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February 12, 1951 - Image 31

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1951-02-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

M day, February 12, 1951
STAFF FOULED U
Opera
ietly, steadily, in taverns, in
ibraries, in dusty University at-
tics, under Stockwell beds or in the
no n steamroom, the search for
"it" goes on.
With hope and perserverance
they are slowly tracking "it" down.
"It" is an idea. An appelation. A
nare.
UNION OPERA executives are
the ones who are pursuing "it".
They need a label for their show,
a title to identify it.
"We gotta have something
tremendous," publicity m a n
Rilsty Gates exclaimed, with-
drawing his head from a snow-
bank in which he had been cool-
ing a drink.
"As sure as springtime, the Op-
era' will be there on the stage,
right on schedule. Funny as hell,
ju like always. A great show. But
what'll we call it?" Gates mused.
THERE COULD BE no doubt
ihat a name was urgently needed.
Already rehearsals are being plan-
ned Tryouts are about to begin.
Before long, on March 28, 29 and
30,,the show will hit the stage of
the Michigazl Theatre.
"But we can't eXpect people to
come to see something simply
called "it," Gates said.
If Gates was a little distraught,
O 1ra general manager Gene Ov-
erbeck was vigorously frantic. He
was using the vast Union meat
vaults to cool his drinks.
Overbeck has just lined up a
five night road trip for Spring
vacation, with two shows in De-
troit's Music Hall, and one each
in Buffalo, Toledo and Flint.
"But how can we publicize them
without a name?" he cried as he
bit feverishly on the wrong end
of a cigarette.
Another big project hamstrung
by the absence of a title is a pro-
jected television preview over
WWJ-TV, Overbeck disclosed. It
had been scheduled for March 18,
buttnow, as Overbeck put it, "Who
knows? ''
N O SOLUTION as immediately
in sight for the tragic dilemma.
Script writer 'Bill Edmunds
dodged the issue. "I have enough
to do writing it without dream-
I.g up a name," he said wearily.
Bill Holbrook, veteran Broadway
showman who directed last year's
sellout production "Lace It Up"
was equally useless in providing a
title for the new show. Contacted
on a plane enroute from New York,
Holbrook told The Daily in an ex-
clusive short-wave interview that
the weather was fine, but he utter-
ed a brief "no comment" when
asked about a name.
Holbrook was expected In town
m m entarily to begin casting. But
he will be frankly handicapped un-
til a title unveils itself. After all,
you certainly couldn't go on call-
ing the show "It."

Page Twenty-three - . .

TH E MI CH IGAN DAILY

P IN NAME PAINS:
To 'Go West'IMarch 28,29,30

Tryouts ..
When you sing, does it come out
falsetto?
ODo your legs twitch automati-
cally when you hear music? Are
you an extrovert? An introvert? A
man?
If any of these things apply to
you, don't fret; instead call 2-4431
and ask for extension Union Op-
era. You may become famous ov-
ernight.
THE OPERA needs men this
week, lots of them. Tryouts and
casting for dancing and singing
parts will be held Tuesday through
Friday, with a possible extension
into next week.
Students wishing to try out for
any and all parts should make an
appointment by calling the Union
Opera offices from 3 to 5 p.m. this
week, according to promotions
manager Ben Gates, '51.
No previous experience Is ne-
cessary, Gates emphasized. He
expected that parts would be as-
signed within the next two
weeks, so that actual rehearsals
could begin shortly thereafter.

"WHAT THE HELL WILL WE CALL THIS?"-At a closed secret session in the Jones Memorial
dining room on the Union's first floor, staid members of the Union Board of Directors intensely
ponder suggested names for the forthcoming Union Opera. "Whatever we decide on, it's gotta be
clean," director Chet Blower admonished. It was he who originally hit on the western theme for
the Opera. The Union directors had recently just returned en masse from a trip through the
West, so they thought this would be just fine. The presence of several women at the meeting
was not explained.

Past Opera Records Reveal
Linkup with Notorious Names
The spectacular 1951 Union the executive staff decided that it
Opera will burst forth next month would be too much trouble to make
profoundly soaked in simply years up campus coeds to look sexy.
and years of grand and glorious
tradition.
Since its obscure beginning some ANOTHER TRADITION, estab-
40 years ago the Opera has climb- lished much later, was the idea of
ed in statur( until today it ranks having a plot. Accordingly, this
as one of the top collegiate pro- year's show will take a playful
ductions in the nation. poke at frontier life in a western
*. town of 1870 vintage, according
to what bits of information Opera
ITS PAST is loaded with color men have so far divulged.

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and romance, and its fame is le-
gendary. Linked intimately with
the past successes of the show are
such prominent names as Presi-
dent Calvin Coolidge, who laugh-
ed at a command performance in
the White House, fan dancer Sally
Rand, who coached the cast in
1934, Prof. Donal Haines of the
journalism department, who wrote
the first script in 1908, Thomas E.
Dewey, who once tried out for a
big part but ended up on the side-
lines, and Gov. G. Mennen Wil-
liams, who comes every year.
On the musical side, the Opera
has been the birth place of
many famous songs, such as
"When Night Falls Dear" and
"I've Got a Lovely Bunch of
Cocoanuts," which have since
swept the nation.
A host of traditions have been
sopped up as the Opera grew. One
of them, the ideaeof an all-male
cast, developed at the start when

The fun starts when a pair of
fast-talking thespians roll into
town bringing with them an old-
time traveling medicine show.
The 1951 production will be the
third since the Opera was revised
following a virtual extinction dur-
ing World War II. The resurrec-
tion began in 1949 when Dean
Ac h e s o n authorized the farce
"Foggy Bottom" as a means of
combatting Communism anywhere
in the world.
This was followed by last year's
"Board It Up," which was a total
sellout and is still playing in the
basement of Angell Hall.

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