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Montrose Voice, No. 258, October 4, 1985
File 011
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Montrose Voice, No. 258, October 4, 1985 - File 011. 1985-10-04. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. September 21, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/4727/show/4712.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(1985-10-04). Montrose Voice, No. 258, October 4, 1985 - File 011. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/4727/show/4712

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Montrose Voice, No. 258, October 4, 1985 - File 011, 1985-10-04, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed September 21, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/4727/show/4712.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Compound Item Description
Title Montrose Voice, No. 258, October 4, 1985
Contributor
  • McClurg, Henry
  • Wyche, Linda
Publisher Community Publishing Company
Date October 4, 1985
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 22329406
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Montrose Voice
Rights In Copyright
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 011
Transcript 10 MONTROSE VOICE / OCTOBER 4. 1985 Montrose Live The Emperor's Nightingale By Bill O'Rourke Montrose Voice Theater Critic The only time I every saw kabuki was on television. That, in a way, is a mini- metaphor for Pacific Overtures now playing at Stages. This engrossing musical is about the clash of two cultures. Admiral Perry has arrived in the waters off Japan with four warships. For two and a half centuries, no foreigner has been allowed to set foot on the islands. Nor has any Niponese been allowed to leave. The two cultures have not mixed or intercontacted. Now Perry will change that either through peaceful overtures or through explosive gunboat "diplomacy." Once the threat is there, is there any difference? The story is told from the Japanese perspective. The first act shows us the tricky machinations of subtle statesmanship which would seem to show that had the terrible Americans been traditional Japanese gentlemen, or even devils, the whole matter would have been maneuvered to blow harmlessly over. This impressive feat was only doomed to failure by the failure to understand cultural differences. Of course, no one really knows what was said in that treaty house. The play unfolds a la kabuki. In that style, everything is simplified, stylized, ritualized. Often one performer is the body of the character while another voices the inner thoughts. No women are allowed on stage. So all of the female characters are enacted by men. This style allows for some spectacularly simple effects, such as the fierce grimace with which the shogun's mother momentarily halts the advance of warships. It also opens the way for some lyrically beautiful moments, such as the tearful parting of the young samurai and his wife. That style is filtered through the most modern of musical comedy forms. This is not a Jerry Herman traditional musical like the Schmidt/Jones inspired Gold- diggers (at MST). And certainly not a revue like A ... Alice (still at the Alley)— although that influence is also traceable. The Houston audience is currently blessed with a real choice between three strong contenders. Starting about with Company, Sondheim's musicals have been more essays than stories. True, one is illustrated by a hauntingly touching story on a one-to-one personal level. But the true emphasis is on the sweeping panoply of the national level. In some ways, it is reminiscent of a Michener "novel." In others, it feels like a Kurosawa film. It is a blend musically as well. The unique story and style allow Sondheim to paraody people as diverse as Cohen, Gilbert and Sullivan and Sousa. There is even a delightful Victorian music hall number for a madame trotting down to meet the fleet. A major influence on Sondheim is the art song. This, backed up by a quasi- Japanese percussion section and lute-like counter melodies, could be expected to be difficult to sing. These are beautiful, though, and soar through the score like multi-colored nightingales. I had heard and read many things about the beauties of the original Harold Prince staging of this John Weidman book. Let me warn you. I^eave all such preconceptions at home. Director Ted Swindley wisely took the material and redid it to fit his own space. He did this so superbly that it feels as if this show might have been commissioned by this theater. It is fully at home here. Would that I could visit it again next January, but it cannot tarry as long as it deserves. After all. it is only one show in a larger season. This is the i p+iw* ■ Cast members from "Pacific Overtures" Bent. (How's that for starting a few arguments?) When this man is at his best, he is sublime. As an actor with a critical eye, I am often cursed with a voice in the back of my head echoing the lines not as they were just spoken but as I would have said them. If I get over that, there is the further hurdle of envy—either wishing I had the role or hoping to equal the man's talent. Either way it means the actor is calling undue attention to himself. It is rare that I can spend an entire evening just emotionally caught up in the show. That happened with this one! Outside of Greg Baldwin, Robert McNe- lis, and Jeffrey Gimble, the style makes it difficult to know which actors to praise. However, I must mention Jerry Miller, James Clubb, Gary Livingwood and Daniel Dyer. If you miss this one without a very good reason, you should put that cone on your head and sit on the stool in the corner. □ Notes The KS/AIDS Foundation, the Gay and Lesbian Switchboard, the GPC, and Hazelwitch Productions have completely bought out the Alley mainstage for tomorrow (Saturday) night's preview performance of Execution of Justice. If you have not already picked up your tickets at the Houston Area Women's Center or Wilde and Stein Books, I'm sure there will be a few left at the door. I cannot think of an audience with which I would rather see this show. And, this being the first preview, you cannot see it any earlier. This is an examination of the trial of Dan White for killing Harvey Milk and Mayor Moscone. The verdict touched off explosive rioting in San Francisco. Considering a certain person's mayoral campaign, the play could prove most controversial here. Ticket prices for this benefit are actually lower than for the following Saturday. You're going to want to see this anyway. So see it now! ... The Group, the theatrical discussion group that produced One, is having an open house this Sunday afternoon, 2:00- 4:00 p.m., at Dignity Center, 3217 Fannin. So many members are successfully engaged that rehearsals and performances often put a damper on attendance at their regular Thursday evening meetings. So they're looking for fresh blood. Would that we all had such problems! ... The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded Houston Grand Opera a grant for $1 million, provided they can match it with $3 million in new or increased non-federal donations by June 30, 1989. ... The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Association and the Cambridge Arts Council are looking for art works to place in remodeled subway stations. For more info on their open competition, call the Cultural Arts Council of Houston, 527- 9330. ... Auditions at Stages for two musicals. The Fantasticks (11/28-12/29) and Sand Between Your Toes (1/23-2/9). Resume, photo, two songs, one monologue. For appointment (10/5&6), call Mark Mitchell 527-0220. ... Celebrate! Wasn't the Chevalier d'Eon (born the 7th) that military genius who died while dancing in a tutu? October 4, 1892, Alberta Lucille Hart was thrown out of a YWCA gymnasium when she was mistaken for a man. Well, turn-of-the- century pederastic poet John Gambrill Nicholson (born the 6th) kept his clothes decidedly on when he wrote: "I love him wisely if I love him well. And so I let him keep his innocence; I veil my adoration with pretence Since he knows nothing of Love's mystic Spell .. . Perchance he wonders why I shun Singers and Dancers from "42nd Sti h.n,s.. ■ • t.V.. .......
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