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July 30, 1977 - Image 7

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1977-07-30

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

Saturday, July 30, 977 THE MICHIG
SUSpense falls fati 'ark'


Page Seven
the surefire quality of Knott's story should already
be apparent - a vulnerable heroine, a murder, a for-
tune in illicit drugs, a conspiracy between three un-
derworld types - everything is there, but it doesn't
The fault lies in the way this story is presented to
the audience. Knott devotes the first scene of his play
to a conversation between the three hoods, thereby
revealing too much too soon. The audience, already
knowing about the con taking place, must sit patiently
for almost an act and a half before the heroine fully
realizes what is happening to her.
JACK VAN NATTER'S leisurely staging does little
to conceal the defects in Knott's script. Van Natter's
actors saunter through the play without making any
particular attempts to accelerate towards the life-and-
death struggle that concludes it.
This production is also plagued by technical prob-
lems. Like many thrillers, Wait Until Dark relies
heavily on sound and light cues, and requires an alert
technical taff. Nothing destroys tension quite so ef-
fectively as a telephone that continues to ring after
it has been picked up, or a lamn that goes out before
the switch has been turned. Sadly, such blunders
abounded in Wednesday night's opening performance.
The cast is not strong. While Dlana Barton, as Suzy,
manages to convince us that she is blind, she fails to
develop much intensity until the final scene of act two.
CHARLES McGRAW is miscast as Roat, the mean-
est of the three hoods. His quiet delivery, which is
no doubt meant to give the impression of barely-sup-
pressed insanity, gives instead an impression of meek-
David Alan Grier fares far better in the role of
Mike Talman, the con artist who cannot bring him-
self to go through with Roat's scheme. Talman's com-
passion for (and grudging admiration of) Suzy comes
through clearly in Grier's performance.
Also in the cast are Leo Brockway, Charles Suther-
land, Jane C. Siegel, John V. McCarthy and Benedict
Stallone. Michael D. Sniderman's gloomy set, featur-
ing two large windows which overlook the action like
a pair of baleful eyes, is one of the most effective
things about the production.

Ln rm s vim ya w. , .- u m n m ier . n "M, mort.i .p licl .. a- - 1i-{li- -i -= -- ,y- ..a, - ~----- ...
Until Dark, playing evenings tonight, and on August 2 and S.
By RICHARD LEWIS every device necessary to concoct a suspense-filled
IF YOU TEND to avoid thrillers for fear they'll cause ITS PLOT INVOLVES a blifid heroine named Suzy
you to have nightmares, go see Wait Until Dark who is conned by three villains into believing that her
at Power Center-it poses no such threat. husband-now conveniently out of town-is guilty of
The Frederick Knott play is the third production to murder.t
be offered by the Michigan Rep this summer, and They convince her that a musical doll in her posses-
although it contains a few unsettling moments, it is sion is the only evidence connecting her husband with
hardly an edge-of-the-seat affair. the murdered woman, while actually it contains $250,-
This failure is slightly puzzling. Knott is certainly 000 worth of heroin. Of course, the husband is totally
a talented mystery writer (he also wrote Dial 'M' ignorant of this last fact.
for Murder) and Wait Until Dark seems to include To reveal any more details would be unethical, but

Sex Pistols: Aim and fire!

j E may look like he needs a UNICEF
parcel, but this British teen is
proving to be a rock star with more
stamina than all of the contrived slimey
British beat groups that have invaded
America's shores in the past decade.
He is Johnny Rotten. As lead singer
of the Sex Pistols, he commands a sub-
culture of British youth - creating pop-
ular attitudes as easily as he dictates a
mutated lifestyle and fashion that has
been labeled and hyped with the mon-
niker "punk."
He and the other Pistols, Steve Jones,
guitar; Sid Vicious, bass; and Paul-
Cook, drums, have also been branded,
at various times, and by various people
as: fascists, communists, anarchists
(due to the title of their aborted first
hit single, "Anarchy in the U.K.," now
a collector's item) nazis, and devils' ad-
THEY have become the whipping-boys
of a scandal-thirsty national press,
and the recent victims of a broadcast-
ing media mass banning of their secondt
release, "God Save The Queen", their
contribution to an otherwise uneventful
Jubilee year in London.
And despite it all, the censored sin-
gle rose to number one in the New Mu-
sical Express Charts of the last weeks
in June., Jt would also have gone to the
top of BBC's fetid pop charts, except for
the fact that the record had also been
banned from a large percentage of the
stores whose sales are recorded in de-
ciding the ranks of these chafts.
For nearly a year now the bulk of
England's conservative Establishment
has tried to snuff out the arrogant Pis-
tols, who have given the music industry
and its unwilling teenage slaves a well-
deserved jab in the arm similar to Rot-
ten's onstage habit of dousing lit ciga-
rettes on his arm.'

n n
L -,
Johnny Rotten, Sex Pistol

Sure it burns, and the Pistols have
taken their lumps for being honest
enough to give people only what they
deserve. Until now, no record company
has supported them - their first, the
conglomerate EMI, dropped them in the
midst of a furor created by a TV inter-
view in which the words "fuck" and
"bastard" and some common deriva-
tions outraged the sensibilities of Eng-
lish tea-timers.
Throughout their careers, the Pistols
have maintained a marked genius for
acting naturally outrageous while simul-
taneously inflaming the nation's vitriol.
Nearly bankrupted by a massive tour
that dwindled to a mere handful of
dates, as local councils, one by one,
banned their appearances, and strand-
ed by their record company while tour-
ing to support a single that had already
entered the charts, the Pistols soon
signed with A&M Records only to be let
off the hook seven days later, with a
handsome financial settlement.
Mostly, however, it seemed that they
would have been satisfied just to play,
but by that time they had been effec-
tively banned from performing publicly
in London and most of the U.K.
Finally, though, Virgin Records inked
the Pistols and released the controver-
sial "God Save The Queen", which pre-
cipitated the most frightening turn of
events yet for the/ group.
Both vocalist Rotten and drummer
Cook, and a number of their^ associates
have been attacked with knives and lead
pipes, once again making them pigeons
for a press that colors the reports that
finally reach America in a livid shade
of yellow.
Peel away what has been said about
them and done to them, and the Pistols
emerge as survivors and creators. Don't
rely on an image, as their imitators and
detractors do, just listen and find out

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