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May 26, 1978 - Image 6

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1978-05-26

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Page 6-Friday, May 26, 1978-The Michigan Daily


JOSHUA PECK human motivation, for if
When I was nine, I read an account of bag of foul produce Wedne
heyday of vaudeville, its perfor- the opening of AACT'
rs and audience. I was incredulous Touches, I would soon havt
n that anyone with even a grain of to let fly with the worst I ha
ency could have thrown rotten Where, oh where, to star
nishing Tou hes Kerr's abysmal script, I
by Jean Kerr even Tracy and Hepburn
had trouble saving it. Lat
Ann ArborCivic Theatre act, the show's first u
LydiaMendelsson Theatre moment finally arrives
ty Cooper.,....... ........ Thelma Sterling Cooper, the lead, is in thea
ff Cooper ....................... Joe Medrano her next-door neighbor,
ghie Cooper... . Robert Avsharian behold, her husband does n
vin Cooper ......................Phil Potter ASIDE FROM this and
ed Whitten ... ...... Dick Phillips or three other of the show's
eeCop............St enFlynn
licia Andrayson . b.. ris McMullen is basically the same obv
sie Ketchum ............... ... Amy Rothman Kerr and her colleagues
churning out for the last d
bby Jacobs, director; Don Stewart, set designer; half - a sort of couSin
nathan Lawniczak, eltne designer; Kathleen drawing roam comedy,
Schaadt, costumesdain om oey
quality is several strata b
etables, garbage and the like at per- its Continental relati
mers while they were on the stage. I "basically the same schlocl
t to thank Ann Arbor Civic Theater is a new and disturbing el
broadening my understanding of an attitude about drugs a


that Kerr imagines to be open and
I had had a apropos to the 70's, but that manages to
sday night at be nothing more than disgusting.
s Finishing When will Kerr and her ilk recognize
e been moved that alcohol is not a health tonic or
id to offer. therapeutic truth serum, but a crutch
t? With Jean for the miserable? Finishing Touches
suppose, as makes scarcely a negative suggestion
might have about liquor, though the imbibing is
e in the third practically incessant. Director Libby
npredictable Jacobs must take some of the blame for
when Katy this failing as well.
irms of Fred, Homosexuality, too, falls under the
and io and playwright's flippant pen. Contrary to
ot walk in. what the characters think, the topic is
perhaps two not a joke. Whether one supports or op-
incidents, it poses the efforts of gay liberation,
ious schlock scorn is inappropriate to the issue. Yet
have been that is just what it is handed here.
ecade and a. GIVEN SUCH material, perhaps the
to British Civic Theater should not be judged too
though its harshly. But then, they send people to
elow that of jail for being accomplices to murder.
ve. I say The acting ranged from pitiable to
k," but there mediocre, with occasional exceptions
ement here: provided by Thelma Sterling and Chris
nd sexuality McMullen, as Katy Cooper and Felicia
Andrayson. These two, while uneven,
earned their laughs at times through
reasonably good timing. Neither
character, however, had either the sub-
stance or presence to win sympathy,
even from Wednesday's em-
-barrassingly appreciative audience.
At the other end of the limited spec-
trum are Steven Flynn and Dick
Phillips, as Katy's oldest son and her
ert adulterous neighbor, respectively.
Flynn, who manages The Movies at
ton, Briarwood, seems to have seen Star
ond, Wars one time too many; his delivery
.rr and movement are mechanical to the

point where they rival those of C3PO. A
remarkable achievement, really, to
wander through an entire performance
without once producing a believable ut-
PHILLIPS IS not quite as appalling,
though he certainly makes a bid. The
main problem with his characterization
is that we are asked to believe that Katy
would consider jumping into the sack
with him. But who would fall for a guy
who sounds like a talk show host?
Joe Medrano as Jeff, Katy's straying
husband, is adequate, but that perhaps
typifies much of the difficulty with the
whole production. The old dictum that
comedy (did I mention that the show is
a comedy?) is harder to do than drama,
is correct. If Medrano were the
protagonist of a serious show, we might
be able to overlook his lapses and come
away with a positive feeling on the
whole. But when, time after time,
Medrano tries to evoke laughter and
misses, he begins to stand out. And
without being outstanding.
Mention must be made of the special
effects, which unintentionally provided
two of the show's funniest moments.
What we are told is an approaching car
sounds more like a crashing 747. Then
we are treated to an alleged rainstorm,
which somehow avoids dousing two
candles that burn throughout.
At one point in the show, unin-
teresting Elsie Ketchum, played unin-
terestingly by Amy Rothman, asks
Katy Cooper, "Am I depressing you?"
You most certainlyare, Ms. Rothman.
You and your whole undertrained

recorded, of all things, a children's
On one side of the record is an
adequate if unspectacular rendering of
Benjamin Britten's Young Person's
Guide to the Orchestra, an excellent
piece for indoctrinating the kiddies into
the delights of highbrow music. But, af-
ter settling Junior next to the old
Marantz speakers and setting the
needle on the flip side, the attentive
parent is in for a surprise as the
velvety, slightly nasal voice of David
Bowie intones, "This is the story of
Peter and the Wolf. Each character in
this tale is going to be represented by a
different instrument in the or-
Peter and the Wolf chestra
The Philadelphia Orchestra, with Bowie makes a charming storyteller,
Eugene Ormandy, conductor, and having no doubt practiced his inter-
DavidBowie,narrator pretive skills on his own little son,
RCA ARLI-2743 Zowie. His participation in this venture
might even get dyed-in-the-wool rock
David Bowie, alias the Man Who Fell audiences listening to classical music,
to Earth, who brought you Ziggy Star- as Vincent Price's appearance in
dust, Diamond Dogs and the Jean American International horror films
Genie, in his never-ending effort to keep encouraged teenagers to read Poe.
the public guessing what he's up to, has -Anne Sharp
MSTAKES, GOOFS d CENSRE SCEES Rotor", Abbott & Costello a Stn .erk " "OF-Vast LWugni Dos Ricklas
Mistakes from Movies and TV.

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