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November 11, 1975 - Image 5

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1975-11-11

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THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Arts & Entertainm-mAment
S = Mh v Tuesday, November 1, 1975 Page Five
'Mandrago a': Machiaveli in a llghter vein

pm

IN

By DAVID BLOMQUIST Showcase's next production of-
fers an entirely different per-
It's so terribly absurd that at spective. For in Mandragola, a
first glance it just doesn't make commedia - like satire, Machia-
sense. How could Niccolo Ma- velli bitterly demonstrates
chiavelli, one of the most evil strong dissatisfaction with the
figures in Renaissance litera- bribery and corruption that per-
ture, have written a biting, meated the Catholic church in
mischievous comedy of morals 16th century Florence. His deep
like Mandragola? and surprisingly pious concern
For the last 400 years, schol- for the spiritual well - being of
ars have called Machiavelli's the Church anticipates the ar-
radical political philosophies - guments of Martin Luther, John
including his infamous theory Calvin, and others who soon af-
that a sovereign may justifia- ter his death urged massive
bly employ any means, however changes in all facets of the
lawless or unscrupulous, to es- Christian religion.
tablish and maintain a strong
central government - the wick- "I think people are going to
ed product of a vile, twisted come into our performances and
mind. say 'Who wrote that? Machia-
But the University Theatre velli?"' states Paul Palmore,
Contemporary festival
features electronics

who portrays a sinful abbot, learn, Timoteo will gladly sanc-
Friar Timoteo, in the showcase tion anything from adultery to
production, which opens tomor- abortion.
row evening in the Arena The-?
atre. Machiavelli's strong sense of
"Thr' characterization marks each
"There's a feelisg among line the friar speaks. For even
some people that there is a Ma- though Timoteo is a satirical
chiavelli spirit, but if one care- figure, he is not merely a
fully dissects his writings, caricature. Machiavelli paints
there's no such thing," adds him - as all the major roles
Mandragola director Donald
Boros. "In rehearsals, we're not
trying to think of a label for'
it."
It is indeed hard to find a la-
bel that would properly fit Man-
dragola's complex plot. Events
revolve around the attempt by$
Callimaco, a young Florentine,
to seduce Lucrezia, the beau-
tiful wife of an old, foolish doc-
tor.
"But Callimaco and Lucrezia
are really secondary charac-
ters," Boros points out. "The
object of Machiavelli's bite is.
Friar Timoteo. He's saying,=
'Look, see if you recognize
yourselves, people'. And the -.

Nevertheless, director Boros
and the cast have been careful
not to permit the intenseness of
some of Machiavelli's satire to
destroy Mandragola's distinctly
Renaissance spirit. "It's old
stuff, and yet we want to make
it believable for the people of
today," Palmore notes.
Some period atmosphere has
been maintained through Kath-
arine Hartzell's graphic scenic,
design, which converts the en-
tire Arena Theater floor into a
mock Florentine street, com-
plete with a small well at the
center. Three sections of seats
for about 120 playgoers are
blocked in between the alleys
and plazas, placing the audi-
ence directly between actors at
points.
"This is a play that has to be
taken to the people," Boros ex-
plains. "Mandragola is intended'
to be three feet away from ev-
erybody's nose."
"This set just makes this play
so much," adds Palmore. "If
we were performing in a regu-
lar proscenium, the play would
be 10,000 times different."
Hartzell's unique design re-
sulted partially from an unusu-
ally close relationship between
Mandragola cast, designers,
and director. Boros has actively
encouraged each member of the
show to contribute new ideas
and suggestions for improve-
ment. Consequently, Hartzell
says, "there has been a true
TONIGHT AT 7:00& 9:05
OPEN AT 6:45
HIS CIA CODE NAME IS CONDOR.
IN THE NEXT SEVENTY-TWO HOURS
ALMOST EVERYONE HE TRUSTS
WILLTRYTOKILL HIM

interaction between all of us."
"Don has always been sensi-
tive to our needs as actors as
react - to construct our char-
acters. That's something that's
very rewarding," notes Forth.
"There's a good healthy ex-
change going on," Boros states.
"The director obviously has to
make the final decision. But the
object of rehearsal is to share
ideas. Even our bad days have
been productive."
Mandragola represents Uni-
versity Theatre Showcase's con-
tribution to the term-long Boc-
cacio Festival, a University.
wide event recognizing distin-
guished art and literature from
the Renaissance.
It is an excellent choice to
serve as a representative work
of the Italian genius Machia-
velli, for Mandragola, far more
than any of his other writings,
represents the man that once
aptly described himself in two
lines of verse:
"I laugh, and my laughter is
not within me.
"I burn, and the burning is
not seen outside."

the ann arbor film cooperative
TUESDAY, NOV. 11
BREATHLESS
(Jlean-luc Godard, 1959)
Godard's most popular film: a French gangster
and an American journalist carry on an affair,
with the police on their heels. Godard's tribute
to Bogart and American gangster films. From
an original story by Francois Truffaut. Jean
Seberg, Jean-Paul Belmondo. French with Eng-
lish subtitles. Also a short: THE DOVE-a
Bergman Spoof.
TONIGHT in Aud. A, Angell Hall
7 & 9 p.m. $1.25
WEDS.: ROLLING STONES
THURS.: ZAPPA FESTIVAL
Theseweeks Arts Magazine
ON SALE NOW! 75c
at Union UAC Office
UAC Ticket Central Fishbowl
"All Over Town"
CALL 763-1107
UAC-THOT Productions

By TOM GODELL ,
Basically, the synthesizer is
like any other musical instru-
ment. In the hands of a genius
it can produce beautiful music.
But in the hands of a hack,
it sounds rather like the late
Jack Benny with the violin.
Fortunately, there was very
little poor material at this fall's
Contemporary Music Festival,
which concluded over the week-
end.
Last Thursday's concert fea-
tured electronic music-with a
tape recorder as the solo instru-
ment. I suppose audiences will
simply have to get used to
clacking tape transports and
hissing amplifiers-and the lack
of the spontaneity generated by
live performers.
The finest selection on the
Thurday program was Peter
Klausmeyer's Teddy Bear's Pic-
nic. The work is dramatic and
engaging in both color and con-
ception. It is a sort of modern
scherzo, portraying the "picnic"
with realistic sounds. Also not-
able was Robert Morris' "Thun-
ders of Spring," an extended
composition combining Asian
music with the modern elec-
tronic idiom.

4

was the presentation of Mario humor can then get so dark
Davidovsky's Synchronisms 1, 2, that it's no longer humorous."
and 3. These extremely creative Friar Timoto enters the dra-
and seminal works combine ma as Callimaco searches for '
electronic sounds with live per- means to spirtually legitimize Boros
formers in magnificent fashion. hs an ed s ebu chy.gI nza
At times the electronic sounds his planned debauchery. In a
aacimscompany the letror s series of carefully constructed in Mandragola -- with a deft
dialogue with hem, ormexpan scenes, Machiavelli presents sense for true, realistic emo-
and elaborate the sounds of the the friar as a forthright man tions and reactions. "I think
instrument. The result is wh a t who simply feels no obligation Machiavelli sat down and wrote
George Wilson, chairman of the toward his own priestly vows this as if he was at a cocktail
Gestil Wilson, cairmannofngthewhen the Florentine culture party watching these things go-
fesrtialncalsab o vinacingrinaround him habitually chooses ing on,'"says literary college
tegration of both into a coherent to ignore the church's teach- senior Mark Forth, who plays
musical texture. ings. For a price, we soon Callimaco.
Immortal conductor Serge- -- -- -- ------
Koussevitzky has said, "If we
do not encourage the music of uAC SOPH SHOW presents
today, there will be no music
of tomorrow." The music of
our time is very much alive, and CE LEBRATION
tomorrow looks even more
promising, as the 1975 Contem- words by TOM JONES
porary Music Festival demon-
strated last week. music by HARVEY SCHMIDT

David Blomquist
and Entertainment
The Daily.

is the Arts
Editor of

_.._ ..__-....J
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11

Tom Godell, classical music LYDIA MENDELSSOHN THEATRE
director of WCBN, writes fre- November 13 14, 15
quenly o clasica conertsfor Advanced tickets can be purchased at the
quently o classical concertfor UAC Ticket Central,
The Daily. I___ ____ ____

i
0

it

s
1

SOPH SHOW presents
CELEBRATION
by the authors of The Fantestics
MENDELSSOHN THEATRE-NOV. 13, 14, 15
TICKETS THURSDAY $2.50, $3.00-FRIDAY & SATURDAY $3.00, $3.50
THOT PRODUCTIONS-THESEWEEKS arts magazine
ON SALE NOW!!! 75c
At the Union, UAC-ticket central, UAC office, Fishbowl,
"all over town"! For information call 763-1107
ARTISTS: We have an outlet for all literary genres and visual medics. Share in an artistic
experience. Contact UAC/THOT at 763-1107 or come to the THOT PRODUCTIONS WEEK-
LY MEETING: 7:30 Wednesday evening, at the UAC Office, 2nd floor Michigan Union.
UAC CHILDRENS THEATRE
Advance tickets now on sale, Now for FREE TO BE YOU AND ME en original adoootion of
the TV special with Mario Thomas.
Tickets: Adults $1.50 Children $1.00 Group Rates Available
PERFORMANCES: Dec. 4-7:30 p.m.; Dec. 5-7:30 p.m.;
Dec. 6-11:00 a.m. / 2:00 p.m. / 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 7-11:00 a.m. / 2:00 p.m. / 7:30 p.m.
MUSKET presents GODSPELL Dec. 4, 5, & 6
Get your tickets before the Thanksgiving RUSH!!I
UAC TRAVEL CENTRAL
For more information call 763-1107
UAC TRAVEL-CHRISTMAS TRIPS
SKIING IN UTAH $285.00 CHRISTMAS IN FLORIDA $119.00
DEC. 30-JAN. 6 DEC. 20-29
DEC. 27-JAN. 5
NEW YORK $79.73-BOSTON $87.73-DALLAS $123.73
UAC MEDIATRICS BEDAZZLED
Nov. 16
GETTING STRAIGHT Time: 7:30 and 9:30
NOV. 14/15 Nat. Sci. Auditorium
TIME: 7:30 and 9:45 Price-$1.00
UAC SHAKESPEARE CINEMA
George Schaefer's MACBETH
Nov. 17 Not. Sci. Auditorium
Time: 7:00 and 9:00 Price-$1.00
UAC CONCERT COOP
FRANK ZAPPA NATIONAL LAMPOON SHOW
TUESDAY, NOV. 18-CiISLER ARENA THURSDAY, NOV. 20-POWER CENTER
Tickets: $6.00 and $5.00 Tickets: $3.50
Tickets available at UAC Ticket Central, First Floor Michigan Union,
Mondry thru Friday 10:30-5:30. Phone 763-2071.
Tickets that are available a# UAC TICKET CENTRAL, First Floor Michigan Union
CELEBRATION-NOV. 13, 14, 15
CARMINA BURANA--NOV. 14, 15, AFTERNOON OF THE 16
DETROIT SPARKS, WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL-NOV. 15
FRANK ZAPPA-NOV. 18
NATIONAL LAMPOON SHOW-NOV. 20
LA BOHEME-NOD. 20, 21, 22. 23
BOBBY BLAND WiITH LUTHER ALLISON-NOV. 26
GODSPELL-DEC. 4, 5, 6
SORRY, WE CANNOT ACCEPT PERSONAL CHECKS

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