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November 07, 1970 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 1970-11-07

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Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Saturday, November 7, 1970

Page Two THE MiCHIGAN DAILY Satur.doy, November 7, 1970

theatre:

cinema

American theatre lives
in the RC Auditorium!

A sidelong glance down the promo trail

By JIM HENNERTY
Judging from last evening's
performance, there is a great
deal of potential excellence in
both American drama and the
Residential College Players.
The continuing fine work of the
group was evident in their bill
of three American one-act plays,
Thornton Wilder's "The Long
Christmas Dinner," Lanford
Wilson's "Wandering" and John
Guare's "Muzeeka."
Wilder's short play examines
the changes wrought by t i m e
on a single family. Generation
after generation sit down to a
continuing Christmas dinner, as

the new-born flit invisible across
the stage and the old w a 1 k
through the exit and into t h.e
grave. Although it comes dan-
gerously near to sentimentality
at times, the fast pace and ap-
pealing simplicity of the play
make it a fairly effective short
piece.
The direction was fine, and
the acting uniformly good, al-
though the actors often failed to
give the audience enough time
to laugh, thus obliterating the
immediately following lines. Pat
Fontaine, Richard Sale a n d
Cheryl White were especially
good.

"Wandering" is a very brief
play, really more of a sketch,
about a young man who enjoys
a roving life, but is always run-
ning into the obstacles set up
by society - parents, the draft,
the rat race and so on. Wilson
presents no definitive answers,
but he does make a telling pre-
sentation of the problem. Pam
Seamon, Kevin Cooper and Nick
O'Connor work well with direc-
tor Peter Ferran, and the result
is a well-paced, precision-li k e
performance.
The feature of the evening
was John Guare's "Muzeeka."
The playwright develops at some
length the themes which a r e
briefly presented in "Wander-
ing." Jack Argue is the bour-
geois American Everyman, as he
himself kills the audience, while
his problems, visions, and ac-
tions represent the complex
character of ourselves and our
society. Argue tries to f i n d
happiness in working for t h e
Muzeeka Corporation of Amer-
ica, which produces the piped-
in music we all know too well.
Despite his elaborate plans
to bring everyone back to Etrus-
can civilization and his en-
counter with an unusually in-
sightful prostitute (played with
heart, soul and plentiful body by
Pat Maloney), Argue fails. He
tries again as a soldier in Viet-
nam. Although he sometimes
thinks he has made it in the
midst of exclusive television con-
tracts for battle coverage and
the crusade of the American
people against those dirty Com-
mies, the play makes it quite
clear that Argue is much the
worse for the experience.
Guare employs a highly ef-
fective dramatic method. The
active role of stagehands, scene
titles and other alienation ef-
fects is indicative of Brecht's
influence, which the playwright
party satirizes (as in the open-
ing scene, "Argue Sings a Pen-
ny"), and also uses with devas-
tating force (as at the con-
clusion of the play).
Humor, painful and other-
wise, plays a central role in
the action. The speeches oc-
casionally become a bit wear-
ing, but the skillful use of hu-
mor, language and imagery as-
sure the forcefulness of the
moral viewpoint. Rarely has a
contemporary play made such
effective use of poetic language
combined with witty dialogue.
Cal Vornberger's direction isj
excellent, as are the perform-
ances of Scott Cummings, Bernie
Goldblatt and the support-
ing cast.
T he amateur RC players'
versatility as displayed in these
three dramas is not to be ig-
nored. Their choice of a good
cross section of modern drama
is enhanced by their own abil-
ity to perform . . . especially
when it is free.
Haircuts that
don't look
like haircuts
TRY US-
U-M BARBERS
E. Univ. off South U.

By NEAL GABLER
Very strange that they should
open a picture in Ann Arbor of
all places. But that's exactly
what they were doing. A sneak
preview with buzzing crowds and
comment cards and Ann Arbor's
semi-elite and the University
of Minnesota football t e a in
dressed up in their blazers!
(Did you ever notice how mis-
dressed a football player looks
unless he's in uniform or in a
blazer with the school emblem
over his heart?) The Minne-
sotans had a game against the
Wolves the next day, so Mur-
ray would only let them stay for
Soldier Blue, which, I guess,
was a kind of cinematic pep
talk. Rip off their limbs, rape
their women, kill their child-
ren, hit 'em til the blood runs
and WIN. It didn't work. They
packed up their blazers and went
back home.
A girl sitting behind me,
unimpressed by the Minne-
sotans, was having a serious
discussion with her beau over
Soldier Blue. They came to the
conclusion that they'd rather
be scalped and halved t h a n
hanged or burnt at the stake.
That settled, we leaned w a y
back in our seats for the "sneak
preview." College audiences
are murder for a filmmaker.
They'll laugh and joke and gen-
erally have a good time, b u t
when the curtains close they'll
hiss and boo just to make it
perfectly clear that they weren't
enjoying the film so much as
the company: kids are nar-
cissistic that way. Since nobody
goes to the theater just to see
the "sneak" (Who'd lay down
two-fifty for a picture they've
never heard of?), these pre-
views are fair game, and the
collegians react 'ike a laugh
machine gone sadistic. T h e y
groove on the movie because it
unites them in their reactions,
and when all is said and done
they're really grooving on each
other.
A few days after the preview
and after the comments had
been as carefully calculated as
the Detroit election returns,v
came the press luncheon. A
star, Robert Walden, a guest
star, Lois Nettleton, and the
executive producer William
The MichigantDaily,tedited and man-
aoe6~ by students at the Universitv of
Michigan. News phone: 764-0552. Second
Class postage paidat Ann Arbor, Mich-
igan, 420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor
Michigan 48104. Published daily Tues-
day through Sunday morning Univer-
pity year. Subscription rates: $10 by
carrier, $10 by mait
Summer Session published Tuesday,
through Saturday morning. Subscrip-
tion rates: $5. by carrier, $5 by mail.

over a fence and start to kick
the pigeons. But if the ASPCA
is listening, no actual contact
was made.
Walden is part of the post-
Graduate era. He's young (23)
and forlorn and slightly rump-
led, looking as if he just got
hit with penumonia and t h e
mumps. He was happy to be in
Ann Arbor, he said. The Big
Ten used to be his Mecca. He
calls over Max Gurman, the
publicist for the distributor
MGM, and asks him if they're
going to show Michigan foot-
ball highlights. That's w h a t
somebody told him. Gurman
nods and walks away. But some-
how, even though the screenis
set up, the Michigan football
highlights never get shown.
Walden is quite a talented
actor, the youngest male mem-
ber ever of Strasburg's Actors'
Studio, a distinction previously
held by James Dean. Pigeon
Kicker is his third film, after
The Out-of-Towners and Roger
Corman's Bloody Mama. Of
Corman he says, "The guy is
elegant, very conservative. Looks
like someone out of Yale; but
he is one of the most daring
directors around. He'll try any-
thing. Just go to him with an
idea and he'll try it. And he
doesn't care about getting all
the credit for it.
"When I worked on The Side-
long Glances of a Pigeon Kick-
er I -tried to get the director's
and writer's attention for ten
weeks. I mean, no one ever says
what Winslow does for a liv-

ing. And I had this theory. Win-
slow was a messenger boy on a
bicycle, or a runner on W a l11
Street maybe, with a lot of phy-
sicality involved. But I never
got to talk with them about it."
Somebody else came in to get
an interview. Miss Nettleton
watched him set up his tape-
recorder. "I'm really sorry this
is going to be over tomorrow.
Back to the dull ordinary life."
Walden stretched and grinned,
"I'm going to have my o w n
press conferences for the rest of
the week." Gurman came over
and handed a note to Wilson,
and Wilson mentioned the name
of the film a few more times.
Walden went through his ana-
lysis of the title again. Miss
Nettleton said something= about
the feeling she got watching the
film, "I don't know. I can't
quite describe it."
She finished and Wilson start-
ed talking about youth movies.
"The Graduate is a love story of
the fifties. Goodbye, Columbus
is a love story of ,the sixties.
Our picture is a love story of
the seventies. That's what Ar-
thur Schlesinger said when I
screened it for him." Wilson
wasn't name-dropping. He
knows Schlesinger from t h e
Kennedy days when Wilson re-
presented John Kennedy on
the technical side at the debate
in Chicago. After the election he
served Kennedy as a television
advisor, and in 1964 he headed
up Fobert Kennedy's television
campaign in New York. He
See MEETING, Page 7

-Daily-Tom Gottlieb

music
Amusical tradition
not soured with age
By J. P. MILLER
Of the many traditions which make up reminiscences of college
life, there are several which are outstanding. That of the Fall
University of Michigan Men's Glee Club Concert, by reason of its
excellence and not its tradition, ranks foremost among them every
year. Last night's was no exception.
The concert, which also featured the University of Illinois
Men's Glee Club, was indeed a unique event. Starting with the
Illinois Clu, an extremely varied program was presented. So de-
manding was it, that the question posed to this reviewer was to
discern shades of excellence rather than relative goodness.
Starting with the classic hymns and baroque melodies, Illinois
moved to "The God Who is in the Fire" by Hovhaness-a stirring
Indian Ritual Fire Dance fully accompanied by kettle drums,
gongs, and xylophones. This was followed by more modern selec-
tions leading to "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In" (Galt McDermott).
In several of the pieces, the throaty tenor sections of this club
gaped vacantly for correct pitches, but the overall renditions were
excellent. The "Other Group," seven singers from the Club gave
a rousing chorus of "She was only a Baker's Daughter, But I Needed
the Dough," a piece of especially excellent in vocal, if not dramatic,
quality. In terms of dynamics and precision of both pronunciation
and music, they were practically unequaled-only a truly superb
group could have beat them.
Michigan's Club was indeed the fore-announced competitor.
Starting with works of Bruckner, Handel, Bach, and Schuetz, they
soon proved mastery of the classical form. In Bach's "Sheep May
Softly Graze," the hallowed majesty of the Chorale was deeply
felt. The use of two recorders, along with piano accompaniment,
brought Hill Auditorium to the center of the Arboretum-the pos-
sibility of mellow bass voices piercing silence truly achieved.
Most certainly the climax of the evening was the performance
of two negro spirituals. Willis C. Patterson, Michigan's conductor,
was able to display his excellent powers of musicianship in the
transformaton of eighty-five mid-western men into "de old south."
"The Friars," Michigan's selected group, sang a folk ballad from
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie with a darkened blue stage-an
effect which was perfectly harmonius to the subdues nine voices
and guitar accompaniment. This section of the program showed
the inspiring versatility to which this Club both identifies and
masters.
The Concert concluded with some of the more popular tra-
ditional Michigan Songs. There, in the singing of typical Glee
Club songs, the group appeared-by then an expected part of
their own tradition-as a marvelous proof of their own existence.

Wilson came to our town, to
hypo their film, The Sidelong
Glances of a Pigeon Kicker and
to be queried by Ann Arbor's
journalistic giants, people like
the News' Norm Gibson, and a
reporter from some Ypsi paper
and radio stars from WAAM.
WPAG, WNRZ and WCBN and
me. A photographer wearing a
short bush jacket and w i t h
cameras strapped over his
shoulders, snapped some pic-
tures as if he were actually from
some place other than Ann Ar-
bor or Ypsi, like Flint maybe. He
clicked away: Lois Nettleton
groaned, "I'm no good at pic-,
tures"; he smiled and left. Very
professional, didn't even stay for
lunch.
Then there were a few radio
interviews. What is this movie
about? Who's in it? Did you
always want to go into show
business? Where do you come
from? The same old questions,
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and Walden, Nettleton and Wil-
son sat there graciously dispens-
ing the same pat answers.
Interviewer: What does the
title mean?
Nettleton: Oh, he gives the
best answer. Tell him your
theory.
Walden: Well, I think that
Jonathan, who is the m a i n
character, identifies with the
pigeons who do nothing, just sit
around and get fed. So he and
a friend of his, Winslow-that's
who I play in the picture-jump
DIAL 5-6290
Shows 1,3 5 7 9:10
IS THE MOST
MOVINGTHE
MOST INTELLI-
GENTI .TE MOST
HUMANE -OHNTO
HELL WITH IT!-
IT'S THE BEST
AMERICAN FILM
I'VE SEEN THIS
YEAR !" ~ .TIMESANBY,
A MIKE NICHOLS FILM
ALANARKIN *
C ON SEPH HURER
MARTIN BALSAM; RICHARD BENJAMIN ARHUIR INEL;
JACK MM I. ;BCK HNRY BOB NEWNHART, ANIHONY PEMlUN
PAULA PRIENTISS; MARTIN SHEEN,;JON VOCHT &
ORSONWELLES ASDREE0LE SCREENPAYBY BUCKH Y
PRODUCED BY JOHN CALEY B MARTIN RANSOHOf
DIRECTEBYNIKENICHOIS misai msuma
na ' vmv au.
-s JB1~I~srTmWa

REPRESENTATIVES ON CAMPUS
November 9-11, 1910

Fi

I

1 f

MICHIGAN FOOTBALL

on

WCBN

650

with

THE RESIDENTIAL COLLEGE PLAYERS
present
An Evening of American Drama
THE LONG CHRISTMAS DINNER-by Thornton Wilder
WANDERING-by Lanford Wilson
MUZEEKA-by John Guare

Malt Bass

Pete Falkenstein

Fri. and Sat., Nov. 6 & 7
East Quad Auditorium

8:00 P.M.
GRATIS

GB BLUE
Be a Winner
uy

I

Michigan

I

Souvenirs
at
FOLLETTS

F'
Chill OUILI
AMERICAN COMEDIES FESTIVAL
Sat., Nov. 7 - ADAM'S R IB
Dir. GEORGE DUKOT, 1949
Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy
as married lawyers on opposite sides in
a trial. With Billie Holliday.
SHORT: One A.M. - CHARLIE CHAPLIN
SUN.: Last of American Comedies-Sabrina
7 & 9:057 ARCHITECTURE
662-8871 7cAUDITORIUM

Larry Barak
1:15 P.M. SATURDAY
Listen!

Bandorama

'70

re

pV

U i

FREE UNIVERSITY
BIRTHDAY PARTY
with TERRY TATE and
Buddies in the Saddle
AND
Laurel and Hardy, Keystone Cops,
Our Gang, Charlie Chaplin movies
FREE ADMISSION

Featuring
The Michigan Bands
and
The F riars

i

SAT., NOV. 7
8-12 P.M.

Michigan Union
Ballroom

A

THE PROJECT COMMUNITY
presents
ederick Wiseman's documentary

A broad selection of classical music
on records, open reel tapes, and
cassettes at the lowest regular prices
in town.

Saturday, November 14

8:00 p.m.

Fr

HILL AUDITORIUM

I

F

I

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