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July 13, 1979 - Image 6

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1979-07-13

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Page 6-Friday, July 13, 1979-The Michigan Daily

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Consumptive lady, healthy 'Lady
By JOSHUA PECK siderable extent alleviated these dif- every now and then. The opening num- In this area too, Simonds seems to have
What can't sing very well, act very ficulties, and come up with a product ber, for instance, an ode to the cour- matured and wicked understatement is
Wll, orremembersingveryes ite oery, amply endowed with humor suited to tesan's love for her special flower (and the order of the day. The exception is
well, or remember lines quite properly' any but the most homophobic tastes. disdain for the others), boasts a the dangerously irrepressible Giles
but can still see its way clear to putting euphoniously balanced harmony by Brown, who again insists on
on a decadent, sometimes gleefully far- GALEN DAVIS, last seen as the four of the principals, followed unrestrained caricature that swoops
cical romp? There may be a han- Florida sunshine lady, here brings his refreshingly by a few bars or more con- into the abyss of torrid excess. Maybe
dful of clever replies to that query, but moustache and resonant baritone voice temporary-sounding material. the director will buy Brown a bit and
cast of The Lad of the Can illias. to the part of the fashionable prostitute. The music's only notably failing is its reis next time.
Prolif Tom dsy An Arbor's His understated self-indulgence boosts treatment by certain performers. I must resort to the tired cliche
Prolific Tom Simonds, Ann Arbor s his performance head and elegantly Robin Wright, as Camille's lover, rend- "crackling" to describe so much of
re arkably faithful as of frm the pt bedecked shoulders above his Anita. ers her numbers and lines so straight-
of Dumas' novel (and Verdi's opera)
about Marguerite Gautier, the T S 7
renowned Parisian courtesan fated for Davis and Simonds seem to understand each
a tuberuos eie
nu luastefosrt was The nita other as well as playwright and featured player

Bryant Follies, which played at the
Canterbury Loft in March. That show,
while not without merit, suffered from
gross comic excess, a maudlin subplot,
and an under-rehearsed cast. The
playwright-composer has to a con-
The Lady of thecamitias
Tom Simonds
Pendleton Roo. Michigan Union
July 11-13,8:00p.m.

possibly could, and Davis' alternations between
overt campiness and mock "heavy" scenes are as
well executed as conceived-very.

Camille .. ..
Armand Duval.
Nanine ...
The Baron .....
Prudence ......
Olympe ........
Gerond ........

... Galen Davis
Robinkweight
,..Markhaon
...Jim Freeman
...Giles Brown
....Loren Hecht
Maryam Hanifti

Davis and Simonds seem to understand
each other as well as playwright and
featured player possibly could, and
Davis' alternations between overt
campiness and mock "heavy" scenes
are as well executed as con-
ceived-very.
Unlike the Bryant script, which so
burst with songs that plot and character
dropped to tertiary importance at best,
Camillias sports a mere eight numbers,
shuffled strategically into the book at
wholly appropriate moments. The
songs virtually all have an agreeably
familiar and simple sound and struc-
ture, wisely leaving complexity to the
tiered vocal arrangements that pop up

Tom Simonds, director
A Theatre Lambda presentation

forwardly that she seems mismatched
to Davis' witty affection. She ought to
be laughing at the "gravity" of her
predicament on one level, while
simultaneously grieving at another. As
it is, her sour singing and humorless
characterization clash painfully with
Davis' clever touches.
Maryam Hanafi as Armand's father
is so sphinx-like that one gasps when
she moves, and she, Wright, and Mark
Paron (as the ever-loyal Nanine).lack
the theatrical dexterity they'd require
to poke fun at their stage-selves and at
their whole melodramatic set of cir-
cumstances.
But, despite the fact that Simonds
clearly has cast the show with type,
rather than talent in mind, the com-
pany's strong elements emerge far
more prominently than the weak. The
last minute addition of a hunched back
to Jim Freeman's Baron added
Shakesperean interest to the wealthy
lout, and Loren Hecht, Jazz Duberman,
and the cabaret girls all exhibit accep-
table, if quiet, singing and extraor-
dinarily fleet feet.
WHILE THE Anita Bryant Follies
sought-and attracted-a primarily
homosexual audience that may not
have minded its stereotypical tom-
foolery at all, this critic found its heavy
reliance on mincing lampooning of
straights' prejudices rather extreme.

Lady's wit. Prudence's dismayed
chastisement of Camille for! having a
"formal party with no cheeseballs"
starts it off. Then there is the guests'
tossing their wine receptacles toward
the Pendleton Room hearth, raising our
expectations of hearing the resounding
crash and subsequent tinkle of so many
toasts in so many late night movies. We
are greeted instead by a hollow clatter
as the plastic glasses bounce off the
fireplace floor.
Best of all, perhaps, are the ad libs
Davis employs to cover for the minor
blunders that inevitably slip into the
proceedings: When he starts over to
Wright with a tray of refreshments, he
bouncily announces, "Wine for two."
He drops the tray, spilling the liquid,
and continues, just as cheerily, "Wine
for no one, I guess." When Paron drops
a line in which he was evidently sup-
posed to inquire after his mistress'
health, Davis glares coolly at him for a
moment, then casually demands,
"Don't you want to know how I'm
feeling?"
In the closing paragraph of my Anita
Bryant review, I admonished Simonds
not to give up his craft, displeased as I
was with that particular effort. Though
I'd be very surprised if The Lady of the
Camillias is in any way the result of
that advice, Iam quite entirely pleased
to discover that the return trip to the
proverbial drawing board has turned
out to be deliciously fruitful.
Final note: "Camillia (sic)," in my
dictionary, has an 'e' between the 'm'
and the 'l'. Publicist take note.

.VI ",W.1 - :T.? - I-] -I 17Id-] TM

wAn wRVVR r acn cRC,
raarir ar r .a rr rrr . .. arm ar.. ~

ITS THE MOVIE EVER 4E'S BEEN TALKING ABOUT!
All EWA 411IFFEREN'!
IF YOU LIKED "BLOOPERS" YOU'LL LOVE...
PARTTWO T
SEE...JOHN BOY SMOKE A JOINT!
SEE...CAROL BURNETT PICK HER NOSE!
SEE...THE FRANKENSTEIN MONSTER BREAK UP WITH LAUGHTER!
STAR TREK , ABBOTT & COSTELLO
* BETTE DAVIS " HOLLYWOOD PALACE
* MASH * HUMPHREY BOGART
* BOB HOPE . ELVIS PRESLEY
* DRACULA * NAME THAT TUNE
* ERROL FLYNN . EDW. G. ROBINSON
* PERRY COMO * NEWLYWED GAME
* LAUGH-IN * JONATHAN WINTERS
* BOB NEWHART " SPENCER TRACY
* THE WALTONS 0 CAROL BURNETT
* RED SKELTON * CHARLIE CHAN
* FRANKENSTEIN . LON CHANEY JR.
* BING CROSBY . JOHNNY CARSON
* DON RICKLES . MIKE DOUGLAS
" SOUPY SALES . DICK VAN DYKE
* JERRY LEWIS * JAMES CAGNEY
+r DON ADAMS * VINCENT PRICE, ETC.
,-7 BLOOPERS FROM THE SPORTS WORLD!
SILLY SHORT SUBJECTS! INCLUDING "SING ALONG WITH POPEYE"
T..COMMERICALS YOU WON'T BELIEVE! and "THE THREE STOOGES"
.OOERS IS A TRADEMARK O BLOOPERSt INC C t979 B OOPEos SC.
UNDER 17 NOT ADMITTED WITHOUT PARENT OR GUARDIAN
MY VIiI A dE YUEAYDU 375NORTHMAPLE

of r. O N A
5"x7"
' ENLARGEMENT
5" x7"sIZe
Coupon must
accompany order.
From your color neg or slide.
Limit 1 per coupon.
VALID JULY 16 THRU JULY 31, 1979 I
L.-- - ---- ------ - - -----

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