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August 16, 1975 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1975-08-16

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Poge Four


Saturday, August 16, 1975


ommedia'is old but

In a welcome attempt to bring
theater-goers fresh styles of
humor, Roadside Attractions, a
Michigan-based acting company,
has boldly - and successfully -
employed ideas and techniques
unfamiliar to the standard audi-
ence. One recent presentation,
"Feiffer in the Flesh," brought
newspaper cartoons to hilarious
life. Stage combat, mime and
clowning also appear in their
work. Now, the group has adopt-
ed the 17th century art form,
commedia, from the Italian
Rennaissance and the product
is a thoroughly enjoyable play
entitled The Servant of Two
-The play's convoluted plot,
which involves two pairs of
young lovers and their troubles
on the road to matrimony, is
nearly overshadowed by the
commedia method itself. Cer-
tain stock characters, wearing
colorful, half-face masques, ap-
peared in all commedia presen-

tations, with the same actor or
actress always playing the same
role. The script allows plenty
of room for improvisation and,
at times, a character will di-
rectly address the audience.
A DELIGHTFUL rapport with
the audience, in fact, is main-
tained throughout "Servant,"
beginning when the puckish,
barefoot Truffaldino (played by
Curtis Armstrong) prances his
way on stage and then asks,
eagerly, "P r e t ty flashy en-
trance, eh?" Truffaldino clearly
steals the show in his title role
as he tries to earn a few extra
dollars by offering to run er-
rands for two masters instead
of just one.
His double role, however,
nearly ruins the love lives of
four innocent characters: Bea-
trice (Margaret Heinze), who is
disguised as her dead brother
in a move to reach the man she
1 o v e s; the beautiful Clarice
(Kathryn Sanders), betrothed
against her wishes to the man

Beatrice impersonates; Silvio
(Pedro Silva), the hot-tempered
object of Clarice's affections;
and Florindo (Folkert Schmidt),
who loves Beatrice. The seem-
ingly endless mixups are not
resolved until the play's final
moments, w h e n Truffaldino's
impish scheming nets him a
marriage partner as well.
Adding to the confusion are
Pantalone (Jerry Bennett), the
tightwad f a t h e r of Clarice;
Brighante (Beverly Hainault),
a loud-mouthed, classic Italian
momma; Brighella (Harlan Mo-
yer), an oafish foil for Truffal-
dino; and Smeraldina (Barbara
Bercu), the hyperactive, scan-
tily-clad maidservant who calls
men in the audience "peegs"
during a rousing speech for sis-
OTHER deliberate anachron-
isms creep their way into Carlo
Goldoni's 1734 script. When
Beatrice peeks at a letter ad-
dressed to someone else, Truf-
faldino objects, asking, "Who

do you think you are, the CIA?"
Later, one character leavAs an-
other after promising to "meet
you at Pizza Bob's."
The company goes far off the
traditional road in an alt-out
effort to entertain, and the audi-
ence loves every moment. Two
silent zanni (comic servants)
perform throughout the inter-
mission and the cast provides
its own music-with kazoos. A
f e w of their unconventional
techniques, however, are some-
what distracting; for example,
the characters not appearing in
any given scene sit off to the
side, in plain view, and laugh,
wince or mug to lines as :f
they had never heard them.
The overall effect of com-
media, nevertheless, is a re-
freshing change from standard
theater fare. The story line is
absurd, the masques (especially
Pantalone's full - face masque)
are fine pieces of art in them-
selves and the company works
quite well as a group-the char-

acters jump and fall all over
each other in playful insanity.
Roadside Attractions, in fact,
calls itself a non-profit organi-
zation performing "as a public
service. Their show, which
runs through Sunday night at
the Frieze Building's Arena
Theater, is excellent testimony
to that claim, and is not so
much a play as a zany circus
act. You'll adjust very quickly
to this entertaining art form
from another age and culture.
Joan Little
a cquitted
(Continued from Page 1)
Hobgood said he felt Paul,
who calls himself a "new abol-
itionist," had been trying to get
a contempt citation to win a
mistrial. He said the contempt
was virtually continuous
throughout the 25 day trial, and
cited an instance when Paul
openly compared him to the
Queen in Alice in Wonderland-
"the law is the law and off with
their heads."
"THERE'S nothing personal
between us, you understand,"
Hobgood beamed. Paul, saying
the sentence was "not a dis-
honor, but an advantage of hon-
or," began serving his time a
few hours after losing an appeal
to another judge. ,
Alligood's 62-year-old widow,
Elsie contacted at Washington,
N.C., said: "I might think of a
lot of things, but I don't want
to say nothing. We all have feel-
ins, ad that's all I can
Bat later in the day.Mr.
See JURY, Page 9

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