100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

May 29, 1980 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1980-05-29

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

The Michigan Doily-Thursday, May 29,1980-Page 9
r * r! :Sit{:::}::::xr
. r.. r..}v rv .........vS ....x:. ... ...:.... ..:. r....r vr...
... .. .r ............... ... v. ...... ....v.. ................ ":..... n................:...:.. :............. ""... ......::.......v.. v.".; .....v .; ...rv.v:; ": :F.v::v:::.,....::}};{v:;"}:{"}"^}+}"i}:i::'rii$;:+'tii> r. 4 n
.. .. .. v .. .v .. ."
.. ..:. .k r ........'+.:.."i{..r..r".....x ................r..rv.v...........}.........................................n.,..........:r....v...}:..::v::v::.::::.:v:,.:.:v.......,:.v................... .... ...... :.: w;; r{..:.:. :{{"}}rh{}r}}:n:: v}". n. J. 4- ..
....: .... r. .: ... . .. .. ..:... .. ... .. r...r ...... ... ..r ...... v.. .: ..... }...r ... ... ......r ...:v ...........v ...v ........v ..v .. ........... r............ ........................ }$if { :. "" }.
SS . }r . ... . . {.. . ....r... .. .r ... ..... .. 4..r .......... ... ... ... ...: .. ... .... ........... .......... ,......-...............r....... ...... ... ............ ...{.. . : i .:i:<1..
.... .....'#f. rr r .... .. n.: ""::: 'ti"UiS"+.: :4i{r.: 'r
..v, .:. r. ..:.:i v .v.. n 'r..v .. .r.. r...} .....SSV ..+...F .............{...... ... r.. ...+...."........, .. ... ......1 ..... ...................... n .. ..:. :.{Yv......I _ ......
... r. .. ... ..v.... nor. n ..................... ...:.................... rh ..................5'..r ....... ..... v ............... .. .:............{r" hv}: nvv .. K
rr . .:Ar.. ...r-0:. F. ... r .... ........ .............. .x................ rf................:......... r...:.......... ...... m;::. :"}X : {{{: ::::: ....+}r{"rkv.:+ :"": rvr:t. .
.. .+.....} ... .... .. .....n..n..............v ..........:...v ......v..:::.:....... v.:... r........:.. .............:.::.::::.v.};:.v: x::: rv}}:v:}}:}}.{?' ..:}.{:"vv: ":
"vf:..lY. n. .v ... i ... .. ..... .. .. .... .. {:.x.:.::w::::: :::::::::::::i {0}:"}}:?-i:J}i}i}}::: ... "::.: ......
v. ......v{ .r.:... n.... .... r.. 2t ........ .. ....... .. .......... i i + J }}... r.
r. v..:rr ... ....... .... r.:.Y .r.......... $:....v r .. .. v.. .. :...... ..} ... ... ... ....... }>; $:"r'vv {.}
. v n. .h..:...rr.. $t......n. ......:......... r. r. x.. {... v ....................... n.........., r...xM...v...:.............. v.:::.: r.v:.:{:.}}Y:}:::::......:.. i:"
.
. .. .. .......... . .. .. ......... rts:
Findi ew lif-e m 'Our Town'

By JOSHUA PECK
Our Town is the most performed play
in American theatrical history. Since
its opening in 1938, Thornton Wilder's
classic has been performed more than
once a day, on the average, somewhere
on the globe. Professional productions
of the play pop up from time to time,
and there are two filmed versions
regularly shown on late-night
television. But Our Town is primarily a
grassroots, proletarian, work of
art-which may be why highbrow
academes, as a rule, don't like it very
much. It is most often seen in high
school auditoriums-that-have-seen-
better-days, in the round in city and
suburban parks, and in small amateur

and semi-professional enterprises
throughout the land.
With as muchexposure as its been
given, it's a wonder that director
Kathryn Long and her 15 troupers have
managed to find anything┬░ new to do
with the half-century-old Wilder script.
But there is indeed something fresh and
unique about the Black Sheep Reper-
tory Theater's current rendition of the
play, and the differences start with an
element that has little to do with the
performance itself. As the audience
saunters toward the seats it is treated
to the strains of Aaron Copland's Ap-
palachian Spring, music whose theme,
melody, and effect breed an ap-
preciation of all that's noble and decent

Still stuck in the ruts

By TIMOTHY YAGLE
When the Fab Four disbanded in 1970,
few people could guess each band
member's ultimate destiny. History
has revealed that Paul McCartney was
the only Beatle to really remain suc-
cessful on his own.
When professed alcoholic Grace Slick
left the Jefferson Starship last year,
who would have guessed that the band,
now with a new, more seasoned drum-
mer and a male lead vocalist who soun-
ds hauntingly like Grace, would fare as
well as it has?
AEROSMITH REACHED its pin-
nacle of success in 1975 with the release
of Toys in the Attic. Two of the band
members, lead sjnger Steven Tyler and
lead guitarist Joe Perry were the
primary impetus in propelling "the Bad
Boys from Boston" to international
stardom.
While Perry has said he left the band
to play his own material, he is making
few inroads on his new band's debut ef-
fort Let The Music Do The Talking. The
band was not supposed to be a per-
manent departure from Aerosmith.
Perry just wanted to take a short detour
off of the main Aerosmith highway,
then continue with the 10-year-old quin-
tet after the solo album was completed.
But then the friction surfaced. Much of
the album, especially the title cut, is up-
tempo, hard driving rock and roll. But,
like Perry explained, there are a few
changes.
Comparing the last LP Perry did with
Aerosmith, Night In the Ruts, and his
new album, there are several high-
powered and fluent songs that are in-
terchangeable. They include the title
cut, "Shooting Star," and "Life At A
Glance", all flavored with that spicy
Aerosmith rawness.
BUT PERRY adds a funkier taste to
a few of the new tunes, including
"Discount Dogs" and "Rockin' Train",

while the "The Mist Is Rising" fits into
neither category. It just bounces along
lazily, sounding a bit like someone
playing a 45 rpm record on 33.
More importantly, though, songs
such as "Shooting Star" and "Conflict
of Interest," represent how much fric-
tion had developed between Perry and
Aerosmith. "Shooting Star" portends
how he would shoot away from the.band
and becomea star on his own. "Conflict
of Interest" articulates how Perry's
and Aerosmith's directions differed as
well as how uncaring and impersonal
the harried music business has become.
The other essential difference on this
Aerosmith-like LP. and the real thing is
the absence of Steven Tyler's shrieking
voice. Perry's vocals are more bland
and monotonous, which now clues you
into why Perry did not do more singing
on Aerosmith's albums. Instead, the
relatively unknown Ralph Mormon
takes over many of the lead vocal parts.
While his range is semi-impressive, his
voice sounds a bit too strained -- a
quality reminiscent of the old =Deep
Purple front man David Coverdale.
In any event, Perry's first solo effort
isn't all bad. The mix of steaming
rockers and funky stuff is slightly
refreshing. But this band must become
tighter and the guitars could be mixed a
little better. Perry is an honest rock and
roller and Let The Music Do The
Talking pretty much allows Perry to
show us where he is headed and the
musical variety he couldn't tackle
during his tenure with Aerosmith. But
the question of whether he can get this
band off the ground and maintain a
reasonably high altitude still exists.
The LP seems to be doing well on the
charts, probably due only to Joe
Perry's name. By sticking fairly
closely to his proven formula of suc-
cess, Perry should be around for longer
than some critics think.

about the American character-fine
preparation for the drama to follow.
THEN THERE is the beautiful job
done by Long, who, if not the most am-
bitious product of the University
theatre department, has exhibited an
astonishing degree of consistency. The
most gifted cast members of Long's
Hay Fever (Michigan Summer Rep,
1979) here appear in even better form.
Long seems to understand that a play
so likely to have been seen before by its
audience relies on understatement if its
going to have its way with its audience.
At the same time, such a familiar show
will have to plunge all the deeper for
rich meaning and characterization if it
is not to seem like the same old thing.
This, too, is achieved by helmswoman
and crew alike.
Perhaps the most valuable com-
modity Long brings to the enterprise is
her exquisite sense of timing. Nowhere
is a crucial scene here hurried through,
yet nowhere is a scene made dull by
dragged-out lines. Still, through it all,
the actors look as natural as if they
were having their thoughts and exr
periences for the very first time.
Watching the Black Sheep Company
glide through Wilder's words carries a
sensation of familiarity. Part of the ex-
planation for this lies in the
playwright's extraordinary reach for
the universal. The fact that many
onlookers are sitting through the drama
for the second or third time certainly
plays a part as well. But the principal
reason that the players' predicaments
are so deliciously easy to identify with
is the high level of artistry they bring to
the stage.
JAMES REYNOLDS is one fourth
smile, one fourth melancholy, and half
of a question mark as the Stage
Manager, whose omniscient narration
takes us into each of Grover's Corners'
corners. Reynolds is quite effective in
creating and preserving the sense of
mystery that surrounds his godly
character. If at times, he becomes a lit-
tle too ponderous, he only serves to set
off with contrast the scenes of vivacity
and wit that almost invariably follow
his little homilies.
For a long-time Ann Arbor
theatergoer, the performances of
Department of Theatre mainstays in
Our Town figure in as a breath of
especially fresh air. Don Hart, for
example, had a hard time with that
most basic of thespian vir-
tues-believability. His abilities seem
to have been expanding over the last
year or so, and now Hart cuts a fine and
eminently fatherly figure as Dr. Gibbs.

Perhaps more than any other charac-
ter, Gibbs is the wise, understanding
man of vision in Our Town, a sort of
worldly shadow to the Stage Manager.
In his temperate and compassionate
moments with son George (Pat Gar-
ner), and especially with his better half
(Carol Hart), Mr. Hart's portrayal of
the good doctor is as heartwarmingly
convincing as any Wilder-weathered
audience could hope for.
Pat Garner is another University
production veteran whose performance
is something of a surprise. Thus far,
Garner has been cast either as a clown
(Dobchinsky in last year's Inspector
General) or as a laughing stock (the
boxer in People Are Living There).
Garner has always done nicely in these
roles, and in fact, is unsurpassed
among the U's stable of undergraduate
actors in the art of pulling a chuckle out
of an audience. Butit's a pleasure to see
Garner playing the young George here,
a part that calls for a hefty measure of
gravity, and even, at one point, tears.
Still, his best moment is a comic one:
His disbelief upon finding that his in-
tended is unexpectedly spouting
waterworks-produces a phenomenal
facial expression that makes for the
evening's loudest laughter.
Particularly piquant in this feminist
age is the lot of Our Town's women. As
director Long seems to know quite well,
certain restrictions are invisibly im-
posed on these- turn-of-the-century
matrons, ones which keep them from
openly expressing much of what they
might be feeling. The actress' tricky
task, then, is to keep her character
from seeming shallow, and in this
respect as well, Badgerow, and par-
ticularly her counterpart across the
way, Carol Hart, maintain the two
levels of superficial grace and hidden
turmoil quite winningly.
Love certainly must be founded on
deeper things than theatrical experien-
ces, but the sweetly sentimental treat-
ment Black Sheep's Our Town gives to
romance seems to have had some im-
mediate effect. Jamie Reynolds, who
was a bachelor when the show opened,
and even through its opening week,
finally succumbed to the matrimonial
temptation on Sunday last. Wilder's
magic can't be certain to have the same
effect on all who watch it, but perhaps
Ann Arborites might find it worth a try.

Ne Ann Arbor Film CoperetWe Presents at Aud. A: $1.50
THRSDAY, MAY 29
MISTER AND MRS. SMITH
(Alfred Hitchcock, 1941) 7T& 10:20-AUD. A
Hitchcock delivers a change of pace with this entertaining romantic comedy. A
young couple discover that their marriage may not be legitimate, and things
take off from there. The film has an excellent cast featuring CAROLE LOMBARD
and ROBERT MONTGOMERY.
(Alfred Hitchcock, 1953) I CONFESS ,8:40-AUD. A
An unjustly neglected work by the master Hitchcock. MONTGOMERY CLIFT stars
as a dedicated priest caught in a conflict between religious ethics and self-
interest. With ANNE BAXTER, KARL MALDEN.
Tomorrow: Woody Allen's LOVE AND DEATH and WHAT'S UP, TIGER LILY?
at MLB.

PRESENTS
GUYS AND DOLLS
(JOSEPH L MANKIEWICZ, 1955)
Faithful screen transcription of the classic Broadway musical. Based on Damon
Runyon's world of New York low-lifes, the story features MARION BRANDO (in
his only singing/dancing role) as Sky Masterson, gambler, gangster, lady-killer
extraordinaire and JEAN SIMMONS as the Salvation Army lass who tries to tame
him. With FRANK SINATRA, VIVIAN BLAIN, and STUBBY KAYE. In Cinemascope.
(138 mm)
MLB 4 7:00 & 9:30 $1.50
Tomorrow: ANNIE HALL

1

NINO

F

Back to Top

© 2021 Regents of the University of Michigan