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4 The Daily Tar Heel Tuesday, April 8, 1980
Vague message affects PMC performance
By BOBBY PARKER
It's safe to say that S.N. Behrman had a lot on his mind
when he w rote No Time for Comedy in 1939. It's a bit
more difficult, however, to pinpoint exactly what those
thoughts were, or at least his major concern.
Fortunately, this lack of focus is far less devastating to
the Playmakers Repertory Company's current
production of Behrman's social comedy than might be
expected. The play runs through April 13 in Playmakers
No Time for Comedy is probably autobiographical as
Behrman centers his story around a playwright faced
with the choice between proven success and social
profundity. Gaylord Easterbrook (Robert Burke) is re
examining his g6als as a playwright.
Gaylord has heretofore been writing rather successful
light comedies, which mainly have been vehicles for his
wife, Linda (Barbara Sohmers), a rather successful light
actress. Recently, however, Gaylord has become
concerned with social values and the need to expand his
crcajivity to deal with big issues like injustice, war, etc.,
much- at the urging of his new friend, Amanda Smith
Behrman's career followed a similar pattern. He was
successful with drawing-room comedies and producers
often pressured him to turn out more of the same. But he
also had a strong social conscience. When No Time for
Comedy was written, he had broken with those
producers and, though it maintains a drawing-room
comedy format, the play perhaps touches more vividly
on his socialistic themes.
Behrman's people in No Time are facing fundamental
choices. Gaylord's choice is between Linda, who is
convinced that the only way to survive isto laugh at our
plight," and Amanda, who believes it wrong to remain
inactive on the sidelines. Complementing this triangle
are Philo (Frank Raiter), Amanda's all-business
businessman husband, and Makepeace "Pym" Lovell
j(Jack Couch), the Easterbrooks' all-play playboy
The myriad of characters and social themes in No
Time and its lack of focus is typical of Behrman's works.
Explored in No Time is cynicism vs. optimism, socialism
vs. capitalism, art vs. politics, idealism vs. realism, etc.
What Behrman omits, however, are straightforward
Whether No Time answers its questions or not
depends on whether Gaylord makes a decision between
Linda and Amanda. Both director Tom Haas and set
designer David M . Glenn provide some excellent hints of
the contrasts between the two women. Linda selects
chrome furniture, modern art and highballs; Amanda
chooses wingback chairs, pastoral art and brandy.
Linda says, 44 A play is what I need most in life." She is
self-confident and ultimately urbane. Her flirtations
with Philo and Pym are her ways of gaining and
retaining the spotlight and she desperately needs the
spotlight. But there is a more serious level to Linda,
which surfaces in the sincerity of her relationship with
Gaylord. She is deeper and less impulsive than she'd ever
have anyone know.
Amanda, as Gaylord describes her, likes harmony.
. For all her concern for the huddled masses, she wouldn't
think of leaving her small world to fight at their side. Her
platonic relationship with Gaylord though she
sometimes enjoys hinting at something more is in
keeping with her lofty idealism. Their haven is the
library, not the bedroom. Director Haas adds a nice
touch by presenting their collaboration on Gaylord's
play with sexual undertones.
The contest between the two women boils down to
who can capture Gaylord's affection by being the
inspiration of his play in progress.
While Amanda wants Gaylord's play to be a major
statement about immortality (any such subject would
do), Linda suggests something much simpler: Gaylord
should put the characters of his life into his play, and tell
a story more down to earth and to the point.
Which suggestion does Gaylord choose? Does
Behrman answer his question?
Well, Gaylord never states his preference outright, if
that's what you're after. But Behrman has found a much
richer, subtler, a more inspired answer: the play that
Gaylord would have written is the play that Behrman did
As Gaylord, Burke is, from the start, everything that
we are promised: confident yet troubled, brassy yet
sensitive. Gaylord is a charmer despite his temperament,
and Burke makes that shine through. Burke is vigorous
in his absorption of the character, and his precision and
timing are case studies for other actors.
Sohmers is an exquisite Linda, showing both the light
and heavy sides of the character. She is a bit inconsistent,
however, in combining both facets.
It would have been much easier on the audience and
the actress had Lawrence been more relaxed in the part
of Amanda. Her melodramatic gestures and speech go
overboard in her overplayed characterization.
UNION BOX OFFICE
12 to 6 pm M-F
April 11th Only
featuring . .
Saturday, April 19 1:00 P.M.
in Kenan Stadium
America's Greatest Rock and Roll Band
With Special Guests . . . .
ATLANTA RHYTHM SECTION & BONNIE RAITT
$6 General Advance
$7 Day of Show
Friday, April 18 8:00 P.M.
With Special Guests. . .
MASS PRODUCTION & SKYY
$6 Student with I.D.
$10 General Advance
$12 Day of Show
Tickets on Sate Mon-Fri 12-6 p.m.
(Available to students with
I.D. ONLY thru April 11th)
i GoT A CU06DLW
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ALL RI6HT, EVERYB0PV,
LET'S TRY TO
CONCENTRATE OUT THERE!
I THOUGHT I I
TaP YOU TO THOUGHT
CONCENTRATE V0U SAID
by Garry Trudeau
MY NLKT00C5T fS
WZ AUTHOR. OF A
j bcstseller ptsAsa
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A BIG STAR .
HA',& YOU MCRXEP tflTH
AW Ofl&tm STARS
ItiHAT AZS TWf F5ALLY
OF ALL OF ISM! APOti
V FOLKS tR N M
VSAH, MY NEXT
TH5Y.. 6UESTIS JaLK
, 4 ANOTHER V
MON Steak and Cheese $2.50
Barbeque Chicken with $ oc
french fries and salad. J-Z5
TUES Barbeque Chicken $2.25
Plate with French
Fries and Salad
Barbeque Beef Rib $3.35
with French Fries
Chicken and Dumplings
with salad and peas. 2.50
THURSHot Roast Beef$2.50
Barbeque Plate with $2.75
fries and slaw
Barbeque sandwich $1.60
Fried Shrimp $2.75
Tuna Salad Sandwiches
Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Egg Salad Sandwiches
Rye, Whole Wheat, or Pumpernickel
Vegetable Beef Soup
Soup of the Day
Vi Barbeque Chicken with
Fries and Salad
11:30- 2:30 Mon-Sat
Amber Alley Franklin St.
BARGAIN MATINEE 2 00
TIL 6 PM Mon-Fri '
i 2 00 7 (nl
neiu uver'Hin Big weeK
2 U PETER SELLERS
AAwaerdy 1 t SHIRLEY MacLAINE
Nominations' J TirPTIVT
including J JDiZiliM VJT
Best Actor I V mTj 1,1 T7i
Peter Sellers I A J- XT. Hi Xt Hi
United rtlt tefj
HELD OVER 3rd Big Week!
3:00 5:00 7:10 9:00
v . T.... 1
HELD OVER 2nd Big Veek!
2:15 4:35 6:55 9:20
2 Academy Award Nominations
Best Sup. Actor-Mickey Rooney
" FRANCIS FORD
Saturday with late shows at 11:30 p.m. Friday nJ
Saturda in Che Condoret Restaurant.
l a Soufriere and Signs Of Life- La Soufricre is
Hcrng diH.-umcntar about a njn who refused to
lcac his home in the face of an erupting volcano.
Signs Of Life is Herog's first feature. At 8 p.m. today
m C arroll H.ill. hree with l!NC student ID.
I Am M Y ilms A Portrait Of Werner Herog -At
S p m. Wednesday in Carroll Hall. Free with UNC
Inside Track I eatured albums are: The Kingbecs
debut album today: Kimhawk's debut album
Wednesday. Aired each dav at i I p.m. on WXYC
No Time For Comedy -L'NC Playmakers
Repertory Company presents S. N. Behrman's
comedy about a successful Broadway couple today
through Sunday at X p.m. with a matinee at 2 p.m.
Sunday in Playmakers TheatreCall 933-1121 for
Look Al Me .At 9:30' p.m. Wednesday through
Women's (.let C tub -At 8 p.m. today in Hill Hall
kmpi Quartet - With guitarist. Regis Femia.
At noon tinlay in Rehearsal Hall. Mary Duke Biddle
Music Bldg. on the Duke University campus.
Bassoon Recital - Spencer F. Phillips. At 8: 1 5 p.m.
today in the Fast Duke Music Room on the Duke
Faster The Awakening -The Planetarium's
annual faster show. At 8 p.m. today through Friday.
Ackland Art Museum 19th and 20th century
Drawings from the Musee Carnasalct in Paris
Morehead Planetarium Gallery -"The Art Of
Surgery" a collection of medical drawings by Phyllis
Goldman through May 31.
Cat's Cradle Hands today.
Doyle lawson and
With the close of its 1979-80 season.
The Playmakers Repertory Company
recently announced its season for next
fi year. The ambitious program consists of
several difficult classics..,
T. S. Eliot's Vie Cocktail Party is a
comedy set during a gossip party which
explores the dynamics of a modern
Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts is considered
one of the earliest masterpieces of
modern drama. This naturalistic drama
questions the individual's ability to break
from a determined fate and the influence
of the past.
George Bernard Shaw's play, Mrs.
Warren's Profession, is another work
which shocked early 20th centurv
audiences and remains an influential
cornerstone in modern theatrical
philosophies. The meaning or purpose of
morality as defined by society is
presented ironically in this work.
Shakespear's presentation of the fairy
world in4 Midsummer Night's Dream is
probably his most frequently performed
and best loved comedy.
John Guare's Bosoms and Neglect is a
comic look at young man torn between
his conflicting responsibilities to his
mother and lover, his heritage and
In keeping with tradition the PRC will
also present an American premiere,
which has yet to be announced.
TOMMY I JX JONES
TOM HOIIII e
IW-H , I r , 1
CAROLINA CLASSICS SFRIFS
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MATINEES THROUGH J
THURSDAY AT 30 A!1D 53
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THE CAROLINA THEATRE
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HOW ON THE BIG SCREEN!
9 ACADEMY NOMINATIONS!
Evos 7:00 9:10
Sun mats 2:40 4:50
THE Daily Crossword
by Elaine D. Schorr
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1 Soak for shadow 47 Special 13 Makes out
tickets 27 Western printing 21 WW II area
6 Convulsive action system 23 Bonds
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16 Not on the easily established 20 Unctuous
level 35 Obscured 58 In the 30 And so "
17 Get out 38 Lang thick of 34 Piano part
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place 43 Passageway 64 Eyelashes 42 Fee
24 Electrical 44 Cattle 65 Equipment 43 Nowherenoss
unit genus 66 Josip Bro 44 Auction
67 Barbara aspirant
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