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June 09, 1979 - Image 9

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Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1979-06-09

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The Michigan Daily-Saturday, June 9, 1979-Page 9
'Fantasticks' (again) belies its pompous name

By NINA SHISHKOFF
There are two hard and fast rules of
successful dinner theater: there must
be no scenery to obstruct the view, and
no plot to disturb the digestion. Arbecoll
Theatrics' The Fantasticks meets both
criteria. Like an institutionalized meal,
it is bland and offensive to nobody.
To watch it is to understand the plight
of amnesiacs. A diner stepping out of
the Michigan League at intermission
The Fantasticks
Tom Jones, Harvey Schmidt
Michigan League Balroom
J""e 7-9

An actual wall, of course, would be con-
sidered scenery, and therefore against
the rules; instead, a man dressed in
black portrays it. He stands in the cen-
ter of the stage and looks blank, until
someone tears him down. The boy and
girl have more challenging roles. They
are required to skip lightly and gaily
across a stage that groans at every
step. In addition, the boy has to clam-
ber up and down a tree, and sing, "You
are heat, you are heat, you are the heat
that melts the iceberg." The tree might
sound suspiciously like scenery, but ac-
tually resembles an over-sized hatrack.
THE MUSICAL tries to run on sheer
charm, but can only manage stilted
whimsy. As the story progresses, we
find that the fathers are not enemies at
all; they wish their children to marry,
so they fabricated the quarrel, singing
that children always do the opposite of
what you tell them. They arrange for a
rake-of-all-trades to attempt to rape the
girl, so the boy can save her, and neatly
provide a means to end the
imaginary quarrel. He does. and the

first act concludes. Unfortunately, the from sheer enthusiasm. Their garden-
second act follows, on a hunch that happy fathers try to extract humor
more should happen before the finale. from turnip jokes, and succeed in being
comical, but never funny.

None of this would matter much if
this were the first Ann Arbor produc-
tion of The Fantasticks, or even the
second. It is, however, the third in
recent memory, too much of a tribute
for such a slight vehicle. It is also over
long. The audience has only the
remains of breadsticks to tide it
through the two hour show. It is too
much to ask.

As the dashing scoundrel, El Gallo,
Richard Pickren is low on dash, but
puts some life into that staple of Muzak-
cal soundtracks, "Try To Remember"
(the kind of September . . .). The
philosophical third-rate actors who
help El Gallo stage the rape imper-
sonate Mark Twain's Duke and King
but don't have the script to succeed.

THE LOVERS, Julie Broxholm and One of the show's funny lines has
David Kitto, are appealing without broad implications. The boy's father,
being interesting. The audience has no upon hearing the romantic nonsense his
particular reason to care what happens son is spouting, exclaims, "Son, you
to them. If their duets never sparkle,. need pruning." The same could be said
however, they do manage to glimmer of The Fantasticks.

The Girl...
The Boy ..,
Bellomy ...
Huckleby ..
The Mute..
Ed Gallo.

.... Julia Broxholm
........David Kitto
.........Ed Glazier
........Michael Doll
..Sabatino Verlezza
...Richard Pickren

Russell Collins, producer, director
designer; Heidi Mayer, musicaddirector
can run down the list of the songs-such
as "Never Say No," "Soon It's Gonna
Rain," and "Happy Ending"-without
even remotely remembering what they
were about. With luck, he might recall
that the story concerns a boy and a girl
who fall in love over the garden wall
their feuding fathers have constructed.

Daily Classifieds

(Continued from Page 81e
VERY NICE one bedroom apartment. July-August
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Business School. 668-1538or 1-626-9158. 72U613
LAST CHANCE-Summer sublet, Heritage House.
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SUBLET JULY, AUGUST-Fall option. 1 bedroom
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Kathryn weekdays after5:30. 694-1037. 40U613
JULY, AUGUST SUBLET-Sunny, one-bedroom
apartment, fully fursished, 15minutes from campus.
Anne 995-4811. 37U609
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bath, natural paneling, choice location, parking.
662-6S80, call persistently 25U609
ROOM AVAILABLE with large closet in house near
Farmer's Market. Call Katie at 996-0726. " dU609
SUMMER SUBLET-Available July-August. Cen-
trally located just 5 minutes from campus. 668-
1628. 64U614
CA R SERVICE, ACCES.
ANGRY MUFFLER? Replace with first quality.
lifetime guaranteed, lowest priced Muffler from
Ass Ab-r9Muffler Installers. Call FREE Price
(Quote. 769-5913. este
Do a Tree a Favor:
Recycle Your Daily

Suzuki student viola, 994-1135. 60X609
UPRIGHT PIANO, $275. Apollo Music Center, 323
South Main. cX630
ALVAREZ accoustic guitar, $150. Apollo Music
Center, 761-9431. cX630
PRE CBS Bandmaster-Black face with tan vinyl-
used Fender twin. Call Don, 769-1400. eX630
USED P1LUTES, from $150. Apollo Music Center,
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ROOMMATES
Quiet, mature nonsmoker s) to share N. Campus
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MATURE, AMIABLE MALE GRAD student look-
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1 BEDROOM in modern, furnished 2 bedroom
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1-851-6576. 44Y612
1 BEDROOM in modern, furnished 2 bedroom apt.
available for fall '79. Close to campus. Med-center
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6576. 44Y612

The University of Michigan
School of Social Work
is pleased to announce the
1979 WINKELMf;N LECTURE
Speaker: DR. DANIEL C. HADLOCK
MedicaltDirector
Hospice Orlando
Title: Principles of Hospice Care
Time: Monday, June 11, 7:30 p.m.
Place: Rackham Amphitheatre
(Lecture-is open to the public) - k

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