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January 30, 1971 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 1971-01-30

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THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Saturday, January 30, 1971

theatre

music

nn Arbor drama:
Alive and growing
By MARCIA ABRAMSON
Theatre is growing, and growing free, in Ann Arbor. If last
ht's opening of the five-week Ann Arbor Drama Festival is an
ample of things to come, there will be a lot of good move-
nt coming at Canterbury House.
Setting theatre in the sparseness of Canterbury, with no trap-
gs, no admission (a donation if you can) seems to eliminate
barrier between actor and audience. This theatre can be part
you, and if it fails, you find yourself forgiving and welcoming the
-enpt.
Last night's two plays, The Dinner, by Richard Lees, and a
sidential College production, Muzeeka, by John Guare, were,
pectively, almost a failure and very close to a success. At its
t, Muzeeka reached a high level of tragicomedy; at its worst,
e Dinner seemed a stale repetition of Pinteresque devices.
Both plays depend heavily on established traditions of the
itemporary theatre, but Muzeeka gets by all that with a free
inging sense of humor, including inventive wordplays and thea-
cal devices. When the protagonist, Jack Argue, makes a phone
.1 the actress holding the telephone prop also WAS the tele-
one, complete with clicks and buzzes. When blood was called for,
e same deadpan actress simply poured from the ketchup bottle.
For this sense of humor alone Muzeeka would be worth seeing.
Is a basically funny play, although it also attempts a wide-
rging social satire which sometimes seems overstated; how many
ies can you hear Lyndon Johnson's "mah fellow Americans..."?
The progress of Jack Argue, who looks like the epitome of
aightness in his coat and tie and his house in Connecticut, is
irked by banners which cross Brecht and Fielding: "In which
gue learns something about himself:" "In which Argue sings a
ny (which he does, down to the serial number)."
Underneath Argue is a heart which longs for the natural man.
idolizes the mystery of the Etruscans and feels close to animals
xcept dolphins who are as confused as men). Argue's plot is to

Quintet: Wind from the woods

1

-Daily-Tam Stanton
Sharing alspecial thing

By DONALD SOSIN
Twentieth - century compos-
ers have produced a prolifera-
tion of works for wind ensemble,
and four of them were pre-
sented in a generally innocuous
but pleasing concert last night
by the University Woodwind
Quintet.
The Pastoral (1945) by Vin-
cent Persichetti opened the pro-
gram. Born in 1915, the com-
posernhas a solid reputation as
a pianist and theorist, in addi-
tion to that established for his
prolific creative output. The
brief example of his work that
we heard was typical in its har-
monies; he writes in a neo-
classic style which is relatively
free of cliches, but on the other
hand does not often offer some-
thing vastly original. He fre-
quently employs quartal harmo-
nies. which were pretty well used
up by the time Hindemith got
through with them; so I was
not really excited by this nev-
ertheless gentle and lyrical
work.
Similarly effective, while lack-
ing uniqueness, was L e o n
Stein's Sextet for Alto Saxo-
phone and Wind Quintet, in
which the group was assisted by
Laurence Teal. Stein, a Chicago
composer of the same genera-
tion as Persichetti really gets
into parallel fourths and in this
respect leans on Hindemith.
His work lacks variety in sound
and texture, though, so while
it is not really bad music, it
does not meet a very high stan-
dard.
I am tempted to say the
obvious a b o u t the Partita
(1948) by Irving Fine, but I
will resist and call the work
delightful in its varied moods.
An introduction leads to a
theme, of which the first frag-
ment and its inversion are then
presented in a variation. This is
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followed by a short interlude
which anticipates the exuberant
Gigue. I found this movement
fascinating in terms of counter-
point as well as form, which was
basically sonata, ending abrupt-
ly in a new tonality. A plaintive
coda concludes the work, wvhichi
I felt to be the most interesting
on the program.
The evening concluded with
Leslie Bassett's Woodwind Quin-
tet, written in 1958 and dedi-
cated to the members of the
University ensemble at that
time. In four alternating slow-
fast movements, a powerful feel-
ing of motion is created through
the use of trills and ostinato
rhythms, a feeling which con-
tributes more to the success of
the work than the melodic ma-
terial: it is hard to do very much
with trills. As with the Persi-
chetti and Stein I was content
if not overwhelmed.
Variety from the contempo-
rary fare was provided on the

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4

first half by the Sinfonia No.
1, by Johann Cristoph Bach and
arranged by h o r n i s t Mason
Jones. As far as performance
gos I was most happy with this
work. because of the balance
and attention given to dynamics.
something noticeably lacking in
the Bassett, for example. There
were technical difficulties in
spots throughout the program,
but one should remember, as
with she Stanley Quartet, that
these are teachers taking time
out from their heavy schedules,
and the large audience testified
to the appreciation of their time
:jnd effort.
* * *
As a coda, I feel f would be
negligent in my duties as a sur-
veyor of the music scene if I did
not take note of the 95th birth-
day of Havergal Brian, British
composer of thirty-four sym-
phonies among other things.
Happy Birthday and good luck
on number 35.

"ONE OF THE
YEAR'S 10 BEST!"
-Vincent Canby, N.Y. Times
-Russell Baker, 'The
Observer'--N.Y. Times
--Rex Reed in N.Y. Times

"ONE OF THE
YEAR'S 10 BEST!"
-Judith Crist, New York
Magazine
-Bob Salmogci,
Group W Radio
ROBERT REDFORD in

-Daily-Tom Gottlieb
take over the world through Muzeeka, the piped-in music which he
will control to release the hidden Etruscan in every one.
In perhaps the best scene of the play, Argue visits a prostitute
(enchantingly grossly done by Leora Manischewitz) who can see
through him "You're a phony," she tells him. "NO I'm not, I read
Catcher in the Rye," he answers, but he is Left At A Loss-he knows
it is true. The lovely lumpen provides pleasure through a flashy
machine with a long tube; Argue wants a real connection, but he
can't make t.
Argue finds release in killing as he is drafted to Vietnam. He
works for CBS .(although NBC offers a better deal, more residuals.)
His buddy worries about getting busted down to Channel 56. His
buddy is a natural man from the country, a dreamer of simple
pleasures, whether at home or on rest-and-recreation in Bang-
cock or Thigh-land.
When Argue discovers this natural man really makes cess-
pools and advertises them in giant neon signs on mountaintops, it
it all over. Argue self-destructs.
The Dinner was a much less ambitious attempt, presumably
about alienation etc. Two very detached, dried up people have din-
ner of sorts (it is burnt of course) and the frumpy nagging wife
tells of the visit of the mysterious stranger who asked for a menu-
of her daughter.
When she took up a pot to chase him away, the stranger
smiled and left. Upon hearing this, the deadpan partner gets the
idea, smiles and leaves.
Lees then chose to repeat the same sequence, except that the
quiet husband laughs before he leaves. And then, it seemed as
though he was going to do it again-but he stopped at the first
line, creating the best moment of the whole play as the audience
realized with relief that they did not have to see it again.

By DANIEL ZWERDLING
Sea Train played one of those
rareconcerts last night where
an audience, a small audience,
knows it has shared a v e r y
special hour with a musical gen-
ius so extraordinary that few
of them will ever hear music
quite the same again.
That's Sea Train's violinist
virtuoso, Richard Greene. Stand-
ing tall and looking like Mich-
aelangelo's David with long
flowing blond curls and a heroic
acquiline nose, his violin drips,
explodes, shivers, flies, s o m e
priceless treasure which Greene
caresses and coaxes with total
control and rapport. He's part
country, part jazz, soaked and
raised in classical technique,
but Greene has absorbed it all
and borne a musical violin hy-
brid all his own.
Sea Train was a relatively ob-
scure Mill Valley band until
last summer when they hit the
east coast. They often played in-
formal afternoon concerts, such
as a noon job for office workers
in Washington, just to get ex-
posure. Now, especially that
their new album is out - they
cut one before, but would just
as soon forget it - they's climb-
ing fast to join The Band and
Crosby. Stills Nash & Young as
the untouchable virtuosos of the
folk-country-rock field.
It's Richard Greene who makes
it. Not that the other four aren't
talented musicians, but they're
basically backup men, a solid,
strong group which provides a
canvas for Greene's artistic tri-
umphs.
But that's how it should be.
Greene's violin overshadows
everything, leaps above every-
thing, Greene standing t h e r e
crouching on his spiderlong legs,
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twirling slowly on one leg and
then stretching from his toes,
his face raised and looking off
to one side with a blissful smile
almost as if he's somewhere in
the skies playing for a greater
cosmic, audience while the rest
of Sea Train is standing there
on the stage in Hill Aud.
Sea Train began with the lead
song on their new album.
"Moving". It begins with an
insistent rhythmic violin wah
wah, and features the two vocal-
ists, keyboard man Lloyd Bas-
kin and guitarist Peter R o w-
lands, in a fresh, close duet. By
the second song, "Caroline,"
everyone knew they were hearing
a genius, with Greene's weep-
ing, crying solo and drawn out
wails beginning on the wah
wah pedal.
Much of Sea Train's music is
solemn, almost semi-religious in
the country way - but "All of
My Life" is a simple fun refrain.
"All my life, I've been looking
for someone to be my wife,"
which, builds up and up in a
Beatle-like repetitiondcrescendo,
then quiets - and Greene plays
alone, reeling at a barn dance
then careening on his wah wah,
then piercing in octaves, then in
a mideastern minor mode, go-
ing crazy, Gr-ne, so that his
violin bow strings start coming
apart and the crowd rises in a
standing ovation.
The only time I wished Greene
wTould keep out of it was a resur-
rection of the Blues Project Flute
Thing with Andy Kulberg leav-
ing his bass to play a moving
jazz flute. Greene took over the
solo and Kulberg was lost.
The one piece where Greene
really plays in the background
- if he can ever be near the
background -- and Sea Train
plays as a unit is "Song of Job",
a long faithful musical narra-
tive of the Bible tale about
God's test of Job's faith. It
features a magnificent vocal solo
by Rowlands who yodels, and
sings with a flair for emo-
tion and dramatics. Unfortun-
ately. Rowlands ruined the po-
tential of the piece playing some
of the emotion for laughs in-
stead of straight. It's as if, just
at a crucial moment in a play,
some actor burps.
* * *

set, is one of the finest guitarists
in the country. He played Dy-
lan's last two albums, and now
has become the most sought-af-
ter studio man in country-folk
music. Bromberg doesn't look
the part, this tall, gangly scrag-
gly haired boy who looks like
he's from Brooklyn Tech and
now is playing at country. But
he plays extraordinary guitar,
mostly blues last night, m o r e
sensitive and masterful than any
of the great Delta or Chicago
blues men I've heard. Bromberg
isn't much of a singer, but like
Arlo Guthrie whom he often re-
sembles, he works well with his
coarse, unrefined and untrain-
ed voice. It provides a ragged
contrast to his guitar, which is
infinitely subtle and never miss-
es a note: Bromberg always
knows when to droop a note;
when to lift it, when to slide,
when to play it straight or shake
it; his fingers move effortless-
ly telling the guitar what to say.

From Columbia Pictures
with Eva Marie Saint
and GEORGE SEGAL
(star of 'The Owl and
the Pussycat')

I-
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Sat., Sun.--Jon. 30, 31
THE SHOP ON MAIN STREET
di r. Joseph Kador, Czechoslovakia (1965)
Oscar for Best Foreign Film of 1965
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World War 11.
"The Shop on Main Street" will make you laugh and, if you ever
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