Ed Sullivan Show
Last Sunday's (21) "Ed Sullivan Show" once more revealed CBS' track record entrepreneur at the top of his form, or near, as a shoman-publicist who sometimes out-travels the traveloggers. The outside excursion this trip brought Montreal's Expo 67 into focus; but except for ataped number as the backdrop and the headman's own quickie rubbernecking of the Expo layout. It was a stage spread and a representative one that trained it's foremost guns on the Canadian aspect.
The main message was in the variety groove, although one or two novelty acts, a Sullivan standard, may have been lost along the way for lack of time. After all, an hour is only 60 minutes, and this one played fast. Alan King was the sole native U.s. star in the spread.
The "locationer" was at the 2,000-seat "Expo Theatre" with the Seekers, Australian group, kicking off brightly with their "Georgy Girl" disklick. Filling the stage was the Montreal Symphony conducted by Wilfrid Pelletier and backing in succession, Met soprano Birgit Nilsson in a number from Puccini's Turandot" and Canadian pianist Ronald Turini in Rachmaninoff concerto for a splendid 1-2 longhair punch.
Among acts of Canadian or French-admixed origin were Claude Leveillee, chanting his own "Le Rendezvous" in a fine semi-declmatory and charmingly raspy voice and Les Feux Follets, an outsized troupe that spread over the stage in an interesting clog-type dance to a catchy beat. They closed out the show handily.
Standout spots were given to King about midway and to Petula Clark, the English nightingale, the latter drawing the next-to-closing slott--and the longest one--in a farrago her her trademarked tunes, a couple in French, and a newie plattter, which has the hit look, "Dont Sleep in the Subway." King had the browd with him in his setpiece pegged on--what else?--arital life. There is a kind of easygoing perfectionism about this comedian that gives a lfe to any show.
Sullivan's direct participation was as narrator of a quick look round at various government pavillions via the Expo's minirail. An extension of that was provided later as Peter Gennaro and eight girls, dressed as Expo guides, terpsytuvied at several sites to Gennaro's choreography, for a winning stanza that actually had the stage as a live point of departure for the taped segue. All in all, a happy two-way streatch--good EXPOsure and good home entertainment.