Poughkeepsie Journal from Poughkeepsie, New York on May 14, 1978 · Page 14B
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Poughkeepsie Journal from Poughkeepsie, New York · Page 14B

Poughkeepsie, New York
Issue Date:
Sunday, May 14, 1978
Page 14B
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J - mm mm Entertainment '. - IPC .... 148Poughkot journal 1,1978 Ex - Met chief making things humjat Columbia By Mike Silverman AP writer NEW YORK (AP) - Schuyler Chapln must be one of the few deans who doesn't have a high school diploma, much less a college degree, but he's the only one - who used to be general manager of the Metropolitan Opera. The transition was involuntary. Chapin quit the turbulent Met three years ago when the board whittled his authority to nil. Today, though he misses the excitement of his old job, he's having a lively time as dean of the School of Arts at Columbia University. "I came to shake it up, to make it a swinging place," says Chapin of the department he took over 1V4 years ago. "As with many things, it had settled into a nice comfortable rut ... But I feel passionately that young people intending to make the arts their lifework should have the best." Chapin, 55, discussed his current activities and reflected on his career and on the state of the arts during an interview in the East Side Manhattan apartment where he and his wife Betty have lived for 21 years and raised four sons. "I miss the Met, I miss the barricades. I wouldn't be truthful if I denied it," Chapin says. "But I'm not bitter. Columbia and the slower pace gives me a feeling of solidity, though I feel guilty we're not facing a crisis every day." Chapin's department offers degrees in creative writing, film, music, theater, painting and sculpture, and others are planned. "I told (Columbia President William) McGill that Columbia ought to be in it up to the neck or not at all. New York, with all its bunions, is still the arts capital and ought to have the best." Some of "the best" that Chapin is bringing to Columbia includes Ckzech Filmakers Milos For - man, Oscar - wirining director for "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest," and Frank Daniel, former head of a Prague film school. They will arrive in September as joint chairmen and full professors In film'."They're coming to New .York because it is New York, Chapin says. "They will bring top - rated scholars, the energy ' and, the thoughtful attention we need." The campus also is getting its first professional theater company, headed by Broadway actor Laurence Luckinbill. And Chapin has arranged for Arthur Mitchell's Dance Theater 6f Harlem "one of our neighbors at Columbia" to give a series . of performances on campus, with an eye to developing a - degree program in dance. After 30 years in the business endo of the arts, starting whenhe dropped out of a music academy and took a job as an NBC page, Chaplin relishes the irony of his deanship at a lofty Ivy .League school. "I told McGill when he hired me that I didn't have a high school diploma, much less a college degree. He wasn't upset but the lady in charge of printing the catalog was. She asked for my credentials, and when I told her I didn't have any, she made me send In my. three honorary degrees which, they printed at great length after my name.'' Though disclaiming bitterness over his departure from the Met,; Chapin' speaks with emotion abput the battles he waged to keep a job that' came to him through tragic chance. , f Chapin had deen hired as assistant to Goeran Gentele, the; Swedish Impresario who was to take over as general manager after the long reign of Rudolf Bing. But Gentele was killed in an automobile accident a few weeks before the start of his first season in 1972, and the Met board "scared to death that the place was going to collapse" turned to Chaplin. It was both a fluke and the fulfillment of his life's ambition as a young student he had been ' told by the great French musician Nadia Boulanger that he had "no musical talent" but might find success helping performers run their careers. Since his days at NBC he had worked his way to prominence in musical circles managing road (See Ex - Met, page I5B) Schuyler Chapin, arts dean ...'I miss the Met' aPN photo Lemmon out of a rut Bess Armstrong of 'On Our Own' ...one of the few hit shows APN photo Bess Armstrong absorbed acting ability from relatives By Jerry Buck APtelevlaion" writer LOS ANGELES (AP) Bess Armstrong sips sherry, a genteel aberration acquired from her grandmother, and speculates that she absorbed her acting ability from relatives. Bess, who stars as Julia Peters in the hit CBS comedy "On Our Own," comes from what appears to be a family of overachievers. There was her grandmother, Evelyn Parlange, a Louisiana Creole from the Parlange Plantation who struck terror in the hearts of waiters in New Orleans' finest restaurants. "She was a femme fatale," says Bess. "When she died we went South for the funeral and visited her favorite restaurant, Galatoire's, where she once made the waiters tremble." From her grandmother and her mother she absorbed the graces. But it was her father, Alexander Armstrong, an English and drama teacher in her hometown of Baltimore, who was most influential. "Whatever innate ability is in my acting comes from my father," says Bess, 24, one of five children. "He was a master - of understated comedy." Her father was in Princeton's Pop Top records l."Nlrtt Fever." BuGeti 1 "UTCan1 Have You." Yvonne EUlman I The Oxer I Get to You," Flack a i Hathaway 4 "Witt 1 littlt luck," f ing . : J. "Cant Smile Without You." Barry .Hanllow ' lTTotUOneTBatlWanU"Kewtoo - Jolu Travolta. - I.'JactaadJIH. - llardio I. Too Much, Too Littla, Too Ute." Mathle A WUliama ' I. 'Duet la the Wind." Kaaaaa 10. "Count oa Ma. - ' Jefferaon Star - ahlp 1. "he All. Wrong, but Iff All Right," Dolly Parton . "She Can Put Her Shoei Under My Bed." Johnny Punrm J. ''Every Time Two Fool Collide." RoceriWeit 4. "I'm Alwaya On A Mountain When I Fall." Merle Haggard a. The Power ol Positive DrinUa'," Mickey Giley I ''Maybe Baby," Suie Allaaioa 7."UnchaiMdMelody."ElviiPreiler I. "Do You Know You Are My Sun - ' ehine." Sutler Brothera I Triangle Club at the time .Josh Logan was directing. He was, she says, the first "girl" that "East of the Sun, West of the Moon" was sung to. It was written by a classmate. "My producers say I was raised by sociable wolves," she says. "I know so much about what happened 800 years ago but nothing about current events. "My favorite episode of the series had me stuck on the 33rd floor of a building in a blackout wih an older man. He tries to find out my age and asks me what night Uncle Miltie was on. And Bess the actress had to stop and ask who was Uncle Miltie." "On Our Own," also starring Lynnie Greene as Maria Bonino, is one of the year's few hits and survivors from the fall. It's also a rarity the only prime time show originating from New York But there are recurring rumors that executive producer David Sussklnd may be forced to move the show to Los Angeles. The show Is just what he name implies Julia and Maria are on their own for the first time, working in an advertising agency, t By William Glover AP drama writer BOSTON (AP) The roles Jack Lemmon likes most are the roles Jack Lemmon at first understands least. "It's the best way of staying out of a rut," says the veteran of 39 films and 500 television shows. "You have to fight like hell not to get pigeonholed in this business. If you don't, you keep getting the same part with a different name." The two - time Oscar winner is right now on change - of - medium break in the play "Tribute." After tryouts here and in Toronto, the father - son comedy - drama gets to Broadway's Atkinson Theater June 1. The production is only the third Lemmon appearance on 'a Main Sten stage jn 25 years. Just out of stock apprenticeship, the future star assisted at a 1953 revival of" "Room Service," returned in 1960 with "Face of a Hero" which scored a critical and box office zero. "That didn't discourage me a bit," he says cheerfully. "Your chances in a play are about five times tougher than In a film, but the whole business is a crapshoot. I've had my share of flops and I'll have them again: "I think I learned more out of that experience than in any hit. When as an actor you have something that js not Working, but you keep slugging, the experience is very good for you. "Fortunately, though, the vibes this time are all the opposite of what they were in 'Hero.'" With a cherubic puff on the ever - present big cigar, Lemmon says he would have been back sooner "if it wasn't such a major job of moving coast to coast with your family and everything." As an extra inducement to involvement, the bouncy 53 - year - old performer has a contractual first claim on starring In the eventual movie version of the show. Whatever else it does, "Tribute" has set a pre - production record of being bought for the screen for $1 million. Hollywood's Jack Lemmon Broadwaybound "I can play in New York through October," he reports. "Later I'd like to do it in Los Angeles." Lemmon has kept in stage training out there for several years with appearances at the Music Center with "Idiot's Delight" and "Juno and the Paycock." "It's like swimming it comes back to you right away," he says of the contrasting thespic demands of screen and stage. "I'm awful lucky I got my basic training In theater and in the great era of live drama on television." Willie Nelson bouncing back ByBiUHance Gannett Newt Servlcel Willie Nelson has moved from Texas to the Colorado foothills and his music has changed about as much as the scenery. He has been out of the picture lately, but Nelson Is bouncing . back in a big way with his new album. Saying it is a departure Is putting it mildly. What he's doing. If it Isn't already obvious, is garnering a new crowd. First, it was the country folk buying his records back in the '60s. Then,, a Jew yean ago, it was the youth market. , Now he's after the senior citizens. Nelson, one of the hlppest grandfathers in history,, has a new album out called "Stardust" and Hoagy Carmlchael would be proud. Besides the title tune, there's "Moonlight in Vermont." "On the Sunny Side of the Street," "Unchained Melody," "All of Me," "Don't Gei Around Much Anymore," "Blue Skies.." Nelson said there's only one problem with his new album. He said he fears his fans may not take to it too well. ."I'm sorta' afraid they'll say I'm changing too much and leav - lng the mold I've created during the. past couple of. years," said, Nelson. "If' they feel that way, well, then they're the ones who are wrong. It's very simple. It's just the kind of album I've been wan - ting to do for a heck of a long; time." "The songs on it are the best , ever, written and I got Booker T. Jones to help me produce It He added a little soul flavor and I put In a little country flavor and , together we came out with some pop versions of the; oldies but , goodies." Jones,; - for those who don't remember, was head of Memy phis' Booker T - and the MG's rhythm and, blues group, giving us such '80s classics as "Green Onions" and "Last Night." '. "Next?, i tJw.HViwsw; ) t Nelson." "! don't know what I'll do. let's just see if this 'Stardust wlUflrst." . J !

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