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Review Small town 'Foreigner' succeeds

(03/27/91 10:00am)

The Hill Players last night premiered an outstanding performance of Larry Shue's play The Foreigner. Set in a lodge in a small town in Georgia, The Foreigner describes the resurgence of optimism among a group of troubled people. The play opens as two Englishmen -- "Froggy" LeSueur, played by College junior Michael Pomerantz, and Charlie Baker, played by College freshman Jonathan Pitt -- arrive at the lodge. Froggy is a soldier who mesmerizes lodge owner Betty Meeks with his trivial experiences. Betty, played by College junior Ann Elliot, is the classic small-town lodge owner, but she is depressed with her provincial life. Froggy enjoys the attention he gets from her and wows her with tales of his "exotic" travels, demonstrating his adventures by showing her a spoon marked "made in Taiwan." Froggy fibs by telling Betty that his friend Charlie cannot speak English because Charlie fears conversing. He just wants to relax. Pitt gives an utterly enjoyable performance as the frightened Charlie. Since Charlie cannot speak English, the Georgians consider him to be an exotic foreigner. Betty finds excitement in the foreigner. Elliott could break your heart with her performance as the sweet Betty. Believing that Charlie cannot speak English, Betty and others discuss their private thoughts in front of him. With what he hears, Charlie is able to solve their problems while simultaneously gaining confidence in himself. He pretends that he has learned English from the retarded teenager Ellard, who is played by College sophomore and Daily Pensylvanian staff artist David Lavine. Meanwhile, Charlie learns the diabolical duo of Reverend David Marshall Lee and politician Owen Musser are plotting to take Betty's lodge and make it a Ku Klux Klan headquarters. Since Charlie has brought the trouble to them, he is faced with the responsibility of whether to take action. However, Charlie rises to the occasion, proving his bravery by defending the people that he endangered. He then decides to move to Gergia to be with his new friends. All of the actors gave first-rate performances. Pitt used great body language to express the thoughts of a man who is not supposed to be able to speak English. David Lavine's Ellard has the personality of a child playing in a sandbox while at the same being intelligent. College senior Elizabeth Redkey gives a wonderfully warm portrayal of Rev. Lee's fiancee Catherine. The Foreigner is a completely entertaining play that everyone should see. The final scene was slightly too melodramatic, but it detracted only slightly from thouroughly enjoyable play. Two more performances of the play, directed by Katie Goodman, are scheduled for tonight and tomorrow night at 8 p.m. in the Houston Hall Auditorium.

Inspection blamed in crash

(02/21/91 10:00am)

Last year's Market-Frankford line subway crash that killed four people was a result of SEPTA's failure to properly inspect and maintain the subway cars, according to a report released yesterday. The report by the National Transportation Safety Board also cited the state government for not having adequate safety review programs for mass transit systems. The March 7 accident killed four people and injured 158 when a motor fell off the bottom of the train's fourth car, leading to the derailment of the fourth car which spun off the track, dragging the fifth and sixth cars. SEPTA officials said they are still conducting their own investigation of the accident. Alan Pollack, spokesperson for the Safety Board, said many of its recomendations were "common sense." But because it is only an advisory board, Pollack said he hoped that SEPTA would follow the recommendations. Public Policy and Management Professor Bruce Allen, who specializes in transportation, said yesterday that it often takes an accident such as SEPTA's to "shake people up" and spur them to correct a faulty system. "We like to think people plan, but many times they don't," Allen said. The Safety Board made several recommendations to SEPTA to improve its safety system. First, the board advised that the maintenace and inspection program be improved in order to ensure the quality of all SEPTA rail transit equipment. Second, the board said training programs that detail whether inspections are performed correctly need to be developed for supervisors, mechanics and inspectors. In addition, the board recommended that SEPTA develop an improved evacuation system that includes a public address system, separate from electric wiring, on elevated subway cars. Also, SEPTA should provide passengers with emergency evacuation instructions in conspicuous places. Finally, evacuation drills in employee-training sessions must be created to include passengers and personnel, the board said. The Safety Board also suggested to state legislators that they create an agency or assign an existing agency to regulate and enforce safety on the state's rapid transit systems.

Streakers make encore showing

(02/12/91 10:00am)

Those who were awake at 7 a.m. yesterday morning were able to see the rare occurrence of the second Quadrangle steak within the span of one week -- because of a mistake on the part of the event's planners. Planners said yesterday that they intended for there to be only one streak -- the one held yesterday morning -- but that a few of those involved jumped the gun by confusing last Thursday with yesterday. Despite the earlier streak, yesterday's streakers decided to hold their event as planned, as 11 men stripped off everything but their hats, scarves and sneakers to run around the Quad. Descending from the top of the Upper Quad, the streakers ran through the Speakman archway to Baby Quad and back up through Lower Quad to the Upper Quad where they reclothed themselves. Even with temperatures in the 20s, the streakers were enthused as they chanted, "Here we go Quakers, here we go!" Circling back toward the top of Upper Quad, the streakers seemed to enjoy themselves thoroughly as they raised their hands in victory. Four senior women, who said they were friends of the streakers, stood on Junior Balcony, holding signs and cheering on the streakers. "Hi Paul. Hi Peter. Hi Josh," read one sign. Wharton senior Kathy Warren, one of those watching, said she found the event exciting. "It's crazy to be naked in that cold, and this is why we invented clothes," Warren said. Several streakers said that the women had been invited to run, but declined the invitation. "They were supposed to run, but they chickened out," the streaker said. "We're not sexist, we invited them. They just didn't show up." Other than the women, few were up early enough to witness the streak. "I thought it was outstanding, but when are the women going to do it?" said a maintenance worker who was in the Quad at the time. Each of the participants said he had a different reason for streaking. One said that he wanted to protest the slave labor conditions in the garment industry. Another said that he wanted to tell stories about it to his grandchildren. Paul, a Wharton senior and organizer of this streak, said that the event was "exhilirating," while another streaker said the streak was a great way to start the week. Several streakers said that because of the warm weather, last week's event does not count as a true Quad streak.

Archbishop of city will visit U. today

(02/11/91 10:00am)

Anthony Bevilacqua, the Archbishop of Philadelphia, will visit campus today, making a number of appearances to discuss various issues with members of the University community. Bevilacqua is scheduled to participate in discussions on Catholic-Jewish relations, Protestant-Catholic relations, and issues of Christian ethics in medicine and law. According to Wharton junior Matt Manion, vice president of the Newman Council, Bevilacqua wants to hear student opinion and encourage interaction between different groups. The 68-year-old archbishop has held his current post since 1987. From 1976 to 1983, he served as the chancellor of the Diocese of Brooklyn while teaching law at St. John's University Law School from 1976 to 1980. In 1989, he was admitted to the Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court. Bevilacqua will begin his day at 9:30 a.m. at Hillel, where he will address relations between the Catholic and Jewish communities. He is expected to discuss why Jews and Catholics understand each other culturally and socially but not theologically, according to Manion. At 10:30 a.m., Bevilacqua will go next door to the Christian Association where he will discuss ways to improve relations between Catholics and Protestants. At 11:20 a.m., he will meet with Catholic faculty at the Faculty Club. Bevilacqua will go to the Law School at 2:15 p.m. to meet with students to discuss the ethical responsibilities associated with being a lawyer, according to Manion. At 3:45 p.m., Bevilacqua will be at the Medical School's Class of 1962 Auditorium to discuss current issues in medical ethics. A mass will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the Newman Center, with Bevilacqua presiding, and students are invited to attend a spaghetti dinner with the archbishop at 6:15 p.m. From 7:30 to 9 p.m., he will meet privately with Newman center groups, Latin-American students, Christian evangelical groups, and 10 students who are becoming Catholics.