THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Arts & Entertainmn Friday, October 15, 1976 Page Five
By MIKE JONES ! Although he may think he has
0THELLO, Shakespeare's tra- been deceived by Desdemona,
gic masterpiece, opened Othello knows in his heart of
Wednesday night to a near ca- hearts that her being false is
pacity audience at Power Cen- inconceivable. The scenes where
ter. The Professional Theatre Othello struggles to reconcile
Program has shown remarkable Desdemona's virtues with the -
self confidence in choosing this evil claims laid against her
play as their season opener since were Washington's finest mo-
it, perhaos more than any other ments on stage. His physical
in the Shakespeare repertoire, stance was determined, force-
challenges in acting ful, as it should have been, and
and stagin . his projection was also good.
On the whole their production I DON'T THINK, however,
was good, especially in the sense that Washington responded to
that it effectively created the the vocal and physical Jemands
mood through which we witness of the part as fully as he might
the pathetic destruction of a have. He would have captured
great and highly idealistic man, the other-worldliness and ro-
Essentially what makes this bility of Othello better had he
play such a production chal- intensified his emotive expres-
lenge is its concentration of Sion.
action and emotion. From the This production of Othello is
beginning we are thrust head- by no means flawless. Outside
long into the psychological de- of the major roles most of the
generation of Othello. In act one acting was disappointing. Also,
he is the nowerful assured corn- there were too many instances
hder, bysct the hwer srapin c-where actors flubbed their lines.
rnander: by act five he is raving Sil tsa civmn ht
mad, having in just three days Still, it's an achievement that
lost his sense of reality through the performance was comoel-
consummate jealonsv. ,ig, and managed, at times, to D
THIS PRODUCTION, throlwh reach that level of intensity Ol
director Richard Berawin's which the play demands
imaginative staging, provided a _
focus on character and theme'
which made it remarkably con- -
pelling. A highly elevated plat- inema W eekend
form, used as part of the set
for the scenes in Cvnrus, for Friday - Animation night, Aud. A, 7, 9; Phantom
example, served nicely as a of the Paradise, Arch. Aud., 7, 9:05; Catch-22, Nat. Sci.
place for Othello to disnlav his Aud., 7, 9:30; The Wild Child, MLB 3, 7; The Red Shoes,
great oratory power, and show MLB 3, 9; Beware of the Holy Whore, MLB 4, 7, 10:15;
that he is a leader of men. ! Attack of the Robots, MLB 4, 8:45; The Graduate, Cou-
The settings, designed by Alan zens Cafeteria, 8, 10.
Billing, presented a nicture that Saturday - A Streetcar Named Desire, Aud. A, 7, 9;
was, at once, both eve-appealing ; Last Picture Show, Arch. Aud., 7, 9:05; Night Moves, Nat.
and frightening. The curtain Lst.iAure Show; DArh. RAue 7, 9LB 3, Moves, ats
used to define Desdernona's bed- Sci. Aud., 7, 9; Death Race 2000, MLB 3, 7, 10:30; Fists
chamber was richly elegant, yet of Fury, MLB 3, 8:30; Monkey Business, MLB 4, 7, 9,:30;
it was also ominous, grotesquely Horsefeathers, MLB 4, 8:10, 10:40; The Graduate, Couzens
out of pronortion, almost sur- Cafeteria, 8, 10; The Great Waldo Pepper, Bursley W.
realistic. Not all of the sets, Cafeteria, 8:30.
however, were so convincing Sunday - Beauty and the Beast, Aud. A, 7, 9; Days
as this one. The Act One set and Nights in the Forest, Arch. Aud., 7, 9:05; Zero de
was somewhat shoddy in con- Conduite, L'Atalante, MLB 4, 7; Mayan Deren Festival,
struction; that used for the MLB 4, 9:15; Pamela and Ian, MLB 4, 10:30.
scenes in Cyprus was hampered All weekend - Alice in Wonderland, Fox Village (769-
by a flying banner that was 1300); All Screwed Up, Fifth Forum (761-9700); 2001, Cam-
a piece of painted pus (668-6416); A Matter of Time, Seven Beauties, St. Ives,
plywood. Log n's Run, The Movies, Briarwood (769-8780); Fantasia,
of ths roductstandi e ligrt- State (662-6264); Gone With the Wind, Michigan (665-6290),
ing. Light designer and guest
artist Lee Watson demonstrated - - - --
great skill in creating an illusory
tableau being presented to the:
THE COSTUMING for Othello G,
was superb. Zelma Weisfeld has
done a fine job mirroring the'
personalities and social stations I L4
of the various characters
through their garments.
As for the acting, it was,,
among the major characters, 0010
adequate to very good. One ^
feature that this nroduction has
in its favor is that nearly all
the actors have good diction. 50c Discount on Admission
Gary Meyer portrayed Ligo with Student I.D.
as the true personifications of
deceit and evil. His facial ges- ~Ann Live
tures, his quick, stiff hodily
movements, and his sardonic,
spiteful tone of voice i'istly por- D n Bar
trayed Iago as the villian over- & o0
flowing with bile. At times,
Meyer's characterization was a HOURS: Fri. & Sat. 8 p.m.-2 a.m
bit overdone, which muddled WEEKLY HOURS: 9 p.m.-2 a.m.
somewhat the psychological pav I 53
between himself and Othello. 516 E. Liberty 994-5350
THE CHARACTER Roderigo
(Mark A. Mikulski) was de el-
oped adequately as the gull of
lago, although his nervous shak-
ing could have been toned down
a bit, though.
Desdemona, played by Eliza- A Musica Masterpiece
beth Kelly, was pristine and
pure. Hier unshakable relieHris Rich in Legand and Fantasy
morals, and her innocence were UAC MUSKET/MM Productions, Inc.
emphasized in Kelly's character- PRESENTS
ization. Kelly's performance
was among the most polished.
Desdemona's father, Braban-
tio (H. D. Cameron) was mar-
ivellously Portrayed. Cameron .1 ! 1
demonstrated an exceedingly
clear understanding of the na-
tire and content of his lines,
delivering them with the beauty
and forcefulness required. His
spacing and vocal control were
CASSIO was played with con-
sistency by John Wojda. He
was convincing as the cour-
teous lieutenant to Othello. He,
too, showed excellent vocal con-
Kathleen Conlin (Emilia) .en-
dered a good portrayal of a
woman whose common sense
keeps her close to reality.
But it was Von Washington,
Othello, who effectively brought
forth the conflict so essential to
making this play truly tragic.
Benson not spectacular
y JIM SHAHIN
SOMETIMES he can make you
feel as though you're in a
bank and other times as though
you're in a bar, but really,
there isn't anything very spec-
tacular about George Benson.
He can blaze, sure, and he
can flawlessly execute the most
intricate guitar patterns. He
can even conjure music that
most mortals have not even
dared imagine. He can. And he
has. But he didn't.
Not at his Wednesday night
concert at Hill Auditorium any-
way. On that night he mainly
proferred a palatable plate of
mainstream goodies. Not too
bitter, not too sweet, Benson's
successful recipe is a blend of
pop development (mostly melo-
dy) and jazz construction (most-
ly tonality and phrasing). This
results in another in the grow-
ing list of fusions: "pazz," pop-
PAZZ isn't new. Ella Fitz-
gerald took to it. As did Buddy
Rich. As did plenty of other
pragmatic souls. It's relatively
unchallenging and generally
features the craft rather than
the art of expression. And it
sells records. George Benson's
Breezin' album is the first by a
jazz .musician to be certified
platinum (over a million copies
sold). Pazz isn't bad. Neith-s
er, though, is it particularly
stimulating. Which is not, coin-
cidentally, an inappropriate de-;
scription of the concert itself.
David Pomerantz, who opened
the evening for Benson, accom-
panied himself on acoustic gui-
tar and piano in yet another dis-
play of slick, if unsubstantive,r
songwriting. His piano playingi
is in the finest stumphand tra-!
dition, clubbing chords with
absorbed whimsy. Some of his
tunes sound like they'd make
good cover material, but taking
them solo on the road seemed
somewhat cruel and unusual.
AS THE SET went on, he1
seemed to feel more comfort-
able, as sound difficulties were1
worked out. His material took
on a whisper, more assured '
presence, making "Flying" a;
laudable achievement. The song1
simulated the gloating, weight-;
less sensation of gliding freely
in a clever and believable way.
Unfortunately, most of his oth-
er stuff was tense and weak. He1
did the old Dave Clark Five hit,
"You Got What It Takes," and,
he approached having what it
takes himself on several occa-,
sions, but whenever I was
primed to take off, Pomerantz
would sputter, leaving unplayed
riffs in his wake.
An unprofessional intermis-
sion followed. Carpet had to be
laid, shaggy tan, ratted and
dried palm - tree - like figures
had to be brought on, and a
neon facsimile of the Warner
Brothers logo with a big "GB"
inside had to be put up and cen-
tered. The purpose for this es-
caped me. And why couldn't
it have been done before the
doors even opened?
Benson entered and picked
into "Affirmation." Bright and
up-beat, it set the tone for the
rest of the night. Flying up and
down the neck with poise and
precision, Benson showed the
shine of a brilliant technician.
HE'S SO much more than
lustre, though. Occasionally, he
proved it. "El Mar," his second
selection, was smooth without
being sappy. Although the sound
was poor (the piano would eith-
er be too loud or too soft, de-
pending on the misjudgment of
the sound crew) Benson's con-
siderable command of dynam-
ics came through. It was full-
bodied and tight, without re-
stricting movement from all the
Benson sang a few, also. "Na-
ture Boy" -was particularly af-
fecting, with its supple, dark
feel. Naturally, he did his hit
"The Masquerade," which was
well - played and reasonably
sung. He's got the voice of a
rich cup of coffee - thick,
flowing, and warm; but it has
a sheen, a Vegassy character
to it that inhibits any real emo-
tional delivery. His scat singing
is practiced but eclectic, owing
as much to the fact that he's
one of the few people doing it
as anything else.
A dynamite version of
"Breezin"' was played as Ben-
son's encore. His use of octaves
and incredible picking show-
cased an awesome- self-disci-
Now if only he would chal-
lenge that discipline ..
If ynuIare i nt erest-
ed in rev iewila~
pnetry and music
or writing feature
striPes a b o ti t the
drama. dance, mfim
arts: Contact Arts
oily Photo by BRAD BENJAMIN
Many animals would go hun-
gry if it were not for rabbits.
Minks, foxes, weasels and
hawks are among the animals
that eat rabbits.
_ _ _
by Tennessee Williams
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and UAC. TICKETS
$3.50 of Michigan
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Schoolkids and both
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ickets Available at the Lydia Mendelssohn box
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