Skip to main content
The largest online newspaper archive
A Publisher Extra® Newspaper

The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio • Page 13

Cincinnati, Ohio
Issue Date:
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

sfnratte -ft LiDlMJ "JU 7 (1 i section I Saturday, June 20, 1981 Boeing's new 767 will roll out of the if factory Aug. 4 and will make its maiden flight in September. Page B-7. THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER it 4 I i 17 v-j I SSku Knnritif si 1 If i I A tf Mr, kNh I7: if' 1 is. 5 BEFORE THE show begins, the three-month old baboon Lemley-Gilbert plays host to a curious member of the "Aida" chorus.

After China, Wedgwood Loves U.S. BY JANELLE CAPERTON People Today Reporter Piers Anthony Weymouth, fourth Lord Wedgwood of Barlaston, could be a one-man Chamber of Commerce for any city he has visited during nine months of travel In this country. He has been in Cincinnati this week as an ambassador for the 250-year-old firm that makes fine china of the same name-Wedgwood. Weymouth is the sixth generation grandson of Joslah Wedgwood, the company's founder. "I have absolutely fallen in love with the United States," he said, while looking at Fountain Square from the Westin Hotel.

"I can't think of any place that I didn't like. "Except maybe Florida," he added after a slight pause. "It just didn't seem typical of the rest of the country. You don't get the same impression of tremendous growth and production. "It's amazing this country is so big.

People in Europe who haven't traveled here know that it's big, but until you come here you really can't imagine it the way it is." Weymouth, who has a home southwest of London and an apartment in the city, arrived in New York last September and spent much of the remainder of the year traveling around the East Coast. Since then he has criss-crossed his way around the country making appearances to promote Wedgwood. 71 i Vimi iL TO OTAQE ness," Hopper said backstage as curious stagehands gathered on opening night to watch the unloading of the animals. "The people like it animal acts get bigger applause than comedy acts." Hopper knows his trade. Hard-bltten theatergoers break into tears at the sight of a small puppy, and circus animals are always a hit.

This year the opera hoped to stack the deck by using two elephants, but that option was ruled Wff iti 1 lilt' I THE TRIUMPHAL moment: My-Thai concludes the procession of animals across the "Aida" stage. In all, nine Zoo animals appear in the production. 2. BY JOHN KING Entertainment Reporter Miss Tacoma was restless. "Aida" would be her first opera.

When she walked on stage, 3,600 ope-ragoers would greet her with applause and laughter. Right now, though, it was just dress rehearsal. Nonetheless, she seemed skittish as she paced the floor with a Jerky motion and twisted her head from side to side. Stage fright for the new star? Mike Dulaney knew better. "She's not nervous," he assured an onlooker.

"It's Just that she hates standing still. When she's out of the cage she likes to keep moving. And It's a hectic week." Dulaney should know. Miss Tacoma is not an opera diva-she's an aardvark who had been drafted to appear In "Aida," and Pasadena Is her trainer. Wednesday she flew from Cin cinnati to Los Angeles to appear on the "Johnny Carson Show" the only leash-trained aardvark they knew of," her trainer said).

In her native Cincinnati, she is part of an opera cast that Includes bass Justino Diaz, soprano Gllda Cruz-Romo and an elephant, two peacocks and a three-month-old baboon. Nine animals from the Cincinnati Zoo take part in the victory procession of the opera's second act. For anyone unfamllar with the Verdi opera, "Aida" is set in ancient Egypt and focuses on a romantic triangle consisting of Aida, a slave girl from Ethiopia; Radames, her beau; and Amneris, a princess with a more than passing interest in Radames. When war breaks out between Egypt and Ethiopia, Radames marches south with an army, makes short work of the Ethiopians, and returns laden with treasures, prisoners and the like. Hence the procession.

And hence the animals Just as opera tradition dictates that Wagnerian sopranos must be enormous, so it also dictates that the victory march in "Aida" must be ostenta tious. Among large opera companies there is almost a competition to outdo each other, to match splendor against splendor. Who knows? Someday a particularly ambitious company might hire the entire population of Ethiopia as Act 2 extras. Until that time, Cincinnati's procession will remain one of the grandest. Surprisingly enough, when the Opera's home was at the Zoo it never used animals In Aida" the stage was too small.

With the move to the Music Hall In 1972, however, all things became possible, and that very year saw an "Aida" featuring both bird and beast, it's now a tradi tion, and there was never any question that the animals would make an appearance this year. To be honest, though, the ani mals are not exactly pivotal to Act There is a burst of trumpets, they march on stage, and they exit. Period. Actual time spent on one minute, no more. A sceptic might ask why even, bother, but to Roy Hopper, technical director of the opera, the answer is simple.

"I.think they call it show busi "it Now about some grand stars: You and I might Jump for Joy if we heard that Cary Grant, Grace Kelly or Greta Garbo wanted to come back to films. But today's moviemakers couldn't care less. With the younger audiences of today, the "now" filmmakers say, "No way. They wouldn't mean a dime at the box office." And have a statistic: in tne past few years, Marlon Brando's onscreen work came to a grand total of 28 minutes in three pictures-" Apocalypse Now," "Super fe Y2 1 out earlier this week by their trainer, Cecil Jackson. "She's not real accustomed to crowds," he said in explaining why Princess Schottzie, the youngest of his charges, would not appear.

"She is a little spooky. Between the curtains, the stage and the audience, she might panic." My-Thai, on the other hand, was calmness itself Thursday night. The elephant passed the time before stage call munching on grass in her truck. When that grew boring, onlookers were treated to the sight of her vehicle rocking from side to side. Filling time preoccupied all the performers, trainers as well as animals.

The procession occurs more than hour into "Aida," but the animals and their trainers were at Music Hall by 7 p.m.. This left plenty of time and little to do. Except for My-Thai, the animals looked bored and aloof, while the trainers killed time by laughing and grumbling about their outfits. Since they have to lead (or carry) their charges onstage, circumstances dictate that the trainers be dressed to fit the role of Ethiopian captives. Consequently, Zoo employees who normally wear jeans and workshlrts found themselves attired in breastplates, brightly colored and decidedly African-looking kilts, and sandy beige bodypaint.

"I'm going to wear this to the next board of directors meeting," one trainer commented. Meanwhile, cast members wandered over to gawk at the birds and look into cages. The center of attention was Lemley-Gilbert, the baby baboon, who alternately chattered at onlookers and did somersaults inside his cage. But in one of those lousy breaks in show business, Miss Tacoma missed opening night: A flight mlxup In Los Angeles delayed the aardvark's chance to premiere until Friday night. In her place was Zot, a remarkably ugly anteater that was carried on stage in a gilded, feathered cage by two extras.

Finally the moment approached. Act 2, Scene 2 had begun, and backstage was crowded with scores of soldiers and prisoners. As they began trooping onstage the trainers gathered their animals together and lined up. Birds came first, then Zot, then a massive python held by an impassive trainer, then Lemley-Gilbert and My Thai. As soon as the first bird hit the stage, members of the audience started cheering; when My-Thai entered, the response was a large round of delighted applause.

Call it show business if you will, but the animals were definitely a smash. people places Forman, Roman Polanski and now Paul Schrader, for stepping-stones to fame and fortune? The girl has talent, too. Speaking of "Raiders" at the New York screening, there was Robin Williams, all alone and looking adorable, standing waiting for the elevator after two hours of unparalleled adventure. He said he loved the Spielberg-Lucas movie and especially the supernatural ending. "It's devastating." Robin says he and his MISS TACOMA, the aardvark, with her trainer, Mike Dulaney, missed opening night.

But Lemley-Gilbert and trainer Frank Hoffman made it. Enquirer photo BY GERRY WOLTER PIERS ATHONY WEYMOUTH "Your cities here are so excit ing in the sense that they have downtown areas, in most cases, that are full of life. And the cities are so different in different parts of the country the Southwest, Chicago, San Francisco. "I was in Washington when the President was shot, and that was the strangest feeling. You could Just feel a different atmosphere about the city," he said of the event.

Unlike most Americans, Weymouth even had glowing remarks for our television commercials. "It doesn't insult my intelligence to watch them" he said. "In fact, I love to watch American TV because it tells me a lot of what this country is all about." Finding out 'what it's all about' is a major reason for Weymouth's travels. "The East Coast goes for rather more traditional (china and furnishings) than people on the West Coast. Here (Midwest) they go both ways, but in Cincinnati the traditional is much the strongest.

"In our business, we're finding that people are becoming much more interested in entertaining at home in a nice way. We're away from the '60s and '70s and that feeling of 'anything People are looking for things with more intrinsic value, more permanence." Bone china, he said, is one of those permanent things. "People shouldn't be afraid to use it. It's not too delicate." He also exploded the old Idea of 'matching' everything on the table. "Think in terms of tables-caping," he advised.

"When you landscape your lawn you mix all kinds of flowers and colors, so why not do the same on your table." indGH People Today Editor RON SCHOOLMEESTER 369-1011 Entertainment Editor JIM KNIPPENBERG 369-1010 Business Editor ALAN VONDERHAAR 369-1009 i WHISTLES THE Cockatoo receives advice from a fellow cast member before the opening of Animals appeared in the production only with the move to Music Hall. Enquirer photos BY GORDON MORIOKA man" and "The Formula." Yet he received more money than Clark Gable made in his entire Every time Morris West sits down to play his electric typewriter, money springs out. You do know he wrote "The Shoes of the Fisherman" and "The Devil's Advocate," just to name two of his novels. Now he's busy working on a Broadway play based on an Incident in the life of psychoanalyst Karl Jung. West's newest fiction Is entitled The Clowns of God.

On publication date the other week, the book was already into a third printing. The author has homes in London, Rome, Palm Beach Tl Manr Vnrlr Mrkttr ha'll 4 anomer in nis nauve Australia. 'Tess' Star Has Friends In Right Places movie crew are working practically around the clock, hoping to complete filming of "The World According to Garp" before the directors' strike. Likewise, moviemaking at the Manhattan townhouse owned by Skitch Henderson begins every morning at 6. They are filming the Mickey Splllane movie, the Jury," with Barbara Carrera and Armand Assante.

Alan King has been signed to play a real heavy. There will be a big moment for Barbara in the Jury." She says, "I've been making films for six years, and this is the first time I will get to play a love scene." BY UZ SMITH New York Dally News The hottest twosome at the big 'must" Hollywood screening of Paramount's sizzling new word-of -mouth hit, "Raiders of the Lost Ark." consisted of director ram Schrader and actress Natassia Kinski. The fetching star of "Tess" was practically sitting In the lap of the man who wrote "Taxi Driver" and also wrote and directed "American Gigolo." Natassia must be smarter than smart. She knows how to make contact with the men who count. For instance, how about Milos ACTION LINE BUSINESSFINANCE B-7-10 DEAR ABBY 2 ENTERTAINMENT B-11-12 GAMESPUZZLES B-3 YOUR HEALTH B-2 Tony Lang is on vacation.

His column will resume aftehe returns..

Get access to

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 300+ newspapers from the 1700's - 2000's
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

Publisher Extra® Newspapers

  • Exclusive licensed content from premium publishers like the The Cincinnati Enquirer
  • Archives through last month
  • Continually updated

About The Cincinnati Enquirer Archive

Pages Available:
Years Available: