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December 04, 1925 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1925-12-04

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it igan







Work Ends On Twentieth Annual Union Production As
First Night Draws Near, Ready For Premiere Monday

lHE outstanding feature on the campus for
the next week will be the appearance at
the Whitney theatre of Mimes' latest and most
pretentious production, "Tambourine." For 20
years the Union has sponsored musical produc
tions of the same general nature as the offering
which opens next week, but this opera is the mhost
elaborate and highly developed musical comedy
ever turned out by University dramatic circles.
In presenting "Tambourine", the producers have
kept in mind their former production "Cotton
Stockings" and the stamp of approval which their
patrons gave to this, offering. It has prompted
them to produce an opera, which, for dancing,
book, music and production is, in their opinion,
the most efficient of their 20 years in the college
opera field.
The opera this year is a two-act comedy wtih
a prologue. The scene is laid in an imaginary
Balkan kingdom during the present century. The
plot centers about an enchanting princess, who,-
on the day of her scheduled marriage to the king
of a neighboring country, runs away to join a
gypsy band. She proceeds to fall madly in love
with the captain of the king's guards, who prom-
ises her every protction. While the king con-
tinues to searcli for the princess, an American
adventuress apears, ambitious for a titled hus-
band. The development of the plot is ingeniously
carried out with the American woman becoming
hopelessly entangled in court affairs.
The title of the book is particularly fitting in
that the atmosphere of the production is complete-
ly dominated by the brilliant and colorful gypsy
band. Several musical numbers feature the
gypsies, who dance with tambourines in one of the
principal settings of the show.
HE OPERA will he produced by a larger
1 company than in any previous year, more
than ioo men comprising the cast, choruses, or-
chestra, and committees. "Cotton Stockings,"
which scored such a tremendous hit in the East
two years ago, had a company of 75. Twelve
more will be used in the choruses this 'year,
bringing the number to 48 as compared to 36 in
"'Tickled To Death," the 1924 show. The cast
will number ten as did that of the production last
year. The men carry the female as well as the
male parts, characters being selected for the cast
and "chorus parts that are suited to female roles.
The popular slogan adopted by the Union operas
of past years is, "Our handsomest girls are men."
The part of the princess is played by Daniel
S. Warner, '27. Playing the leading female role,
Warner is expected to score a decided success in
this year's opera, since the book was written es-
pecially to feature his acting and dancing. Warner
had one of the leading parts in last year's opera,
"Tickled To Death", and at that time was recog-
nized by critics for his remarkable impersonation
work and was acclaimed a coming star. His
presence in the opera again this winter will un-
doubtedly be one of the outstanding attractions of
the 1925 production.
The male lead is played by Russell A. Goh-
ring, '27. He had the leading juvenile role in last
year's play, and scored a hit with his acting and
pleasing baritone voice. The complete cast is as
follows: The Princess, Daniel S. Warner; Cap-
tain of the Guards, Russell A. Gohring; The
King of Slavonia, Barre Hill; The Black Queen,
Robert B. Henderson; Johann, friend of the

Princess, Stanley Lewy; The Diplomat,Gordon
M. Ibbotson; The Duke of jugania, Otto Koch;
The Captain of the Gypsy 'Band, Neal Nyland;
Ezra Sniggs (the comedian), Valentine Davies;
Babe Ladeer (the comedienne), Richard IH. Lutes.
I N addition to the cast and choruses, an orches-
tra made up of students accompanies the show
and plays all the music for the songs and dances.
The orchestra, which is composed of 24 pieces, an
enlargement of eight pieces over last year, will be
under the direction of Anthony Whitmire, a
member of the faculty of the School of Music.
Committees of approximately i5 students also
go with the opera on the trip. These committees
are so arranged that most of the work of the
opera is done by them. A make-up committee
applies and cares for the make-up, a costume com-
mittee arranges and cares. for all of the costumes
-and other details. In all, three pullman cars and
a baggage car are required to carry the party on
the trip.,
Key To Pictures;
LEFT, from top to bottom: Daniel S. Warner,
'27, leading lady; Milton Peterson, '26, show
girl; Stanley Lewy, '28L, leading male dan-
cer; Daniel Warner.
RIGHT, fron top to bottom: Daniel Warner
appears in the first and second; Milton
Peterson; Henry Lathrop, '27, show girl.
BOTTOM, from left to right: Daniel Warner
and Stanley Levy; Milton Peterson, Stanley
Lewy, and Henry Lathrop; Henry Lathrop
and Stanley Lewy.
Lester, of Chicago, famous costumer, whose
creations for Mimes productions in the past sev-
eral years have been an important factor in -the
success of those offerings, again will design and
create all of the costumes. He personally comes
to Ann Arbor each year to make measurements
and to select the costumes which will be the most
fitting for each type of man in the show. As a
result, the extravagance and splendor that rmarks
each dress and suit makes the show seem a parade
of the finest and most luxuriant of fashions
rather than a light musical comedy in which men
alone take part. The opportunities afforded to
the costumer by the gypsy.settings and the abun-
I nce of gypsy characters have given Lester new
elds for exploitation and his creations for the
Bohemian as. well as the American characters
are magnificient. During the last summer Lester
personally toured central Europe, accumulating
ideas and materials for the gowns in this year's
D ANCING, both in instruction and creation of
numbers, is under the personal direction
of Roy Hoyer, leading man with Fred Stone in
his well-known success "Stepping Stones." Hoyer
spends -several weeks with the chorus candidates
every spring, instructing them in the new steps,
and returns several times each fall to oversee
the work. In this way the dancing in the opera
is made professional in aspect.
E. Mortimer Shuter, director, will again
handle the production of this year's show. Since
1918 Mr. Shuter has developed the entire pre-
sentation of Union operas, including the selection
of the books and the training of the cast and

choruses. Since his affiliation with the Union,
he has directed seven successful operas : "George
Did It", "Top Of The Morning", "Make It For
Two", "In And Out", "Cotton Stockings", and
"Tickled To Death." Under his direction Mimes
is this year producing an opera that partakes of
several of the new tendencies in the musical
comedy today. The outstanding dances of "Tam-
bourine" are character and gypsy dances, which
offer a rare opportunity for artistic work. The
chorus numbers are produced on a gigantic scale,
larger than ever before, 48 persons appearing in
a number of the choruses. These are arranged
in two divisions, one composed of the "girls" and
one of the men. The members of the choruses
are nearly all experienced in the art of dancing,
most of them having appeared in operas previous
to the current edition.
The singing in "Tambourine" is of a calibre
far superior to that of previous years, for those
who have leading vocal roles are students of voice
culture as well as actors. The main body of the
singing is carried by Barre Hill, who is gifted
with a voice of remarkable richness and carrying.
T HE trip arranged for this year includes
Chicago, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Saginaw,
Flint, Detroit, Buffilo, New York City, Philadel-
phia, Washington, i Cleveland, Cincinnati and
Toledo, with one performance in each of these
cities except Detroit, where there will be three.
Members of the company have been assured
hearty receptions in each of the cities where they
appear. Friends and alumni, as has always been
the case in previous years, have planned numerous
and varied social functions for the entertainment
of the Michigan men during their afternoon and
evening in each city.
The culmination of eight months of continual
worln in preparation for "Tambourine" will come'
Monday night with the premiere performance at
the Whitney theatre. For 20 years the Union
has sponsored operas, but with rise of the curtain
Monday the public is promised the most novel
and dazzling spectacle ever staged by a group of
college men. Since the first opera, the dressmaker
and the make-up box have 'softened somewhat
those astonishing discrepencies between the
covered and the uncovered parts of the anatomy
of the members of the company. In the early
days the boys used costumes cast off by profes-
sional companies, altered to a questionable fit,
and make-ups that neglected the sinews of the
graceless arms of gridiron stars or the knotty
calves of trackmen. They pinched themselves
into tight corsets, wore shoes never meant for
males, and did their best to act most feminine.
Since Mimes of the Michigan Union was or-
ganized to "raise to the highest possible level the
standards of the books, lyrics and music, to pro-
mote efficiency in all departments of the opera
management, sand to furnish a nucleus around
which shall center during the year, interest in
matters operatic", the operas have been more
elaborate, and well up to professional standards.
Growing as it has from a crude and incompletely
directed local show of early Union history to the
almost professional production that it is to-day,
the Union opera has become an institution that
lives and gathers its reputation by entertaining
the public, and for this purpose the Union offers
"Tambourine" as "the opera extraordinary."



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