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July 20, 1972 - Image 2

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Michigan Daily, 1972-07-20

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Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Thursday, July 20, 1972

theatre
'U' Players: Barbed humor from the Bard

By JOHN HARVITH
For their Shakespearean of-
fering of the summer, the Uni-
versity Players have opted for
one of the Bard's earliest crea-
tions, Love's Labour Lost, in-
augurating a six performance
run of the Renaissance com-
edy Tuesday night at Power
Center. Despite its relatively
slender plot, Love's Labour's
levels many a barbed attack
against the affected and artificial
style of speech and writing en-
demic in court circles during the
late Sixteenth Century, t h u s
constituting an elevated sort of
Beggar's Opera or Gilbert and
Sullivan social commentary of
its time.
The plot unfolds at the court
of King Ferdinand of Navarre,
Spain, who, together with his
three lords, enacts a statute ban-
ishing women from his palace for
three years in order to with-
draw from worldly, sensuous en-
deavors in favor of meditative

contemplations and the pursuit
of knowledge. Shakespeare ri-
dicules this typical attempt by
t h e Renaissance nobility to
achieve intelectual "enlighten-
ment" by having the king and
lords fall involuntarily prey to
the first entourage of noble lad-
ies pasing through Navarre: the
Princess of France and h e r
\ three ladies-in-waiting. A l l
thoughts of scholarly preoccu-
pation evaporate as the king
and lords turn Francophiles, be-
sieging their female intruders
with overwritten love sonnets.
As one of the beloved women
puts it:
Some thousand verses of a
faithful lover,
A huge translation. of hypocrisy
Vilely compiled, profound
simplicity.
Just as all seems ready to end
happily ever after, Shakespeare
casts another. rude twist onto
a comedy lampooning artificial-
ity: A messenger announces the

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French king's death, and t h e
ladies in mourning leave their
suitors behind to test whether
their love will survive twelve
months of separation. The play
concludes with a song appr3-
priately contrasting spring and
winter.
Perhaps the greatest 'elight in
the comedy is Shakespeare's
good-natured treatment of stock
characters. Hilarious lines are
uttered by a country bumpkin
(Costard), a bumbling constble
(Dull), a pedantic schoolmaster
(Holofernes), a pretentio
knight (Armado), apcountry
wench (Jaquenetta) and an eld-
erly affected noble valet to the
princess (Boyet). It was here
that director Richard Burgwin
capitalized on a wealth of char-
acter actors within the -anks
of his repertory company. Each
actor obeyed that 'sine qua non"
of the comedian by taking him-
self seriously and reaped gen-
uinely deserved harvests of
laughter.
Errol Segal's (Armado) m.g-
nificently swaggering gait and
rolling eyes hit somewhere be-
tween Captain Hook and t h e
Great Gildersleeve, while James
Baffico (Dull) was the ungainly
oaf which Shakespeare's lines
suggest. The Michael Pollardes-
que impishness which character-
ized Robert Chapel's inimitable
Costard balanced the saucy, but
ultimately sensitive Jaquenetta
of Ann Crumb. And speaking as
only a former student of both
law and Latin can, C h e s t e r
Smith could have comfortably
subbed for either my Prof. in
Wills or Roman Comedy as a
master of portraying a soul long
defunct and anesthetized.
Unfortunately, the lords and
ladies were not so consistently
well cast. The major miscalcula-
tion centered about Berowne
(Edward Cicciarelli), a pivotal
character who speaks many of
Shakespeare's central lines. Cic-
clarelli simply overacted, both
in gesture and in voice, giving
hanumy, sly winks and playing
to the audience generally rather .
than portraying a believable
character. The Princess (Pris-
cilla Lindsay), however, profit-
ed from clear, secure enunciation
and a truly aristocratic bearing.
And Constance Meng (Katherine)
consistently delighted in the

completely natural, unaffected
projection of her character.
As for the total conception,
Burgwin is to be commended for
imaginately conceiving L o v e 's
Labour's as an Eighteenth-can-
tury comedy of manner, replete
with artificial gestures, Iragon-
ard swings and tapestry (contri-
buted by scene designer A l a n
Billings), and extremely stylish
costuming (by Zelma Weisfeld).
One small quibble: the complete
song would have been more ef-

fective as an operatic finale (i.e.
as Shakespeare originally wrote
it) thanincomplete as an Act
Two vocal quartet poorly In-
toned by the four ladies.
In sum, this production of
Love's Labour's presents a re-
freshingly witty, not too often
performed, Shakespearean play
with high spirits, fine ensemble
character, acting, and imagina-
tive stage direction within the
intimate atmosphere of Power
Center.

records
Columbia 'elassies'

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By DONALD SOSIN
New two-recprd sets f r o m
Columbia offer a variety of mu-
sic at bargain prices.
The Stravinsky Album (MG
31202) - contains three early
works: Firebird Suite, Petrusch-
ka Suite, and the Rite of Spring.
Stravinsky conducts the Colum-
bia Symphony Orchestra. T h e
performances have gusto and
fire, although the sound is not'
of the best quality. For a truly
great Petrushka (the original
1911 version) try Boulez' n e w
recording with the New York
Philharmonic.
The packaging looks ike "Chi
cago" but the word is "Phil-
adelphia" on a set of light favor-
ites by that renowned orchestra.
(MG 31190) Ormandy and h i s
crew whip through works of
Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Tschi-
kowsky, Ravel and others in
performances that, if occasion-
ally lacking inspiration, clear in-
ner voices and rousing tempos,
still have that lush Philly sound.
A unique program of organ
music is offered by E. Power
Biggs on MG 31207. The album
repeats material from ten other
recordings, and features works
by twenty-four composers from
sight countries, covering seven
centuries, and played on two doz-
en inlstruments. There are some
real gems among the bunch -
two delightful pieces by the con-
temporary composer Ernst Pep-
ping, whose name is new to
me; an anonymous ditty called
Packington's Pound; and t h e
Spanish pieces --as Biggs says
in his notes, the Spanish organs
are totally different; the sound
is indescribably delicious.
The three works with orches-
tra might just as well have been
omitted; the sound is atrocious
and contributes nothing to an
otherwise splended collection.
A fourth set features the for-
ward-looking, innovative, noisy
but often quite beautiful music
of Edgar Varese (MG 31078),
performed by the Columbia Sym-
phony Orchestra under the di-

rection of Robert Craft. Of the
twelve works of Varese listed
in the current Schwann guide,
this album includes nine - the
three exclusions being Amerique,
Nocturnal and Ecuatorial. All
all the well-known works are
here, then - Ionisation, Density
21.5, the colossal Arcana (120
players), the stunning Hyper-
prism, the bizarre and humor-
ous Octandre, the Poeme Elec-
tronique, a work of rare sensi-
tivity among electronic pieces.
The album is both a service and
a pleasure to music and noise
lovers all around.
'lJ:::tiY::1"f::. f:S i":0.:
DAILY OFFICIAL
BULLETIN
".'.' 1N @}.. . J:.P.{,': .. ..
The Daily official Bulletin is an
official pubbeation of the Univer-
sity of Michigan. Notiees should be
sent in TYPZWRITTEN FORM to
409 l. Jefferson, before 2 p.m, of
the day preceding publication and
by 2 p.m. Friday for Saturday and
BSunday, Items" appear once only.
Student organization notices are
not accepte J for publication. For
more information, phone 704-9270.
THURSDAY, JULY 10
DAY CALENDAR
Audio-visual Center Films: "'Making
of Butch Cassidy and tie Sundance
Kid," and others, Aud. 4, MLB, 7 pm.
Music School: Patricia Nixon, alto
saxophone,. sch. of Mus. Recital Hall,
8 pm.
University Players: Shakespeare's
"Love's Labour's Lost,," Power Ctr., 8
pm.
Miehigan Women in Science: 29B
Physies-Astronomy-nBldg., 8 pm.:
The Michigan Daily, edited and man-
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Michigan. News phone: 764-0562. Second
Class postage paid at Ann Arbor, Mich-
igan. 420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor,
Michigan 48104. Published daily Tues-
day through Sunday morning Univer-
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carrier, $11 by mail.
Summer Session published Tuesday
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area); $6.50 local mail (in Mich. or
Oho); $7.50 non-local mail (other states
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TONIGHT! 8 P.M.
49
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For ancng nd admnto

for a
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at ANN ARBOR'S
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