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March 27, 1981 - Image 5

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1981-03-27

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ARTSu. __ .

MANN THEATRE.?
37INAPE 4
Daily Discount Matinees
TUESDAY BUCK DAY

T

The Michigan Daily

Friday, March 27, 1981

Page 5

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Daily Photo by JOHN HAGEN
KANSAS VOCALIST Steve Walsh croons to the crowd in Hill Auditorium
Wednesday night. The headliners and warm-up group Loverboy both received
strong support from the crowd. "
Out of th

By ANNE GADON
With the Michigan Ensemble
Theatre's debut performance of A Doll
House Wednesday night, Michigan
joined the ranks of the universities with
a resident professional theatre com-
pany. After all, Yale's had an Equity
(the actors' union) company for years,
so why can't we?
But MET is going to need more than
the union label on its productions to
succeed. Director Walter Eysselinck,
the new Theatre Department chair-
man who was brought to the University
especially to engineer the Equity
theatre's creation, has cast his produc-
tion with five able-bodied regional ac-
tors. They walk through their parts
nice l, but without much style. After a
season or two, MET will hopefully be
able to attract more charismatic per-
formers, instead of this run-of-the-mill
A Doll House
By Henrik Ibsen
Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre
March 25-29
Torvald Helmer.........David Little
Nora, his wife . ... Barbara eda-Young
Doctor Rank..........Kay E. Kuter
Mrs. Linde ......... Phyllis Somerville
Nils Krogstad......Erik Fredricksen
Directed by Walter Eysselinck
Lighting designed by R. Craig Wolf
Costumes designed by Zelma Weisfeld
Scenery designed by W. Oren Parker
group of players.
HENRIK IBSEN caused quite a
ruckus in his day by bringing venereal
disease, feminism, and a host of other
social issues to the stage. A century
later, his work has lost little of its ef-
fect, if not gained a great deal. There
are more Noras now - women who
reject the role of wife and mother to be,
in Nora's words, "a human being."
But a lot of Ibsen is rather tiresomely
melodramatic. His characters are
brooding passionate types; they all
have dark secrets about their past.
Sometimes it's lust for a best friend's
wife, ,a criminal background, a pen-
chant for playing with handguns; his
propensity for idiosyncracies knows no
bounds.

Passion of this sort isn't easy to con-
vey, and most of the MET company has
a tough time of it. Nora, (played by
Barbara eda-Young), the play's pivotal
character is a capricious, girl-wife. At
times she is dissatisfied with her
wife/mother role but adores her
husband, Torvald Helmer, too much to
question his authority directly.
DRIVEN BY HER love for Helmer,
Nora falsely signs a bank loan with her
father's name to get money to take him
to Europe. Nils Krogstad, an employee
at her husband's bank threatens to
reveal Nora's crime of forging a bank
loan unless Nora prevents Helmer from
firing him. But Nora is not successful,
and Krogstad sends Helmer a letter
revealing everything. Helmer confron-
ts his wife, hurls insults at her, informs
her that he will continue to live with her
for appearances sake, but in truth wan-
ts nothing more to do with her.
Krogstad, however, has a change of
heart and sends Helmer a letter with
the forged loan saying that he will
never bring up the subject again.
Helmer is happy and is ready to forgive
his wife with the tender sentiment:
"Your helplessness makes you twice as
attractive." Nora suddenly realizes the
degree of manipulation she has
received at her husband's hands and
rebels against the role of wife and
mother that he has forced on her.
Leaving him and the children, she sets
out for a life on her own.
Any actress who has to spit out the
drivel that makes up most of Nora's
dialogue should be pitied. She plays up
to her husband, crooning to him, "I am
your little songbird, your little
squirrel." Nora is frivilous, yes, but
Barbara eda-Young stretches the
meaning of that word beyond enduran-
ce, at times gushing to the point where
it is embarassing to watch her.
BUT IN THE PLAY's more dramatic
moments she is superb, especially in
the final 15 minutes when Nora announ-
ces to Helmer that she is leaving him.
When Helmer first discovers Nora's
crime and chastises her, eda-Young's
reaction is frighteningly hypnotic: her
face turns ashen, her eyes widen, her
mantal transformation subtiey occurs
and we buy it all, including her sudden
calm rejection of Torvald.

Kay E. Kuter is a fine Doctor Rank;
he has the degree of stage ease which
comes only from years of experience.
The 60-plus actor brings to the surfact
all of Rank's sorrow and his tender
yearning for Nora, with a delicate sense
of emotional display that the other ac-
tors lack.
Also notable in the cast is Phyllis
Somerville as Nora's friend Mrs. Linde.
Somerville is an appropriately dour
presence, her Mrs. Linde is an in-
terestingly sombre contrast to eda-
Young's flightiness. And Todd Cramer,
Benjamin Eysselinck and Alexandra
List-Beuche as Helmer's pint-sized
children are pretty damn cute.
Certainly, A Doll House is better than
most of the productions the University
has sponsored this season, although its
professionalism isn't that over-
whelming. When MET reaches a point
in theatrical circles where they can
command the best of regional theatre
talent (no, they're not there yet. The
closes they come is W. Owen Parker, a
wizard of scenic design) they will be a
dramatic force to be reckoned with; at
this point, they have the enthusiasm if
not the performers to bring their goal to
fruition.

As timely toaay
as the day it
was written
PGj aA COLUMBIA
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DIRECTORS SOUGHT
The University of Michigan Gilbert and Sullivan So-
ciety seeks a dramatics director, music director and
set designer for its fal production. Shows being
considered are Utopia, Sorcerer, Grand Duke and
Mikado.
CANDIDATES WILL BE INTERVIEWED MARCH 29
For more information and appointment, please call Ms. Oja,
764-1417 or 663-7109.

By TAMMY REISS
They were old musicians playing
old material and using old tricks like
laser lights and fog machines, but it
didn't matter because there were a
lot of good ol' rock 'n' rollers present
at Hill Auditorium Wednesday night.
As a forethought, an evening with
Kansas seemed about as exciting as
an evening in Kansas-seated
somewhere in the middle of a wheat-
field and being entertained by
Dorothy and her faithful mutt Toto.
But, fortunately, those expectations
were ill-founded.
Kansas opened their set with
"Point of Know Return" and
"'Icarus " Borne on Wings of Steel,"
the latter from their Masque album.
'From there they basically continued
to do material from Leftoverture,
Point of Know Return, and their
latest release, Audio-Visions.
GENERALLY, THEIR renditions
were exceptional, and the crowd let
them know it. The band showed ob-
vious gratitude in return for the en-
thusiasm - creating a very
"favorable audience-performer
alliance that lasted throughout the
show.
Shortly into the concert violinist
Robbie Steinhardt proclaimed
"We're still Kansas," eliciting the
eruption of one of the many standing
vations the veteran sextet was to
receive from the incredibly spirited
crowd.
It just goes to show how powerful a
group the caliber of Kansas can be.
- Even though many of their com-

positions are on the verge of absur-
dity, the band fills in the gaps with
enough musical talent to make them
operable.
ON STAGE,{ the Topeka-based
Kansas is comprised of a collection
of diverse personalities. Steinhardt
and Kerry Livgren (guitar/syn-
thesizers) are content to remain vir-
tually stationary, but keyboardist
Steve Walsh is on the other end of the
spectrum. Walsh provided a focal
point for $the group with his
marionette-like mobility, including
handstands on his keyboards at the
crecendoes of "Portrait (He
Knew)," during the group's encore.
Also turning in an impressive per-
formance for the evening was the
warm-up band Loverboy. Loverboy
played hard-driving rock from their
debut album including the hit single
"Turn Me Loose".
The Canadian band apparently
knows what rock and roll is all
about, because on stage they did
everything right. Vocalist Mike
Reno and lead guitarist/vocalist
Paul Dean quickly established an in-
formal rapport with the audience,
who responded by calling the five-
some back for an encore that in-
cluded material designated for the
group's second album.
The pairing of Loverboy, a new
band on the rise, with Kansas, an
established entity on the rock scene,
seems ironic. The performance of
the two bands and the crowd's ac-
ceptance can only be taken to
illustrate the versatility ' and
longevity of rock itself.

«It is a top-notch orchestra with a silky string
section. Solo playing was of the top international
caliber and the ensemble was perfection."
-The New York Times, Harold Schonberg

Is
JoinENY
'Arts Staff E. r4
CIN EMA II
- presents
TONIGHT, MAR. 27 7:00 and 9:00 AUD. A, ANGELL
Ann Arbor Premiere of HEALTH
ROBERT AL TMAN, 1980
Robert Altman's latest film. In the tradition of A Wedding and Nashville,
Altman involves us in the lives and passions of the various participants of a
health food convention in Florida. An underrated, little-seen film, Health was
not distributed in this country because of film industry politics. Starring
LAUREN BACALL as an 83 year-old virgin), CAROL BURNETT, JAMES GARNER,
and PAUL DOOLE
SAT, MAR. 28 7:00 and 9:00 AUD. A, ANGELL
ANIMATION NIGHT
Imagine a world in which fiction becomes fact, where boundless imagi-
nation is transformed into reality, and rules are invoked and revoked at
whim. This is the world of animation. Featured will be animation from allb
parts of the glove, including computer animation, clay pixilation, and many
other forms of this unique art.
SUN. MARCH 29 8 pm only AUD. A, ANGELL

Kurt Masur, C nductor
'LjewnlusOrcvkfa
Mozart: Serenata Notturna, l. 239
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 1 in F minor
Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A major
. _.
Tickets at: $12.50, $10.50, $9.00, $8.00, $7.00 and $5.00
Tickets at Burton Tower, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Weekdays 9-4:30, Sat. 9-12 (313) 665-3717
Tickets also available at Hill Auditorium
1 hours before performance time.
VwwITT Tvw -q w. T ,-m r7 T aw " L T C r iT~YW 7

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