Friday, September 23, 1977 The Daily Tar Heel 3
'South Pacific' production romantic, rousing
By WALTER SPEARMAN
The two romances that turn South Pacific into "some enchanted evening" were so
well presented at the Village Dinner Theater's return engagement of the popular
Rogers and Hammerstein musical this month that the pleased audience roused from
any possible after-dinner lethargy and burst into spontaneous applause time after
Emile de Becque, the mature Frenchman who has found peace on a South Pacific
island and falls gloriously in love with a pretty young nurse from Little Rock
(immortalized by Mary Martin), is a difficult role to make convincing; butDirector
Lyle Barton insured the success of South Pacific by bringing in the talented Mitchell
Gregg, a handsome, white-haired veteran of numerous New York plays, a lead role
in the soap opera. Vie Edge of Night," and a singer in Various New York clubs.
Gregg was a hit from his first entrance: suave, elegant, warm, lovable and
obviously in love. His strong, appealing voice was just right for such songs as"Some
Enchanted Evening," "This is How It Feels," and "This Nearly Was Mine." And
when he did an hilarious take-off on Nurse Nellie ForbushYTm Gonna Wash That
Man Right Out Of My Hair," he brought down the house.
Mary Jane Hoffman, who appeared at the Village as Julie Jordan in Carousel,"
made an attractive romantic mate for de Becque but had some trouble in her scenes
when she was not supported by the charismatic Mitchell Gregg. Her best monents
came in her show-stopper "Honey Bun," when she was dressed in a sailor suit to
entertain the troops.
South Pacific's second romantic duo is composed of young Lieutenant Joseph
Cable (played engagingly by C. Edward George, Billy Bigelow of Carousel and
Curley of Oklahoma) and the lovely young native girl, Liat, played with shy charm
by Carrie Rubio, who has appeared in such movies as Taxi Driver and The Next
Man. Their restrained love scenes in "Happy Talk" and "Younger Than
Springtime" touched the sensibilities of the audience and gave the evening an added
depth. Mr. George's rendition of "Carefully Taught" in which he emphasizes the
social significance of the play, was particularly impressive.
Much of the welcome comedy in South Pacific comes from the bawdy maneuvers
of Bloody Mary, played with wit and warm humor by Mary Feendy, and the bold
shenanigans of Luther Billis, the enterprising sailor who sells grass skirts, rents
boats, stows away on planes and in general proves diverting all the way as
interpreted by the talented Alan Gould. When Gould dressed up in grass skirt,
rouged cheeks and coconut -shell breasts for the Big Show of servicemen and nurses,
he even manages to look all too much like the rest of the chorus girls, no show
stoppers themselves. Morton Banks and William Worster add gruff maturity in
their roles of commanding officers.
And a warm word of praise must be added for Serena Ebhardt of Raleigh, a
winsome native girls and Emile De Becque's daughter. She and her brother sing
"Dites-moi" effectively for Emile and his girl Nellie.
All in all. South Pacific sounds enchanting "across a crowded room," provides
the basis for an evening of "happy talk" and makes the audience willing to sing'Tm
in love with a wonderful show."
The role of Emile de Becque, the Frenchman who falls in love with a girl from Little
Rock in South Pacific, is played by Mitchell Gregg in the Village Dinner Theatre's
production of the classic Rogers and Hammerstein musical.
Legends surround Gimghoul's stone castle
Mystery and intrigue!
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Gimghoul Castle, one of Chapel Mill's more mysterious
landmarks, is well-known in these parts for its secret
society. Legends of foul play and ghosts are also
popular.- The first Ghimgouls held their first meeting
there in 1927.
By PAUL TESKE
Students in jogging class have seen it, others may or
may not have ever seen it. At the end of residential
Gimghoul Road is a looped drive which reveals a
medieval stone castle. Learning about this legend of
Chapel Hill requires some historical searching and
perspective, particularly due to its mysterious nature.
In 1889, a law student named Wray Martin founded
the Order of Gimghouls at UNC. It seems that Martin
was a dreamer in the Romantic tradition and he spent
his spare time walking out to Piney Prospect and filling
his mind with scenes of the chivalrous era of Arthurian
The group originally had its lodge on the corner of
Rosemary and Boundary streets in Chapel . Hill.
However, Martin had a conception of an ideal meeting
place, called Hippol Castle, which he envisioned
existing in the part of Battle Park that he called
In the early 1920's, the order was given a chance to
purchase 94 acres in Battle Park for $4,500. There were
problems raising this sum so the property was divided
up for residential building.
Plans were drawn up for the new structure in 1923.
The', building committee made the following
suggestions: "fireproof; of rough stone; of unique
design; medieval and mysterious looking; containing
dance hall, bedrooms, kitchen, dressing rooms, club
room, observation tower, terrace, and unusual and
attractive 'mystic' features."
The old lodge was sold and a former UNC
Gimghoul, N.C. Curtis retained as the architect.
Construction was begun with the Gimghouls doing
much of the work themselves. Steel roof beams and
' concrete columns in the walls were used for support.
French masons were hired to do the rough stone work.
The total cost of the castle was about $36,000 including
furnishings. Included in these costs were leaded glass
windows, handwrought fixtures, plaster ceilings,
copper flashings, oak doors and hardwood floors. It
was ready for use in 1927.
The physical structure of the castle consists of two
large towers, one of which reaches 50 feet high. There is
a huge meeting hall which measures 55 by 35 feet and is
20 feet high. It contains a 10-foot diameter round table.
The daily inhabitants of H ippol Castle, which came
to be commonly known as Gimghoul, have been
families who are associated with the Order. They take
care of the castle and pay a small rent for its use.
As private property, trespassing is not allowed on
the Gimghoul land. However, there is a path by which
lawful access can be made to a semi-circular seat which
provides an excellent view of the country-side towards
Durham. This was constructed at the same time as the
castle. It was built using rocks that had been piled up
by students, due to Dr. K. P. Battle's suggestion that
everyone who visited there contribute. An inscription
on the seat reads, "Erected by the Order of Gimghouls
in Memory of Kemp Plummer Battle 1831-1919 Who
Knew and Loved these Woods as no one Else".
Another legend associated with the castle is that of
Peter Dromgoole. He was a UNC student who
supposedly was killed in a duel over a woman, Miss
Fannie, at the location of the castle in 1833. According
to the story, he is buried under a rock which is in front
of the castle's vestibule. The rust stains on Dromgoole
rock are said to be from his blood. In addition, the
legend states that Miss Fannie, afflicted with a broken
heart, came out to this very spot and died, to be buried
The Order of Gimghouls is still an exclusive, secret
society at the U niversity. Its members are revealed each
year in the Yackety Yack. Previous members include
J.C. Ehringhaus, William Rand Kenan, Frank Porter
Graham and William Donald Carmichael.
Anyone can jog by the castle, on Gimghoul Road off
Country Club Road, or go sit at Battle's seat and
fantasize about past legends, as Wray Martin had
done. Remember that the castle proper is private and
obey the "No Trespassing" signs. Who knows, your
roommate may be a Gimghoul.