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April 06, 1984 - Image 15

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The Michigan Daily, 1984-04-06
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London ssurance
University Players
Power Center
8 p.m., Wednesday, April 11
By Emily Montgomery
F OR THEIR contribution to the
campus-wide Victorian semester,
the University Players will present
Dion L. Boucicault's 1841 comedy, Lon-
don Assurance. Director Richard
Burgwin describes the play as
"energtic, witty and lots of fun," with
sentiments surprisingly significant to a
modern audience.
Boucicault, who "borrowed" from
such greats as Congreve, Farquar and
Sheridan for most of the plot structure
of LondonsAssurance, has managed to
revive a sense of humor and clever
whimsey that had been missing since
the Restoration comedies.
According to Burgwin, Assurance is
the most "outstanding comedy of the
19th century." Although the U-players
will be using an adaption, by Ronald
The Gilbert and SullivanSociety
Lydia Mendelssohn Theater
8 p.m., Wednesday, April 11
By David Grayson
Sullivan Society will present the
spring half of its always eagerly
awaited semi-annual productions this
week. The operetta lolanthe , con-
sidered one of Gilbert and Sullivan's
finest collaborations, and promised to
be a night of splendid music and song,
assuredly awaits any interested stage
lover as this season's celebrated per-
The story involves a half-mortal,
half-fairy shepherd named Strephon,
who is in love with a young ward of the
Chancery, Phyllis. Denied permission
to marry Phyllis, Strephon pleads
assistance from his fairy mother Iolan-
the, who has just been released from a
25-year exile for marrying a mortal.
Unfortunately, as Strephon speaks to
his mother, who being a fairy has the
eternal appearance of a 17-year-old
beauty, Phyllis spies them and misin-
terprets their meeting as a romantic
When the Peers and the Lord High
Chancellor refuse to accept the fairies
explanation in Strephon's defense, they

Eyre, of the original script, Burgwin
assures that there are "no substantial
alterations" from Boucicault's master-
London Assurance is a comedy of
manners. It deals with the universally
important topic of relationships. The
main character is Grace Harkaway, a
passionless young heiress, who has
resigned herself to a life of marriage to
a rich old fogey by the name of Sir Har-
court Courtly, literally old enough to be
her father, in order to ensure her right
of inheritance.
Enter Harcourt's son, Charles Cour-
tly. He meets Grace and instantly,
staying true to his name, sets about
trying to "court" her. In order to lure
his father away from his new love,
Charles asks a friend of his, Lady Gay
Spanker, a strong-willed woman, to
pretend that she is interested in Sir
Harcourt and to keep him busy while
he, Charles, talks to Grace.
The real fun begins when Lady Gay's
husband, the usually passive Dolly
Spanker, overhears Harcourt and Lady
Gay planning to elope, unaware that it
is all just a trick. He becomes so
enraged that he challenges Harcourt to
a duel and from there, one can only
guess what will happen next.
The U-player's cast is comprised of
all students, concentrating in theater
and drama. The character Grace will
be portrayed by Margaret Massman
and cast in the role of Sir Harcourt
Courtly, interestingly enough, is her
cast a spell making Strephon a member
of the House and allowing all proposals
made by him to be passed without ob-
The operetta continues in enchanting
mayhem and ends, like all Gilbert and
Sullivan's works, in total bliss.
As with most of the Society's produc-
tions, there will be several faces
familiar to the true-blue, die-hard
members of the audience that refuse to
miss a UMGASS show. Such notables as
John Alexander, Beverley Pooley, and
Steven Krahanke will be seen in the roles
of Lord Chancellor, Lord Mountararat,
and Strephon respectively; furthering
the noton that an individuals's
association with UMGASS is terminal.
Iolanthe will be directed by
another long-time UMGASS enthusiast,
Mary Locker, who has been with the
Society for the past 12 years. Besides
performance, publicity, and technical
duties, Locker directed the very suc-
cessful production of 'Rudigor" three
years ago.
Though still defending "Rudigor" as
her favorite G&S work, Locker joins the
critics in saying, "though some of
Gilbert and Sullivan's operettas may
have more beautiful music and one or
two others may be more funny, Iolanthe
is probably the best combination of the
two working together."
According to Locker, the audience
can expect a very traditional staging of
Iolanthe, but with a very stylized and
highly choreographed approach. Every
prop, movement, and line shall tie
together, allowing a high level of
refinement while removing any ex-
There should be a strong sense of
magic and enchantment throughout the
evening as both Locker and
choreographer Diana Hunt have spent
time researching various material con-
cerned with fairyland environments.

from Page 4
to play in that city and The Serfers were
one of very few bands that did all
By the end of the year and a lot of
warming up for bands like X, Fear, and
the Plugz, and almost all of the punk
bands passing through Tuscon at the
time, The Serfers went to L.A.
In February '81 they became Green
on Red, and came out with an EP of the
same name. It was financed by a friend
just back from the Peace Corps and
Cacavas' inheritance after his father
died. The EP made it to the playlists of
a few college stations, and that was
about it.
Green on Red's second record came
about in 1982, after the band started
going to paisely underground bar-
beques with other L.A. bands like
Dream Syndicate and Rain Parade.

The Drea
heard a sti
pressed it
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London Assurance: Victorian vaudeville

husband, Stephen D. Smith. Richard
Schmidt plays Charles Courtly and Jeff
Schneiter is Dolly Spanker. The part of
Lady Gay will be played by Marisha
Czernik, who is due to graduate, along
with fellow cast members, Don Rice
and Gregg Henry, at the end of this
However, this will be a gladal, subdued
atmosphere, much different from
UMGASS's last production The Sor-
cerer, in which special effects played
a significant role.
Two sets, one for each act (designed
by Steven Krahanke) will place em-
phasis on elements common to each.
"We want to visually exemplify the
similarities between the Fairyland and
the Court of Peers," Locker.says.
For those unfamiliar with UMGASS
and its 38 years of productions at the
University, it is a group that demands
both attendance and appreciation from

London Assurance is a play that is
promised to be funny at least, but
predicted to be hilarious. Tickets are
available at the Professional Theater
Program Ticket Office in the Michigan
League Building. For more infor-
mation call 764-0450. Group rates are
any individual believing that he or she
contains any cultural sense. There is a
universal appeal to all ages in every
Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, along
with an uncanny sense of humor and
some simply delightful music. It is
usually the rule that most of the
Society's performances are sold out (or
close to it), and Iolanthe appears to be
no exception.
So all of you fanatical Gilbert and
Sullivan fans, or anyone, for that mat-
ter, wanting an essentially risk-free
night of good to great entertainment,
had better have tickets in hand-ASAP.

Green on Red: Colorful tunes



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Iolanthe: UMGASS is havin' a gas

12 Weekend/Friday, April 6, 1984 -

S Week

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