THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Friday, November 20, 1970 OVI'I
Page Two THE MICHIGAN DAILY Friday, November 20, 1970
Both bitter and
By MARCIA ABRAMSON
Plaza Suite is brittle, o f ten
bittersweeticomedy. Beneath the
1laughter is the sickness of our
society. At' its worst, the laugh-
ter comes from stock situations,
characters and jokes; at i t s
best, the laughter is real' and.
Neil Simon's play consists of
three one-acters about middle-
aged marriage in America, more
specifically in the (Jewish) sub-
urbs of New York. Plaza Suite is
aimed at a very specific aud-
ience, and as such was of course
a smash hit.
The second piece, called "Visi-
tor from Hollywood," was an V
example of Simon's humor at
its low point. Two high school
sweethearts are reunited: he is
a Hollywood producer and she is.
a New Jersey housewife. Aided
More sooper ARTS on Page 7
LAST CHANCE TO SEE!
8:30 at HILL AUD.
Blues Festival Benefit
PAUL JOANNE ANTHONY
NEWMAN WOODWARD PERKINS
A STUARI ROSSNIERG - PAUL NEWMAN - JOHN FOREMAN PRODUCTION
cosor~ LAURENCE HARVEY W~,G3
1eEt4IC0WR"Ft' WAVlS10N' A PARAMOL*IT PICTLft
Sat.-Sun. 1 :00
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The Contemporary Jazz, Quintet
Spend An Evening With
LEON HENDERSON-Tenor Sax, Flute
KENNY COX-Acoustic, Electric Piano
RON BROOKS-Acoustic, Electric Bass
Satu day, Nov. 21-8:30 P.M.
by name-dropping, he is quick-
ly able to get the bored house-
wife right where he wants her.
Larry Parks as the visitor was
all bellbottoms. and love beads,
very slick and with no special
characteristics. Betty Garrett
did not. do much with the house-
wife, who ostensibly is playing
the good girl while longing to
hop into bed with the "famous
Hollywood producer." She was
too nasal and repeated "Otto
Preminger" and "Humphrey Bo-
gart's house" just too many
The act was entirely predict-
able and only became funny at
certain moments; for instance,
when Parks got "casual"sand
spread. his legs to show a skin-
tight peacock blue crotch.
Garrett carried over the man-
nerisms she used much more ef-
fectively in her first role as a
48-year-old housewife, dumpy
from childbearing and stupid
from her years of confinement in
the 12-room mansion in Ma-
Here Garrett's portrayal has
achieved a genuine tragicomic
intensity. There was something
special about her Karen Nash;
unlike Norma Hubley of t h e
third skit, she was not the stock,
wealthy matron trying to be
young and keep cool.
Karen Nash was sad and sil-
ly; but she kept her sense of
humor no matter what happen-
ed, unlike her stuffy husband
who is terrified by aging. He
struggles to keep his w e i g h t
down and prove his youth with
his secretary; Karen cannot
keep .up,. for she has sense
enough to see how silly he is.
Garrett's Karen Nash was a
perfect and pitiful example of
the plight .of middle-aged wo-
man, the first to be thrown on
the junk pile of this y o u t h-
mania. society. Her children.
don't needher, and her husband
wants to start it again with a
chic, young secretary. On the
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night she plans a pathetic anni-
versary fling, she learns w h a t
she has really always known.
Yet she triumphs over him be-
cause she can still laugh and he
cannot. He is a wooden auto-
maton, who, she says, can't even
bother looking outside the! of-
fice for someonetoshave an af-
fair with. He refuses to face the
truth, and tells her to lie about
the son whoris a drop-out and
even about her age, since' her
age marks him.
For the husband, she is an
efficient old servant, a neces-
sary piece of furniture. He does
not want to lose her; but he
does not want to bother talking
to her, either. She knows only
about house painters and dinner
parties, while his secretary can
So there she is: trapped. He
can escape, pretending to be
young again, but she is, left
alone, undesirable, very much a
victim of society.
In this piece Simon's touted
one-liners were at their best, es-
pecially in Garrett's role. "If
you don't come out I'll tell the
waiter you wear dentures!" she
tells Parks, in a moment of exas-
peration. Or, at the height of
her intensity, she cries, "You're
a bastard. Do you want cream
or sugar?" Here Simon has cap-
tured her perfectly.
In the third piece Garrett be-
came a socially conscious, still
attractive mother in her mid-
40's with a reluctant bride for a
daughter. Garrett and the blus-
tering father try to persuade the
girl to come out of the bath-
room in which she has locked
Nothing works. As Garrett and
Parks run through some fairly
funny lines and slapstick devices
like a jacket that tears down the
back or falling out a window,
they argue over who is to blame.
In the end the bridegroom con-
vinces the daughter to come out
with two words: "Cool it." She
has been afraid that their mar-
riage will turn out just 1 i k e
her parents', full of anger and
But she does come out, hope-
ful that theyscan do it better.
And as somebody well under
forty, I could not help but think
that Simon's plays must say
that to people in my generation.
So much of what he pokes fun
at is both true and tragic. Per-
haps he is not conscious of h i s
social criticism: but his com-
edy, at its best, reflects the
deeper wounds of our time.
Friday, November 27, 1970 at Cobo Arena
Show starts at 8:30 P.M., Doors Open at 7:30 P.M.
Tickets are: $3.50, $4.50 and $5.50. Tickets on sale now at all
J. L. Hudson stores, Grinnell stores and cobo Arena Box Office,
Washington Blvd., Detroit, Michigan 48226. Phone No. 962-
An Aruse Production
Friends of the White Panthers
Ann Arbor Rock & Roll Jamboree
4th RECORD BREAKING WEEK!
"AS ALLEGORICAL PARODY JOE IS BOTH
THOUGHTFUL AND POWERFUL"
-Neal Gabler, Mich. Doily
"I HAD MY GUTS TWISTED BY 'Z' AND
'EASY RIDER,' AND I DID NOT THINK
THEY COULD DO IT AGAIN!"
-Harlan Ellison, L.A. Free Press
Iron Horse Exchange
Light Show: People's'Light & Power
SUNDAY, NOV. 22
power as the
the new 'Joe'
The New Yorker
C IMA BUIL
Friday, Nov. 20
THE APU TRILOGY, Aporjito
dir. SATYGAT RAY 1958
Second film in Ray's great trilogy about the
life of a young Indian boy. Apu goes off to
the big University of Calcutta.
On Saturday we will show the last film in
the Trilogy, The World of Apu.
Sunday at 7, 9, and 11, all three films will
7 & 9:05 ARCHITECTURE
662-8871 7C AUDITORIUM
Rita Tushinghom and Michael Crawford
(And how to get it) "
directed by RICHARD LESTER
("Hard Days Night", "How I Won the War", "Petulia")
PLUS A SHORT-"The Fatal Glass of Beer"
starring W. C. FIELDS
Friday and Saturday-Nov. 20, 21
Aud. A, Angell Hall 1:00, 9:30
AalWat Disney Extravaganza
"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"
"The Wind in the Willows"
Friday & Saturday-3 shows: 7:00, 9:00, 11:00
1 8 mustbe
by an adult
SAT. & SUN.
all seats 75c
*SAT. 5, 7,9, 11
O FIFTH VO('UM
PIPTh AVIUMJU AT LIERTY
DOWNTOWN ANN ARBOM4
E FR .7, 9,11
Works By BRAHMS
MON. NOV. 23-8:00 P.M.
II mmmmmmmeSALE ENDS MONDAY, . NOV. 23, 1970 '"_"_"__"
OVER 25,000 LP'S,
OVER 300 LABELS IN STOCK
WATCH FOR SPECIAL SALE
ITEMS CHANGING WEEKLY
1235 S. UNIVERSITY " 300 S. STATE "0- ANN ARBOR,
668-9866 665-3679 MICH.
2nd WEEK IN STEREO SOUND!
"AN UNPRECEDENTED PSYCHEDELIC
ROLLER COASTER OF AN EXPERIENCE"
(ontemporary Directions 1910-11
The Michigan Contemporary
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 1970, 8:00 P.M.
RACKHAM LECTURE HALL
YOU HAVEN'T HEARD
ANYTHING UNTIL YOU'VE
HEARD T I N A TURNER
SING "PROUD MARY"
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workshop at the Philly Folk
. confident & tightly
harmonized team ... voices
that leaped & 'Milted, eyes
that danced, and a variety
of hats to give atmosphere
to their songs."
John S. Wilson
New York Times.
Ike & Tina
DAVID BATES, Conductor
CHARLES IVES ........From the Steeples and the
JACOB DRUCKMAN .... ..Animus I for Trombone
and Electronic Tape
KARLHEINZ STOCKHAUSEN ...........Refrain
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