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Houston Voice, No. 817, June 21, 1996
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Houston Voice, No. 817, June 21, 1996 - File 015. 1996-06-21. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. August 8, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/6917/show/6894.

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.

(1996-06-21). Houston Voice, No. 817, June 21, 1996 - File 015. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/6917/show/6894

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.

Houston Voice, No. 817, June 21, 1996 - File 015, 1996-06-21, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed August 8, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/6917/show/6894.

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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Title Houston Voice, No. 817, June 21, 1996
Contributor
  • Bell, Deborah Moncrief
Publisher Window Media
Date June 21, 1996
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
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 015
Transcript 14 HOUSTON VOICE/ JUNE 21, 1996 Dastardly Doings at Stages with 'The Drunkard Review By JAVIER TAMEZ Houston Voice/Houston Either one likes melodramas or one doesn't. There is generally no middle ground in these works that are characterized by extravagant theatrically and the predominance of plot and physical action over characterization. But if you do like them, then you can't go wrong with "The Drunkard," the summer offering from Stages Repertory Theatre The play was originally produced in 1844. but the musical adaptation being presented at Stages is the result of a 1964 collaboration between playwright Bro Herrod and pop music composer Barry Manilow (before he wrote the songs that make the whole world sing). The two revised their version in 1970, adding new music and aliering ihe staging, and it is in this form that "The Drunkard" comes to Stages. The play tells the story of Lawyer Cribbs (David Grant), a villainous attorney, who is determined to steal the roof from over the heads of the sweet widow Mrs. Wilson (Colleen O'Kit) and her lovely, gentle daughter, Mary (Kitty Karn). Though poor, the Wilsons make do in their humble cottage thanks to the good-hearted nature of their landlord. Edward Middle ton (Greg Coles), who not only refuses to listen to Cribbs' protestations on evicting the Wilsons, but marries Mary instead. But Edward has a failing—that demon liquor. Cribbs capitalizes on this weakness and soon Edward is a lost and forlorn soul recalling with shame the wife and family he deserted to sate his need for drink. To the rescue comes Edward's simple-minded foster brother. William Dowton (Aaron Krohn), who with back straight and fist firm brings Edward back from the gutter to the bosom of his family. And all is right wilh the world (which is how melodramas always end). While a legitimate genre of literature. melodramas carry no deeper meaning than the uncomplicated, moralistic tone that is readily apparent: evil-doers will fail and the good and meek shall triumph in the end. And this applies to "The Drunkard" as much as any other melodrama. What makes this one a little more interesting is the music. Now as far as compositions go, the songs included here are as simplistic as the piece itself, and that's just fine. The tunes included here are light, at times even pre-schoolish. They range from the all-in-fun sappiness of "Peace and Love and Apple Pie" and the devilish plotting of "When You're Dead" to ihe round-'em up hi-jinks of "Have Another Drink," the gospel-like celebration of "Do You Wanna Be Saved?" and the tongue- in-cheek blues of "Garbage Can Blues." There were also a few numbers that were not in the least enjoyable, even after allowing for them as musical numbers in a melodrama which lowers expectations. "Good is Good" (dud is dud) was a flat, deadly dull and ridiculous number; "Don't Swat Your Mother" is an awful tune (barely qualifying as a refrain much less a song) that is no where near as funny as its title; and "Curse of an Aching Heart" is a dull-witted droning that does little in the way of generating sympathy. Oddly enough, the two most enjoyable numbers are completely irrelevant to the play in every way. Occurring in Act I and Act III, both numbers are titled "Specialty Song" in the program though they are different tunes. Presumably these are special because of the very irrelevancy which makes their presence so peculiar. They are complete asides, unrelated in any way to the action or the story being presented on the stage. One could argue that they were inserted for comic relief (both tunes are funny), but that hardly washes given that melodramas, in this day and age, are already comic in presentation if not in original intent. The unpleasant truth is thai these songs were probably included as filler for a show which is under two hours in David Gram and Kitty Karr Apple, Apple Images . length even with two (count them—21) 15- minute intermissions. This length-of-pro- gram issue also manifested itself between the first and second acts, as one of the cast members appeared center stage to lead the audience in a sing-along of "A Bicycle Built for Two" and "Let Me Call You Sweetheart." (I did not participate.) I suspect the time between acts was devoted to costume changes, because the stage set certainly required no changes that would have taken more than a couple of minutes. And while the costumes were all quite nice, the delay was hugely inordinate nonetheless and more importantly the dead time lapse, when everyone in the audience sat in bored puzzlement, was simply unacceptable. The cast members all did well in their respective roles, but such praise should be qualified with a reminder that melodrama is the most unchallenging of acting disciplines. The exaggerated mortifications displayed in the perils of Pauline poses from the women and Dudley Doright affirmations from the men (at least the good guys) are not the roles calling for great acting prowess. That said, David Grant is as Snidely a Whiplash as one could hope for in his portrayal of Lawyer Cribbs (boooo, hissss). Twisting his wicked-looking handlebar mouslache and tossing his evil-concealing cape over his back with a flourish, Grant makes a good villain (no ironic pun intended). Kitty Karn as the defenseless and sweet Mary Wilson (heartfelt sigh) paints a pathetic enough picture of this damsel in in "The Drunkard" Photo by Be §1022 WESTHEIMER 713/527-9669J SUMM6R SP6CIRLS! IHAPPY HOUR 7AM - 9PM: lit MONDAY - SATURDAY ^$1.50 WELL VODKA § 7AM - 2PM j$ MONDAY - FRIDAY $1.00 DOMESTIC BEER 8PM - 11PM MONDAY SPECIAL PRICES $ ALL DAY/ALL NIGHT§ WEDNESDAY '% PATIO BAR OPEN § SAT. & SUN. 2PM - TILlJf CELEBRATING 26 YEARS OF GAY PRIDE... NATURALLY •*■* «■ :.*«■ .«l* ■«• *■ «••«■,«• -■.*■ «• •«• •«■ *• «• .*«•■«■ •«■ <■ <•'-■■«• ■»■ ■•*•-■<•■ 4- «• -«- •«■ •»■•«■ •«• <•■■<-': ■..•«• «■ .«•■ 7».^v.«:V;«7*;.«vv.<>.«;*;^ distress lo make you gag on your spit, which means she did the job well. The other performance worth note came from Aartin Krohn who played the hero, William (cheers, applause), with a squared jaw and a sure stance. Director Beth Sanford staged her show well enough. The interaction with the audience was present but not overwhelming; the players were having fun without losing the coherence of the work; and the staging was contrived without being gimmicky. Musical Director Diane Denson Tobola (who also played the part of Carrie Nation) did an admirable job on the piano. She included all the recognizable succession of notes (there ought to be a word for that) which connote innocence, evil/danger or excitement. And of course she was great as the accompanist for all the numbers. "The Drunkard" is pretty silly stuff. I wouldn't want it any other way. What; "The Drunkard" Where: Stages Repertory Theatre When: Friday-Sunday through July 14 Not my voice but an Echo By DEBORAH BELL My editorial column "In My Own Voice" is not appearing in this week's issue. The work involved in production of this special Pride Week Issue has not allowed me the time or energy to create a column. However. I am taking the liberty of repeating something from PHOENIX , the outreach publication of the Metropolitan Community Church of the Resurrection, because I could not say it any better, only echo what has already been expressed. The Theme of Pride Week this year is "Pride Knows No Borders." Symbolically borders refers to how we as a society, place borders around our feelings and emotions. As Gay and Lesbians, we want to see borders of injustice replaced with compassion and tolerance, knowing that in order to exist together, the masses of gay and straight people must remove all borders of segregation. No borders also means that we are an international people. Wc live in all countries, are of all ages, races, and ethnic backgrounds, work at all levels of employment, have handicaps, and even raise children. In 1996, we are going to tell the world that life should not consist of borders. We as Gays and Lesbians are an intricate and productive part of society. It is time for us to work toward removing borders in our own state, city, and community.
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