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February 14, 1991 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-02-14

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Page 10 -The Michigan Daily -Thursday, February 14, 1991

The White Rose of Germany

by Mary Beth Barber
U niversities don't often get the
rights for newly written plays im-
mediately after their initial open-
ings, but the University Players are
fortunate enough to break this tra-
dition with their performance of
The White Rose, written by Lillian
Garrett, this weekend. Garrett's
play just opened three weeks ago
-at the Old Globe Theater in San
Diego; tonight will be it's second
official opening. "A lot of people
,have been talking about it," says
guest director Robert Farley, co-
founder of the Alaska Repertory
Theater. "I wouldn't be surprised if
ziJended up Off-Broadway."
The plot of The White Rose is
based on the true story of five anti-
war protesters at the University of
Munich in the winter of 1943. Five
students were arrested and charged
.with high treason for distributing
leaflets condemning the Nazi

regime - the name of their secret
organization, signed on the
leaflets, was "The White Rose."
Except for this protest incident, the
students were ideal youths in the
eyes of the regime. The four men
were former members of the Hitler
Youth, medical students who had
aided German soldiers on the Rus-
sian front. Sophie Scholl, the
younger sister of one of the men,
was only an undergraduate. One of
the arresting officers in the play
even comments that they couldn't
look any more Aryan, yet the stu-
dents were arrested anyway.
"There are two stories going on
at once," says Farley. "These are
five students who really lived, who
really existed, who really said the
things they say in the play.... but
it's through Mohr (the arresting of-
ficer) that we get to the center-
piece." Much of the play concerns
a fictional interrogation which ex-
plores "the evolution of evil."

"Mohr is a guy with two daugh-
ters, a dog... he has to do his
chores this weekend; he's a very
common and simple man who gets
stuck with these kids and (has to
make a decision)," continues Far-
ley. Mohr realizes in the back of
his mind that he is doing wrong,
but by the time he decides to take
action it's too late.
There is an odd parallel to this
story and current events. "I hope
there's five kids in Baghdad who
try to take care of this guy
(Hussein), because that's what the
Scholls did with Hitler," says Far-
ley. Although "The White Rose"
was stopped early in its existence,
its message spread throughout Eu-
rope during World War II, and the
members of the group are heroes to
the German people even today.
THE WHITE ROSE is being per-
formed tonight through Saturday at
8 p.m., and.Sunday at 2 p.m. at the
Mendelssohn. Tickets are $12 and
$9, $5for students.
Continued from page 9
teract well, and Starring, who is
repeating a role he played 30 years
ago, delivers the strongest vocal
performance aside from Plester,
Beller, and Hekman.

The delivery of the supporting
cast members pales by contrast,
though if the leading roles had
been less perfectly cast, they
would surely be less noticeable.
The chief flaw is the lack of mod-
eration and intonation in the
voices of Ilona (Wendy Wright),
Steve (Jeffrey Willets), and the
Head Waiter (Daniel Keller). The
casting is also awkward in some
spots; Tom Underwood makes up
for his vocal weakness with a defi-
nite comic flair, but warring lovers
Wright and Willets produce none
of the erotic electricity that the
story demands.
The setsdesigners have made
excellent use of the stage, filling
every space, but not cluttering it
with useless props, and covering it
in soft grey-green and lavender.
She Loves Me is intimate - not at
all the sort of thing to see on a big
stage - and in musical style re-
sembles a cabaret.
The plot flows through the
songs, unlike a cabaret or
vaudeville performance, but the
songs are quick, funny, and often
revealing, and the play rarely goes
for more than 10 minutes without a
musical moment. Jerry Bock and
Sheldon Harnick filled the show
with little gems, a phrase which
aptly describes the whole piece.
So, "Dear Friend," for "A Roman-
tic Atmosphere," "Tonight At
Eight," She Loves Me. And if you
haven't a date, "Try Me." " Re-
solve" not to be too coy - after
all, it is Valentine's Day. And
maybe afterward we could go out
for some "Vanilla Ice Cream,"
like we did in "Days Gone By?"
SHE LOVES ME continues to play
at Ann Arbor Civic Theater tonight
through Saturday and February 21-
23 at 8p.m.







.with extraordinary courage


Here are the Replacements, circa the mid-'80s. Westerberg drags on a
cigarette (probably not Virginia Slims), and his hair looks tousled, not
styled. The rest of the band wear jeans and sweatshirts - your normal
street clothes. The two sitting on the wall on the left and in the center , ,.
are the long-gone Reagan-victim Bob Stinson and the recent ship-jumper .
Chris Mars respectively. The good-old days are long gone? Hopefully not',

I x

Continued from page 9
Even drummer Chris Mars got
bored and isn't playing with the
Replacements any more, and has
been replaced by some 19-year-old
kid, Steven Folley; this Republi-
can thing is taking too long, and I
personally wouldn't tour any more
either - some young Bush family
member could come to the show.

Or worse yet, Bush could quote
from "Someone Take the Wheel;"
just like Reagan molested "Boril
in the U.S.A."
Tommy might still have the
spirit, but even he is "old" at 21
and must be bored with fighting
those evil Republican normalcy
pushers. Westerberg and he have
finally grown up, at least &A
record, but this is their last chance
to flip off Republicans in power
everywhere. Age shouldn't make a




a new drama by Lillian Garrett

8 1/2 X 11. whiteserf serve or auto ted only
expires 2/22/91
Open 24 Hours
540 E. Liberty
1220 S. University
Open 7 Days
Michigan Union

University Players


Directed b

y Robert J. Farley
ets are $12 and $9


Mendelssohn Theatre Ticke
Feb. 14-16 at 8 PM; Feb. 17 at 2 PM
Students $5 with ID at the League Ticket Office



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