the
e of the evening that wins the ap-
il of the audience. And that of this
in the Power Center
Who's Moon dead, 31
By The Associated Press
Keith Moon, the wild, raucous
drummer of The Who, was found
dead Thursday by his fiancee hours
after announcing their engagement
at a party. He was 31.
The cause of death was not im-
mediately known, but a spokesper-
son for Moon said he did not die of a
"This is the first thing people think
of," the spokesperson said, "but he
died of natural causes."
Band leader Pete Townsend once
called Moon "an artist in mayhem";
Moon once estimated he had shelled
out $400,000 to hotels and restaurants
for his wrecking activities.
Moon announced his engagement
to Annette Walter-Lax, a 28-year-old
Swedish model at a party given
Wednesday night by former Beatle
Paul McCartney. The party
celebrated what would have been
rock star Buddy Holly's 42nd birth-
day, and marked the start in London
of Budldy Holly Week.
Moon and the Who had just com-
pleted a tour of the United States to
promote their new album, Who Are
You, their first record in three
By conincidence, American pop
singer Mama Cass Elliott died in the
same apartment as Moon, also after
Mistakes of a
Night," offers an
comedy of errors.
join forces to
Wed. - Sun.
Oct. 18 - 22
the fall of King
Richard II who
was defeated by
weaknesses in his
own nature, but
poet than lord of
the realm, Richard
proves no match
to the strength of
Wed. - Sun.
Nov. 29 - Dec. 3
The Ann Arbor Film Cooperative presents at MLB 4
Friday, September 8
(Mel Brooks, 1968) 7 & 10:20-MLB 4
ZERO MOSTEL plays the producer. When his accountant (GENE WILDER) shows
him how producing a Broadway flop can make more money than a hit, he buys
a horrible, hilarious musical called "Springtime for Hitler!" One of the funniest
movies in recent years, it was Mel Brooks's first movie andone of his best.
"Pure lunacy . .. uproariously funny!"-TIME. Academy Award, Best Original
THE TWELVE CHAIRS
(Mel Brooks, 1971) 8:40 ONLY-MLB 4
MEL BROOKS has directed this classic Russian comedy in his usual zany, fast-
paced fashion. A dying woman confesses separately to her son-in-law and the
village priest that she sewed valuable jewelry into one of the twelve dining-
room chairs before fleeing from the palace during the Revolution. This sets off
an outrageous chase as one person after another learns the secret and dashes
across Mother Russia in search of treasure. "THE TWELVE CHAIRS is a complete
joy! Mel Brooks is a major delight in a hilarious role."-Judith Crist. With
RON MOODY, DOM DeLUISE, FRANK LANGELLA, and MEL "FUN" BROOKS.
Tomorrow: THE PINK PANTHER and A SHOT IN THE DARK
F REDE RICK
comical events of
a Russian village
which mistakes a
proceeds to offer
him bribes -
- before finally
error and losses.
Wed. - Sun.
Feb. 14 - 18
struggle of a
sometime poet as
he strives to make
a place in history
for himself, his
family and his
Wed. - Sun.
A Wed. Eves. at 8 pm: Oct. 18, Nov. 29, Feb. 14,
B Thurs. Eves, at 8 pm: Oct. 19, Nov. 30, Feb.
15, Apr. 12
C Fri. Eves. at 8 pm: Oct. 20, Dec. 1, Feb. 16,
D Sat. Eves. at 8 pm: Oct. 21, Dec. 2, Feb. 17,
E Sun. Mats. at 2 pm: Oct. 22, Dec. 3, Feb. 18,
20% Discount for Students
10% Discount for non-Students
BASIC TICKET INFORMATION
Series Sale. Full Season subscriptions
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