The Baltimore Sun from Baltimore, Maryland on November 27, 1960 · 46
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The Baltimore Sun from Baltimore, Maryland · 46

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Baltimore, Maryland
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Sunday, November 27, 1960
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46
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PAGE 8 Section A THE SUN, HALTIMORE, SUNDAY MORNING, NOVEMBER 27, 19G0 Doolittle Gives A Lift To 'My Fair Lady By R. H. M Y FAIR LADY" opens on a low key so low that by the end of the first rcne the more restless members of the audience may begin to wonder why everybody thinks it's so good. Then the scene shifts from Covent Garden to a London tenement district. Alfred P. Doolittle, wearing the begrimed trappings of a dustman, reels out of a tavern, staggers up to the footlights and in a voice abounding with alcoholic cheer begins to ting. ' The Lord above gave man an arm of iron So he could do his job and never shirk; The Lord above gave man an arm oj iron -but With a little bit of hck, With a Utile bit of luck, Someone else trill do the blinking varkl A tingle of excitement runs through the house, as if all spectators simultaneously had been plugged into an electric socket. The current increases as Doolittle and two cronies swing into the chorus. With a little bit, With a little bit, With a little bit of luck you'll never work! The signs of restlessness disappear, and henceforward there is little doubt about the entertainment value of the show. Credited To Victor The accomplishment that this moment represents can hardly be attributed to Shaw, since the scene does not even exist in the play. One might regard it as the ielicitous combination of Alan J. Lcrncr's lyrics with Frederick Loewe's sprightly music were it not that the change occurs before the song with the entrance of the bleary-eyed dustman. It is, in brief, an accomplishment of performance and must, in the production now at Ford's, be credited to Charles Victor who plays Doolittle. By some theatrical intuition, acquired during his 45 years in show business, Victor manages to capture the imagination and f , Jf - , - " J 4 -i : A ! v ' ) ' $ in - i j M i GARDNER affection of his audience practically the first moment he steps upon the stage. "I can tell within 50 seconds whether they're going to be easy or tough," he says. "If they're tough it means I have to go to work." Victor works on an audience like a deep-sea fisherman struggling with a marlin, giving it a bit of line here, pulling it up sharply there. The result is the kind of . performance that brings down the house. The culmination of four generations of English music hall entertainers, Victor left school at the age of 15 to go into a revue with his father. They did a two-man. song-and-dance act for five years, after which he decided he was too good for his father. "The old man," he says, "knew it too, so he fired me." Following a short stint with his brother in a Liverpool automobile agency, Victor went into English musical comedy, where he remained until 1929 when he joined Sir Barry Jackson's Birmingham Repertory Theater. Sir Barry was a close friend of Shaw, and during the ten years Victor worked as actor and stage manager with the Birmingham group he participated in the production of about fourteen of Shaw's plays. He re-members the Irishman as "a fine old gentleman" who attended most rehearsals, "eat ing carrots and cabhnqcs and God knows what all" and sometimes terrifving the performers by actually sitting on the stage. Made Tour Of Russia In the prologue to his "Simpleton of the Unexpected Isles," the original production of which was done by Jackson's group, Shaw has a character who, after spouting "all sorts of philosophic nonsense," blows his brains out. Shaw objected to the size of the pistol Victor chose for the job. When the stage manager called his attention to the script's description of the weapon as "a small automatic," Shaw told him, "Don't pay any attention to what I write. Get me a gun about 3 feet long." The firearm finally decided upon was so immense the actor playing the part hesitated to use it for fear he would blow his brains out. Victor had played Doolittle in at least three productions of "Pygmalion" before he was selected to handle the role in the national company of "My Fair Lady." He came to this country in March of 1957 and since then has given more than 1,500 per- Ziva Has Everything -A(llure) To Z(ing) Nancy Walters, who made her film debut with Judy Holliday in "Bells Are Ringing," used to be a cover girl, but she looks awfully nice uncovered. formanccs, including an eight-week lour of Russia last summer. He found the Russian people "charming and delightful" but at least the ones he met heavily indoctrinated with the official Communist point of view. All the dialogue in "My Fair Lady" was received by them in stony silence, but the musical numbers were enthusiastically applauded. "Still," he says, "one went off the stage feeling they hadn't understood a single line. I hated every minute of it." He "adores America," most of which he has seen in the process of the "My Fair Lady" tour. "My only regret," he says, "is that I happen to be 59. I wish I had come here twenty years earlier." Victor, who has appeared in 127 British movies, prefers the stage if the part is a sufficiently meaty one. "Being in the atmosphere of a scene," he says, "is the Positive With Negative CHARLES VICTOR There are no great actors in the American theater today according to "Sandy" Meisncr, one of the most sought-after teachers of acting. Meisncr's classes have included most of the top stars of stage and screen. And what he has to say about acting and actors is worth listening to if you want to be an actor, or to find out the why of an actor. Overlooking Helen Hayes and Katharine Cornell who are considered today's two top actresses, Meisner says, "I don't know any great actresses in America. There were two great actresses, Laurette Taylor and Pauline Lord, both brilliantly vivid and real. I think Alfred Lunt could have been a great actor, if he hadn't spent so many years playing below his potential. Laurence Olivier is good. A lot of English actors don't like Olivier they don't like his voice, of all things." No one is born an actor, Meisner says. "A man or a woman becomes an actor because of what happens to him in the early years. I don't believe in child actors and I won't take any, even teen-agers, in my classes. The objective is to make the kind of actor who can use everything he is as a human being, to make a certain kind of instrument, to live in the imaginary circumstances of the stage or screen." Special Limited Enpagentent 2 SHOVS TODAY 2:30 & 8:30 Dally Shews 2i30 8i30 Advinei Tickets NOW jyjj full. lit-Jin. 1 50 i". rrl i. 1.7S Hit. Nu.-frU.25 En. .-Hlf.l.50 i f J BOULEVARD Xlri t Grwnmount BR. 6 49:S Special Limited Engagement 2 SHOWS TODAY 2:30 & 8:30 Dally Shows 2i30 8i30 Advanci Ticket NOW AMERICA'S MOST POPULAR FOLK SINGERS 111! "FOLK SONGS AROUND THE WORLD" SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10TH AT 8:30 P.M. at LYRIC THEATRE Tlx: $2.23, 275, 3.25 at Central Ticket Agency (in Hammann'i), 206 N. Liberty St., Bolt. MAIL ORDER: payable to Central Ticket Agency, 206 N. liberty St., Salt. Please encloie lelf-addreued tramped envelope. greatest experience an actor can have. And, though I'm ostensibly a variety man, somehow over the years I've become an actor." He regards Doolittle as one of the greatest parts in the English-speaking theater. "People are always asking me how I can look so dirty? The point is that Doolittle has got to look dirty, but he has also got to be lovable." He finds the size of Doolittle 'j role interesting in view of his feeling that the character is not really necessary to the story. He suspects that Shaw himself may have been carried away by Doolittle'i lovable qualities. But Shaw's Doolittle does not enter "My Fair Lady" until the fifth scene. The Doo-little that captures the people's hearts in the "Little Bit of Luck" number is a product of the Lcrner-Loewe imagination and the theatrical brilliance of Charles Victor. T Hollywood. HE Italian craze was last year's movie news. This year Israeli actresses are the novelty. Most of them have come because of the revival of spectacles and films with Biblical themes, but Ziva Rodann, one of the most sensational of these dark beauties, arrived two years ago. She has free lanced since her arrival, working in pictures, television, and dance recitals. Vital, vivid, and given to high style fashion in her private life, Ziva is a creature of paradoxes. She's an ex-soldier who put in her full period of military service in Israeli's women's army when in her teens. She says she can handle side arms, operate a machine gun, and toss grenades. She can't cook but she sews well. She was the only woman pantomimist in her country. She and five boys were chosen by Marcel Marceau out of 500 applicants and taught his methods and techniques. She has dated Rock Hudson and Ralph Meeker as well as many others. Ziva has hazel eyes, blue-black hair, and 36-21-35 measurements. Detests High Gates Asked why a girl of her type has to take army training, she said "Every able-bodied girl between 17 and 26 must undergo military service unless she marries and has a baby. I thought it was terrible at first. I hated the stiff uniforms and having my hair cut short. And I developed claustrophobia from living within a camp in-losure. To this day I hate to go behind high gates. "It was irksome to be given orders about everything all day long. But, once basic training began, I didn't have time to fuss about such things. For the first three months we scaled fences, crawled under barbed wire, and did all the other things that are routine in a soldier's training. We also had a very complete course in first aid. It was interesting, both to participate in and to watch. Professions Taught "We are a small country surrounded by unfriendly peoples and we have Arabs and other alien groups who would be difficult to assimilate were it not for this training. Most of them are pitifully poor and sorvice gives them a roof over their heads, food, and clothing. "They're taught the language of the country and they're also taught any profession they choose. When they come out of training those girls are equipped to take care of themselves and also to do their part in event of attack." Ziva says she was determined to be an actress even as a child. She joined the Ha-bima Theater upon completion of her high school studies. "I also attended ballet theater, working with Gilda Krouse and Tally Beatty, the , famous Negro dancer," Ziva said. "'And I went to night classes at the University of Tel Aviv, majoring in art, history and languages. Later I joined the Chamber Theater, a newer group which gave me an opportunity to do modern American playi in Hebrew and some musical comedy." She rates Marcel Marceau's arrival in Israel as the most important phase of her training. "He founded our school of pantomime and chose six pupils for his first group. I was the only girl among them. He taught us personally for some time and trained our instructor in his methods; they're involved, elaborate, and require tremendous muscular control." Role And A Contract Ziva came to Hollywood Immediately after her divorce from Jack Shapir, purchasing agent for the Israeli Army. "I was too young, too absorbed in my career, too thoughtless of anything or anyone that interfered with it," she said. "The marriage didn't last 'long but he is a fine man. After that I wanted to see more of the world so I took the money I'd. earned in the theater and headed for Hollywood. Being a stranger and a free lance player wasn't the easiest thing in the world even for a go-getter like this girl. She admits that at times her funds ran low. But she was energetic and resourceful and did a little bit of everything: "I posed for advertisements bathing suit ads, high style frocks and hats," she said. Classes At U.C.L.A. About beans she said: "Jutt now I have to get ahead in my career but men fascinate me and I'm sure they'll never cease to." Since she is not under contract, TV is open to Ziva and she has taken all the work she has time to do. She began studying dancing with Eugene Loring when she first arrived and still goes to his studio every week. And she studies voice with Harriet Lee and attends classes in diction, painting and writing at U.C.L.A. One of her ambitions is to travel more: "I'd like to live in Spain for a while and study their dances. And I'd like to go to Russia" here again her eyes twinkled with merriment, "I understand it's very chic to summer in Siberia." Yes? HURRV! HURRY! LAST WEEKS! C00D SEATS FOR ALL SHOWS 0 i'lf il !n Ot'iti M ill HetM Ci. Slow ' PHONE ORDERS ACCEPTE0 Uft lei let S,,0l YOUTH SHOW-9 A M. SATS SHOWS IVIKY IViNING WATINtfS WIO 114k. TftU'Ui ft B U mil: ; in fltNHUv m SAT., SUN ; I 1 L-TTIiii an ir'-ngy WfWtW petty N 1 SMcfi mimic ' hue Tracy March Kelly ' SENSATIONAL! SMHEraii Thee Wind " )tfaf Cont, Showings W"At 2, 4, t, t, 10 P.M. I (Mritmi MMbMkit ,w ntKottne tlliMOfftl Mm NftT tUM TMDtl 'tt. m.-M. 1.25 Im. M -tlitrt. 1 SO Mat. tit -In. 1-50 I" Frl Sii. 1.75 CMKrm All tinlM 75l IIILLENDALE Tuylnr Av. T.. nf lrh Riitmi 1. J!-IIIW I m KITCHENS KNOTT Kitchen works requirei intelligent plonning, drawings, coordination and supervision. 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Metro-Coldwyn-Meytr pwri ELIZABETH TAYLOR LAURENCE HARVEY EDDIE FISHER . a 11 nil U I " " BUtterfieldi o X TOM'W mil l i SHOPPERS SPECIAL OPEN TODAY 1:30 P.M. OPEN TOM'W 10 IS A M. in CmemaScope ind METROCOLOR B w.- i:n-Ji:(;.',ij TIL 5 P. M. HIPPODROME and In 1 it BURL IVES - SHELLEY WINTERS - JAMLS DAKREM -JEAN SEBERC fordo mmm 'ELLA FITZGERALD 4th Week! At 2, 4, 6, 8 10 P.M. "The happy Strcet-waikir of Piraeus... "A gay immorality fable. Mchtia Mercoim bubbling with joy from every pore is one of the finest females that fiction ever invented!" N.Y. fott MclinaPrcouri Playhouse TT5 25th at Charlei GLEEFUL 2ND WEEKI J ' , h ECKES APPLIANCE "Growing through Customer 420 S. HIGHLAND AVE. 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