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November 24, 1929 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1929-11-24

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Haines Is Named as
3TRADITWlN 154a :"u
Union Op'eraAuthor I

Fbi'cctor ?f Production Caime t
Mimes i 1919 Bringing


E. Mortimer Shuter
Directs Union Opera

Professional Revues Should Notl
be Standard of Judgment '
Says Author
By Donal Hamilton Iaines.
No mere librettist is supposed to
have any opinions touching the
merits or possible success of the
dramatic venture with which he is
connected. Should he have the
temerity to rush into type with
thoughts much better kept to him-
self, he is likely to do little more
than furnish his later critics with
more ammunition - and the past
has never revealed those gentle-
men lacking of such material!
Conditions Have Changed.
But I should like to say, before j
"Merrie-Go-Round' is revealed to !
a local. audience for thedfirst time,
that I have certain deep-seated
convictions touching the annual
Union Opera which are bound to
appear as defects in the perform-
ance to any who do not agree with
me. I suppose that I am hopelessly
steepedrin the traditions and at-
mosphere surrounding the first
operas.. "Michigenda" was produced
under circumstances not greatly
different from those amid which
the youngsters of a neighborhood
stage a "show" in somebody's attic.
It was a mad scramble of prepara-
tion, a gorgeous frolic on the part
of everyone connected with it and
finally a very crude but entirely
spontaneous production, wholly lo-,
cal in its atmosphere, satisfying be-,
cause of its novelty and the tre-
mendous enthusiasm of actors and
audience alike. "Culture" differed
from the first opera only !n degree.
It was built in more workmanlike
fashion, and it was presented be-
fore audiences the least bit inclin-
ed to be critical because they had,
been given a basis for comparison.
Between "Culture" and the cur-
rent venture there are a thousand+
obvious differences-and yet I feel
that if there remain no points of
close resemblance, the whole point
of the annual effort has been lost.
I beliee that the book of "Merrie-
Go-Round" is better than that of"
"Michigenda"; at least I should+
hate to believe that I hadn't learn-;
ed a bit more about writing dia-;
logue in twenty years! At the same+
time, I have no wild notions I have
written a show ready for Broadway
production. If I could write Broad-

} ~MN1,1y Innovations.
"Merrie-Go-Round" marks the
eleventh annual Opera which E.i
Mortimer Shuter, director of Mimes1
activities has supervised and for-
mulated, and culminates approxi-
mately fourteen years of service
with the Mimes organization.
During the summer of 1917 the
general chairman of the Opera met1
E. Mortimer Shuter, who had taken
part in and directed a number of]
Broadway successes, and who, being
unable to join the army was di-
recting amateur shows for the ben-+
Donal Hamilton Haines, efit of the boys in the trainingt
Of the journalism department, camxp iThe Michiga ter, and h
who has been announced as the consented to supervise the produc-
author of the 199, Michigan Union tion of the next show, providing the
Opera productiOn, "Merrie-Go- war was over before that time.
Round." Haines was' also the Rehearsed in New Building.
author of the first and second op- The war ended in time for the
eras in 1908 and 1909, and of the Union to present "Come On Dad,"
1919 show. the 1919 production and written by
______Mr. Haines, the author of this sea-,
way successes, I should assuredly son's production. This was Mr.
Shuter's first production for the
have a short at it! Union. Rehearsals were held on
Love Element Omitted. I the concrete floor of the unfinished
But I am unprepared to admit I Union building and the *finished
that the annual operatic undertak- product was a great improvement
ing of Mimes should be judged us- over the previous Operas. The .
ing the latest New York revue as scenery was more elaborate and the
a measuring-stick. The use of an costumes were more pretentious
all-male cast imposes on the pro- than anything attempted in the
duction certain restrictions which past. New styles of dancing were
can neither be broken through nor introduced for the first time. "Come
avoided. Unless the annual opera On Dad" scored a tremendous suc-I
be written with due regard for cess in its initial showing at the
these limitations - which means, Whitney theatre and .took a road.
the. omission of the romantic ele- trip that was a triumph.
ment-it is bound to be conspicu- .In 1920, Mr. Shuter again took
charge and the Opera "George Did
ous only for what it fails to be.~ ase sod the " eg ad-'
Only when it takes deliberate ad- t was the second of the new ad-
Vantage of those defects which are vance series. the theme of the
inevitable, I think, can, it be en- show returned again to the more
tirely successful. Bette trained , local. atmosphere. of the first pro-
tirly uessful. Btaer traines iduction, being concerned primarily
choruses, better stage effects, wihte cmu.Hwee,"o
smothe mehancalpreenttica'with the .campus. However, "Top
smoother mechanical presentation o' the Morning," the 1921 Opera,
-there are obvious steps in pro- was distinctly Irish in its setting
gress which have taken place and and once more established the cos-
which were to be expected. Ex- Mopolitan quality of the show, from
ceptional voices and actors above lwhich it has not departed since.
the average are matters of sheer The trip was taken, as usual, dur-
chance which can not be controlled ing the spring vacation, and the
and which are bound to vary from show was seen in then larger cities
year .to year. But an effort to of the Middle West and in the lar-
change completely the whole na- i ger towns of Michigan.,
ture of the show itself, to get clear Construct Mimes Theatre.
away from the old tradition will be In 1922 the Mimes theatre, home
in my opinion a fatal blunder, of the present Opera and other the-;

Commutes to nd From Detroit
to Help Train Chorus in
Routines He Created.
Professional assistance in . the
training of the choruses was em-
ployed again this year in the per-
son of Roy Hoyer who is at present
playing in the "Pleasure Bound"
company. The company has gone
on a tour of Ohio cities and Hoyer
was forced to suspend his work
with the production until approxi-
mately one week before the Opera
opens in Ann Arbor.
Dance routines introduced by
Hoyer this year were different than
routines used in the past. Some of
the steps were of his own creation

' . '9

E. Mortimer Shuter,
Director of "Merrie-Go-Round,"
the 24th annual Michigan Union
Opera, which opens at the Michi-

and were combined with, those of
the "Pleasure Bound" routine. But
several of the steps were.created in
the style that Jack Donahue, the

- tor the Upera
-r 3
PrestgeChoco tei
A Fitting Companion
We wish to take this opportunity to express
our appreciation of our associations with the
Michigan Union Opera since its inception.
Cal'kins - lthi
rug ompany
.: 3 Dependable "Stores
Wsa s
We have served .Michigan. and her students for 42 yeai
t i l{###N###{##!##{Ifi li ##II ####1###!{{ilililiillilsl I tl liul fi# il{1llsi


gan theatre, Dec. 12. Shuter has Broadway comedian and star, has
directed Mimes plays and the an- made famous in his latest starring
nual Opera for many years and his
work in producing "Merrie-Go- poles.
Round" surpasses all other achieve- Travels rroin Detroit.
ments. Hoyer commuted from Ann Ar-
bor to the theatre in Detroit where
atricals produced by Mimes, was he was playing each night. Each
built. The structure had served as day at 11 o'clock he appeared on
the dance hall for the old Union the stage 'of the Mimes theatre for
and was discarded with the com- the work with the feature numbers,
pletion of theapresent building: members of the dancing chorus,
ISeats and theatrical equipment speciality numbers. From 11 o'clck
xvere addes and the Opera's own until 5 o'clock each day he, was on
theatre was then finished. The the stage leading the dancers, and
1922 production, "Make It/For Two"g-gsecleatenters, ndh
was rehearsed in its new home, and givg special attention to the
at the conclusion of its Ann Arbor After six hours of work on the
run, took the longest trip trip at-sag at the Mimes theatre he
tempted by the show, up' to the stage
time. It included Chicago, Cin- changed his dancing regalia and
cinnati, Indianapolis, and Cleve- took the train for Detroit, arriving
land in its itinerary. in time for the evening perform-
"In and Out," the 17th. annual Eance of "Pleasure Bound.".
Opera, was produced in 1923, and Wastes no Time.
was the initial production {to fea- No time out, was required for
ture Lionel Ames, who'scored a tre- lunch on the part of' the dancing
mendous hit with his show and the master, He sipperd coffee brought
succeeding edition, and who is at over from the Union tea room, be-
present continuing his training as a , tween numbers or while tht" chorus
vaudeville artist. This Opera was was mastering a new routine.
Dutch in setting. For 10 years he has done this
"Cotton Stockings," produced in work with the Union Opera and
1924, was the most pretentious of each year 'he manages to arrange
any production of the Union prev- with his manager in New York to
ious to "Tambourine" and was the book his performances in order to'
first to tour the East, appearing in be near Ann Arbor when the try-
the Metropolitan Opera house in outs are started in the spring ans


.Lvew Yorx city.

resumed 'in the fall..



x ai

.., I j



feminine-the new sit*
houette. Successfully intr-
preted in these new and
chai'ming afternoon and eve-
ning fashions for holiday
The waistline is define-
not markedly but by the
subtle converging,of slender
princess lines. Flares appear
low in most instances-though
fluttering flounces and godets
are repeated oftentimes at the
knee and hips.
Fabrics are soft and drap-
able-nets, georgettes and
laces-lending themselves ad-
mirably to the new silhouette.
Soft Shades-Brilliant
Tones and Black

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_. .._
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S? r,'
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