10 MONTROSE VOICE / NOVEMBER 27, 1986
'Madwoman' Solves Many
of Stages' Problems
ith the Madwomen. Tanya Lunstroth, Jean Proctor and Candace Compton
Review by Bill O'Rourke
The Madwoman of Chaillot, currently
playing at Stages, is proof positive that
things are going well at that theater.
Ted Swindley, the man at the helm of
both the theater and this play, has
always been a dark genius. Perhaps
beseiged by practical problems in keeping the theater afloat, his directorial
forte has been troubled dramas. This is
the first real comedy he has directed in
years which has worked on all counts. I
laughed a lot. So Iinferthat many ofthe
theater's problems are over.
This is also one of the first classics
which he has directed without making a
lot of changes. His flair for excesses has
meshed with those of the playwright.
Jean Giraudoux. This almost happened
with The Skin of Our Teeth last year.
Watching this Madwoman, it is difficult
to conceive of it being done any other
Nor did Swindley feel compelled to
impose a new theme. The play speaks
eloquently to current economic and
emotional conditions in Houston.
Throw off the yoke of materialism, it
says. If the machine has gotten out of
control and no longer brings happiness
and freedom for individuality to the little man. then turn it off. Wipe away the
sooty deposits and appreciate the flowers, the animals and each other. Life is,
indeed, worth living!
This is not a realistic play. It's more of
a theatrical poem. The language is gorgeous, the bonmots eminently quotable,
the people rich in detail, memorable, living askew from our hum-drum world.
There is a large chorus, each called
upon to deliver three or so distinct characters. The play really shows off the
depth of talent which has been accumulated in this company.
The piece de resistance is, of course,
the madwoman herself. Jean Proctor's
bravura performance hits all the right
notes. Sheisgentleyetdemanding, kind D Notes
yet arch, the great earth mother yet the
dignified, hopeful little girl. When faced
with the unhappiness of her friends, she
takes resolute action. Yet she regrets to
this day that when faced with the prospect of herown marital bliss, she lets the
by Mark C. Martino is nothing short of
Tke Houston Grand Opera presents
'Orpheus in the Underworld" at -/ones
shy man be stolen by another. This is a
woman I feel the need to visit regularly.
and Jean catches her spirit to a T.
Keith Belli's set is a little jarring, hut
Danny Morgan's costumes are a
delight. The original incidental music
slightly different view? ...
Mark Medoff, who wrote Children of a
Leaser God, has a play making its
nationwide premiere at Chocolate
Bayou next Thursday. Called Kringle's
Window, it's about some young hackers
trying to access Santa Claus' computer. ...
United Airlines and Sister Cities
International will be sending a group of
30 amateur performing artists to Taipei,
Taiwan next June. Groups wanting to
apply to go need to get an application
and a 10-minute video taped performance in by Dec. 31, 1986. Call 230-
The rest of us will be able to sec a
group from Taipei when they play Houston in March. .. .
Actors: Call the Ensemble before Dec.
3 and ask about Industry Night. It's a
treat—an idea other theaters should
Beginnings: Nov. 28, 192:")—Grand Ole
Opry opens. Nov. 1.0— Advent begins.
Dec. I, 1879—American premiere of
H.M.S. Pinafore. Dec. 2—The new Tuesday edition ofthe Montrose Voice!
B'days: 28—Brooks Atkinson. Rita
Mae Brown, Randy Newman. 29—
Bushy Berheley, Rod I_a Rocque, Chuck
Mangione. 30—Winston Churchill,
Robert Guillaume, Mark Twain. 1 —
Mary (Peter Pan) Martin, Bette Midler,
"I don't want to achieve immortality
through my work, I want to achieve it
through not dying."—Woody Allen
(horn Dec. 1)
Fall Jazz Festival (Denney Theater,
HSPVA, 26)—Student groups from the
High School ofthe Performing and Visual Arts. ONO!
Nancy Rodgers has now become the
third Sister Mary Ignatius. She'll be
representing Stages at the Comedy
Workshop in their joint effort. So, if
you've only seen it once, why not try a
Stand-up comedian Jay Len
Christinas Around the World (MFA,
28)—a seven tree display.
Invasion of the Bedsnatchers! (Radio
Music Theater, 28)—Their traditional
holiday two-act in which the entire Fer-
tle clan returns to Dumpster, Texas, for
a family reunion.
Jay l,eno (Music Hall. 28). ONO!
Modern Jazz Quartet (Rockefellers.
Orpheus in the Underworld (Jones,
28)—Houston Grand Opera |
Jacques Offenbach's hilarity with
Gerald Scarfe's sets and costumes.
Snap, Butter and Candle Workshop
(Children's Museum. 29, 9 & 11). ONO!
Leon Russell Edgar Winter (Rockefellers, 29) ONO!
Strega Nona i( 'hildren's Museum. 30,
2)—Theater on wheels
Martha Turner (Club Flamingo, .'.<>>
First Choice (MFA, I, :.-9)—holiday
shopping and trunk show.
Antique Toys (Gallery of Texas His
tory, Sam Houston Park, 1)