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July 25, 1979 - Image 27

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1979-07-25

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK

The Aichigan Daily-Wednesday, July 25, 1979-Page 7

Musk
young]
might I
In The
Eyerly
Kurtzr
specim
SaturdL
opened
musica

Some ideas for 'In The Dark'
By JOSHUA PECK with as guidelines in their final revision distinguishing it because of all the sing a song of scheming,
ket's bragging that it may have of In The Dark, which will be staged graininess of the sound system. Happen," and then fail t
Leonard Bernsteins in its ranks (with a slightly higher budget) in the In The Dark really has no insurmoun- carrying out any part of th
have been a mite premature, but Power Center in mid-November. table difficulties, but those that look some 36 hours of stage time.
e Dark's three authors, Scott In The Dark's plot concerns three grimmest all have to do with the plot. Still, both of these prol
, William Holab, and Andrew heirs to the million dollar legacy of one Claire, the character who takes part in easily be amended over th
nan, certainly do have a Karl Fielding, a quirky, peculiar old the love song halfway through the show, months with the addition of a
en of promise. On Friday, codger-whose deathbed scene drolly' leaves the house in a huff' shortly little stage business. In T
ay, and Sunday last, Musket starts the evening off. In his will, thereafter. The gentleman 'who so essence, its plot, musical c
l the triumvirate's original Fielding insists that his three relatives recently had been singing his heart out its language, are already
1 in the Pendleton Room in a sort must search out the bequeathment, to her apparently forgets about her years after its inception) in
which is hidden in a wallet somewhere altogether, involved as he is in finding While I am hesitant to jun
in Fielding's old Vermont mansion. the money. clusions, I think Ann Arbor
Complicating matters further is the Continuity, or lack of it, presents a for a superb entertainm
Dresence in the mansion of five mem- nrnhla nwn te n thprtur hnre T-.:, k-

"Accidents
to put off
eir plot for
blems can
e next four
scene or a
The Dark's
ontent, and
(these two
fine shape.
mp to con-
may be in
ent come

of out-of-town tryout. The set and
lighting were obviously and amusingly
makeshift, and it really didr.'t matter.
The purpose of the presentation was not
to display perfection of design or
playcrafting, but rather, to work
toward that goal. Members of the
audience were beseeched by producer
Gary Rubin to offer their suggestions to
the playwrights at evening's end, both
on questionnaires provided for that
purpose, and in person.
Lyricist Kurtzman was seen
democratically jotting down an
adolescent's suggestion that the title of
one of the songs be changed, and all
manner of other notes were passed on
to the craftsmen during the 45 minutes
following the performance. -Perhaps
most useful were the remarks of Music
School professor and nationally known
performer Bill Bolcom, offered in a
playwright's huddle in the League's
second floor lobby.
THE AUTHOR'S intent is to assem-
ble the many hundreds of notes,
requests, gibes, etc. they receive, to
weigh them, and touse those they agree

bers of Fielding's immediate family -
dead ones. The ghosts are a pleasant
dotty bunch, and their songs contain
some of the show's cleverest lyrics, as
well as some of Holab's and Eyerly's
richest tunes and harmonies.
The show's songs, as of this hearing,
are its strongest element. "So Rare," a
love ballad between one of the heirs and
his lady friend,atonce refreshingly mad
- the lyrics compare romance to the
delight of having "a ladybug on my
toe" - and deeply touching. The words
of all the songs, in fact, are carefully
designed to exploit and amplify their
singers' characters. In this case, the
lovers are both shy and seem to be
somewhat inexperienced in matters of
love, a condition that is beautifully ex-
pressed by the awkwardly silly
imagery they employ in the song.
ONE WEAK NUMBER is "Ghostly
Memories," both because of its intrin:
sic mediocrity, and because it is heard
over the amplification system, with
virtually no action simultaneously oc-
curring on stage. This first difficulty is
really a shame, because Joel Dulyea,
who recorded the song for the summer
production, has a magnificent voice,
although there's no way of

WEDNESDAY IS
"BARGAIN DAY"
$1.50 UNTIL 5:30

SAT, SUN, WED
1:30-3:30-5:30-7:30-9:30
DTTE &.

Leonhardt stylishly
handles harpsichord

By GERARD PAPE
Gustav Leonhardt's concert Monday
evening in Rackham consisted of works
by Balbastre, Scarlatti, and Bach.
What was pleasantly unique about the
concert was hearing the works perfor-
med on the 17th century's authentic
keyboard instrument, the harpsichord.
Unfortunately, some of the reasons
that the harpsichord lost favor to the
piano with 19th century audiences
became obvious, especially during the
first three pieces by Claude Balbastre.
While Leonhardt's playing was delicate
and very precise, there was a problem
with the pieces. The works were so un-
derstated that they had an overall
static effect. The harpsichord's major
fault as an instrument, that it lacks'
dynamic range, was evident in the
pieces' lack of dramatic contest. Some
contrast in tempi helped create a little
variety, but, unfortunately, not enough
to maintain interest. An exception to
the rule was the rhythmically vital final
Balbastre piece, which contrasted
significantly with the previous pieces.
The eight Scarlatti sonatas seemed to
be more interesting works in general.
The contrast between the very fast and
very slow sections, between the sadder,
more lyrical works and the sprightly,
happier ones was involving. Har-
monically, the Scarlatti works provided
more umnneeted hnrda turns tha

tuoso speed and were of such polyphonic
complexity as to seem to require at-
least four hands to execute. Leonhar-
dt's playing was up to the challenge. It
was intense, rich, and structurally
distinct. The sound he produced ranged
from multi-hand separateness to the
sound of a torrent of blending guitar
strums.
THE PROGRAM concluded with
Leonhardt's transcription of Bach's
Suite No. 6 for Cello. Leonhardt's tran-
scription made the work sound very
natural for harpsichord. The suite's in-
dividual movements made for much
variety as did the various Scarlatti
sonatas. Rhythmically precise,
stately movements contrasted with
more sensitive, delicate understated
ones. Leonhardt's execution of the
Sarabande movement was especially
noteworthy for its deeply felt but muted
sorrow. Once again, as with the
Scarlatti works, we had the feeling that
this work of Bach's could better survive
the limitations of the harpsichord as an
instrument.
The overall impression that
Leonhardt's concert left one with was
that, even if one's harpsichord playing
is quite good, one had better have in-
teresting pieces to match. When
Leonhardt had fine works to execute, he
did so-spectacularly; when he had

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(UPPER LEVEL)
SHOWS DAILY AT
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