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March 28, 1971 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 1971-03-28

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Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Sunday, March 28, 19710

Pc, geTwo / THE MICHIGAN DAILY Sunday, March 28, 1 97~

theatre

Arts Chorale: Up and coming

nThrec?
By DONALD SOSIN
The Three-Penny Opera, pre-
sented by the School of Music
and the Department of Art, is
continuing in Lydia Mendels-
sohn Theatre Monday and Tues-
day. Although the acting is of
uneven quality, and the produc-
tion sags in places, the opera is
musically very fine and well
worth seeing.
Based on The Beggar's Opera,
written by John Gay, in 1728,
Three-Penny was updated by
Bertold Brecht, and adapted in
English by Marc Blitztein, with
music by Kurt Weill. Weill's
music was a turning point in
opera in this century. Actually,
it cannot really be termed an
opera, for the nature of Brecht's
theatre precludes this sort of
formal situation. So, too, Weill
would not tie himself down to a
regular operatic format. His or-
chestra, with clarinets, saxo-
phones, brass, piano. harmonium
and percussion, rather suggests
the cabaret, the jazz band, and
the American musical theatre.
Weill was actually responsible
for creating some of the latter,
with shows such as Lady in the
Dark and Street Scene. In
Three-Penny, the music consists
of straight songs, which some-
times can become recitative-
like, or, as in Mack's final solo,
more extended and leaning to-
ward the aria.
The plot revolves around Mac-
heath, or Mack the Knife, who
is a big wheel in .the London
underworld, his friends number-
ing even the Police Commission-
er. He is secretly wed to Polly,
daughter of the beggar's friend,
Mr. Peachum. When the latter
discovers the marriage, he de-
cides to get even with Mack, for
he will not have the daughter
of a respectable beggar consort-
ing with a safecracker and sec-
ond-storey man. Mack is im-
prisoned, but escapes, only to be
captured again, and condemned
to hang. In a bitter final scene,
he says farewell to all his
friends, and then, in a Brech-
tian twist, is saved by a procla-
mation from the newly-crowned
queen. The artificiality of the
plot's construction is fully ex-
posed at the end when Peachum
addresses the audience and says
that in order to provide a happy
finish, Mack will be spared. But
he makes it clear that this is
not normally the case, and
drives home Brecht's message
about the unjustness of the
class-differences in society, par-
ticularly the German one he
was writing for.

Penny

gift

The whole tone of the opera
is tremendously cynical, from
Peachum's thriving beggar - li-
censing office, to Mack's blithe
disregard for any woman but
the one he is with at a given
moment, to Polly's stereotyped
naivete. These three characters
were well acted and sung in last
night's performance (they are
double cast) by Daniel Berry,
Lesley Manring, and Samuel
Chapin, respectively. Berry was
exceptionally convincing as an
actor; Manring was properly
plastic and Chapin a cool Mack,
although his speaking voice had
a tendency to fall into one pat-
tern and grow monotonous.
Other notable characters were
Robert Zajac as Reverend Kim-
ball, Robert Armstrong as the
Police Commissioner, and Wal-
ter Richardson as Hookfinger

Jake. These three were all in-
strumental in adding zest to the
parody of a wedding dinner in
Act One. There were other de-
lightful moments, such as the
fight between Polly and Mack's
other wife in Act Two. Other
scenes did not fare so well, the
brothel sequence and the final
jail scene suffering from drop-
ped lines, although there was a
last-minute substitution in the
former scene which was re-
sponsible for some of this.
The production was directed
by Joseph Blatt and Ralph Her-
bert. Blatt's orchestra was ex-
cellent, and all the singers were
in fine voice, although some of
their acting left much to be de-
sired, a crucial flaw in this
opera which is not an opera, but
a Brecht play with a lot of fine
music.

By PAUL CLARENDON
The U-M Arts Chorale, under
the direction of Maynard Klein,
performed works by Mozart and
Brahms in Hill Auditorium Fri-
day night, and it seems as if
this group has finally come into
its own. The singing was the
best in recent memory by the
group, and the pick-up orches-
tra from the School of Music
was more solid than those heard
in past Arts Chorale concerts.
The program opened w i t h
the Litaniae Lauretana, K. 109
by Mozart. Despite the fact that
it was written at the age of 14,
it is not an immature w o r k.
Mozart, even in his early efforts,
had a command of style a n d
form that shows through here,
and while it may not be strik-
ingly original, it is no less pleas-
ing for this. One interesting de-
tail was the modal, low-key end-
ing of the Agnue Dei, which did
not really seem a definite fin-
ish to the piece, and left the

Mellow and enigmatic 'Pearls'

audience in a quandary for sev-
eral moments.
The soloists were Roberta
Alexander, Lynda Pryor, Wayne
Brown and Edmund Ioliver, all
from the School of Music; their
singing had the refinement of
tone quality which the choir,
composed of nonmusic majors,
lacked, but the contrast was ac-
ceptable.
In juxtaposition, with this
early work was the last piece
written by Mozart, the Requiem,
K. 626. One of the masterpieces
of the choral literature, it is
somewhat more secular in style
than Requiems that were to fol-
low by Verdi, Berliz or Faure.
More than one commentator has{
remarked upon resemblances to
the Magic Flute. But it is none-
theless a work of great power,
from the opening Requiem and
Kyrie to the awesome Dies Irae,
the ethereal Recordare, beauti-
fully sung by the soloists, (with
Hugh Gulledge as tenor this
time) to the solemn Iacrymosa.
The choir sang quite well,
with real feeling for the musi-
cal language, and generally good
dynamic contrasts. The soloists
again were outstanding. It was
a particular pleasure to hear
Alexander who recently won a
Grinnell scholarship and h a s
been heard in numerous other
performances on campus. Also
Gulledge deserves credit f o r
stepping in to take the place of
John Martens, who was ill.
The chief weakness, often
noticeable in performances by
Klein, was in keeping hold of
the orchestra, which could get
out of step on occasion, due to
the few rehearsals alloted with
it. One wishes that if the time
is taken to polish a choir simil-
ar time be given to creating
more precision and subtlety in
the instrumental portion. But
the weak points here were minor,
and the performance went
smoothly for the most part.
Also on the program were two
songs by Brahms, Op. 112, rare-
ly, if ever, performed. This is

unjust, for like the rest of
Brahms' late works, this music
is characterized by beauty of
melodic line and intense emo-
tional feeling. Although it was a
pleasure to hear them in any
condition, one would have ap-
preciated more careful attention
to dynamics and tone here, for
the writing is of a delicate na-
ture that demands this.
Judging by the large aud-
ience, the Arts Chorale has a
solid reputation on campus (or
maybe its' Mozart). Whatever
the case, the combination was a
winning one, and one anticipates
more fine work by the group and
its director in the future.
SPECIAL SHOWING
MONDAY NITE ONLY
DON QUIXOTE
dir. Grigory Kozintsev (1959)
Russian version of classic story.
"Stunning film in which the ro-
bust characters of Cervantes
come to life on a vast screen
full of dramatic detail."

-

CINEMA II
"A View From the Bridge" 1961
with Carol Lawrence, Raf Vallone, Maureen Stapleton, Jean Sorel
directed by SIDNEY LUMET
Film version of Arthur Miller's play
SUNDAY, MARCH 28 7:00, 9:00 p.m.
Aud. A, Angell Hall 75c
-NEXT WEEK-
MARLON BRANDO'S
"'ONE-EYED JACKS"

Il

ci n a Gu

'
ii

SATURDAY-SUNDAY-MARCH 27, 28
TWO OR THREE THINGS
I KNOW ABOUT HER
dir. JEAN-LUC GODARD (1966)
Directed by one of the greatest New Wave film-
makers-GODARD, and filmed by the king of the
cameramen-Raoul COUTARD. It's 24 hours in the
life of a wife prostitute.
-During intermission, a tape made dur-
ing Godard's 1970 trip will be played.

-

1111H

By RICHARD LEHFELDT
I was unable to find any
Pearls Before Swine records be-
fore tonight's concert, and may-
be (in terms of the dramatic sur-
prise effect) it was just as well.
The clientele on line in front of
Canterbury House was every bit
as ignorant as 'I was; the most
I could get out of any of them
was that the band's music was
"mellow" and its lyrics "enig-
matic." The leader of the group
himself, compounding the con-
fusion, noted that If you love
Canned Heat, you'll love Pearls
Before Swine."
None of which told me (or tells
you) very much about this group.
Boggled at first by the idea of a
mellow, enigmatic Canned Heat,
I was pleasantly surprised to find
that Pearls Before Swine is noth-
ing of the sort. Their music (two
acoustic guitars, a Fender bass
and an unamplified piano) is
quiet, gentle and folky, with the
pianist's country-style riffs often
making the group sound some-
what like The Band.
Most of the songs played during
the two generous sets the group
offered were original, the rest
being a very enjoyable selection
of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen
songs. Of the latter, especially
beautiful was the rendition of
Cohen's classic "Suzanne," ac-
companied only by acoustic gui-
tar. As an extra-added attraction,
the group did a stirring cccktail
music style rendition 'of Merle
Haggard's equally classic "Okie

from Muskogee," complete with
shoo wop wa doo's.
I thoroughly enjoyed most of
the original material, whose sub-
ject matter ranged from drugs
to mock-protest to anti-war to
science fiction to suicide to nos-
talgia to drugs, etc. All of the
songs were executed flawlessly
but not with the sort of mechai-
cal dispassion which character-
izes many groups currently into
a more structured, harmonic
sound. The musicians were (or
seemed) very relaxed, apparent-
ly really enjoying every minute
of their performance. The re-
partee was humorous aad uncon-
trived, and the audience did not
lose interest at any point.
In short, I had an extremely
enjoyable night listening to this
group. Also (to repeat what has
been said countless times before
about Canterbury House), ths is

an ideal place for a relaxed,
amiable concert. (I have to men-
tion a neurotic passion I have
for the place's extraordinary ap-
ple cider.) Pearls Before Swine
will be appearing tonight and
Monday night, and I strongly
urge you to get over there and
see them if you possibly can.
They are a most welcome rest
period from the likes of Canned
Heat.
Slavomir Mrozek's Out at Sea
will be presented as a puppet-
play, with tape and slides, in the
Residential College. The Sunday
and Monday night performances
at 7 and 9 p.m. will be per-
formed in the Halfway Inn. The
play is directed by Betsy Fifer
with a cast of Susan Darvas,
Dan Rasmussen, Keith Clark,
Dena Mussaf, and David Fris-
inger.

7 & 9:05
662-8871

75c

ARCH ITECTURE
AUDITORIUM

I I -- ___________________________________

7 & 9:05
662-8871

ARCH.
AUD.

ROURT I(KHA(L J.
R4DFORD POLLARD
LITTL4 FAUSS
MD BIG HALSY d
3rd
WEEK

I'

i

"A ROARING
VISUAL DELIGHT!"
-L.A. TIMES
"A M UST" -PLAYBOY
OPEN 12:45
SHOWS AT 1:15-3-5-7-9 p.m.
Corner of State and Liberty Sts.
DIAL 662-6264
Starts Thursday, April 1st
Dustin Hoffman
as
"LITTLE BIG MAN"

' HV4~~ ~~~.b. . . . . ,... t: ,". ,5, ... ... .........':.....?"......... . : hx~.... . . . ... . .:. 2..r ...d +" f
TONIGHT!
* attle of Algiers
331 THOMPSON (between William and Liberty)
Donation $1 7&9:30 p.m.
Academy Award-Best Foreign Film (1966){
A Newsreel-Magic House Benefit
TI

DOORS OPEN 12:45
SHOWS AT 1,3, 5,7, 9P.M.
NEXT: "GOING

-Wanda Hale. New York OadY News
DOWN THE ROAD"

Sponsored by
Creative Arts Festival

NOMINATED FOR
ACADEMY
AWARDS
BEST PICTURE
BEST DIRECTOR
BEST ACTRESS
BEST ACTOR
BAST SUPPORTING ACTOR
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAI
F RBEST ORIGINAL MUSICAL SCO

MMEMMj

s
GP
Y
RE
Y
45
7, 9
ded

APRIL 2-3
7 and 9 p.m.
atural Science
Auditorium
$1.50 AT DOOR

4+.

AAFC

March 30

75c

Ali Macfraw'Ryan 'Neal
A HOWARD 6 MINSO-ARTHUR HILlERProduction:
John Marley & Ray Milland
7th
(E-p WEEK!

603 E. Liberty
DIAL 5-6290
Doors Open 12:
Shows at 1, 3, 5,
Free List Suspen

A James Bond Farce!
Casino Royale
WITH-
Jean-Paul Belmondo, Woody Allen,
Orson Welles, Charles Boyer & David Niven

Lmm;M-lo

Subscribe To
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Phone 764-0558

Aud. A-Angell Hall

7:00-9:30

_.____.___.. J ____.

ii March 31-April 3
Trueblood Theater
Noel Coward's

8:00 P.M.

university of Michigan Film Socie
presents
Marcel Carne's
Les enfants du pai

.ty (ARM)
radis

Drunk drivers bring families together.

(Children of Paradise)
written by JACQUES PREVERT
with Arletty, Jean-Louis Barrault,
Pierre Brasseur, Pierre Renoir
FRIDAY-SATURDAY-SUNDAY
March 26, 27, 28

W

In hospital rooms and at funerals.
Because that's where the drunk driver's victims wind up.
Drunk drivers are involved in at least 25,000 deaths and 800,000
crashes every year.
And what can you do?
Remember, the drunk driver, the abusive drinker, the problem drinker
may be sick and need your help.

1I

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