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April 27, 1941 - Image 6

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1941-04-27

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SUNDAY, APRIL 21, 1941

,,. p.

Drama Festival Will Open May


At Lydia Mendelssohn


Stars Feature PRuth d Stage Star, Finds
'rMotion Picture Work Delightful'
'Hit Ir ram
OfFive Plays!- in..iiirr

Comedy Highlights Season'
Of Proven Successes;I
Prof. Windt To Direct
Season Ticket Sale
To Begin Thursday

Modern drama - with an emphasis
on comedy - will be well represented
in the 1941 Drama Festival which will
run at the Lydia Mendelssohn May
19 through June 21. Headline stars
in proven successes are matched in
one of the most brilliant programs
booked for Ann Arbor in recent years:
James Thurber and Elliot Nugent
contribute the opening play of the
Festival, the comic story of college
life which won the acclaim of critics
in New York and on the road last
year, "The Male Animal." Starring
will be the popular screen actor and
star of the "Silver Theatre of the
Air," Conrad Nagel, who will play a
college professor.
Another comedy follows the second
week as Ilka Chase will appear in
the role created by Gertrude Law-
rence in Samon Raphaelson's "Sky-
lark." While Miss Chase is best known
for her acting on stage, screen and
radio, she has also been heard lately
from the lecture platform throughout
the country.
Ruth Gordon To Appear
Mystery thrills and chills will form
the theme of the, third play in the
Festival, with "Ladies in Retirement,"
the popular English melodrama pro-
viding a vehicle for ,Ruth Gordon.
Called by critics the best mystery
play since "Kind Lady," "Ladies in
Dnfi-maimfll "kn a n n co ti l

Chase Will Star
In Sophisticated
'Skylark' Here
Versatile Ilka Chase,who will star
in "Skylark," is familiar with the
technique of sophisticated comedy,
since she has played in most of them
shown on Broadway inrecent years.
Probably best known for her hate-
ful role of catty Sylvia Fowler in
"The Women," Miss Chase first
started her career on the New York
stage in "The Red Falcon" and has
to her credit a series of roles in
straight dramas and musical showp
as well as in comedies.
Daughter of Edna Woolman Chase,
editor of Vogue, Miss Chase has
written for Vogue and has also ap-
peared in several movies, but she
orefers work in the legitimate theatre
o either of these fields. She has a
charming voice that has Ne6n for her
many radio fans, since she does the
commentaries for Technicolor Fa-
shion Forecasts and acts as hostess
on the "Luncheon at the Waldorf"
radio show, 'for which she writes the
In addition -to these activities, as
charter member cf the American The-
atre Wing's Allied Relief Fund, Miss
Chase goes 'to .the workroom twice
a week; is writing a "kind of biogra-
phy"; takes singing lessons; manages
a household and takes an active in-
terest in politics. She has also been
heard recently on the lecture plat-
form, where she has been enjoying
her usual success.
Her part in "Skylark" is just the
type of role for which this smart,
radiant actress is best qualified. She
will play the wife of a rising adver-
tising tycoon who is so immersed in
success and campaigns that he neg-
lects his home. The wife's rebellion
and the business of adjustment be-
tween two highly strung married
people, with a cynical bachelor hov-
ering outside the door, gives rise to
many human and amusing situa-

Has Campus
Conrad Nagel

To Star

Luther Adler's Family Is First
On Modern American Stage

Although she has been an out-
standing star of the stage since 1915
when she made her debut in "Peter
Pan," Ruth Gordon says that she is
delighted with motion pictures, a
medium she entered only recently,
and that she has every intention
of making a lot more.
Her best known screen roles in-
clude Mary Todd in "Abe Lincoln in
: Illinois" and Mrs. Ehrlich in "Doc-
tor Ehrlich's Magic Bullet." "I think
I like making pictures better than
acting on the stage, though I suppose
that is a novelty that will pass," Miss
Gordon has said. "The fact that films
are made in scattered scenes I con-
sider a help rather than a hindrance;
one always has time to shut out the
world and get the feel of a character

Male Animal'
To Inaugurate
Drama Season


for a time. While playing in "Sev-
enteen," opposite the late Gregoryl
Kelly, she married him and the twol
later played together, in the Chi-
cago company of "Clarence," the road
company of "The First Year," and
in "Tweedles."
Despite her successes in "Satur-
day's Children" and in "The CountryI
Wife" where she broke all records for
the London theatre in which it played,
Miss Gordon says she doesn't find the
same fault with the movies as do
other stage actors. She has not found
out whether she would miss an audi-
ence because the visitors and crews of
the movie companies have always
numbered more than some matinee
audiences she has faced.

If youtask the average theatre-goer Jewish Langpage Theatre are stud-
about the "First Family of the ded with the Adler name.
American Stage," he will probably Successes already to the credit of
hink first of the Barrymores. How- Luther Adler include "Men In
ever, Luther Adler's family is the White," "Awake and Sing," "Johnny
largest group represented in the con- Johnson," "Rocket to the Moon"
temporary American theatre. and "Two On An Island." The role
The theatrical part of the family he will play in "Golden Boy" is of a
was founded at the turn of the cen- boxer-violinist, which character he
tury by the distinguished Jewish first created on Broadway.
tragedian, Jacob P. Adler, who emi- Sylvia Sidney, who will play oppo-
grated to this country from Russia. site Adler in "Golden Boy," has now
There were reputedly 17 members of 3ecome another member of the "First
the family contributing to the the- Family," since she is married to her
atre in 1939, including Luther, who leading man. She, of course, is a
will star in "Golden Boy," the fifth recognized actress in her own right,
play planned for the Drama Festival. having been seen on Broadway in
The latter is probably best known "Nice Women," "The Gentle People"
of the family, along with Stella Ad- and "Cross-Roads," and in popular
ler, and Francine Larrimore, a niece moving pictures such as "Trail of
of the elder Adler, but the roster of the Lonesome Pine," "Fury," and,
the Group Theatre and the New York "Madame Butterfly."

Each idiosyncrasy of the college
professor and each peculiarity of the
college student will come in for its
'share' of notice when the opening of
the Drama Season comes to Ann Ar-
bor. "The Male Animal," by Elliott
Nugent and James Tiurber is a
rollicking comedy of life on a cam-
pus that pulls no punches,
The uproar in a professor's domes-
tic life has been treated in the anti-
drawings and crack-brained literary
heroic style of Thurber's solemn
Conrad Nagel swill play a professor
who encounters difficulties with the
regents and with his wife because of
his determination to maintain the
principles of freedom "come what
may". Professor Turner's wavering
and blundering attempt to play hero
forms the comedy.
One of the high points of the play is
the hilarious drunk scene in which
the professor tries to reason himself
into primitive action against a man
three times his size. This role' will be
somewhat of a departure from the
suave polished individual whom
movie audienTes are accustomed to
see portrayed by Nagel.i
Also featured with Nagel in the play
will be members of thetoriginal com-
pany from New York - Ruth Matter-
son and Leon Ames. The comedy will
open May 19, and comes from a suc-
cessful run on the road, following its
year on Broaway, where it won the
plaudits of critics.

Retirenment nas been outstaninglyadnemto.-
t(~4iI1WJLLi~v~iiO~bLd1UiI~~y and an emotion. "
successful on Broadway and the road Miss Gordon had wanted to be an v
during the past year. actress since she was two, and after
"Man and Superman," George Ber- her 1915 debut she played in stock
nard Shaw's play of comedy and phi-
losophy, will be presented the fourth " >s
week featuring Madge Evans and Hi-Baa is
ram Sherman. Both of these talent-
ed actors won applause from Ann Ar- H
bor audiences for their performances H st7o ars I ':..
in the 1940 Drama Season. Miss Ev- ''
ans in "The World We Make" andO ' 0 e o
Sherman in "The Winter's Tale" and
"Boyd's Shop" were the high spots
of last year's program. Marquees on Broadway theatre
'Golden Boy' Stars Adler might have been set up with the 1940
Clifford Odets, who scored amaz- Drama Season program as text, so
ing success with his "Awake and Sing", many members of current plays ap-
and "Waiting for Lefty," will be rep- peared in Ann Arbor during last
resented in Ann Arbor this year by his year's festival,
latest hit, "Golden Boy." Playing in Whitford Kane, who starred in
his original role of the Golden Boy, "Boyd's Shop," has been getting fav- 1
Luther Adler will have as his leading orable reviews for his performance in
lady Sylvia Sidney, popular screen 'the New York hit "The Doctor's Di-\CAG
star. lemma," latest vehicle for Katherine \ - CON RAD NAGE L S
Miss Sidney will play the part cre- Cornell.
ated on Broadway by Frances Farm- The recently closed "Talley Meth- in .GOL N
er, who later also entered the movies. od," featuring Ina Claire and Philip CI A
Directing the plays for the second Merivale, also included in its cast "THE MALE ANIMAL"O
successive year will be Prof. Valen- Hirma Sherman, who will return to
tine B. Windt of the speech depart- Ann Arbor this year for a lead in
ment. Business manager and com- "Man and Superman." In last year's
pany manager will be Mrs. LIucille Festival he was especially outstanding
W. Walz and, James D. Murnan, re- as the clown Autolycus in "Winter's
spectively. Counter sale of season Tale."
tickets will open Thursday at the Lillian Hellman's new play "Watch
Garden Room of the Michigan on the Rhine" features several art-
League. ists who were in Ann Arbor last
spring. Mady Christians, who played in
Hermione in "Winter's Tale," Helen;
P etition B rinos Trenholme of "Boyd's Shop" and Jo-
seph Holland of "Winter's Tale" are
*) !all filling parts in this play.
M adge Evans Horace McNally, handsome juve-
nile lead in "Boyd's Shop," has had SP fR 111I]T PI Y S
eturn H er an extraordinarily successful run all
winter playing the principal male role
in "Johnny Belinda" and has just
When Madge Evans appeared in signed a contract with Metro.
"The World We Make" in Ann Arbor The Boston and Philadelphia com-
last spring, she scored one of the hits pany of "Life With Father" has had b
of that Drama Season, as audiences as its "Father," Loui Colhern, who
begged for a chance to see her again. will be remembered for his role in
The play, written by her husband, "Winter's Tale" here, as well as his
Sidney Kingsley, was a serious drama, performance as the doctor in "The
and in petitions submitted to the World We Make."DH
Drama Season offices asking her re- Tito Vulo, little Italian comedian,
turn was the request that this time is still ' amusing theatre audiences,
she appear in a comedy. this time in the mystery-c6medy "Mr.
As 4 result of these requests, Miss and Mrs. North," which has been run-
Evans will be seen in this year's Sea- ning in New York for several months.I RUTH GORDON H I RAM
son in George Ber- Barry Thompson and Ruth Chat-
nard Shaw's popu- terton have been engaged on a 21- z**
lar comedy, "Man weektour of the country with "Pyg- j
an Suer malion.""Ladies in Retirement Man an
and Superman,~
with Hiram Sher- Adler Has Starred
man, one of Broad-
way's premier co- In Several Plays
medians, playing By C ifr Od t
opposite her. B 4 DRAMATIC SFAS
MISS EVANS Miss Evans had 14
intended not to fill any engagements When Luther Adler opened in
this spring, since Kingsley has re- "Golden Boy," he found it not un-
cently been drafted and she wishes usual to be appearing in a play by MAY 19 . . . . JUNE 21
to be located near his camp. How- Clifford Odets.
ever, her pleasant experience in Ann Odets spent his younger years act-
Arbor influenced her to make an ex- ing in Theatre Guild and Group
ception in this instance. Theatre productions. While in the *
The play by Shaw is a provoca- latter he became friends with Adler ,, -O.-
a, nrI hi sistr Stl1 Then with the R im.. -nrn ic IY to' I-"' N-N) _"4..

J Superman"
- $2.50

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