Tuesday, April 2, 1574
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Tuesday, April 2, 1 ~74 THE MiCHIGAN DAILY
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Bessie Jones, friends make an
unforgettable visit to the Ark
Two Gentlemen of Verona' is
true musical Elizabethan fun
By JOAN BORUS
Bessie Jones is a powerful, unforgettable pres-
ence, both as a performer and as a person. Her two
sellout performances last weekend at the Ark serv-
ed as ample testimony of this. Wearing a long flow-
ing dress and a cross on a heavy chain, Bessie,
accompanied by her granddaughter Georgette and
a friend, "Sister" Bessie Berkes, captivated their
audiences with haunting reminders of a past era
in America's history.
Originally from Albany, Georgia, Bessie now
makes St. Simon's Island her home. The island is
one of the Georgia Sea Islands, a network of is-
lands off the Georgia and Carolina coasts. Popu-
lated largely by descendents of former slaves,
these islands have retained much of their slave
and African heritage.
Bessie speaks a dialect called Gullah, which,
combined with her rambling style of conversation
makes it hard for a person unfamiliar with it to
understand. Nevertheless, that didn't prevent any-
one from experiencing the warmth and richness of
the many different aspects of the Georgia Sea Is-
land culture which the program entailed.
Not only did the Singers perform spirituals, but
they also told folk tales and demonstrated games.
The latter proved to be one of the high points in
the program, with the group inviting audience
Another aspect central to Bessie's performance
is the deep religious faith that permeates the Is-
land culture. The religion of the Georgia Sea Is-
lands is a dynamic, involving form of Christianity
that centers upon congregational participation.
Concentrated in little "praise houses," where all
can and do respond when a member prays aloud
or sings, this "shouting" style has its derivatives
in churches throughout the South.
This side to island culture came out in full force
in a prayer meeting conducted by Bessie the fol-
lowing Sunday morning at the Ark. Stressing that
she and "Sister" Berkes were only "teachers" as
opposed to preachers, the service was neverthe-
less, a complete and joyful experience.
Bessie is something of an expert on folk reme-
dies, stating that she first learned how to make
pills and formulas for her grandfather, who left
them for her to finish while he worked in the
fields. One of her favorite medicines, and one that
she uses herself, is a mixture of pulverized oyster
shells with ocean water. According to Bessie, this
is good for cleaning out the body and is especially
good for pregnant women or anyone in general
who suffers from backaches.
If you haven't seen Bessie yet, it is highly re-
commended that you take the time to see her on
her last remaining day here. Those who do see her
will have the opportunity to talk to a remarkable
women with a remarkable background. The chil-
dren's concert at the Ann Arbor Community Cen-
ter and Project Community (625 N. Main) at ten
this morning is highly recommended, as she is
especially good with children. You will probably
get a chance and have the space to participate in
some of the games that will be demonstrated.
By BOB SCHETTER
The touring production of
Two Gentlemen of Verona, a
musical adapted from Shake-
speare and presented by the
Professional Theatre Program
(PTP) at Power Center this
weekend, was true to the origi-
nal Elizabethan spirit: fun for
both the actor and audience.
Because of poor casting and
"self - directed" acting, how-
ever, the musical's characters
were reduced to mere stereo-
The story centers upon the es-
capades of two young gentlemen:
Valentine, played by Carl Scott,
and Proteus, played by Jose
Fernandez. They differ on their
attitudes towards life. Valentine
goes off to Milan to seek fame
and fortune, while Proteus falls
in love with fair Julia, played by
By the end of the play, roles
have been reversed, with Valen-
tine falling love with the Prin-
cess of Milan, played by Rozaa
Wortham, and Proteus becoming
a sexist swine, leaving Julia
pregnant and procurring Silvia,
the Princess, for himself. All
ends well, however, with Proteus
getting his just deserts and mar-
As a modern version of the
play, everything is updated. The
music is rock (by Galt Mcdermot
of Hair fame); themes are mod-
ern (sex, war, woman's rights,
gay power), and even the scen-
ery is unconventional, with lad-
ders and platforms replacing theJ
more formal decor of Elizabeth-
Poor acting mars Kim Fried-
man's touring production. The
actor's antics are never con-
vincing. Gestures proved mean-
ingless and certain crude re-
marks came off as just that,
Carl Scott, Valentine, is the
prime example of self-directed
acting, that acting in which the
actor portrays the character
through superficial motions rath-
er than feeling.
The characterizations of Speed
and Launce, servants to the Two
Gentlemen were greatly disap-
pointing. In New York, Launce
was played by a tall human rub-
ber band, a freak in every way.
His counterpart, Speed, was
freak in the Cheech and Chong
tradition. Together, they were
stupendous. In this weekend's
show, Nick de Juria and Charlie
Rodriguez just made the roles
Still, the musical had saving
graces. Jokes, staging and cos-
tuming were exactly as in the
N. Y. original. Dancing and
singing were superb. The chorus
numbers were vital and ener-
getic, clearly the highpoints of
The touring production, despite
many flaws, could not under-
mine the spirit and joyfulness
with which Two Gentlemen was
at POWER CENTER
Fri., April 5; Sot.
,April 6; Sun., April 7
Daily Photo by STUART HOLLANDER
Bessie and , friends
Special Matinees on Saturday and Sunday
at 3 P.M.
EVENING PERFORMANCES $3.00
Tickets available at
Power Center Box Office 124 P.M.
Oscar scoreboard: Pick the winners
By DAVID BLOMQUIST
The 1974 version of that last
treat remnant of the golden age
of Hollyw6odthe Academy
.Awards ceremony, will be tele-
vised live tonight from the Doro-
they Chandler Pavilion in Los An-
geles at 10 pm on channel 4. To
help guide you through the maze
of nominees and categories,
here's your official Daily Oscar
scdretard - including our own
fearless picks, indicated by as-
My the best entries win.
"Azeriean Graffiti" (Univer-
"Cries and Whispers" (New
"The Exorcist" (Warner Bro-
"The tng" (Universal) (*)
"A Touch of Class" (Avco-
It's almost a coin flip between
giants Exorcist and Sting. I'll go
with Sting to win, but I won't be
surprised if Warner's super-chill-
er pulls off the big one.
Marlon Brando, "Last Tango
Jack Lemmon, "Save the Tig-
Jack Nicholson, "The Last De-
Al Pacino, "Serpico"
Robert Redford, "The Sting"
This looks like Robert Red-
ford's year to win the gold sta-
tue, even against a list of espe-
cially strong competing per-
formances. Jack Nicholson,
though, is a possible dark horse.
Ellen Burstyn, "Exorcist" (*)
Glenda Jackson, "Touch of
Marcia Mason, "Cinderella
Barbra Streisand, "The Way
Joanne Woodward, "Summer
Wishes, Winter Dreams"
Ellen Burstyn gets the nod
from this list of Oscar old-tim-
ers. Either Jackson or Mason,
however, might be able to pull
out a win in this always volatile
Best Supporting Actress
Linda Blair, "Exorcist" (*)
Candy Clark, "A m e r i c a n
Madeline Kahn, "P a p e r
Tatum O'Neal, "P a p e r
Sylvia Sidney, "Summer Wish-
es, Winter Dreams"
The only obstacle between
Linda Blair and the Oscar is a,
complaint filed with the Screen
Actors Guild claiming that a vet-
eran Hollywood stunt lady, and
not Blair; appears in many of
Exorcist's more difficult scenes.
The battle appears to be subsid-
ing in Blair's favor; still, it
might scare away some voters,
giving Tatum O'Neal a shot at
Best Supporting Actor
Vincent Gardenia, "Bang the
Jack Gilford, "Save the Tiger"
John Houseman, "The Paper
Jason Miller, "The Exorcist"
Randy Quaid, "The Last De-
Veteran producer - director
Jon Iouseman is the leading
contender' in a list of surprising-
lv good candidates. Jason Mil-
ler's Exorcist performance is a
George Lucas, "American
Ingmar Bergman, "Cries and
William Friedkin, "The Exor-
George Roy Hill, "The Sting"
Bernardo Bertolucci, "Last
Tango in Paris"
.Best director' may well be the
most unpredictable category of
the night. Pushed up against the
wall, I'd pick William Friedkin to
win for Exorcist - but this cate-
gory could easily go to any of
the five nominees.
Best Foreign-Language Film
"Day For Night" (Italy-
"The House on Chelouche
"L'Invitation" (F r a n c e-
"Turkey Delight" (Holland)
"The Pedestrian" (West Ger-
SAT., SUN., & WED. AT
1, 3 5, 7, & 9:05
THURSDAY & FRIDAY at
7 pm. & 9 p.m.
603 E. Liberty
Open 12:45. Shows at
1 . ;57 a o m.
NOMINATED FOR 3 ACADEMY AWARDS!
GLENDA JACKSON and GEORGE SEGAL in
A sophisticated comedy with MORE than "A Touch of Class"
7 & 9 p.m.-only $1
AUD. A, ANGELL HALL
COMING THURSDAY-BELMONDO in Godard's BREATHLES.
NEXT TUESDAY-Bergman's SMILES OF A SUMMER NIGHT
the film upon which A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC IS BASED.
Tickets for all of each evening's shows on sale outside the auditorium at 6 p.m.
APR. 2-FIRST CAMPUS SHOWING!
swi a 'street beat'
By BETH NISSEN
The University of Michigan
Mieoifish swam their way
through another synchronized
swim' show last Friday at the
Margarat Bell :pool. The show,
nganed "Street Beats" gave a
watery world - wide tour using
streets and the actions on them
as a conecting theme.
Most of the anbers used the
same basic synchronized pool
moves and the au4ience spent a
g e4 tegl of the show applaud-
ing feet, legs, arms and hands
rising out of the water in unison.
There were eight numbers that
looked like Busby Berkeley extra-
vagAn as with water wings and
four numbers consisting largely
of masses of bodies folding into
The more creative swims in-
cluded "The Carnaby Beat," a
three person num'ber that led to
the best synehronization of any
:nurnber in the evening.
"tight frights," done in the
dark, was one crowd favorite.
Two battery -'powered bicycle
lights were strapped to each
girl's cap and were flashed off
afd on, creating a startling
"The Vagabonds" at least tied
for crowd favorite, with a group
of Barnum and 1i$4ey-dressed
clowns perfering incredible
gy nmastie stunts off the high div-
ing board to the especial delight
of tbo children.
"path of Discovery," a co-ed
duet, use4 some lovely posed
ballet effects, but mostly looked
like two kids playing Flipper.
A group co-ed number, "The
Street Rumble" suffered from
physical strains as one poor
male struggled to heft his part-
ner into the air.
The solo swimmer in the "On
Broadway" number was particu-
larly uninspired, but can be cre-
dited with smiling so much her
teeth were chlorine-bleached.
I was apparently one of only
a handful who found the sing-
ing and guitar - playing Masters
of Ceremonies' pre-number in-
troductions as flat as matzoh.
The rest of the audience clapped
in unison when the duet sang.
There was the usual amount
of audience gasps over the ma-
rine gymnastics and ability of
the gitls to hold their breath, all
surface together, and switch pat-
ters so dramatically underwater.
Several appreciative male
members of the audience whist-
led wolfishly when the girls re-
surfaced topside, but overall au-
dience admiration was registered
in frequent applause.
To produce a show of this
length and quality, the swimmers
must have had to practice until
their body turned pruney.
The individual numbers may
have lacked choreographic inno-
vation but the water medium
was used imaginatively.
Mon.-Say-., 7:15 & 9:00
Sun., 5:30, 7:15, 9:00
A I ,
HOUSE OF IMPORTS
ON OUR ENTIRE
-NEW AND ANTIQUE-
EASTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY-MAJOR EVENTS COMMITTEE
is pleased to announce the only Detroit area performance of
with special guest stars
' Tower of Power
April 5-8:00 p.m.
$6.00 (reserved) ,
GO WILD-STREAKERS Y2/off on TUES.
If yoyr professors knew you were going to see this they'd tell you to stop learning. Don't
be surprised when you see them there.
TUESDAY-Modern Languages Aud. 3 $2 ($3 off reg. price)
WEDNESDAY-Natural Science Aud. shows each day at