Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on June 29, 1975 · Page 99
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June 29, 1975

Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 99

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Charleston, West Virginia
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Sunday, June 29, 1975
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Page 99
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Page 99 article text (OCR)

Gu«M Mar Carol Burnett and series star Cher appea as "The Little Darlings" in a musiral salute to legendary ladies of the mo\ ies on "Cher" at 7:30 p.m., toda\ on CBS-T. A show to quicken the pulse . By Martha Smith I'm afraid John Benjamim has dropped in my Drool Ratings. Although still remarkably handsome, John will have to take a back seat to George Naylor and Dana Hart, two Adonis types playing Spirit Hatfield and Spirit McCoy in this year's production of the musical feud. For a young, hotblooded critic like me, half the fun in attending opening night each year is eyeballing the new male recruits. There are several this year who are near the saturation mark on my Drool Chart. -They are good lookers, they can act and they can sing. In fact, that pretty well describes the entire company of "Hatfields and McCoys," opening last Saturday in Grandview State Park near Becktey. Collaborators Billy Edd Wheeler and Ewel Cornett have taken pen and scissors to the show in an extraordinarily beneficial manner during the past year. Scenes, which previously were unnecessarily long, have been trimmed. There's renewed life in many of the key characters, notably love interests Johnse Hatfield and Rose Anne McCoy, the two Spirit-narrators and assorted hotheads on both sides of the feud line. Exciting new life and vigor in character portrayals result from some exceptionally insightful casting. Steve Rankin and Barbara Kosciuk as the ill-fated lovers Johnse and Rose Ann, for instance, are extremely credible. Both are good-looking youngsters and Rankin exudes an aura of cocky self assuredness typical of a Renowned Seducer of Young Girls and All-Around Scallawag. Ms. Kosciuk displays a suitable mixture of come- hither sauciness and petulance. Dawn Couch, who plays Nancy Mc- TIME; · =%? 29.'-. W75 v In one ear**, Coy, the eventual competition for Johnse's affection, is delightfully bitchy. - . " Much of the show's success rests on the ability of the actors to bring life and empathy to the characters they, portray. Those in supportive roles this season are adept at drawing the audience into the, thick of the emotionally-charged plot. Particularly outstanding are Benjamin, recreating his role of the even-tempered Rand'l McCoy, a tragic and unwilling clan leader; Billy Trotter as the mentally lacking Phamer McCoy and Chris McHale as his gun-happy brother Tolbert. Things don't quite click across the feud line as central, Hatfield characters seem a little less con- vicing. A. D. Cover gives us a Devil Anse who seems all right in every respect except for a rather annoying gravel voice that certainly must impede his artistic repertoire. Cheryl Stockton plays Levicy Hatfield as a creaking octogenarian, hardly capable of producing the two preschoolers evident in early scenes. Gary Heilsberg's Uncle Jim Vance is a bit too broad for the particular brand of humor Wheeler has written in his lines. And, last but not least, what is a freshfaced, brighteyed child like Ross Hudson doing as Ellison Hatfield, the brother of aging Devil Anse? Charleston area residents should be particularly proud of two young . men who contribute much to this year's show. Customer Bob Barnhill has added many bright touches to the actors' covering, most nota- bly the caped effect worn by the two Spirits; And Rob Atkins does a splendid job in the dual roles of Floyd Hatfield and Troy Hatfield. "As in previous seasons, "Hat- fields and-McCoys" haslts ups and downs. From year to year things are done for the show's betterment while other, generally minor factors, cause mild consternation. The pluses far outnumber the minuses--as always--and a show worthy of mountain pride has been devised- There is energy, vitality, exciting new talent and crisp direction to be enjoyed here There is a profound story and a lyrical score. And for boy watchers and girl- watchers there is sheer physical beauty. I promise the women, the Spirits will move you. SOUR NOTE: The controversy over the Steinway concert grand whose malfunction aroused the anger of Andre Previn during a concert here last season has ended on a bleak note for Londeree Music Co;·'··-- · · · ' . - ' · _ . . ' : . v ' - - · Ruling that the adverse publicity surrounding the event had done the Steinway name no good, company officials acted to remove the instrument and the Steinway franchise from Londeree's. A new concert grand will arrive here in August and will be housed at Gorby's music store in South Charleston, new holder of the Steinway dealership. It seems a drastic, slightly uncivilized way to solve a problem that probably could have been negotiated to a satisfactory resolution. A spokesman for Gorby's has vowed to keep the instrument in top concert condition at all times to prevent further embarrassment to the community and the company. Price Breakthrough ON VINYL, HIGH QUALITY Replacement Windows Custom-made to fit your exact window opening. No muss, no fuss. Your interior and exterior decor are not disturbed in any way. 8 Replacement Windows OO ( U P to 22x48 openings) completely installed CAPITAL BUILDERS 517 Elizabeth Street Charleston, W. Va. 25311 Call for FREE ESTIMATES Phones answer 24 hours. 3s

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