Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on June 20, 1980 · Page 19
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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania · Page 19

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Friday, June 20, 1980
Page 19
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11 Pittsburgh Film-Makers continue Czech film series; a"' Cornucopia -P.Se20 How Johnny Weissmuller came by the Tarzan yell; more People Page 21 No reason to crab about these soft-shell delicacies; Dining Out Page 27 Ted Koppel sets anchor for political conventions; On the Air Page 30 Wdkinidl M&gmni FRIDAY, JUNE 20, 1980 'Brothers' A Big Waste By Marylynn Uricchio Post-Gazette Staff Writer Pull out your black Cuban sunglasses and tighten your seatbelt. "The Blues Brothers" is a totally overblown, mindless, destruction-ridden, torturously boring, frustratingly inept and incredibly expensive waste of time. Its closest rival may be Steven Spielberg's "1941," but even that equally extravagant bomb contained some minor moments of wit tasteless though it may have been. There is no reason to believe that a huge budget spent primarily on assorted vehicles makes a film funny. Both "The Blues Brothers" and "1941" suffer from i Post-Gazette Review overindulgence and a lack of discipline, a situation that could never have arisen in the heyday of the old studio system. Spielberg became an industry darling with "Jaws," and "Blues Brothers" director John Landis entered the ranks of the pampered elite when "Animal House" outgrossed even the most generous expectations. Hollywood believes in magic and miracles, and it only takes one big hit to prove a film-maker is infallibly attuned to the public pulse. Producers willingly heap enough money to make 10 decent films on the shoulders and laurels of a box office genius, and then apparently are too timid to question how it is spent. Reactionary as it may seem, a few checks and balances might have saved both films from excess, no matter how much the interference might inhibit the director's debatable creative process. Unfortunately, Landis had a free hand in concocting his fiasco. He co-wrote what little script there is with Dan Aykroyd, and his only achievement was organizational coordinating the thousands of extras and choreographing an army of cars, campers, tanks and helicopters. "The Blues Brothers," opening today at the Showcase Cinemas East, North and West, loosely traces the activities of Jake (John Belushi) and Elwood Blues (Dan Aykroyd) as they try to raise $5,000 to save the Catholic orphanage where they grew up. Repeatedly claiming to be on a mission from God, the brothers set out to round up their old blues band - now playing in a motel cocktail lounge so a fund-raising concert can be held. Along the way, Jake and Elwood are stopped by the police, and it is discov- (Continued on Page 30) V ml. m k' till iui t lri i r i - : 19 Jan WalkerPost-Gazette "Young Washington" producer Tally Sessions in the new Great Meadows Amphitheater. Pageant Re-Enacts History Cathy L. Sessions portrays the Indian princess Bright Lightning in the outdoor historical drama, which is performed near Fort Necessity. By Gabriel Ireton Post-Gazette Staff Writer FORT NECESSITY - The theatrical drama of "Young Washington," the story of a 22-year-old major in His Majesty's colonial service, comes to life for the first time tonight in the hills overlooking Uniontown. The play's opening - the culmination of a Fayette County minister and historian's 26-year-old dream -also marks the beginning of the first season for the ambitious $1.7 million Great Meadows Amphitheatre in the Laurel Highlands near Fort Necessity, where George Washington fought the first major skirmish in the French and Indian War. "Young Washington" depicts two years in the life of the young British officer who fought three major battles in Western Pennsylvania Fort Necessity, Jumonville Glen and Turtle Creek in a successful effort to overcome French dominance in the early West in the decades before the American Revolution. The effort and time spent to re-enact these battles may exceed their actual planning time more than two centuries ago. The man who first had the idea for the historical pageant, according to Tally Sessions, producer of the outdoor epic, was the late Rev. Dr. Blake Hindman, former pastor of Mount Washington Presbyterian Church, located near Fort Necessity. It was 1954, and Fayette County was marking the bicentennial of Washington's ill-fated first attempt at that fort to gain an English foothold in this territory. Neither Hindman, a local historian who helped restore Fort Necessity, nor his ally, Rex Carter, then president of the Fayette Festival Association, lived to see the dream come to fruition. But their work resulted in the creation of Fayette Heritage, Inc., which carried through the building of the amphitheater and production of the drama. Mark R. Sumner, head of the University of North Carolina's Institute of Outdoor Drama, was commissioned to write the script. Talent auditions were conducted in about a dozen cities, from Pittsburgh to St. Augustine, Fla., bringing together a cast of 60 actors and actresses, some of them playing multiple roles. The title role is played by Anthony Newfield, a veteran of the New York theater who, Sessions pointed out, stands the same height 6 feet 4 inches as did Washington, a mammoth-sized man in his day. "Tony looks good on a horse," Sessions added. The cast and behind-the-scenes crews are laced strongly with Pittsburgh-area residents such as Sue Hunter of Avalon, a dancer who plays a farmer's wife. Chief choreographer is Ron Tassone, a Point Park College dance instructor. Mike Powers, a Carnegie-Mellon University instructor, is technical director and property designer. The enthusiasm of the technical crews is marked by hastily sketched signs that hang over their work areas. Under one such sign, reading "Aunt Bobbi's Sweat (Continued on Page 21) I n i W-rf Vr w,- , J;v-. , . n j Si; ISV --.i" If fill Viv;i-P yu Robert Redford, right, is initiated into prison life by inmates David Keith, left, and Jon Van Ness. Tough 'Brubaker' Year's Best So Far By George Anderson Post-Gazette Drama Critic At last, we've got a movie worth seeing. After all the disappointments and the trivia, from the soupiness of "Bronco Billy" to the nuttiness of "The Shining," Robert Redford's powerful new film "Brubaker" is downright rejuvenating. A tough, honest, heartfelt movie, "Brubaker" is the best film of the year so far. What may be so exhilarating about it is the fact that it does not reflect the shallow cynicism that lies behind so many current films, which seem aimed at an audience of TV-bred adolescents with a concentration span of eight minutes. Opening today at the Bank Cinema, Downtown, arid five suburban theaters, "Brubaker" is brutally realistic and unsentimentally heroic, two qualities rarely seen in combination on screen or anywhere else. Once again, as he did so memorably in "All the President's Men," Redford plays a common man up against an implacable and corrupt system. His natural gift as Post-Gazette Review an actor seems to lie in portraying strength that is only life-sized and less self-oriented, in contrast to the mythical qualities of a John Wayne, for example. In "Brubaker," Redford plays a warden determined to reform the inhuman conditions of a notorious state prison. Like Clint Eastwood's "Escape from Alacatraz," the new 20th CenturyJox release begins with the main charjter arriving at prison and undergoing the rigidly degrading process of being institutionalized. Despite his movie-star handsomeness, we accept Redford as a convict with surprising ease, aided by his scraggly beard and tattered clothes and by stark, documentary-like photography. Redford hardly speaks a word during the first reel, acting as an observer through whose eyes we witness the shocking conditions of the fictional Wakefield Prison. The film's first hour is genuinely grueling savage beatings, wormy food, tolerated rape, rampant bribery, filthy cells but it never displays the taint of sadomasochism that occasionally marked "Midnight Express." A reportorial tone makes the harsh- (Continued on Page 21) Summer Puts Music, Theater in Parks The city parks will be alive with activity this summer, and the season officially opens today on a jazzy note a concert at Mellon Square by the Workshop Jazz Ensemble. Another feature of the ceremonies at noon will be demonstrations and exhibits by various groups that will perform in the parks this summer - from the Roving Art Cart (a crafts program for youngsters) to the Pittsburgh Puppet Theater. Also, the Park Players will present a preview of their upcoming season and strolling minstrels from the University of Pittsburgh's theater company will entertain. There also will be a special demonstration by the Pepsi Mobile Tennis Program and applications for the city's fourth annual "Great Race" will be available. Physical fitness fiends will be able to choose from a host of activities in the parks this summer, and those who just want to sit back and listen to music can have a field day because the parks will be alive with the sound of music of all varieties. The musical events range from noontime concerts Downtown, to concerts in various parks. In addition, there are community concerts slated throughout the city this summer as well as many theatrical events, puppet shows and a variety of recreational activities - from tennis to roller-skating. Here is the concert schedule for various city parks: In Scbenley Park, Flagstaff Hill (each concert begins at 6:30 p.m.): Sunday, Ken Cook Big Band; June 25, No Shelter, June 29, Jazz Workshop Ensemble; July 2, Icon; July 9, Rick Purcell Orchestra; July 13, Pat Oliver Orchestra; July 16, Shadyside Jazz Quintet; July 23, Bob Hall and Billy the Kid; July 27, Tom Evans Big Band; July 30, Saxy Williams Jazz Coalition; Aug. 10, Bill Tonti Orchestra; Aug. 24, Dick Bertini Orchestra. At Armstrong Field, I2tk asd Carsoi itreett, Soutkside: Wizard will perform July 1 (7 p.m.); July 15, Arabesque (7 p m.); July 29, Icon (7 p.m.); Aug. 12, Back Up and Push (6:30 p.m.). In Highland Park: (all start at 7 p m ) July 3, Family of Eve; July 17, Arabesque; July 31, Shadyside Jazz Quintet; Aug. 14, Wowza Radowza. In Grandview Park: June 26, Carsickness (7 p.m.); July 24, Wizard (7 p.m.); Aug. 7, Icon (6:30 p.m.); Aug. 21, Arabesque (6:30 p.m.). Abo, noon concerts are slated at Market Square, Mellon Square and Gateway Center throughout the summer. At Market Square: Tuesday, Mississippi Mudcats; July 1, Spider and Company; July 8, Infinity Plus; July 15, Rick Munoz Sextet; July 22, Ken Cook Quintet; July 9, Bob Hall and Billy the Kid; Aug. 5, Back Up and Push; Aug. 12, Hamilton Whitlinger. At Mellon Square: Today, Workshop Jazz Ensemble; June 26, Sheba Ezperience; July 3, Hamilton Whitlinger, July 10, Jack Purcell Band; July 17, Wowza Badowza; July 24, Shadyside Jazz Quintet; July 31, Al Azzaro Band; Aug. 7, Mississippi Mudcats; Aug. 14, Rick Purcell and Whodunit; Aug. 21, Infinity Plus; Aug. 28, Saiy Williams Quartet. At Gateway Center: Monday, Ted Robins Band; June 26, John Stephens Band; June 30, Keystone Pops Band; July 3, Jack Purcell Orchestra; July 7, Keystone Pops Band; July 10, Henry DiPasquale Band; July 14, Frank Ostrowski Orchestra; July 17, Fiesta Band; July 21, Henry DiPasquale Band; July 24. Jack Purcell Orchestra; July 28, Bob Matchett Orchestra; July 31, John Stephens Band; Aug. 4, Jack Purcell Orchestra; Aug. 7, Henry DiPasquale Band; Aug. U, Ted Robins Band; Aug. 14, Frank Ostrowski Orchestra; Aug. 18, Keith Bishop Big Band; Aug. 21, Keystone Pops Band; Aug. 25, John Stephens Band; Aug. 28, Frank Ostrowski Orchestra. For a complete list of activities available to Pittsburghers this summer, stop in at the City of Pittsburgh's Department of Parks and Recreation, 400 City-County Building. t r ii v it X ?1 v. n W " if t, 1 . rata. E 1 ' m - Crafts activities for children will be held in city parks this summer.

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