Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on May 30, 1976 · Page 81
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 81

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, May 30, 1976
Page 81
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Page 81 article text (OCR)

Sills, Alexander: great stars are nice people By Martha Smith Having spent five years in the atmosphere of studied sarcasm that pervades the Gazette newsroom;'I wasn't surprised to find my review .of the Beverly Sills-John Alexander concert greeted by .scoffing among the seasoned newsmen. Seasoned newsmen are the fellows who feel obliged from time to time to remind young reporters that they were here before we were born and to subject our work to unbridled, ridicule. Keeps us in our places, you understand. But no matter. As a future seasoned newsperson,.! will stand confidently by my commentary, The concert was one of those rare moments in a recital hafrqr. a theater that is so beautiful it r heariy;de- : ' fies description. Even '-attempting to write about it'seems impossibly difficult and the review, at best, is anti-climactic. Those who missed the concert missed splendor of unbounded . proportion. Most people, however, didn't have the opportunity to chat with Sills and Alexander. I did and I would like to share a little bit of the warmth and good humor generated by these two very dowihto-earth superstars. . . : · · ; . . . At intermission, Canky Brown corted me and Morgantown entertainer Mabel Howard backstage for an introduction. Sills and Alexander -- both looking tired from a schedule that is taking its toll- smiled in a genuinely friendly greeting .that probably was evoked because Canky and John Alexander are; former classmates and longtime buddies: "We've decided that the first half was our entire concert," Sills re- marked. "We may do the/second half as an encore, but the program is much too long." Seizing the soprano's left hand,. which was adorned by a diamond big enough to choke Luciano Pavarotti, Mrs.'Howard eyeballed the rock and commented: "You sure " d o sparkle.". . ' . . . . ' Sills laughed and replied: "My husband says if I stay with him five more years he'llget me a real one." · Then, touching Mrs. Howard's sleeve, Sills said: "You don't know how close 1 came to wearing a gown exactly like that. It had the same beading around the neckline and cuffs, but it wrinkles, so I chose this one, which travels very well.":(Mrs. Howard later wondered aloud how the highly-paid soprano would react if she knew the look-alike gown was created from material bought at a discount fabric shop.) "You wear a lot of blue don't you." somebody observed. "Yes." Sills acknowledged,."but my mother sees me on television and thinks I'm wearing green. She keeps calling to say 'How come you're wearing green and your hair is blonde?" and I have to tell her, 'Ma. you've got to adjust the color knob. My dress is blue and my hair is still red.' "I've learned, though, to wear simple gowhs-sd the women'inthe. audience-.decide;-within; two rain-: 158 is only, she added, 155. So bright, so beautiful, so talented and so very nice. All those things are true of Beverly Sills, who ha* done quite a lot to destroy the myth that great artistsjntfst. display artistic temperament and hurl themselves about. Even fa the sez-who cynicism of a newsroom, it must be grudgingly admitted by the crankiest curmudgeon that Beverly Sills is something very special. "Play It Again, Sam" to Joe Whited. Bair" designed the set and did jnd?t of the construction. He returns to WVU in the fall to pursue a masters degree in drama. The WVU Percussion Ensemble will be featured in concert in the Philadelphia '76 Bicentennial Cele^ bration. Directed by Phil Faini, the group will play at 2:30 p.m. today. FOOTL1GHT FOOTNOTES: In the Oops Department today, 1 must apologize to Bill Bair for giving credit for his fine set design for DRIVEWAY SEALER Seals asphalt, and concrete driveways and patios. Good adhesive quality. Long life. Weather «\ Wear Protection JnrfMIt athtdHit £ ftrtrart farm A. M pf*ct.fWILLIAMSON PAINT MFG. CO. ·JEFFS Beverly Sills as "Elizabeth I." APPLIANCES FURNITURE 5212 taCtfkli live. SI, KM. City utes whether they like or hate what I'm wearing: Then they can settle down and listen to the music." Possibly the second happiest person at the concert was Dr. Marvin Schles, who attended school as a child with Beverly Sills. He brought back a yearbook with their pictures and asked her to autograph it. She made his day by immedrately recognizing him arid, noting his hair still is dark. "Marvin says you were the smartest kid in school," an observer commented. ' · ' . . ' - ' . - . "Always," Sills replied. Her I.Q., which has been widely reported as Seamless Cutters -CUMANTEED- NOTTOLEAK CONTINUOUS ALUMNUM GUTTER Mad* on th* Job to Fit FRSTinW.VA. 6" Gutter .032 Thkknws ALMm tffUCBWTWWOfrS Any Brand ALUMINUM SKIM Available · ROBERT L DAVIS, JR. OWNER CONSTRUCTION CO. 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