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Page 233 text:
Pirates of Penzance The stage was set. The orchestra had been tuned. The near-capacity crowd ex- citedly awaited the opening of the curtain for the beginning of the Gilbert and Sulli- van operetta, Pirates of Penzance. The cast (with one exception) and crew were in their places. A distinguished gray-haired man walked to the front of Dixon Hall and waited for the audience to notice him and get quiet; they did. His announcement was the sort that old movies were made of, the leading lady More of the Major-Genera! Stanley ' s daughters. There is no question that the leader of the pirates is the Pirate King. had not yet reached the theatre as she was in the Emergency Room of Touro Hospi- tal. She was having vocal problems, the extent of which was not yet known. When she arrived fifteen minutes later with a warning from the doctor not to sing that night. Music Department Chairman and Tulane Lyric Director Francis L. Monachino had to make a decision. " Do we let her try to get through it? Do we let someone else do the part out of costume, holding a copy of the music? (Lyric Theatre has never had understudies.) Can we get by with having the ailing lead walk through and pantomine the songs and have someone else sing from off- stage or the orchestra pit? " The latter seemed the best for all concerned. That was the decision, and it was announced to the very appreciative, very sympathetic, and very understanding audience. There- fore, Newcomb Senior Deborah Grim pantomined the part on stage while her voice teacher. Professor Patricia Holla- han, sang from the orchestra pit . As many in the audience indicated during intermis- sion and after the opening night perform- ance concluded, they would probably never have known had not Professor Monachino not let them in on the " secret. " The performing expertise of Grim, added to her talents as an actress and comedienne, made the emergency step really very enjoyable. Not only did she receive accolades from members of the audience, but New Orleans ' Theatre Music critics also noted her excellent per- formance under the nightmarish cir- cumstances. Of course, having a former Metropolitan Opera Singer, who as able to sight-read an entire operetta at a mo- ment ' s notice as one ' s voice teacher does not hurt. Grim, with the aid of her throat special- ist and twenty-four hours of nursing, was able to perform AND sing beautifully for herself on the second and closing night of " Pirates of Penzance. " The Saturday night audience was not aware that there has ever been a problem. They enjoyed the performance very much, as indicated by their applause and the curtain calls they gave the performers. Nevertheless, one can ' t help wonder which audience was given the most for its money. Frederick and Mabel declare their new-found-love for each other as some of her sisters look on. 229
Page 232 text:
Merchant of Venice Shakespeare ' s Merchant of Venice, Tulane University Theatre ' s opening production of its 1980-81 season, re- ceived a striking and controversial mod- ern dress staging by faculty director Buzz Podewell. Once read simply as a light- hearted romantic comedy with unfortu- nate anti-Semitic undercurrents, Shakespeare ' s disturbing and complex play was viewed as a modem indictment of a society whose loss of values has led to cruelty and the corruption of love by money. Theatre Department Visiting In- structor Paul Cravath played Shylock with remarkable sensitivity and under- standing. Critical reaction to the produc- tion varied, but in general the Theatre Dapartment ' s modernized production of Merchant of Venice served as a poignant reminder of the prejudice that still exists in our world. The final reconciliation scene from Merchant of Venice. Visiting Instructor Paul Cravath plays Shylock in the trial scene. 228
Page 234 text:
Pauline Koner - Dance Consort Both strength and beauty are shown by Paco Garcia and Martha Curtis in their performance of " Sohtary Songs. " " Of Dreaming " is expertly performed by Karen Shields and Paco Garcia of the Pauline Koner Dance Company. Cradling the ribbon, Zane Rankin performs in the unique duet entitled " Poeme " . In the few years since its creation, the Pauline Koner Dance Consort, a com- pany of nine young and talented dancers, has toured extensively in the United States. Pauline Koner, its founder, was admiringly known for her performances with the Jose Limon Dance Company, which followed her work with Doris Humphrey. The company visited Tulane ' s campus for four days in October, sponsored by TUCP Fine Arts, during which time they gave several Master classes in Modern Dance, Ballet, and the Elements of Per- formance. The company ' s stay also in- cluded an outstanding performance in Dixon Hall where the members exhibited their lyrical, yet dramatic, repertoire to the delight of the Tulane community. 230
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