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March 31, 1978 - Image 7

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Michigan Daily, 1978-03-31

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The Michigan Daily-Friday, March 31, 1978-Page7

Dear Antoine

S

comedic spirit

Crowd cool to

marred by weak direc

By MIKE TAYLOR
ARLY ON in the Showcase produc
tion of Jean Anouilh's Dear An-
toine, or The Love that Failed, at the
Trueblood Theatre, Cravatar, the
drama critic, moans, "This whole thing
is bad theatre." Unfortunately for the
theatre-goer, his words couldn't be
more true.
The play itself is a clever farce.
Given a troupe of actors and actresses
who play off each other, and a director
with the strength to hold it all together,
it could be a witty, entertaining evening
of theatre. But, alas, this production
doesn't'even seem to try.
All the "action", which is a word to be
taken lightly in this play, takes place in
a baroque castle high in Bavaria shor-
Dear Antoine, orThe Love that Failed
Trueblood Theatre
March 29-April 1, 978
By Jean Anoilh
Estelle................Devorah Eizikovic
Marcellinn.................... Howard Andress
Valerie ................:........ Libby Jacobs
Anemone .................... Susan Perkoff
Carlotta......... ..........Diane Tasca
Cravatar..................... David Manis
Lapinet........,..........Loren Dale Bass
Lawyer ..................... Howard Weinblatt -
Gabrielle .................... Rebecca Stucki
Maria......... ....... Katherine Rizk
Antoine ................... Leo McNamara
Alexander..................Pat Garner
Alexis....... ............ Joseph Ignagni
Frida....................Claudia Archer
Maid .........: ................ Linda Goodman
Kathryn Long, director
tly before World War I. Antoine, a
playwright who collected houses, guns,
and, as we soon find out, women, has
recently died in a gun accident. As in-
structed in his will, a small company of
people who mattered in his life have
been invited to the mansion for the
reading of the will. One by one, they all
arrive. *
FROM THE VFRY first scene, it's
clear something is very wrong with this
play. Estelle, played by Devorah
Eizikovic, is the classic example of
theatrical overkill. Yet, with all her
over-done gestures, expressions, and
exclamations, she fails to conjure up
any sort of a character. Howard An-
dress, as Marcellin, is even worse. His
idea of characterization is' a stiff
delivery punctuated by short bursts of

muffled laughter. Throughout the play,
neither convince us that they are
anyone but a couple of inept actors who
need much more practice.
Then Valerie (Libby Jacobs), and her
daughter Anemone, (Susan Perkoff)
arrive. This is a very weak scene,
because at first it's hard to tell which of
the two women are supposed to be
older. Jacobs' performance, which is
completely amorphous, doesn't help
things, and Perkoff's role is so small at
this point all she can do is whimper,
which she does quite well. You see,
though Estelle was Antoine's wife and
Valerie his mistress, Anemone loved
him.
There are now four people on stage,
but all seem oblivious to their surroun-
dings. Good lines are, thrown away, and
chances for hearty laughs are missed
because the actors aren't com-
municating with each other. They
might as well be giving monologues.
NEXT TO arrive is the lawyer,
played by Howard Weinblatt with what
I hope is considerable embarrassment.
Weinblatt is just awful; his attempted
German accent, came out sounding like
a harsh, shrill miscast Brunhilde, and
after the way he screamed his lines, it's
a safe bet he'll have lost his voice by the
end of the week. Between his lack of
vocal technique and amateurish, inept
acting, I cringed every time he walked
on stage.
Just when I had given up hope, a loud,
colorful, extravagant, and very won-
derful woman named Carlotta enters.
Diane Tasca sizzles in the role, breath-
ing life into a play that had begun to die.
With her is the drama critic, Cravatar,
played with finesse by David Manis.
Like Tasca, Manis has created a
believable, interesting character.
Loren Dale Bass, as Lapinet, is unfor-
tunately about as skilled as the rest of
the cast. Though his hair is grey,
nothing else about him seems old.
IN THE SECOND act, Gabrielle,
played by Rebecca Stucki, blossoms
with a warm, sensitive performance. A
short scene featuring Taska, Manis,
and Stucki alone shows the great poten-
tial of Anouilh's play. Unfortunately,
when Andress and Bass-return, so does
ennui.
In a well-done flashback scene, An-
toine appears for the first time. Leo

tion, acting
McNamara's portraya; is at first rather
limited, ne simply doesn't say much. In
a later scene, however, he reveals huge
talent, giving a performance far more
professional than anyone else in the
cast. Perkoff is finally given a chance
to show her stuff, and she too comes off
with flying colors. She steals the flash-
back scene as a wild, passionate six-
teen-year-old girl.
Like Stucki, McNamara, and
Perkoff, Pat Garner as Gabrielle's son
Alexander starts off slowly but springs
to life in a charming scene with Perkoff
towards the end.
KATHRYN LONG'S direction is, of
course, woefully inadequate. Letting
performances like those by Eizikovic,
Andress, Jacobs, Bass, and Weinblatt
go unremedied is inexcusable. She
clearly failed to understand the comic
subtleties of the play, especially the
humorous interactions between charac-
ters. When a performance is as ram-
bling, chaotic, and often incoherent, as
this one is, the director has no business
directing any ensemble.
Susan Gratch's set is appropriately
grand, but unfortunately rather tacky
looking. It's a pity the company's
limited budget had to show in this way.
Marcia Grace Froehlich's costumes
suited everyone fine, and D. Kenneth
Beyer's lighting was adequate. Some of
the sound cues were off, however, At
one point, Cravatar complains about
"that damn dog", at which point a
howling sound begins.
By the end of the play, we ae left
wondering if Antoine might actually be
alive after all. Were the performances
we just watched a charade designed to
please Antoine, who has been hiding in
the wings, or is that just our
imagination? Frankly, I don't care. The
performance's lack of consistency left
me uninterested in such questions.

' By PATRICIA FABRIZIO
E RIC CLAPTON is one of the very
few people in the rock world that
can safely be called a living legend. The
legekid himself appeared at Cobo Arena
Tuesday night and played to a capacity,
but slightly blase crowd. Clapton
shared the stage with the Eric Clapton
Band, including vocalist/songwriter
Marcy Levy.
Clapton's set was surprisingly short
(barely an hour and a half), but his
selection ,of tunes was excellent. He
played five songs from his new album,
Slowhand "The Core", "Peaches and
Diesel", "Wonderful Tonight", "Lay
Down Sally" and "Cocaine"), and an
assortment from his past. Most out-
standing were "Badge" (Cream), "Key
to the Highway" (Dominoes), "Rain"
and the usual collection of blues num-
bers. He also included an excellent ren-
dition of "Knockin' On Heaven's Door"
and "She's in Love With a Rodeo Man;"
and, oh yes, "Layla".
"Layla" was the climax of the
evening. When the first notes of the
song came blistering out, the audien-
ces' restlessness was immediately
quelled and their attention was fixed
unerringly on the stage. The 1978
"Layla" is like the 1978 Clapton: con-
fident, almost cocky. This did not
diminish the effect or beauty of
You were too young to see it in 1 068;
You're not too old to see it now-
CA NDY
An irreverent spoof of
sex and society
With MARLON BRANDO
and RICHARD BURTON
TONIGHT 7 & 9 PM
Room 100 Hutchins Hall
(LAW QUAD)
$1.00 GARGOYLE FILMS

"Layla," arguably the best song of the
seventies. The guitar solo after the
piano break was not nearly as
technically exciting as on the album:
after all, George Terry, second lead
guitarist in Clapton's band, is no Duane
Allman. But, nonetheless, Eric Clapton
playing "Layla" just can't be beat, and
the crowd got their money's worth then,
if not at any other time.
THE LACK of cheering from the
crowd was puzzling. For example, after
a great guitar solo in "Key To The
Highway," and upon return to the ver-
se, the customary applause was
ignorably small. Main floor fights may
have put a damper on the spirits, but
whatever the reason, the crowd's heart
wasn't won over until nearly the end,

lapton
and as if to punish us, there was only
one encore. --
Marcy Levy was given two spc
songs. The first was a Buddy Holly soig
called "Fool's Paradise." Claptn
played lead guitar and sang backgp
here. Her other solo was "Nobody
Loves You When You're Down and uit
from Layla. This time she was l#i
alone on the stage. It was here that 10r
vocal power and range were put to M
test. The result was that she madeLUp,
da Ronstadt look very paltry. She is
deservedly very well received.
Eric -Clapton in concert is more thin
just a show. It's an historical evern.
Anything it might've lacked in leri
was made up for in pure technical ex-
pertise and the beauty that makes Cla-
ton a living legend instead of a flasln
the pan.

i

ALAN TANNIER'S

1976

JONAH WILL BE 25 IN THE YEAR 2000
This rich concoction of color, black and white, songs, skits, economics, dreams and sexual
experiments tells the story of eight "minor prophets." The director has described his
film as "dramatic tragicomedy in political science-fiction." IN FRENCH WITH SUBTITLES.
SAT: DELIVERANCE

CINEMA GUILD

TONIGHT A.T
7 & 9:05

OLD ARCH. AUD.
$1.50

I-

SE"M * LU i i AnJEzI i JCEu
DAILY EARLY BIRD MATINEES -- Adults $1.25
DISCOUNT IS FOR SHOWS STARTING BEFORE 1:30
MON. thru SAT. 10 A.M. tI I:3b P.M. SUN. & HOLS. 12 Noon til 1:30 P.M.
EVENING ADMISSIONS AFTER 5:00, $3.50 ADULTS
Monday-Saturday 1:30-5:00, Admission $2.50 Adult and Students
Sundays and Holidays 1:30 to Close, $3.50 Adults, $2.50 Students
Sunday-Thursday Evenings Student & Senior Citizen Discounts
Children 12 And Under, Admissions $1.25

TICKET SALES

MEDIATRICS presents
~ .' BLAZING SADDLES
Mel Brooks directs a ludicruous comedy with Gene Wilder
and the rest of the Rockridge gang. This particular Brooks film
is a spoof on the Hollywood Western.
Friday, March 31-7:30& 9:30
AND
DOG DAY AFTERNOON
Al Pacino portrays a bank robber, who, beseiged by the New
York City police force, gradually gains sympathy from his
captives and a number of curious onlookers. The ending will
tear you apart.

The Ann Arbor Film Co-operafive
presents at MLB
FRIDAY. MARCH 31
THE TALL BLOND MAN WITH ONE BLACK SHOE
(Yves Robert, 1975) 7' 10:15-MLB3
Buggings, break-ins. and surveillance are the objects of this timely satire. A young violinist
unknowingly becomes the decoy in a cutthroot bottle between spies. they turn his life into total
mayhem. but the tall blond man remains a naive and lovable modernday Buster Keaton.,"s'he
narrowly escapes peril at every turn. "This is one of the funniest movies within recent memory. It's
so crammed with funny moments it's impossible to pick a favorite."-L.A. TIMES. Pierre Richard,
Mireille Darc, In French, with subtitles
THE WRONG BOX
-Brion'Forbes, 1966)m . - ..8*:35only MLB 3
Hilarious British satire based loosely- very loosely-on a Robert Louis Stevenson story about a
tontine. Fabulous comic performances by Michael Caine. Peter Cook and Dudley Moore (BEDAZZLED,
BEYOND THE FRINGE), Ralph Richardson, John Mills. Peter Sellers and Nanette Newman (as the
archetypically repressed Victorion heroine, so sensitive that she finds the mention of 'eggs"
disgusting). See the Bourenmouth' Strangler and the venal Dr. Pratt! The climactic chase involves
hearses, a resurrected corpse. the police. (naturally). two embezzlers, the Salvation Army, three
misplaced coffins, on Englishman who speaks pure Swahili, and a British military band.
Tomorrow: COLLISIONS (starring Lily Tomlin, Gilda Radner, and Dan Ack-
royd) AND Fassbinder's JAIL BAIT and Norman Mailer's WILD 90

1. Tickets sold no sooner than 30 minutes -
prior to showtime.
2. No tickets sold later than 15 minutes
after showtime.
Y,'
r, }y}1 y
4,,
:1

Saturday, April 1-7:00 & 9:30

Nat. Sci. Aud.

I

10:30
1:00
3:30
6:30:
9:00:

Admission $1.50

ACADEMY AWARD NOMINEE
BEST ACTOR-JOHN TRAVOLTA

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