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March 25, 1971 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 1971-03-25

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Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Thursday, March 25, 1971 *

Pcige Two THE MICHIGAN DAILY

,. , ,

Playing

in

N.Y.

with

Prince

and

Vonnegut

By MARCIA ABRAMSON ed of an
Company, the musical that is story in
winning all the prizes this year, Bobby, a
truly deserves them: it is as per- married
feet a-piece of plastic America as learns ti
has been concocted for Broadway above. H
inal16ng time. by runs t
It has a Star (Elaine Stritch) cmes t
It has Real (almost) Sex. It has Being
Swinging Couples. It has swing- things
ihg New York City. It has a smoke d
Deep Human Massage: it's not affairs,
so great to be married but it's a and thei
lot :worse not to.be married? make it
These great attractions appar- right in
ently. have enabled such wise hoo-hah
critics as Walter Kerr to over- stage Ma
look the- mediocre sense of hu- Most
mor, the complete lack of char- were qu
aster development, and the un- coholic
intelligibility of most of the ly- jokes, w
rics. After all,rhow .could pros standar
like Stephen Sondheim and liberal j
Harold Prince go wrong? do you
All this makes me wonder if jokes an
Company is not part of a plot a terrib
by New York theatre people to bert!"
lure the tourists with a sli c k, There
packaged formula for the "big ed girl,r
show" to tell the folks back and bur
home about. Hence the awards, like the
and the reviews. on televi
Everything that Company. Stritcl
could do right seems to go was out
wrong. Elaine Stritch gets to song is
sing one song and has nothing woman
else to do but collect awards. one -m
Her talent, the best the show has to do t
to offer, is virtually wasted. lunch. .
The music is bright and cat- brunch.
chy, but in general the lyrics play vi
spoil it. *MUost songs were ex- fortunat
tr'melyn complicated and sung do with
so fast they were impossible to very pr
hear. ''he exceptions were the tha wou
best Imonftents of the show: Strit- The s
ch's "Ladies Who Lunch," a bit- bright1
ter satire .which was too good latest
for. &ompany:.and had nothing young el
to do .,with, the show; Susan eral set
Browning' : "Barcelona," which elevators
earned her a Tony nomination; sensee
and ' Pamela Myers' "Another apartme
Hundred People," the requisite exist.
love-hate routine about the Big The t
City panry, th
Not much acting was requir- ly grar
Last year's longest running whirl o
off-Broadway hit To Be Young, hoping,
Gifted & Black will be present- thrust o
ed la Ann Arbor under the joint tenderly
auspices- of the Professional - one
Theatre Program and the Uni-, ..: "A r
versity Activities Center (UAC) To Be
as a highlight- of the Creative is a s e
Arts Festival March 28 at Hill Hansber
Auditorium, of A Ra
Acclaimed by the New York Lorrain
Times. .as- "An extraordinary younges
achievement! . . . Wonderfully woman
moving!" and."A joyous laugh- matist
ter-filled event" by. CBS-TV, York Di
"Young, Gifted & Black" comes "Best P
to the Michigai campus follow- MissI
1n* its successful: New York run. The Sig
Other critics hailed, it as "A Window

y of the cast. The non-
volves the adventures of
bachelor who visits five
couples and supposedly
he concise moral stated
low, I don't know. Bob-
around for a while, then
o his great revelation,
Alive."
's friends do all the neat
the tourists expect:
dope, learn karate, have
cohabit, get divorced
n cohabit; Bobby gets to
with a stewardess (wow)
a bad (under blankets,
) right there on the
artha!?
of the "bright" lines
ite dull. There were al-
jokes, mother-in-law
women's lib jokes - a
d routine. ,There were
okes - how many blacks
know? - and Jewish
ad sex jokes ... "You're
ly attractive man, Ro-
was even a nearly nak-
MIartha, dancing around
mping and grinding just
old "Laugh-In" shows
ision. Why? Why not?
's "Ladies Who Lunch"
of another show. The
a satire of the useless
- Stritch is playing
who have nothing better
han sit at an endless
planning an endless
"Here's to the girls who
fe," Stritch rasps. Un-
tely, this has nothing to
Compnay, which is a
o-marriage show. (Mar-
ldn't like it otherwise.)
ets were all appropriate
plastic furniture, t h e
for the sophisticated
ite of the Big City. Sev-
levels connected w i t h
s were used to give a
of gorgeous luxurious
nt buildings that don't
heatre that holds Com-
ae Alvin, is approximate-
ndiose, with expensive

drinks in the basement and ex-
pensive prices. It's just what you
expect for Company, which will
probably run for years to f u 11
houses.
* * * *
Happy Birthday Wanda June
is in a much smaller theatre, but
it's probably going to close pret-
ty soon, after a respectable run
of eight months or so.
And that's too bad, because
Wanda June, Kurt Vonnegut's
first play, is worth seeing. Von-
negut is an immensely likeable
novelist, and an immensely like-
able playwright. He is comfort-
able, and, more than comfort-
able, fun to be with for an eve-
ning,
Vonnegut's usual metaphors
and themes re-appear in Wanda
June. Instead of Dresden, the
crime is Nagasaki, represented
by Looseleaf Harper, the m a n
who pushed the button and has
been wandering around in con-
fusion ever since. Instead of
Tralfamadore, the metaphor is
Heaven - where all people, good
and bad, go after they die to
participate in the Great Shuffle-
board Game in the Sky.
What is now in Wanda June is
the story of supermacho Harold
Ryan (just call him Ernest
Hemingway), who gets lost in
the jungle for seven years and
comes back to find himself ob-
solete. "Peace," as represented
by a two-fingered cowardly doc-
tor, i in; the carhop picked up
in a hamburger joint has been
to college. Penelope (get it?)
now prefers the doctor, and re-
fuses to be anyone's possession.
As the play develops, Vonne-
gut lets on that supermacho,
Harold never really existed. All
along, he has been not Ulysses,
but Leopold Bloom. As his al-
coholic former wife, Mildred,
now playing shuffleboard, puts
it. in the punch line of the play:
"You know what his problem
is? I'll tell you. Premature ejac-
ulation."

One of the best things in
Wanda June is watching the
free play of Vonnegut's imagina-
tion with a new form. The play
opens with jungle calls (includ-
ing Woody Woodpecker) and the
pronouncement by Penelope that
"this is tragedy, and when the
play is done my face will be as
white as the snows of Kiliman-
jaro."
Penelope narrates the acts, ex-
cept when Vonnegut switches
the scene to heaven, set off ap-
propriately by beams of light
from overhead. There we meet
seven-year old Wanda June,
knocked off by a drunk ice
cream man on her birthday. She
-doesn't mind. She gets in the
play because her birthday cake
turns up at Penelope's - a gift
from a suitor in commemoration
of Harold's birthday.
We also meet a happy Nazi
officer who Harold knocked off.
The officer wants everyone to
know that the reason he did't
rank high in the statistics f o r
Nazi achievement was because
he was stuck in a primitive out-
post. "We did it the hard way."
He and Wanda June are play-
ing together - innocence a n d
evil, what does it mean? "No-
body's mad, we're all too busy
playing shuffleboard."
The star of Heaven has to
be wheezy, drunk Mildred, driv-
en to drink and death by Har-
old's big problem. She tried to
be a good dwife, pretending
screaming and kicking, but it
just got to her. Mildred nar-
rates life in Heaven: there was
a cyclone, and everybody watch-
ed. Nobody, she adds, deadpan
and drunk, got killed.
Harold returns to his adoring
son and understandably reluc-
tant wife. He sets about getting
rid of the suitors, the doctor
and a vacuum cleaner salesman
who begins to worship him im-
mediately as the embodiment of
manliness.
His main conflict is with the
'Swin e'
Most of their music is written
by one of their own members,
Tom Rapp. The lyrics cover the
range from 'a rose, or perhaps
the shadow of a rqse,' and rock-
et men, to jewelers and angels.
Their sound moves from t h e
gentleness of the pastoral to the
harshness of war.
. They have just released a new
album on Reprise. It follows on
three successful releases, -
Pearls before Swine, and Bala-
klava, on ESP Records, and The
Use of Ashes, on Reprise.
Because of their unique char-
acter and fine music, Canter-
bury House is presenting them
for four nights, beginning Fri-
day, March 26th. Doors open at
8:00 p.m., admission is $2.00.

doctor. In a guerrilla raid, Har-
old smashes his violin. But the
retaliation is terrible: the doc-
tor smashes Harold's ego by
forcing him to admit that he is
as comic as everyone else. Ulys-
ses reading Ulysses and realiz-
ing the truth.
The smashing of the violin
also destroys Harold by aliena-
ting Looseleaf from him. Tow-
ards the end of the play, Loose-
leaf comes to life and reveals
the human being beneath the
confusion. Looseleaf had o n c e
played violin. The act of vio-
lence against it awakens old
feelings and makes him con-
clude that Ryan's machismo
way of living-which led Loose-
leaf to Nagasaki-is crazy.
Looseleaf deserts Ryan's camp,
and no one is left but the mun-
dane, super-bourgeois vacuum
salesman who, is afraid to leave
his XKE special model in h is
car because it might be stolen.
What happens is that Ryan
adapts and recognizes his com-
mon humanity. He is much too
likeable for Vonnegut to leave
him a macho man. "I love you
- have a cigar," he says to the
doctor, who responds, "My vio-
lin is avenged." Ryan has not
really changed, but he is built
for survival; with his ethic shat-
tered, he makes his peace with

the new order, recognizing too
that the old has not really end-
ed.
It doesn't work to tell Pene-
lope "I man, you woman, get
breakfast" any more. But the
doctor walks through the park
at midnight because six people
have been murdered there and
he wants to prove to himself
that he does have Ryan's belov-
ed balls. Levels have changed.
The doctor triumphs over Ryan
with words, by reducing him to
the ordinary, but Ryan can also
see-that the doctor is much like
him.
People can hardly be perfect,
but I think Vonnegut may mean
this as an improvement. When
his own life is threatened, t h e
doctor refuses to-kill Ryan ac-
cording to Ryan's code of man-
ly honor, and then begs on his
knees for Ryan to spare his own
life. Life has become more im-
portant, even if people go right
on playing games with their
egos and images. The son - a
very likeable, honest kid - opts
for the doctor's side after an
initial period of hero-worship,
and that too can be considered'
hopeful.

Underlying this possibility are
more questions. Does it matter
if these individuals reject kill-
ing: what do they have to do
with Nagasaki or the concen-
tration camps? Ultimately, as
Looseleaf decides, they are all
pawns in a game. But where
does the game stop? Not in
Heaven. There is no god to enter
in; all that matters is the in-
dividual at the moment of de-
cision. No one will punish him
for killing. Only the conscious-
ness of his own humanity can
stop him.
If it can. I don't pretend to
know all the answers about
Vonnegut's play; one of the dif-
ficulties with seeing an unpub-
lished play is that I can't hold it
all, to see if what I caught is
borne out by the wholq which of
course I can't remember.,All I
can do is recommend that we all
go see the movie, which Von-
negut will be watching closely
in production, to find out more,
and read the play when it comes
out. Wanda June is certainly
worthy of our friend Vonnegut,
and of our attention, because
it is alive, funny, human, qnd
questioning.

University of Michigan.
Arts Chorale
MOZART
REQUIEM
Fri., Mar. 26--8:00
Hill Auditorium
Maynard Klein, Conductor
FREE
WHAT IF YOU DON'T
COME TO THE
BACH CLUB
MEETING TOtIGHT?
THINK OF:
" The fantastic people you
might have met
" The delicious f o o d you
didn't get to enjoy.
" The g r e a t program you
missed!
EVERYONE INVITED!
Thursdays, 8 P.
South Quad, West Lounge

00

- I

Ui

UNIVERSITY DnArVOSTAITZ T ! U Imnr. Unnn i tir

* 1
featuring original works of
graphic art-etchings,
lithographs,-by leading
20th century artists:

and CREATIVE ARTS FESTIVAL
YEAR'S -LOINGESUING
ARVELOUS!" "A MILESTONE!"-
--.laes Badwin--TIME MAGAZINE
N. Y. POST

i

I

20% Student Discount!

brings PTP

rl 7 A II rI IrlwA

SEATS ON SALE!
PTP Ticket Office
Mendelssohn Lobby

f probing, celebrating,
laughing, despairing, a
of spirit, brilliantly and
alive" . . . "Miraculous
marvels at the range!"
milestone!"
Young, Gifted & Black
1 f-portrait of Lorraine
ry, the brilliant author
aisin in the Sun. At 29,
e Hansberry was the
t American, t h e fifth
and the only black dra-
ever to win the New
rama Critics Award for
lay of the Year."
Hansberry's second play,
gn in Sidney Brustein's
, was running on Broad-
en she died. Her post-
play, Les Blancs, star-
es Earl Jones and Cam-
tchell on Broadway this
ar priced seats for the
matinee performance
March 28, are on sale
PTP Ticket Office in the
ssohn Theatre lobby. Uni-
students ' will receive

special discounts; h i g h school
group rates are also available.
For information, call (313) 764-
0450.
In addition, Pearls before
Swine, a musical conglomera-
tion whose work on ESP and
Warner Bros. Reprise Records
can variously be described as
medieval rock, head folk, or la-
ment from space music, will be
at Canterbury House, 330 May-
nard St., Friday through Mon-
day, the 26th-29th of March.
The four members of the group
play all the usual instruments
- guitar, organ, piano, bass,
banjo, and some unusual ones
-the swinehorn, clavinette and
dobro.

Picasso
Miro,

Dali
Calder

c
f
w

*t

I V

Chagall Friedlaender

Searle
Vasarely

Rouault
and others

MERIDIAN GALLERY'S
2nd Annual Art Auction
SUNDAY, MARCH 28th
The Main Ballroom
WEBER'S INN
3050 JACKSON ROAD
Auction time: 3:00 p.m.
Exhibition of art: 1:00-3:00 p.m.
All new works! Admission FREE

I

POPULAR PRICES!
L AflMAC H P. RR YL A DTR
SUNDAY, MARCH 28- 3 P.M.--HILL AUDITORIUM.

14

The Michigan Daily, edited and man-
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Michigan. News phone: 764-0552. Second
Class postage .paid at.Ann Arbor, Mich-
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Summer Session published Tuesday
through 'Saturday morning. Subscrip-
tion rates: $5 by carrier, $5 by mail.

way wh
humous
red Jam
eron Mi
season.
Popult
single
Sunday,
at the P
Mendell
versity

BYE BYE BRAVERMAN '

ANN. ARBOR BLACK THEATRE
presents
blackewe
A Tribute to the Black Woman in
Poetry, Music, and Dance
25-27 Mar.-8 P.M. Tickets, $2 now at
28 Mar.-2 P.M. Stanger's, Discount Records
SLAUSON JR. HIGH SCHOOL
1019 W. WASHINGTON, ANN ARBOR

4
r
t
R

.U

N

O

"Hi, Mom!"

STARTS TOMORROW

Claude Chabrol Double Feature Ends Tonight

"It is the sense of shared idiocy that makes Brian de Palmas
'Hi, Mom!' so much more satisfying than the more pretentious
'Getting Straight,' 'The Landlord' and 'Stanley Sweetheart.'
'Hi, Mom!' is not only funnier than these films, IT IS THE FINEST
LEGITIMATELY FUNNY FILM I'VE SEEN IN A VERY LONG TIME.
The movie works because it is consistent, because it is witty,
because it is played beautifully and because it resolutely re-
fuses to use most of the cliches of current filmmaking, except
when it wants to call attention to cliches."
-Vincent Canby, N.Y. Times

i

'YOU MUST SEE
"Ths mM s D
CLAUDE CHABIIOL'S'BRILLIANT,' 0
'CHILLING' 'NEW THRILLER' O
'ONE OF THE YEAR'S~
10 BEST flLMSI(

______ *1
B-

starring:

GEORGE SEGAL
GODFREY CAMBRIDGE

PHYLLIS NEWMAN
Two Showings-7 & 9 p.m.
Friday, March 26
Auditorium 100-Law School
5Qc
-CHEAP FLICKS--

DAILY CLASSIFlIEDS BRING RESULTS-USE THEM
FOR THE 3rd WEEK
THE SUNDANCE KID and C:W. MOSS (of Bonnie & Clyde
fame)-under other cover names-meet the forces of society
on the racetrack of life. T.M.K.
OPEN 12:45
"Always The Finest in
Screen Entertainment"
Corner State & Liberty Streets
Program Information 662-6264 Shows at 1:15-3-5-7-9 p.m.
"A ROARING VISUAL DELIGHT"
-L.A. TIMES

"UPROARIOUS!

Might just be this year's

0 Judith Crist, NBC TV, p C-..Q News, 0 Time.
ON. Y. Timex, NBC-TV. Village Vokce, Cue Magnzwe, Catm k w Xcv

Released by ALLIED ARISIS

'PUTNEY SWOPE'!"

tao f J

-William Wolf, Cue Magazine

I.

:.. .. .....:. :m ed y.
I}' MES HREy -U+e
-Preone
ne
:...i:fiiriiJ
Ir

"ONE OF THE
FUNNIEST,
HIPPEST,
MOST
AUDACIOUS
AMERICAN
COMEDIES
OFTHE
YEAR!"
-Joseph Getmis,
Newsday
FROM THE GROOVY GUYS
WHO BROUGHT YOU
"GREETINGS"

"A REAL THRILLER"
-UPI

"A MUST"
-PLAYBOY

AT oNPL FLM I~
"'La Femme infidele' is an exquisitely detailed, impeccably
acted, stunningly directed suspense story about adultery and
passion ... it's just about a perfect movie!"
-The New.Yorker
"ONE OF THE YEAR'S 10 BEST!"
-N.Y. Times, -Red Reed, Holiday, -Judith Crist, NBC Today
A Psycho-Sexual Study in Murder!
Emanuel LWolf presents
AN AWED ARTISTS FILM
Claude Chabrol s
BY DELUX!
lMWI

Hi, Mom!

ROBERT DE NIRO co-starring JENNIFER SALT, GERRIT GRAHAM with RUTH ALDA.ALLEN GARFIELD
Screenplay by BRIAN DE PALMA, Based on an original story by CHARLES HIRSCH and BRIAN DE PALMA
Pouced by CHARLES HIRSCH -Drected by BRIAN DE PALMA 'A WEST END FILMS PRODUCTION
COLOR - A SIGMA III ]l RELEASE
STARTS FRIDAY-7:15, 9:00, 10:45

IS'

I

ra(O aI;TH Porum 1

I

I

h " II\ ". .. .. .. ..... .i.-- - - - - - " .S. ':er .

I I I j I I -- a I-,- -V -- I I

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