2 Weekend Friday, November 18, 1977
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Unfla Christie (left) comforts Allan Felix (Neil Srr h) during a scene from the
Playmakers Repertory Company's production of Wo dy Allen's Play It Again, Sam.
Theshow will run Tuesdays through Saturdays, with S inday matinees, through Nov.
'That's Not Funny, That's Sick '
raucous black comedy, song
The Saiional Lampoon returns to the
theatre and concert world with a
collection of many ol its best songs and
skits, in addition to new material from
its forthcoming album entitled. Thai's
Sol funny, That's Sick!
The revue of song and humor goes by
the same title and will be presented at 8
p.m. Saturday in Memorial Hall.
The show is billed as "one hundred
and ten minutes of raucous black
comedy and song, from the people who
bring you the world's most widely read
adult humor magazine."
Saiional Lampoon drew huge
audiences all over the United States and
Canada w ith its first two presentations.
Lemmings and The Saiional iMinpoon
F'rom these shows came such stars as
C hevy Chase. John Belushi, Alice
Playten. Gilda Radner, Dan Ackroyd
and Chris Guest, who soon will be seen
in his own network series, and Mimi
Kennedy and Ellen Foley, also soon to
star in a musical network comedy series.
Three best-selling Saiional iMinpoon
record albums have earned Grammy
nominations, and National Lampoon
w riters and actors are currently at work
with Universal Pictures on a new
National lampoon movie. Animal
Featured along with the iMinpoon
show will be country-rock star Michael
Simmons, whose group Slewcot
recently headlined New York's world
renowned Rainbow Grill.
l ickets for the two-hour show are S3
and can be purchased at the Carolina
Union desk or at the door.
I SnFrr"l CAN
' VI It N
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& canvas (small sizes)
Enjoyable evening of theatre
Play It Again, Sam
There's a local sort of star war going on in
Chapel Hill. On the one side we have 21
weeks' worth of C3PO, R2D2, Luke
Skywalker and a host of others, all involved
in an intergalactic fantasy down at the
Varsity. On the other, at several theatres in
the last few months, we have the revival of
that durable personification of hard-nosed
reality: Bogart himself.
Who will win the war is uncertain, but for
the time being we have a compromise.
Reality meets fantasy in Bogart's latest
opening, the Playmakers Repertory
Company production of Woodv Allen's
Play It Again, Sam, an enjoyable evening
of theatre which features a splendid
performance by Neil Smith as Allan Felix
(the Woody. Allen character).
That association - "the Woody Allen
character" is just the sort of problem the
PRC faced in staging the play. Everyone has
surely seen the film version at least once, and
(he performances of Allen, Diane Keaton
and Tony Roberts are virtually synonomous
with their characters Allan Felix, Linda
Christie, and her corporate husband Dick.
The challenge is to make the stage
production succeed on its own, to make the
actors and characters perform as more than
just reminders of how great it all was on the
screen. Otherwise, why bother? the film
will inevitably be around as a late show, and
besides, it's cheaper.
If nothing else, Neil Smith makes it all
worth it. Physically he is enough like Woody
Allen to satisfy us - small, slightly balding,
perfectly matched Brooklyn accent. But he
does not merely mimic Woody's looks and
neurotic mannerisms; he brings life to the
marvelous character of Allan Felix (what a
happy misnomer!). Whether forlornly
sinking to the floor like Linus with his
blanket, or nervously pacing and drying his
palms, or sinking into fantasy head
slightly tilted back, lips parted, small chest
heaving, hyperventilating himself into
imagination - Smith is superb and superbly
I'unny. He doesn't waste a single one-liner.
The supporting cast is not nearly as
captivating, although adequate enough.
Darrie Lawrence (as Linda) somehow
looked like she either stepped out of or into
the wrong time period, and Henry O. Arnold
(as her husband Dick) sometimes overdid
the business-brained husband just enough to
make it seem like caricature. That was also
the impression 1 got from several of the
"girls" in walk-on roles whom Allan fails to
Friday and Saturday
November 18 and 19
405 W. Rotemury St.
WHO GARDEN restaurant
en'oy Chinese food n the depth of oriental culture
Winner ol the Franklin Street Gourmet "Choice Award"
Over IOU disnes
Gourmet food from all four corners of China
Private party rooms available
Dine amid the art of China
1404 EmI Franklin tin.
Lunch 11 jn. to 2 pjn.
Dinner S pjn. to 10 p m.
Opan 't 11 pjn.
TMa Footta Saturday
make it with. One in particular the
intellectual girl at the Museum of Modern
Art, who has some of the funniest lines in the
play about how a"lovely" paintingexpresses
the bleakness of the cosmos insisted on
intoning her lines, instead of delivering them
deadpan and letting the humor speak for
And of course there's Bogart. When Kent
Rizley keeps his hat on, so that his face is in
shadow, and doesn't mug the Bogey accent
too heavily, he is just the presence needed.
But once the hat and coat and cigarette
disappear, and we see thicker features and
blacker hair in the bright light well, our
suspension of disbelief does have its limits,
especially when the lines get unintelligible.
Play It Again, Sam
Playmakers Repertory Company
-By MICHAEL McFEE-
Director Bill Peters had some very good
touches using a funny drug cart for
hypochondriacs Allan and Linda, having
Dick roll on and off stage in a telephone
booth in one scene. Along with set director
David Lockner, he also provided several
surprises which opened up the stage a
couch (replete with lounging lady) which
folded out of the wall and back again once
the scene was over; an unexpected entrance
by Bogey from a trap door in the floor; and a
hidden nook at the back of the stage which
opened up at the end of Act Two to reveal
Sam playing it again. The latter, though,
with its mock-neon "Casablanca" sign
glaring forth, was a bit much; but then again,
the end of all three acts seemed rather hyped
up. Act One ended with Allan getting too out
of character, all silly and blustery, about his
date with Sharon Lake. And Act Three ends
with none other than Annie Hall lah-de-dahing
her way into the apartment
downstairs a fine impersonation by (I
think) Janet Foster, but an update which
seems a little out of place in the context of the
That seems the kind of reference that the
PRC Play It Again, Sam should avoid,
one that shifts our attention from the play
and the production itself to the
incomparable Woody and a film which is
similar in many ways but more mature. The
PRC production provides enough fun. on its
own without any help; for example, once
you've looked at all the old movie posters
and neat camera lamp in Allan's apartment,
see if you can find an ant farm. To me, that's
a little invention as funny and incongruous
as the punch line to a Woody Allen joke;
besides which, there are plenty of thosejokes
you'll want to remember at an opportune
moment to be brilliantly witty. No one could
say the same for Star Wars.."
When it comes to
the powers of persuasion.
in file Daily Tar Heel