Wednesday, July 6, 1977
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Wednesday, July 6, 1977 THE MICHIGAN DAILY Page FIve
'A BRIDGE TOO FAR'
By SUSAN BARRY
NEW DRAMA is always ex-
citing to watch, particularly
when the originator is, or re-
cently was, a student at this
University. Innovative theatre
in Ann Arbor tends to be a ris-
in Ann Arbor tends to be a
risky venture and is often
sparsely attended, despite the
area's regutation as a cultural
haven. Perhaps this is the rea-
son former student Barry K.
Pugh chose to present his or-
iginal play, Out of Darkness, in
Detroit. It was Ann Arbor's loss.
Opening night, Thursday, June
16, at the Mercy College audi-
torium was remarkably well at-
tended. Despite several techni-
cal malfunctions, which the pro-
duction crew assured me had
been eliminated in the fol-wing
presentations, the play incor-
porated the various mediums of
poetry, monologue, drama, and
dance in ,such a way that the
broad range In genre reflected
and enhanced the widely en-
compassing nature of the theme.
The play intended to present
"the flipside of reality - the
darkness." The menacing voice
of Andrew Crawtord as the poet/
narrator warned, however, that
this force was a presence which
must be inevitably incorpora-
ted into one's experience, and
was not to be avoided. "Stay
on the safe side that you know
as reality and I will crush
PUGH INTENDED to il-
lustrate the presence of this
force in human experience. This
was accomplished through a
series of vignettes. These vig-
nettes, interspersed with poetic
monologues, were demonstra-
tions, not of the definition of
this force, but of its various
The presence of the darkness
in death was dramatized by a
junkie importuning his white-
robed cocaine lady. This theme
was brought more down-to-earth
with a version of Shakespeare's
"to be or not to be" soliloquy
fdom a bedside philosopher puf-
fing on an early morning buzz.
With the narrator suggesting
that "peach of mind might be
right there - in your mind,"
the subject turned to memories.
The ensuing scene presented
Pugh at his dramatic peak. It
concerned the memories of an
old couple as they were clean-
ing out their attic.
MOVINGLY PORTRAYED by
Myrenna Hawthorne, Mark Dell
Miller, Cooki Winborn, Lewis
Williams, and D Breen Tally, the
characters presented the pathos
of an old affair from the green-
er days of the couple's marri-
age through the eyes of a more
mellow age. The infidelity of
Winston (the husband) is final-
ly put to rest when he confess-
es to his wife, Maxine, that his
extramarital affair failed be-
cause his mistress detected his
greater devotion to his wife.
An exploration of the woman's
movement followed, along with
several effectively choreograph-
ed sequences. Carole Morisseau
of the Detroit City -Dance Com-
pany was the choreographer for
the work. And Professor Vera
Embree performed an innova-
tive solo to Black Swan.
"I'm the architect, the build-
er, the maintainence man,"
claimed the voice of darkness,
hinting at clues to its identifica-
ti-. However, it is soon evident
that the identity is unimportant.
"I am!" thunders the voice, and
that is all that must be acknowl-
Pugh's play excells mainly in
its poetry. The quality of the
dance, drama, and acting are
all fringe benefits. And all of
them separately or in combina-
tion tnake for thought-provoking
entertainment that will hope-
fully be available to the public
for a long time to come.
Haea o 'ar for
If you are interest.
ed in reviewing
poetry, and mustc
or writing feature
stories aout the
drama, dance, fum
arts. Contact Arta
Editor, c/ oThe
By OWEN GLEIBERMAN
PM NOT EXACTLY sure why Hollywood decid-
ed to dump a barrage of war films on us at this
moment, but one thing is for sure, we're current-
ly in the thick of it. thus far, every war offer-
ing this year has been in the old style-Hollywood
tradition including Peckinpah's Cross of Iron; a
seemingly deeper picture, but ultimately, boast-
ing its fair share of stock characters and situa-
Hopefully, Coppola's Apocalypse Now, now in
post-production, will offer something a bit more
At any rate, the latest war film to make
the rounds is A Bridge Too Far, a 3-hour account
of Operation Market Garden, during World War
II. The film smacks of Hollywood in every way
possible; it boasts a star-tudded cast of almost
laughingly large proportion, and the picture
makes no significant attempts to read anything
meaningful into the events. It is highly question-
able how much potential for this last item there
is in an action war film anyway, and A Bridge
Too Far makes no such pretentions.
DIRECTEDBY RICHARD AT-
TENBOUROUGH, the film is a near documen-
tary accounif of the famous World War II inva-
sion in which 350,000 English troops were drop-
ped behind German lines in Holland, and at-
tempted to hook up with allied forces and secure
all the bridges along a 64-mile stretch.
Perhaps the film's saving grace is that it
doesn't delve deep enough to cultivate a signifi-
cant point of view. It ends up simply being a
chronicle of events, and comes off as only a
modest success. The makers use the old device
of having the generals realize the potentially
suicidal aspects of the mission but deviously
withhoold the information from the troops or
But the point is not belaboured; despite its
documentary-like flavor, the movie doesn't ex-
amine the events from any sort of intellectual-
ized historical standpoint. The dirty games of
the generals comprise only a plot device, and
the action soon takes front seat.
A Bridge Too Far is well directed and ef-
fectively edited, although there is occasionally
confusion as to where we are, due to the large
cast and number of simultaneous goings-on. The
biggest asset of the star-studded cast is not good
acting - although there are a number of fine
performances - but rather the fact that so
many familiar faces add a distinctly charisma-
tic element to the film.
Virtually every role is filled by a major star,
and by the time Robert Redford was introduced
(a good two hours into the movie), I felt as if
I was watching a poker player with four of a
kind (in this case, about 15 of a kind) glowingly
lay down his cards, one at a time. Elliot Gould
shows up in the most Elliot Gouldish role I think
I've ever seen; He plays an American, going
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