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Beggar on horseback
Professional Theatre Program
8 p.m., Wednesday-Saturday,
2 p.m., Sunday, March 17
By Ellen Lindquist
B EGGAR ON HORSEBACK is not
the story of a starving, wandering
equestrian. It is a new and ambitious
dramatic presentation by the Univer-
sity Players opening this coming Wed-
The George S. Kaufman and Marc
Connelly comedy is about Neil MacRae,
a struggling, starving young composer
who subdues his musical genius,
staying up all night to write cheap,
popular tunes in order to eek out a sub-
sistence level of existence.
Neil has a chance to save himelf from
his crumbling existence when he meets
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the daughter of a tycoon; she offers to
support him if he'll marry her so she
can trot him around the cabarets and
show him off to her highbrow friends.
Dilemma strikes when Neil must
choose between this wealthy debutante
and the brave girl-next-door who ac-
tually lives across the hall and
whom he sincerely loves.
A series of free association dream
scenes comprises the bulk of the play.
After the rundown Neil falls asleep in
his composer's shanty, having taken
sleeping pills at the behest of his mid-
western physician friend, Albert.
During the dream, Neil explores what
might happen if he marries the tycoon's
daughter. He might kill the whole
family, for instance.
Walter Eysselinck, Theatre Depar-
tment Chairman and Beggar on Hor-
seback director says, "The play is one
of the most ambitious productions
we've done in terms of total theatre. It's
the kind of project I love to be
Part of the "total theatre" concept
included Susan Wood's 110 costume
"I did all the drawing and designing
in one day," Susan said. "And after I
was at it for six or seven hours I was so
tired that I began drawing absurd
things to entertain myself. We ended up
usingsmost of these ideas that I thought
were just. whims at the time. One of
them was having a character wear a tie
that grows larger and larger
throughout the play, the way it might in
a distorted dream."
A school of music student, Chris Her-
tog, composed an original score which
has been prerecorded for the play. It
includes some of the elevated, in-
spirational genius-music Neil was
meant to compose as well as the
chheap, trashy music for the masses
that he makes his living from.
Professor and director Esselinck
says he likes the play, "because
Albert the reporter shakes his head
sadly and says that people today can't
read. All they can understand is pic-
The cast of Beggar on Horseback is
also comprised not of starving
equestrians but rather twenty four
pedestrians, including 16 chorus mem-
bers dressed in basic unitards. Four of
these are dancers and eight are real
Esseylinck said he is very excited
about the play as a total collaboration
of art forms including acting, dancing,
music and lighting techniques. He is
also glad to be reunited with his friend
Jan Beekman with whom he speaks
Flemish. "Beggar on Horseback is a
collective art form," Esseylinck said.
"We couldn't have hit upon a more
beautiful, delightful, challenging play
with such a range of moods, zany
vitality and complex sound effects,"
Esseylinck adds." It starts out with the
modest, 1920s period flavor of an
exhausted musician and then picks up
with a surrealist, dadaist freshness that
is never heavy-handed."
You see her peering out from behind
the frozen peas at Kroger. Her bleach-
blond locks are strung around rollers
that seep out of her nylon hairnet.
A younger version of this dazzling
fashion wonder even graces the
University diag. You've seen her stan-
ding next to the Hare Krishnas, spor-
ting purple lipstick, a mini-skirt and a
suitcase hanging from her arm.
She's a victim of the latest fashion
trends, but she never quite makes it. No
matter how hard she tries, her clothes
end up looking like she matched up the
wrong Garanimals tags. She's the
fashion loser and there is no cure.
This designer's nightmare has no
sense of what looks good on her and for
that reason she must be treated with
compassion. It is like an addiction. If it
is "in" she'll buy it - and even worse,
she'll wear it.
In a relentless struggle to be chic, her
noble attempts at instant fashion are a
lot like instant oatmeal - they just
aren't as good as the real thing.
She isn't to blame for her misguided
clothes sense, her mother was a
By Barbara Misle
polyester fiend and a poor role model.
It was mom's keen sense of style that
made even the first day of kindergarten
a disaster. Her mother dressed her in
bright red Danskin stretch pants, com-
plete with foot straps that fit snugly into
a pair of white and red patent leather
Toting a pencil bag with her milk
money inside and looking like a Jack
LaLane drop-out the loser bravely
faced her peers. With one swift glance a,
freckled-face boy in levi's and a Polo
shirt called our loser "tug boat feet"
and she was marked for life.
It takes more than clothes, however,
to be a true fashion loser. The genuine
loser learns to incorporate makeup,
hair and accessories into a look that is
For example, a fashion loser's motto
is "you can never wear enough blue
eye-shadow." And she follows this rule
religiously. The color is plastered on
her pale lidsall the way up to her pen-
"Home perm" is a fashion loser's
middle name. Her hair has been dyed,
cut and bleached more times than she
has pierced her ears. When the fashion
loser drinks more than three glasses of
water it starts to pour out her earlobes.
The fashion loser was the first one in
her junior high school to get a "Dorothy
Hamill Cut." It was also that year she
became passionately attached to the
curling iron, skipping classes to keep
her new hairdo in shape.
The fashion loser's tragedy is that all
her attempts to be vogue have failed.
Even the fashions she grew up with in
the late '60's and '70's wer not dazzling
on even the most popular teens.
Take the first time mini-skirts came
out when she was in third grade. All her
friends had white go-go boots to match
their leather fringe vests, but the loser
wore a maxi-dress, with a granny skirt
and red "wet-look" leather boots.
There are some women who would
look ravishing wearing a barrel with
straps, but the fashion loser can take a
sharp outfit an
a repainted vol
It's the little
outfit the lose
out of a Cra
with a shirt ti
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an evening dre
straight hair v
ties in a pony
from first grad
man with equ
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belt with matc
loser does noti
socks and we
only thing that
what looks goa
Roya Megnot: Tycoon's daughter
'although it was written in the 1920s it is
still relevant today. During the dream
scenes many of our modern ideals are
satirized, even the idyllic, simple life
Neil could have with the brave girl-
next-door that lives across the hall."
Professor Esseylinck's Belgian artist
friend since 1963, Jan Beckman,
designed the sets for the show. Beck-
man is using pointillistic painting
techniques for some of the scenery flats
to create a dream-like effect. Some of
Beckman's works which capture the
light in Flanders field are on display
now in the Art Museum.
"Beggar on Horseback is part of the
expressionist movement," Esseylinck
says. "It does not share the philosophy
of the movement, but its structure and
rhythm make it part of this genre."
"This play is the plight of an artist in
a society where materialistic values
reign. Will he sell out, is the question,"
the director continues.
"The play also makes fun of society
because Neil's physician friend turns
up as a reporter in his dream. Neil says
to his friend, 'Albert, you will be able to
write my point of view, the true story.'
Patterns of Style
Some people would rather sew their own.
By Cheryl Baacke
Anne Klein, Gloria Vanderbilt, Willi
Smith - they've become household
words for fashion-conscious people.
And almost everyone who has an in-
terest in clothes has dreamed of
becoming a fashion designer, or at least
of designing their own wardrobes.
For some people, however, dreaming
isn't enough. They want something dif-
ferent and original. Those with enough
initiative get it - by making their own
"You won't see anybody else wearing
the same outfit because you come up
with the idea yourself," said LSA
freshman Mary Shore. "I make things I
wouldn't see in the stores." Shore
began sewing only two years ago in a
high school class, but now she's caught
up in creativity. "I just got crazy and
started sewing like mad," she said.
Jenny Allen, a first-year graduate
student, also enjoys making garments
that are creative and original. "I like to
go in for frivolous things," she said. She
modelled a formal black dress she
made as an example. "It's really not a
very sensible thing to have in your war-
drobe. How often are you going to wear
something like that?"
Allen, too, started sewing in high
school, and she has turned her talents
toward costume design in the theater
department at the University.
She usually doesn't use patterns to
make her clothes anymore. She adapts
basic patterns to the styles she wants,
often picking up ideas from garments
she sees in the stores. If she sees two
features she likes on separate things,
for instance, she'll combine them into
Creative expression isn't the only ad-
vantage to sewing. Clothes can be
tailored to fit much better than clothes
off the racks, and, as Allen said, "You
know it's mad
worry about th
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22 Weekend/April 8,1983