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May 25, 1978 - Image 8

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1978-05-25

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Page 8-Thursday, May 25, 1978-The Michigan Daily
'Pinafore' needs new approach
(Continued from Page6)Rackstraw and Josephine,playedb formal productions of the D'Oyly Carte
the encore number, "Never Mind-thep y by Company are the way Gilbert and
conducg ad,oe bstic totherwise, his Why and Wherefore," is still funny, Meston Reid and Barbara Lilley, Sullivan ahould be produced. It should
iodutisntheoactrsjwhiae to blamco e evnsria, respectively, were sometimes so ee ytrcl also be kept in mind that Gilbert and
So, it is the actors who are to blame soulful and melancholy that when they an, a well as Carte, were in-
for a first act that seemed inter- MICHAEL RAYNER a-Captain Cor- finally meet their happiness seems Sullivan, th fist tolas rtewere ith
minable. Something unusually funny coran and Patricia Leonard as Butter- quelled. John Ayldon as Dick Deadeye electricity. next century of pr
occurred backstage while the cast was cup also gave fine performances. was disgusting, slimey, crude, ugly and tions will wear thin if the new concepts
waiting for Sir Joseph's barge to arrive, Rayner's Captain was stern but gentle, horrible. We couldn't ask for anything in the theater of today are not em-
and three quarters of the chorus hr a bit sadistic while caressing the cat of more. pntyedy
character and tittered, providing the p y

only relief in the act. The primary
problem was that the chorus, which
sets the mood and tempo in most
Gilbert and Sullivan shows, was half-
hearted. The opening, "We Sail the
Ocean Blue," lacked the robust seaman
pride it should project. About half the
women were smiling during most of the
show, while the remainder seemed
bored to tears. So weredwe.
GILBERT outwardly delivers quips
and jibes at the expense of the Royal
Navy, however the meat of the plot
deals with the class system in Britain.
The baby switching schtick is employed
so that the lowley topman is in reality
the captain, and vice versa. The main
thrust, "Love levels all ranks," is true
only as far as Sir Joseph Porter wishes
to permit. After discovering that
Josephine is merely a sailor's
daughter, he snobbily informs the cap-
tain, "Well, I need not tell you that after
this change in your condition, a
marriage with your daughter will be
out of the question." When pressed with
his own dictum, he replies, "It (love)
does to a considerable extent, but it
does not level them as much as that."
John Reed, the house comedian, was
marvelous as the Rt. Hon. Sir Joseph
Porter, K.C.B. Reed has the over-
flowing charisma and warmth that are
so important for an actor of these roles.
His diction, facial expressions and hand
gestures (he studied elocution) are a
pleasure. The antics, especially during

nine tamls anadjust induigent enough for
his "Hardly evers." Leonard took the
motherly approach to Buttercup, a
widow who fancies the captain. She
seemed genuinely interested in the cap-
tain and his problems (more of the for-
mer, I think), and her pride when in-
formed that she was too lowly born, was
admirable.
The two ingenue roles, Ralph

The singing of all was of fine quality.
Reid and Lilley's duet, "Refrain
Audacious Tar," Rayner and Leonard's
"Though to Catch Your Drift I'm
Striving," and the trio, "Never Mind
the Why and Wherefore," were
especially memorable for their vocal
quality and acting.
There is no doubt that the stylized and

The prairie chicken, also called the
pinnated grouse, a native of the Great
Plains, is gregarious and usually
travels in flocks of about a dozen birds.
However, in the winter the birds gather
into flocks numbering as many as a
hundred.

A sd Jlendi lla the'
(Contnued from Page 6) To evasa o,.ndieful Phyllis. Jane that thpit,,..,c.....-

nlnn with

ACT TWO contained the only trouble
spots in the operetta. The opening num-
ber, sung by Private Willis, was low-
key and droll; well-done in all. The
second act proceeded as did the first,
until the patter song (which may be the
most perfect of all the G&S patter
songs), "When you're lying awake."
The difficulty here was in the tempo.
Nash began too slowly for John Reed
(playing the Lord Chancellor, who
sings this song). Reed realized he was
out of step and slowed down his pace,
just about the time Nash realized that
Reed was singing rather too fast.
Result: he stepped up his pace, and the
orchestra proceeded to overtake Reed,
who promptly sped up, etc. They
seesawed their way throughout the en-
tire number, to a rather unsatisfactory
conclusion.
Reed was perfect, as were John
Ayldon and Geoffrey Shovelton, who
played the Lords Mountararat and
Tololler. Their second-act trio, the "en-
core number" of Iolanthe (another an-
cient tradition) was beautifully done;
the encores all incorporated some new
and incongruous bit of amusing stage
business.
THE BEST scene in the show was
perhaps the final climactic scene, in
which Iolanthe reveals herself to her
husband. Performed with charm and _
delicacy, it epitomized the grace of the
entire evening.
Other notable troupers included
Patricia Leonard, as the Fairy Queen,
Gareth Jones as Stephon, and Barbara

Metcalfe played the title role, and did a
fine job.
The scenery and the music, the
costumes and the performances all
combined to show why Gilbert and
Sullivan will always be most
definitively performed by the troupe

Liat 7ey emse-ves..ing WI.n
Richard D'Oyly Carte - began in the
late nineteenth century. For when the
D'Oyly Carte company is mediocre, it
is still better than anyone else, and
when it is good, it is simply in a class all
its own. lolanthe last Saturday proved
that.

'Colored Girls'
(Continued from Page6) books, and in
heightens the hilarity, who "wouldn'
Many of the poems in the production men." Bever
are comprehensible and palatable for marvelously
the stage, but too many, like the "no wisdom of her
more love poems" towards the show's "somebody,
end, rely so heavily on complicatedly stuff" is Ba]
convoluted imagery that the audience refusal to sur
is unable to digest poet (I hesitate to use to an imaginar
the appellation "playwright") Shange's directed at th
thoughts. It seems unfair. her right to h
and her body
THERE IS great incongruity in the pressing posse
unchanging set that bedecks the stage. cy of Alston
While the actresses run through a believability,
gamut of emotion and sentiment, a most memoral
huge flower sits statically behind them, The show's
encased in parabolic streamers. Found God
Scenery designer Ming Cho Lee had the agreeable p
concept of the "colored girls' " congruous fin
magnanimous souls inhibited by the ting evening.
strife of their daily lives. But the format, the sh
women have so much more to say than ning self-exam
that, that the import of the flower sym- observers. Ai
bol shrinks in ludicrous simplicity. As Colored Girls r
a drama critic, I suppose I should have
expected to be moved most by the skits
in Colored Girls where the format isle
closest to that of traditional drama. The
first of these was "toussaint," a little
girl's story of her infatuation with _

uplifts
particular with a Haitian
't take shit from no white
rly Anne's mannerisms
portray the innocent
young character.
almost run off wit alla my
rbara Alston's plaintive
render that which is hers
ry lover. In almost-rhyme
he audience, she asserts
er possessions, her soul,
in defiance of her man's
essiveness. The stringen-
a's plea, and its utter
make it the evening's
ble moment.
final scene is a song, "I
in Myself," whose
resentation makes a
ale for a generally uplif-
Though deeply flawed in
how is successful in win-
nination on the part of its
nd perhaps that is all
really aims for.
rth defects
ire forever.
s you help.
ECT THE UNBORN
D THE NEWBORN
h of Dimes

The Ann Arbor Film Cooperstive
presents at AUD A
Thursday. May 25
THE LITTLE GIRL WHO LIVES DOWN THE LANE
(Nicholas Gessner, 1977) 7 & 10:20-AUD A
This film stars Jodie Foster (TAXI DRIVER) as a fiercely independent youngster
who murders to get her way. After her is Martin Sheen, a moderate psycho
who lusts after young stuff and tortures animals. A beautiflly constructed
film that "works somewhat ontthe level of a tone poem"-CINEFANTASTIQUE.
With Alexis Smith.
(Oliver Stone, 1974) SEIZURE 8:40 ONLY-AUD A
The 3 figures of Edmund Blackstone's recurring nightmare: a giant black
executioner with half a face, a sadistic dwarf, and a darkly mysterious
woman come to life to terrorize him and his family. Reputedly a true horror
gem which among other things has prompted CINEFANTASTIQUE to describe
it as "the most remarkable horror film since THE EXORCIST."
TOMORROW: Chaplin's "CITY LIGHTS"

U les
TO PROTE
AN
March

Hydrocurve contact lens has
introduced new soft lens.
Special introductory offer
May 11th through May 25th.
Dr. Paul Uslan
OPTOMETRIST -
545 Church St.
769-1222

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