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August 07, 1974 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1974-08-07

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Wednesday, August 7, 1974

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

'The Boyfriend' boop-boops
its way into everyone's heart

Page Five
yr
f

By BETH NISSEN
From the opening monologue
to the streamered carnival fin-
ish, The Boyfriend is one of
those smile-until-both-cheeks-
hurt musicals. The show gives
a heel-clicking tap-notch view
o f t h e boop-boop-dee-boop
1920's, showing a chattering
bevy of "perfect young ladies"
devoting their teen hours to
coyly and flirtatiously landing a
boyfriend and trying not to get
caught doing it by the headmis-
tress.
The musical's soup-thin plot
and maple sugar songs keep the
show at a shallow level, but an
energy-cell cast and a tightly
conducted band give great spark
and sparkle.

All the lead players had audi-
ble and pleasant singing voices
and seemed well-acquainted and
comfortable with the charac-
ters they played. They proved
that good stage talent is not an
exclusive property of New
York theatres.
Lynne Wieneke as Polly
Browne, the poor little rich girl
with hair and purse full of
gold, is a powerful Sills-like
soprano with the rare accompa-
nying ability to blend. Her duet
w i t h Headmistress Dubonnet,
sung by Mary Gutzi, was exe-
cuted in perfect pitch and co-
medic timing.
Paul J. Hustoles, playing the
Boyfriend, has a presentable
voice and a peculiarly angular

face that grimaces into extraor-
dinary facial shouts of exagger-
ated emotion. Mary Gutzi, am-
ply cast of Mme. Dubonnet,
sings, advises and flirts with
a pseudo-Parisien accent while
she vamps for Polly's distin-
guished and wealthy father, huf-
fily played by Jack Sharrar.
Also deserving of several
rounds of written applause are
the comically flawless perform-
ances of Diane Daverman as
Hortense, the French-tongued
maid who claims it's nicer in
Nice, and Jack Van Natter, who
leers idiotically at anyone pret-
tier than his umbrella-wielding
wife, played by a pickle-faced
Lois McDonnell Lintner.
The audience was easily
pleased by the well-practiced
dance numbers where 14 pair of
shoes tapped and Charlestonned
the shine off their patent lea-
ther. Dance highlights included
a Shirley Temple-curled Mary
Lott Buelch assuring a line of
admiring boys that she loves
them all in a number called
"Safety in Numbers" and a
bawdy and uplifting Carnival
Tango done by Errol Segal and
a slinky and sultry Beth Tit-
muss.
The Boyfriend is a spoof of
tthe plumed and feather-head-
ed musicals of the 1920's. It can-
not offer a deep and ponderous
moral message, but it is guar-
anteed to lighten your heart by
about 50 years.

Michigan Daily
Arts

'The Boyfriend'

Smothers Brothers draw Od Left

By DAVID WARREN
Perhaps the best T.V. show to come out of the 60's
was the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. Unfortunately
it was cancelled in 1969 because of "controversial" ma-
terial. The cancellation seemed to mark the end of the
brother's careers. But Monday night they returned and
their act is really together.
Tom was the first one out, and did about 15 minutes
of topical humor, ranging in subject from Nixon to CBS.
Tom said that after five years he was much cooler about
the cancellation. He is still "pissed off", but he is much
cooler.
Their opening number was a lovely Spanish ballad
that Tom eventually sang in German. Dick, not missing a
cue, reprimanded his brother.
Dick: You sang in German!
Tom: Did you tape it?
Dick: No.
Tom: Then I didn't do it.
What was really impressive was how smooth they
were. Their act seemed to flow, and their rendition of
John Henry is one of the classic musical-comedy bits of
all time. Their music is better than ever, and their
repetoire ranges from American folk to Gilbert and Sul-
livan.
Tom's Stan Laural-ish face lends an added touch to
their comedy, and their music, Tom is always mugging it
up, and the audience loved it.
It was interesting to observe the audience, made up
mostly of Old Left members who have since settled down.
They were enthusiastic, and at the same time courteous,
unlike the rock concerts audiences that have made De-
troit infamous in music circles.
On the bill with the brothers Smothers was Peter
Yarrow, of Peter, Paul and Mary. He did his famous (and
overdone) "Puff the Magic Dragon". This was his rocket
to stardom, but it has been done thousands of times, and
is really wearing thin. But then again, his whole act is
wearing thin these days. In fact, his act is the same as
when he played Pine Knob two years ago, only then he
was the headliner.
It was good to see that the Smothers were not sub-
ject to the same pitfalls that Yarrow it. Although their
act is fundamentally the same, they have new songs, and
their range is broad enough to keep it from becoming
dull.
Suffice to say that the Smothers gave a good show.
It is a joy to see that they are back on the scene, It
hasn't been the same since they left.

Smothers Brothers

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