Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on September 3, 1972 · Page 55
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 55

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, September 3, 1972
Page 55
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By Martha Smith It occurred to me last Friday night, as I watched "Honey in the Rock" for the first time, that there are some basic human truths which never change. There are people who despise the slaughter of war and who will strive till the last breath to make others see the senselessness of killing to settle arguments There are today--as there were a hundred years ago-those opportunists who enter West Virginia to exploit its people and its natural resources, then return to their "fat cat" existences in the splendor of a faster paced world. And there are always the good, decent, but often misguided hill people who will listen to the practiced smooth talk of slick politi- cans. West V i r g i n i a hasn't changed much since the days when it was Western Virginia. There is much at which to marvel in the long-running success presented each summer in Cliffside Amphitheater, of Grandview State Park. Kermit Hunter's story traces West Virginia's statehood through the fierce drama of deciding whether to join Virginia in secession, or whether to become an Independent state, free from ·lavery. Underlying the plot is the love story of David and Marguerite Morgan who typify the strong constitutions of the eariy pioneers. Somehow you know these two will do what is right. But, of course, by this time most everyone is familiar with the plot. So I'll plunge directly into what to me U generally the most marvelous aspect of watching the "dramas"--as "Honey in the Rock" and "Hat- fields and McCoys" ars known--develop and grow. The actors. They are what keep this show alive with their fresh, new interpretations of role. The singers and dancers continue to add the sparkle and beauty which indicate the fine polish of a professional performance. It's interesting too to note the vastly different roles held by actors appearing in both "Honey" and "Hat- fields." In almost every instance, one can see that those who enact basically humorous roles in one show, go strictly dramatic in the other. Those playing romantic leads one night assume "character" roles the next. Their ability to effectively iwitch from drama to comedy nightly is an outstanding endorsement of the capability of these young people. Perhaps the single most outstanding performer in these shows is Tom Dennis. Tom Is brilliant not only for his understated handling of the comic role of Denvil Anse in "Hatfields," but also for his almost incredible portrayal of two major roles in "Honey." First he is the abrasive politician Harmon Cantrell. Tom Dennis plays Cantrell, displaying a loud, raspy voice which just goes on and Fresh interpretations Critic praises 'Honey,' 'Hatfield' actors on. His slow-speaking manner and his irritating, pompous rhetoric make him the easily-identifiable bad guy, as be tries to exploit the citizenry and push the secessionist cause. Then Tom pops up again In uniform as the senile incompetent Col. J o n e s during a side-spliting slapstick scene. During this scene of endless saluting, map-misreading and chain- of-command buck-passing, we also witness a funnv, drunken Maj. Rutherford B. Hayes played by Don Johnson and an upstanding, stalwart Pvt. William McKinley. Tom Dennis is joined in his excellent efforts onstage by a wonderfully c».ipetent group. Here are my Impressions of some outstanding moments of my first time at "Honey in the Rock": Beth Hendrick's role as the beautiful Marguerite is quite a contrast to her fiesty Levicey Hat field, wife of Devil Anse. . . Prudence Mason does a reverse turn- a-round as the m i d d l e aged, salty Delie Morgan. She Is the voluptuous, fiery Rose Ann McCoy in "Hat- fields." . . . John Benjamin as the blumbling clown Whitey Hawkins is an absolute smash. This is quite a different John Benjamin from the quiet, solemn Rand'l McCoy. Benjamin has a keen comic sense and an " unbeatable timing. . . His partner, known as Mellndy --or more frequently "¥s, my love"--is ably played by Kathy Diamont. These two bring some of the best visual comedy to the state I've seen in quite a while Dennis Michael as the young David Morgan, i peacemaker who hates war and division, plays his character with a quiet understatement. His handsome good looks make him a natural romantic leading man, quite Tliis week At Sunrise Charleston's center of arts and education is open to the public free of charge Sunday 2 to 5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. ART GALLERY The Bocour Artist Colors Collection" from the American Federation of Arts. "Searching for an Image" a one man show by June Kilgore. PLANETARIUM "The Sky Tonight," 2:30 p.m. Sunday; "The Autumn Sky," 2:30 p.m., Saturday. FOR CHILDREN Woodland Indians, Listen, Discovery Wall, Live Animals, Galaxy Room, Serpen- torium, Museum Graphics, Tri-Cycle Trip, Questers Corner, Civil War, Greenbrier River Campground. SHOW TIME. SEPTEMBER ?, 1973 SPECIAL EVENTS Star Party and Night Nature Walk at dusk. Class registration open. a switch from the rather idotic Phamer McCoy, the gun-happy member of the family who is eventually executed by the Hatfields. . , Don Johnson as Francis Pierpont also shows his versatility, as he plays the serious role in contrast to the crotchety old Uncle Jim Vance he portrays in "Hat- fields.". . . outstanding in the corps de ballet Is Ron Fowler, an extremely graceful, handsome artist whose fluid dance movements are inspiring to watch. . . And firming up the chorus are the powerful voices of tenor Jim Fleming and baritone Herb Smith. . . It is a well-rounded show, convincingly carried out by an outstanding cast. Most important, is the fact that the vast majority of major roles are being done by actors in their first years with the outdoor theater. One small point: the Indian dance scene which interprets the discovery of natural gas--honey in the rock --is rather contrived and unnecessary to the story. This portion is, I suspect, Included as a showcase for the corps de ballet. The young men, incidentally, who perform this interpretive dance come as close to "0 Calcutta" as West Virginia is likely to get, in their extremely brief loincloths. Their semi-nudity makes middle-aged matrons in the audience gasp at first encounter, but they generally swallow their discomfort with an attitude that in this instance showing s k i n is "arty." It was my first visit to "Honey in the Rock" and I feel I've missed something all these years by not seeing it. It won't be my last visit there. TV Movies Won., Tue$, Weds, ONLY Cold Wave $C50 V * Stevens Beauty Shop 113 Summers St. 342-265} Wednesday"Murder Ahoy," 11:30 p . m . O with Margaret Rutherford. · · * "Funny Face," (1957) **·* 11:30 p.m., ifB with Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire. * · * "A Degree of Murder." 11:30 p.m., Q with Anita Palenberg and Ham P. Hallwachs. Charmglow gai barbsques offer you tha mo»t modarn featuret of outdoor cooking . . backed by tha finest In quality and craft»man»hlp that hav« mada Charmglow th« Itadar. Now you can tnjoy that rial barbequt flavor without tht ma« and EUMI of old-fathionad charcoal. For extra patio charm, add · Charmglow gat light, tool Specialties PHONE 768-4801 5701MacCorMeAve.,S.W. So. Charleston W.Va. 25303 AMERICAN ACADEMY BALLET SCHOOL OF DISTINCTION ANDRE VAN DAMME DIRECTOR KNIGHT BUILDING 901 QUARRIER ST. BALLET MODERN CHARACTER DANCING ACROBATICS SPECIAL NEW CLASSES: PRE-SCHOOLERS'TO BALLET LADIES' EXERCISE CLASS REGISTRATION FOR CHARLESTON^AREA SCHOOLS 346-16" 343-6541 REGISTRATION FOR ' 4 ' SUMMERSVILLE--MUNICIPAL BLDG' RICHWOQD--GRADg SCHOOL ' ^ 1 ' , ' . SEPT. 9 September 6 MORNING" 6:30 O Bible Answers IB Today on Farm f) Town Crier IB Religion 6:45 O Corn Cob Q Religion IB Flintstones 7:30 O Sleepy Jeffers fB BuIIwinkle Q Farm 8:00 (B Zoo Revue O O Kangaroo 8:30 (B Jack LaLanne O Romper Room 9:00 O Bess Myerson fB Ben Casey e Films Kangaroo O Romper Room O Flintstones 09 Jack LaLanne 10 fB Phil Donahue 9:30 O Consequences O Coffee Break O Artie Levin fB Flintstones O Hazel 10:00 Q Q (0 (0 (B Dinah's Place IB Dick Van Dyke O America Sings O O Joker Is Wild 10:30 Concentration Q O Price Is Right IB Split Second Q Religion 11:00 QQ(0 fB (B Sale OO Gambit IB Password O Friends, Neighbors 11:30 3.0000(0(0(0 Another World Q Q Secret Storm fBQ General Hospital 3:30 O Q f B f B f B Return to Peyton Place OQ Edge of Night IB CD One Life 4:00 O Batman Q Family Affair fBQ Love CD Merv Griffin O Perry Mason O 3D Sesame Street O Cartoons 4:30 © Daniel Boone O Virginian Q Death Vallty (B Jeff's Collie Q Movie fB Andy Griffith Q Green Acres 5:00 Q Big Valley IB Dick Van Dyke (B High Chaparral Q © Misterogers O Griffin Q Wagon Train 5:30 O© Electric Co. IB Marshall Dillon fB What's My Line IB Corner Pyle iYENING Hollywood Squares O Q Love of Life {B 13 Bewitched 00 OO fBQ QO ID News Survival © Yoga 6:30 O O Waiter Cronkite AFTERNOON 12:00 O Q f B f B Jeopardy O Contact IB IB News O Password O Where the Heart Is 12:30 O 0(0 © Who, What, Where OO Search O Split Second IB News 1:00 O News O Your Bet IB Q All My Children g fD Somerset Panorama fB Jeopardy IB Me Too "Show Three On a Match OO As World Turns fB Q Let's Deal g Education Bridge fB Jeanaie 7:00 O Imagination Q Hee Haw (0 Consequences Q fB Billy Graham fB Griffith O My Line O Kreskin fB Anything You Can Do © Progress Q Yoga 7:30 (0 Billy Graham (B Lassie Q Dragnet O Let's Deal fB Beat Clock © Episode Q Far Eastern Arts 8:00 O O l B f B Adam 12 O News Hour fBO Olympics © Q Election '72 8:30 Q (010 fB Mystery Movie SB Q "Overcoat" 9:OOOO Med Center 9:30 Q TEA 10:00 Q 0(0(0(0 Night Gallery OO Mannix (0 Q Soul 2:00 Q Q Splendored Thing: 11:00 Q Q fB Q G 'Q O fB fB fB Days fD fB News Lives 'fBQ Newlyweds 2:30 Doctors Guiding Light Dating Game 11:30 Q Q (0 fB fB Tonight |Q "Murder Ahoy" 'O "A Degree of Murder" (B "Funny Face" Q Dick Cavett CHARLESTON, W. VA.

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