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March 21, 1934 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1934-03-21

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ter judgment in her choice. It was generally
pretty good, but petered out in a bit of bjurry
syrup at the final curtain. "No Man's Land", in
1932, was a mediocre show, mildly entertaining
because of enthusiastic production, but weakened
by a loose plot. The women on campus, the play
informed us, decided to take things in their own
hands and banish men fron the campus; but
the wily men finessed the queen and demon-
strated that love; after all, is the dearest thing.
Nothing has ever quite convinced me that the
first part of this play was not insidious propa-
"Love on the Run," in 1933, was one of the most
startling things I have seen in campus musical
comedy. There were touches in it that were
worthy of a Broadway impressario. It got away
from the campus incubus. It took the hero and
heroine all over the world in an effort to
popularize chewing gum. It was stylism raised
to a high pitch; it was, in fact, a precedent.
What effect last year's play will have on
"Gang's All There" will be evident tonight when
the current comedy opens.
The director of "Gang's All There" gives the low-
down on what's happened to musical comedy right
under our very noses.

,l Rn o rs m s e . - -
Published every morning except Monday -during the
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Member of the Western Conference Editorial Association
and the Big Ten News Service.
ssociated oU#e iate kros'
~ ;1933 i N AJTWINAL - Qtriir) 1934'-z
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CITY EDITOR....................RAC T E AW
WOMEN'S EDITOR.................. CAIOL J. HANAN
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Johnson, Ruth Loebs, Josephine McLean. iMrlorfr.Mor-
rison, Sally Place, Rosalie Resnick, Jane 8cl'~elicr.
Telephone 2-1214
........ ..............CATHARINE MP HENRY
DEPARTMENT MANAGERS: Local Advertising, Noel Tur-
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Jackson, Louise Krause, Barbara Morgan, Margaret
Mustard, Betty Simonds.
FRESHMAN TRYOUTS: William Jackson, Louis Gold-
smith, David Schiffer, William Barndt, Jack Richardson,
Charles Parker, Robert Owen, Ted Wohigemuth, Jerome
Grossman, Avner, Kronenberger, Jim Horiskey, Tom
Clarke, Scott, Samuel Beckman, Homer Lathrop, Hall,
Ross Levin, Willy Tomlinson, Dean Asselin, Lyman
Bittman, John Park, Don Hutton, Allen Ulpson, Richard
Hardenbrook, Gordon Cohn.

Voij&I Primacy
or F~ascist %Italy.

* .

to become the chief political
power of the world. Mussolini, in a speech sev-
eral days ago, predicted that Italy under Fascist
rule will extend into Asia and Africa, grow more
powerful at home, and by the twenty-first cen-
tury be greatest of nations. ' -
If Mussolini had predicted world primacy for
Italy in one decade instead of six there would be
mtich more probability than there is that his
prophecy would come true. Italy, ruled by a dic-
tator, canaccomplish much. But like all dictator-
ships, when the'dictator dies she is bound to
lo one { can argue against the efficiency of a
governm2ent in which one man is all-powerful.
A Mussolini or a Hitler or a Stalin give a gov-
evnment unity otherwise impossible. But the
price of their passing must be chaos.
The essence of a -dictatorship is universal
obedience and acceptance, which is poor train-
ing for the government that will be necessary
after the ruler dies.
If any people achieve and hold world primacy
in the twenty or twenty first century, it will not
be via a dictatorship - fascist, communist, or
any other kind.
The Theatre
HAVE HEARD rumors to the effect that thc
Junior Girls' Plays have in most cases been
better than the Union Operas. Of course, this
statement will be reversed when I write an ad-
vance for "With Colors Flying." But there is no
denying the fact that, after twenty-odd years of'
handling the J.G.B. technique from generation
to generation, the junior women are approaching
the atmosphere of professionalism that is so
necessary for an audience of collegiate pseudo-
It is therefore with much interest that I look
forward to reading Carol Hanan's review of
"Gang's All There" in Thursday morning's Daily,
and to seeing the show at first hand that night -
the result of which will be a column of rather
pointless soliloquy on the affair, because a second
f nrtA rntria, n nn mil.41hp fif iloQIRi nl ' R. cq cll

A COUPLE of years back the free and accepted
Masons brought to this town (for the purpose
of paying off the building debt on their archi-
tectural monstrosity down on Fourth Avenue) a
Russian burlesque show called "Blue Bird." It
was very poorly advertised. The title scared away
whatever burlesque-minded audience the town
might have provided. Those up on campus who
heard about it thought it was Materlinck's play
done in Russian, and somehow couldn't bring
themselves to a trip to the Temple, even for art.
And its being a football week-end, they settled
back those Friday and Saturday 'nights to their
cocktails of alky and canned grapefruit juice (yes,
we drank alky in those days).
So "Blue Bird" went away even as it had come,
unheralded, unwept-for. Nobody was any the
wiser. Except, perhaps, the business managers,
who upon counting the 98th person to go by the
gate at 8:45 must have resolved pretty firmly
against Russians and Blue Birds'
I saw this show. I was the ninety-and-nine. I
didn't go through the gate. Being an under-
graduate in those days, I worked "crew" on all
the traveling shows hitting town that I could pos-
sibly chizzle a job on. The pay was sort of good.
It staved off that hurt look in my landlady's eye.
I saw "Blue Bird" from the wings of the Masonic
Temple stage. It was swell. It was so swell, and
I was so excited, I went to Fred Rebman after the
matinee and told him I couldn't work the other
performances. I wanted to see the others from
the front.
"Blue Bird" was never intended for the Ma-
sonic Temple stage, which is only about 12 feet
deep with a procenium opening of 2 feet. Half
the numbers had to be done' with "set pieces"
against black drapes, the hanging pieces being too
large to "fly." Some numbers were done with
almost no scenery, the stage was so small. But in
spite of all the technical handicaps, "Blue Bird"
was still one of the swellest things I've seen on
the stage. It was something new and different
in a musical revue. It was bellowing, boisterous,
and poundy from beginning to end. The ideas of
the comedy were quaint and droll. But the vital-
ity, enthusiasm, and energy of its players, I've
never seen the like of. It made you feel hellishly
good to be alive. It made you want to go out and
start a grand revival of good old-fashioned romp-
er-kicking comedy. I went home after each per-
formance wanting to start a movement - a move-
ment against comedies of drawing-room bicker-
ing and dramas of the "Madame X" sort.
"Blue Bird" was a stylized production. In the
theatre, when you say a production is stylized, you
mean that the producers have made mode, man-
ner, and idea the important thing. A stylized
production is often contrasted to an atmospheric
one, where the effect aimed at is one of mood
and feeling. In a stylized production one leaves
reality behind, one goes out to get the liie, 'pos-
ture, word that is particular to a person or time.
One exaggerates this line, posture,'word, aiming
at a broad, direct, simple expression. One respects
this simple expression' rhythmically -harps on
it, pounds it home for all the dramatic effect pos-
It is a difficult job finding the right particular,
for stylization requires a good deal of thought.
A good deal of arguing would go into the ar-
ranging of a ballet, for example, which would try
to find the particular lines, words, and postures
that would best express the sentimentality of Na-
poleonic France. I can see very 'easily how a
choreagrapher or a director might have many
knock-down, drag-'em-outs before any selection
at all might be made. All this is just to shove
that a good deal of thought goes into a piece
of stylized theatre. Stylization indicates thought,
criticism, point of view. This point of view re-
garding the manners 'and modes of the subject
under treatment is dove-tailed in the wi'iting, di-
recting, designing, and dancing.
"Blue Bird" was a stylized show. It was bur-
lesque. It was a series of skits on many different
foibles and sentimentalities of Continental life.
It was something new and different in Ann
Arbor. I was one out of 99 in Ann Arbor Who
saw it (and I, remember, went twice),
What has all this to" do with -? Simply this
A few years before "Blue Bird" came to Ann Ar-
bor, Balief came to New York with a burlesque
troupe of the same sort. It was called "Chauve
Souris." It was something new and different in
theatre. It wasn't well advertised. Those were
the days of prosperity and tired business men.
When you went to musical comedies, you wanted

legs - sheer kimonos -sex with a blackout. The
story didn't matter, the scenery didn't matter,
the music didn't matter. As long as th° dances
put legs and keen little figures to advantage,
dances didn't matter. The same straight-line
routines could be used over and over. Nobody
cared. As to costumes, well, the less of them the

Campus Opinion
Letters published in this column should not be con-
strued as expressing the editorial opinion of The
Daily. Anonymous communications will be disregarded.
The names of communicants will, however, be re-
garded as confidential upon request. Contributors
are asked to be brief, confining themselves to less
than 300 words if possible.
To the Editor:
What is true of the buffoonery as regards
"Aryan race" or "pure race", has its counterpart
in the adoption of the mystic emblem of the
Swastika. According to a recent pamphlet by Dr.
W. Norman Brown, professor of Sanskrit at the
University of Pennsylvania and a leading Orien-
talist, the claim of Adolf Hitler and his followers
that the Swastika, Nazi party emblem, is the his-
toric property of the Aryan people and that it
has a Christian significance has no historical
basis. It was not invented by the Indo-Europeans,
i. e. Aryans, who did not know the swastika until
1000 years after the time of the earliest pre-
served specimens . . . "The present Nazi claims
the untenable. Just as their theory of Aryan
racial purity is fanciful, so too, their use of the
Swastika as an Ayro-Christian symbol, with as-
pects of anti-Judaism, anti-pacifism and anti-
Marxism, is entirely arbitrary. The term Aryan
or Indo-European signifies nothing of race in-
tegrity and only a relative degree of cultural
uniformity, while the Swastika is far too ancient
and general a human property to bear their lim-
ited construction."
A student of present day Germany is com-
pelled to reach the conclusion that the whole
structure of Nazism is based on (Nazism,) fraud,
deceit, trickery, violence, injustice and falsehood.
Emotion instead of reason and common sense,
plays the principal role in this monstrous bar-
barism by which the German people have been
completely taken it.
The following passage is from E. A. Mawrer's
interesting book: Germany Puts the Clock Back:
"The great novelist Thomas Mann' has publicly
but vainly protested against the cult of emotion
and irrationality that has laid hold of the Ger-
man brain. Thinking with one's blood became
steadily more popular. For thus the yoke of hard
fact could be lifted and subjective aspiration take
- M. Levi
Screen Reflections
George Davis...............Jack Mulhall
Dora Hart...............Peggy Shannon



Ralph Bellamy ................. Pat O'Brien
Lillian Bond ..................Gloria Stuart..
"Airmail" has played in town before, about a
year ago, but is being reshown at the Whitney
because the recent sensational news revelant to
the crashing of emergency army mail planes has
brought the question of airmail back to the front
The film is well photographed save for a snow-
storm which is obviously artificial. The story is
dramatic enough, although it is slightly spoiled
by a rash, heroic hokum that Hollywood wishes
onto its leading characters.
Pat O'Brien, Ralph Bellamy, Lillian Bond,
Leslie Fenton, Gloria Stuart, and Slim Summer-
ville portray their parts as sincerely as the plot
and the dialogue permit. Many of the air scenes
are breath-taking. I suppose the film merits two
stars because of the guidance of John Ford, one
of America's finest directors, but this reviewer
would like to see, just for once, a story that would
give its characters a chance to be living human
beings instead of actors.
"The Fighting Lady" masquerades under the
name of cinematic entertainment. It is not very
heroic to tear apart something which is already
in bad shape. I suppose the kindest thing would
have been to pass it up in silence. "The Fighting
Lady" has none of the elements necessary in a
worth while motion picture. Its characters speak
their lines but do not act. The dialogue and plot
are as void of logic as is a fish trying to climb
a telegraph pole. This film did not take much
money to produce; whatever little it did take
was wasted.
-- JC.S.
Musical ENvents
THE organ recital previously scheduled for this
afternoon has been cancelled. Next week
there will be a program of Good Friday Music
on Friday afternoon, instead of Wednesday.
who pronounce theatre - thee-ahh-ter - sat back
on their mohair davenports, and said - Thank
God, for the depression. It was death to the
leg show.
Not knowing where to turn, Broadway turned to
art. It fell on the stylization of those Russian
revues of several years back, on "Chauve Souris,"
on "Blue Bird." "Walk a Little Faster" of last
year, "As Thousands Cheer" of this, are shows of
this sort. Doris Humphreys, who a few years ago
was thought queer and arty, now has her ideas
used in the high places. An effort is seen in the
way of giving the different crafts brought together
in the production of a musical comedy some sort
of unity. Music means something as related to
the dancing. Costumes mean something as re-
lated to the scenery. The old leg stuff has given
way to an intelligent show.
A noted speaker was scheduled to speak at the
University of Missouri on "The Romance of Be-

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