THE MICHIGAN DAILY
SUNDAY, MAIY 9, 1937
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He'll Be rShylock' In Drama Seasowz
Gareth Hughes, who is now appearing in the West Coast production
of the play, will give a vigorous and new interpretation to the great part
of Shylock in The Merchant of Venice opposite Peggy Wood's Portia.
Coward Says Peggy Woods'
Work Is Schimply Schwel
Noel Coward, actor, and author of the as far removed from my vision of
short plays which comprise the two Sari Linden as Mrs. Wiggs of the
Tonight at 8:30 bills, has just had his
Autobiography, Present Indicative, pub- Cabbage Patch. (I have since learned
lished by Doubleday, Doran and Com- that this deshabille off-stage appear-
pany. Next to Gertrude Lawrence, Mr.
Coward is said +o rievoe more space ance is one of Miss Woods' charming
in his book to the brilliant London and and innocent artifices).
New York star, Peggy Wood, than to
any other actress. She played the An Old Acquaintance
leading role In the London production "I had known her on an off for
of Bittersweet, his favorite among his
own plays. Miss Wood, who will play several years, in fact ever 'since My
Portia in the Dramatic Season's produc- first visit to New York in 1921, but,
tion of The Merchant of Venice, Is odyeouh nalthttm a
mentioned in many chapters of the dn oninallthattmstIghad
book. Mr. Coward discusses his first never once seen her on the stage. I
meeting with Miss Wod in the fol- had, of course, heard onhall sides
lowing excerpt from his autobiography:enhsatccousofercig
.During that winter, January and her extraordinary beauty and the
and February, 1929, I finished 'Bitter loveliness of her voice, but never hav-
Sweet,'" Mr. Coward continues, "on ing been able to judge for myself, and
which I had been working intermit- confronted by that rubber hat, that
tently for the last few months. My face devoid of make-up, and those
first choice for Sari had been Gertie horn-rimmed spectacles, it was with
Lawrence, but when the score was al- some trepidation that I heard my-
most done, she and I both realized self asking her if she would care to
that her voice, although light and come over to London and do an oper-
charming, was not strong enough to etta.
carry such a heavy singing role. "She replied that she'd love to, but
"One afternoon, in the lobby of the that hadn't I better hear her sing
Algonquin Hotel in New York, I ran first? And so we rushed off imme-
into Peggy Wood. She had just come diately to my studio in the Hotel des
in from the country and was wearing Artistes. On arrival, Peggy realized
a fraincoat, an unbecoming rubbery that she hadn't any music, and so she
hat on the back of her head, and darted out and down the street where,
horn-rimmed glasses, and she looked fortunately, her music teacher hap-
pened to live, and returned in a few
minutes with the score of 'Mannon.
"I was impressed by her surprising
lack of 'star' manner. With a long
list of distinguished successes behind
her she behaved as though she were
To Have Your being offered a good part for the first
Printing and Developing time.
Likes 'Bitter Sweet'
done by a ". . . Peggy Wood arrived in god
PHOTOGRAPHER time from America and proceeded
slowly and surely to build her dis-
tinguished lovely performance. I
think that of all the shows I have
I3rig your fifhs to ever donea'Bitter Sweet' gave me the
greatest personal pleasure. Above
all, my favorite moments were Peggy
Bo b Ga Wood's entrance as Me. Sari Lin-
den in her exquisite white dress of
at IhW the nineties; and the final moment of
ARCADE CAMERA the play, when, to the last crashing
chords of 'll See You Again,' Sari, as
SHOP an old woman, straightens herself
14 Nickels Arcade Dial 9028 with a gesture of indomitable pride
and gallantly walks off the stage.
VOILE and NETS y
Either boned or boneless.
$5.00 and $7.50
Lovely, Mesh '
in various lengths and
either boned or boneless. --
S- -:5 - rOO __
To Prevail In
Chandler, Fletcher To Play,
Leading Parts In First
The Dramatic Season this year is
truely a festival in the literal mean-
ing of the word. The emphasis on
comedy makes it an event in keeping
with the spring season and the spirit
that will prevail in Ann Arbor on
the next few weeks in connection with
the coming Centennial celebration.
First, there are the two bills of
plays by Noel Coward. And he is
recognized everywhere as one of the
leading writers of comedy of the pres-
ent generation of playwrights-
whatever other opinions you may
hold about his work. The first bill,
especially, comprising Ways and
Means and Hands Across the Sea
has a full share of brilliant dialog
and intriguing situation.'
The second Noel Coward bill of
Tonight at 8:30 will have two musical
fantasies. There is Shadow Play
with its song numbers in the style
of the Room With A View number
from This Year of Grace and Family
Album with its quaint Victorianisms.
The tinkling music-box episode in
this play sets the spirit of the whole.
Then, closing the season, is To-
varich. This comedy by Jacques Du-
val has had long runs in several1
capitals. Adapted by Robert Sher-
wood, it was a long run sensation in
London and, now, in New York where
it is still playing at the Plymouth
Theatre. The quality whicha dis-
tinguishes it fromatheordinary com-
edy success is its intelligence. Al-
though it is built on a theme used
often since the war, the idea of Rus-
sian nobility getting jobs with a+
bourgeois family, it has true origin-
ality in its telling, in its characters,
and in its idea-the relation of the
Old Russia to the New.
Without skill and taste this fan-
tasy of two Romanoffs who hire.
themselves out as servants rather
than touch one of the four billion
francs left them as a sacred trust by
their late relative, the Czar, would
be just another comedy. But with
the pathos and charm imposed on
the plot and the reality given the
characters by M. Duval and the
sparkling dialogue with which Rob-
ert Sherwood enhances the story, we
have a play which has been the chief1
delight of the present New York sea-
Choice Of The Smart
There can be really no comparison,
between the interest and value of a
play like Tovarich and the-at best
-ephemeral gag lines of a play lile
-You Can't Take It With You. Of
course, the Duval-Sherwood play was
not eligible for the Pulitzer prize-
being an adaptation of a foreign play-
wright's work-but would always be
the choice of anyone who doesn't
-check his brains with his hat when he1
goes to the theatre.
The Merchant of Venice and The
Laughing Woman, too, are comedies
even though each has its element of
tragedy or pathos.
In the Ann Arbor production of1
Tovarich, the important role of the
Grand Duchess will be played by
Elena Miramove whom Gilber Miller
specially selected for the part. She
had starred in his London production1
of Grand Hotel.
me die drunkens
me not see this
with the dreani-
My song may trumpet down the gray
Let -me be as a tune-swept fiddle-
toppling to the dust-a vacant' That feels the Master Melody-and
et me go quickly,
like a candle-
-John G. Neihardt.
Snuffed out just at the heydey
of its glow.
Give me high noon-and let it
then be night!
Thus would I go.
Peggy French, the charming in-
genue, who will appear in several
productions in the Season.
By CLIFTON FADIMAN
Reprinted, by permission, from
In connection with the present sea-
son's crop of comedies in New York
it may be pertinent to recall Charles
Lamb's famous remarks about Restor-
ation plays. Lamb was a moral,
though not a prim, man; maidenly
rather than old-maidish.
Endeavoring to reconcile his gen-
uine purity of heart with the equally
genuine delight he took in the gay
lubricities of Wycherly and Congreve,
he elaborated a very pretty theory.
To his own satisfaction he provedl.
that the Restoration dramatists were
neither "wicked" nor "good," that
their plays could not be judged by
conventional moral standards.
One recalls those brilliant Elian
phrases: "That happy breathing-
place from the burthen of a perpe-
tual moral questioning-the sanc-
tuary and quiet Alsatia of hunted
casuistry . . . I could never connect,
those sports of a witty fancy in any
shape with" any result to be drawn
from them to imitation in real life
. . . The Fainalla and the Mirabels,
the Dorimants and the Lady Touch-
woods, in their own sphere, do not
offend my moral sense; in fact they
do not appeal to it at all . . . They
have got out of Christendom into
the land-which shall I call it-of
cuckoldry-the Utopia of perfect gal-
lantry, where pleasure is duty, and
the manners perfect freedom. It is
altogether a speculative scene of
things, which has no reference what-
ever to the world that is."
. . . Looking at the seasons' come-
dies from Lamb's point of view, one
is drawn to the conclusion that it is
Mr. Coward who comes nearest to
what Lamb conceived the Restora-
tion wits to be. I do not refer to
the serious Mr. Coward. I refer to
the Mr. Coward, in "Tonight at
8:30," of "Ways and Means" and
"Hands Across the Sea" and "Family
Album"-all three of which seemed
to me completely unpretentious,
completely successful, and complete-
ly delightful. (I didn't get to see
the "Fumed Oak" series, which might
quite possibly have even straightened
these airy generalizations.)
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