The Michigan Daily Monday, December 9, 1985 Page5
'House' strong but predictable
By Noelle Brower
ASK ANY PERSON the one play by
Henrik Ibsen that they have either
heard of, read, or seen performed and
they will invariably mention A Doll's
House. It is a standard item on
everyone's reading list. Perform A
Doll's House and you're almost
assured a sold out show, and judging
from the full house at the Trueblood
Theatre Thursday night, A Doll's
House was a big success for the En-
semble Theatre Company.
Outstanding were the strong per-
formances by both the leading actors
and the minor characters. All handled
the often verbose and difficult
language of Ibsen with ease and con-
fidence. Especially good was Marcy
McGuigan as Nora. Her delicate shif-
ting between the sprite-like happy
wife of the household and a woman
whose dark secret could ruin her
world, kept the necessary tension in
the play and held the audience's at-
Equally good was Stephen Smith as
Nils Krogstad, the man who threatens
Nora's happy world. His performance
was by far the truest. He did not play
Krogstad as an evil man bent on
ruining another person, but rather as
a man with no other choice left to him.
He made the audience understand
Krogstad. It would have been so easy
to put the onus of Nora's predicament
The overall conception of the play,
by director Philip Kerr, was well
executed. His Doll's House was
neither too preachy, nor overly
melodramatic as it easily could have
been. Under Kerr's direction, A Doll's
House became a drama about people,
not mouthpieces for the author.
Yet, even with a good show, I ask
myself, why A Doll's House again?
Wasn't it just performed here a few
years ago? Certainly it is a solid play
to produce, but there are other, bet-
ter, Ibsen dramas. Compared to some
of his later, more mystic plays of his
earlier epic dramas, the small refined
atmosphere of A Doll's House hardly
warrants the attention it receives.
Yet here it is once again. I would
think that a drama department whose
main objective is to teach their
students through actual experience,
the Ensemble Theatre Company is
mostly made up of M.F.A. candidates,
would want to challenge their actors
with fuller roles. This is not to belittle
the cast or their fine performances,
but please, with the money and sup-
port system available to University
productions, why not clear the dust off
of some of Ibsen's true masterpieces
and challenge both the audience and
Pictured are Jeff Schneiter as Dr. Rank, Leesa Markbreiter as Helene, and Marcy McGuigan as Nora, in The
Ensemble Theatre Company's production of 'A Doll's House' this past weekend at the Trueblood Theatre.
BroM berg brings big folk'
Time to Renew
OR, if you haven't been able
to get a f ree copy -
It's time to order one!
RATES: IN-TOWN OUT-OF-TOWN
Winter term $10.00 $20.00
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D AVID BROMBERG is the type of guy who's so
talented at everything he does that it's hard to
take it seriously when he says he's found a niche.
As one of the finest folk-blues guitarists alive, he
remains so much in demand that he's never able to let
finished projects stay finished. Half out of a "what-the-
hell" feeling and half from audience demand, he's
reformed the big band that bore his name and won him
fleeting public fame throughout the early '70s.
The Dave Bromberg Band came together gradually
as Bromberg or another band member would drag in
talented recruits for one-time-only engagements that
wound up lasting indefinitely.
The band expanded on the traditional blues format
that Bromberg had mastered while still a young man,
and brought in horn and fiddle arrangements un-
In 1977, though, Bromberg went through another of
his patented career shifts. Having already moved from
being one of the top session guitarists in the late '60s
(he'd played with Bob Dylan, Jerry Jeff Walker, Ringo
Starr, and even Chubby Checker) to a being solo per-
former, he abruptly broke up the band and sought
greener pastures. He continued to play solo and with
small ensembles and eventually wound up as an almost
full-time student at violin-making school.
But Bromberg can't sit still, and he's been to Ann
Arbor at least once each of the past five years. The
reunited band should be able to provide an unusual
mixture of familiarity and surprise.
Tickets to the Dave Bromberg band are $10.50.
Showtimes are 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. at the Ark, 637 South
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. Choral Union
By Rebecca Chung
L AST SATURDAY night's perfor-
mance of George Frederick Han-
del's Messiah reaffirmed my feeling
that there is nothing like the sound of
a full choir re-creating the best music
ever written for voice.
The concert was a delight to listen
to from the very beginning. The or-
chestra's good tempo, purposeful
phrasing, and abundant baroque-style
gusto gave it the expressive,
energetic start it needed. Throughout
the performance, the musicians were
generally alert, usually in tune, and
always musical, capably handling the
difficult transitions between the
recitatives, arias, and choruses.
All of the soloists sung well, each
one adding color and beauty to the
performance. Form echoed content
when Mary Wescott (contralto) sang
"Life up they voice with strength."
(Pity she came in too early during
"How beautiful are the feet...").
Carroll Freeman gave as much of his
body as his voice, often standing chest
out, on tip-toe, as he delivered his rich
tenor with curring diction. William
Parker's "The trumpet shall sound"
w\as inspirational, making it seem as
if the trumpet was responding to his
voice rather than to the score.
It was Kathryn Bouleyn, soprano,
who earned the highest praises that
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evening. Her voice was stunningly
rich and liquid, her earnestness
moving. She gave the arias her full
musical attention, singing
melodiously, moving through the dif-
ficult melismas with deceptive ease.
The choir kept me floating close to
ceiling for most of the concert, the in-
terplay and harmony during "For un-
to us a child is born," and the effec-
tively soft opening of "Since by man
came death" being but a few of the
highlights of the performance.
Sometimes I wondered if the group
was lacking togetherness, or if the
sopranos were a bit overenthusiastic.
But when I walked out of Hill that
night, I felt happy and inspired
enough to sing my relatively pathetic
"Hallelujahs" all the way home.
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TAU BETA PI
GAMMA OF MICHIGAN
Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering honor society, will celebrate
its Centennial this year. The Association was founded in 1865 at Lehigh
University "to mark in a fitting manner those who have conferred honor
upon their Alma Mater by distinguished scholarship and exemplary
character. . . and to foster a spirit of liberal culture in engineering
We, the officers and faculty advisors of the Michigan Gamma Chapter
of Tau Beta Pi, wish to congratulate the following people who have
achieved our high standards and have successfully completed the
initiation rituals, thereby becoming active members of Tau Beta Pi:
The University Cellar offers
the BESToverall buyback prices
We pay 50% or more of current list price for cur-
rent editions reported for usage in future courses.
If your book has been dropped from use in the
class, we will offer you a top wholesale price.
Trade books, (those small, prepriced, paperback
books of mass market variety), generally get 25%
to 33%10 of the original cover price.
Old editions have no value, so don't sit on your
books for too long!
Our buyback people are committed to fast service,
excellent prices, and honest explanation. We're
your student bookstore.
Charbel Abou Jaoudi
Sue Ellen Haupt
Joe Milkovi tz